At first, a bunion usually feels more like a cosmetic issue than anything else. Sure, you may not love the way that extra bump on the outside of your big toe looks. But with winter fast approaching here in Illinois, you might assume it’s going to be covered by shoes anyway.
Some bunions can simply be ignored. But others get worse over time. Eventually, that bunion might become so painful it’s impossible to ignore.
Fortunately, if you are living with a bunion, you have options. Here at our Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist offices in Homer Glen and New Lenox, Illinois, Christopher Vittori, DPM, and Ameet Thakrar, DPM, can help you explore them. Options we might suggest range from conservative treatments like orthotics to minimally invasive bunion surgery.
So, when should you decide to go under the knife? Let’s take a closer look.
Ramping up your bunion care
Dr. Thakrar and Dr. Vittori never recommend surgery right away. Instead, they first explore the easiest-to-apply treatments with you.
Some people get relief from their bunion-related pain with simple swaps like different shoes or adding custom orthotics to their existing footwear. Toe separators and specialized pads to cushion the bunion might help, too.
If those don’t work for you, we can explore more involved treatment. That might mean physical therapy and medication, for example.
Many people find pain relief and stop their bunion from getting worse with these options. But if you’re still in pain, we can talk about the next step in progressing your treatment: surgery.
What bunion surgery means
Here’s the good news: Advancements in surgical techniques mean your surgeon can perform the procedure through tiny incisions. This minimally invasive surgery helps to lower your risk of complications and shorten your recovery time.
Plus, you probably won’t have to go under general anesthesia or stay overnight after your minimally invasive procedure. Most bunion-correction surgeries use an ankle block for anesthetic, meaning you’re awake, but your foot is numb. This further limits your risk. And if everything goes according to plan, bunion surgery is an outpatient procedure, which means you can head home later the same day.
During the surgery, your surgeon realigns the toe joint to eliminate the deformity causing your bunion. Most people fully recover from the surgery within eight weeks.
If other treatment options haven’t alleviated your bunion pain, surgery might be right for you. To learn more about what this minimally invasive procedure could do for you, call or schedule an appointment online today with our team at Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist.