Bunion Basics 8 Mistakes Patients Make When Considering Bunion Surgery
Calling all bunion surgery candidates: A San Antonio podiatrist reveals the eight most common mistakes patients make when considering bunion surgery.
Thousands of people seek bunion treatment each year, with bunion surgery being one of the most sought after foot operations podiatrists deal with. Unfortunately, many people who suffer from bunions (aka hallux abducto valgus, which is when the big toe begins to shift toward the smaller toes and creates a painful, bony “bump” on the outer side of the big toe) make several mistakes when considering bunion surgery.
San Antonio Board Certified Podiatric Surgeon Ed Davis, who has over 25 years of experience, shares eight of the most common mistakes potential bunion surgery candidates make. His advice, which you can read by clicking through the gallery above, may mean the difference between an easy, painless bunionectomy or a complicated and expensive bunion removal surgery that leaves a patient with more bunion pain than when he or she started.
Considering Surgery When It’s Truly Not Needed
Not all bunions require surgery, and most people who have the bony bumps can relieve a lot of bunion pain simply by wearing roomier shoes like these.
However, Dr. Davis says there are a few instances in which surgery may be necessary, including when the big toe has the potential to become arthritic and when the big toe is seriously drifting toward the second toe.
Getting Bunion Surgery At The Wrong Time
Dr. Davis recommends that people with minor bunions don't need to seek surgical treatment for the condition. However, it’s important that if your bunion begins to worsen, you don't wait too long to seek surgical care, as severe bunion deformities often require a more complicated procedure that takes longer to heal.
Hoping For The Same Surgery As Other Bunion Patients
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to bunion surgery, so it helps if patients don’t compare their own bunion situation to other patients’. Dr. Davis points out that there are over 30 bunion procedures. “The correct choice of procedure may be more important than the technique itself in obtaining the correct results,” he warns. “Be careful about advertisements for specific procedures since there is not one procedure that works for best for all.”
Choosing The Wrong Doctor
It is essential that you choose a podiatric surgeon that is not only familiar with the latest techniques, but who also has experience with a wide range of procedures. This will ensure you get the best surgical treatment available for your particular bunion situation.
Believing The Surgery Will Be Painful
Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Davis says bunion surgery isn’t a horrible, pain-inducing experience. “While no surgeon can guarantee a painless procedure and there is a wide range of pain tolerance among people, modern techniques in bunion surgery and pain control should allow the procedure to be performed with a minimum of discomfort,” he says.
Believing Casts And Crutches Are Necessary
The vast majority of bunion surgeries nowadays are ambulatory, meaning walking is permitted immediately after surgery. This is good news for anyone who's worried about the surgery taking them out of work, motherhood and other daily tasks on a longterm basis.
Not Being Honest About What Causes Bunions
Dr. Davis urges patients to understand why bunions occur. He and many other experts agree that bunions are not caused by shoes, but rather a misalignment of the big toe joint caused by faulty foot mechanics. “The podiatric surgeon needs to account for and correct the biomechanical problems that create the bunion in order to restore proper function and ensure long-term success,” he says.
Confusing A Bunion With Hallux Rigidus
Bunions typically cause pain and a loss of range of motion in the big toe, but another condition called hallux rigidus, which is when long-term misalignment causes the cartilage on the big toe to wear out, can also cause these symptoms. “There are four recognized stages of hallux rigidus,” Dr. Davis points out. “The first two stages can be treated conservatively. Fusion of the big toe joint may be utilized for severe hallux rigidus but there are now advanced procedures to restore normal big toe joint range of motion with cartilage substitutes.”
Dr. Davis can be contacted at his San Antonio, Texas office at 210-490-3668 or at http://www.southtexaspodiatrist.com
Notice concerning medical entries:
Articles having medical content shall serve exclusively for the purpose of general information. Such articles are not suitable for any (self-) diagnosis and treatment of individual illnesses and medical indications. In particular, they cannot substitute for the examination, advice, or treatment by a licensed physician or pharmacist. No replies to any individual questions shall be effected through the articles.