What is a bunion?
A bunion is more than a sore on your foot -- it means there’s a problem with your bone structure. When you have a bunion, your big toe gets shoved inward, toward the rest of your toes. You’re left with a big, bony bump that sticks out of the side of your foot next to the base of your big toe. This bump can rub against your shoes, forming an incredibly painful sore.
Sometimes, bunions happen when you wear poorly fitting shoes. In other cases, genetics or a medical condition, including arthritis, can leave you with bunions.
Do bunions only happen on the big toe?
No. The same sort of issue can develop on your little toe. When your baby toe gets pushed into your other toes, you can also have a bony bump form — just on the other side of your foot. This type of bunion, formally called a “bunionette,” can cause pain and require treatment just like its big-toed cousin.
How are bunions treated?
Before considering surgery, Dr. Hurst will see if he can do anything to relieve your pain nonsurgically. This may include:
- Wearing bunion shields
- Switching your shoes
- Wearing orthotics
- Applying ice regularly
- Taking anti-inflammatory medications
But if these alternative measures don’t work, it might be time for a permanent solution. If you and Dr. Hurst decide that surgery is the best option for you, he’ll tell you beforehand exactly what to expect — every bunion surgery is unique to the patient. Depending on the severity of your condition, Dr. Hurst may have to remove some of the swollen tissue from your big toe joint.
If your bunion is more complex, Dr. Hurst may need to straighten your big toe by removing some of your bone. He may also have to realign your bones so that your big toe sits straight naturally.
Does bunion surgery require a long recovery?
It depends. If all Dr. Hurst has to do is remove some scar tissue, you might be good as new within a few days — or possibly be walking right after surgery. But in many cases, a full recovery takes several weeks, or even several months when bone realignment is involved.