Our team of specialists and staff believe that informed patients are better equipped to make decisions regarding their health and well being. For your personal use, we have created an extensive patient library covering an array of educational topics. Browse through these diagnoses and treatments to learn more about topics of interest to you. Or, for a more comprehensive search of our entire Web site, enter your term(s) in the search bar provided.

As always, you can contact our office to answer any questions or concerns.


 


 

What is a Podiatrist?

When To Call a Doctor

Foot Anatomy

Foot Problems

General Statistics

Achilles Problems

Achilles Tendonitis |Peroneal Tendon Dislocation/Dysfunction | Xanthomas of the Achilles Tendon

Ankle Problems

Ankle SprainChronic Lateral Ankle Pain | Osteochondritis

Arch and Ball Problems

CapsulitisFlat Feet Metatarsalgia (foot pain in ball)Plantar Fibromas (lumps in the arch of the foot) | Sesamoiditis

Common Foot Injuries

Ankle Sprain Injuries | Broken Ankle | Fractures | Osteochondritis (stiff ankle)Osteochondromas |Shin Splints | Sports Injuries

Deformities

Amniotic Band Syndrome | Bunions | Claw ToeClubfootDysplasia (Epiphysealis Hemimelica) | Enchondroma | Flat FeetGordon Syndrome | Haglund's Deformity | Hallux Limitus (Stiff Big Toe Joint)Hallux Rigidus (Stiff Big Toe) | Hallux VarusHammertoesJackson-Weiss SyndromeMallet ToesMetatarsalgia |Osteomyelitis (Bone Infections)Overlapping or Underlapping ToesPeroneal Tendon Dislocation/DysfunctionPosterior Tibial Tendon DysfunctionSesamoiditisSpurs | Tarsal Coalition

Diabetes and Your Feet

Diseases of the Foot

Arthritis | Cancer | Charcot Foot | Freiberg's Disease | Gout | Kaposi's Sarcoma | Kohler's Disease | Maffucci's SyndromeOllier's DiseaseRaynaud's Disease | Seiver's Disease

Fungus Problems

Common Fungal Problems | Athlete's Foot (Tinea Pedis) | Fungal Nails

Heel Problems

Haglund's Deformity | Heel Callus | Heel Fissures | Plantar Fasciitis (heel spur)

Nail Problems

Black Toenails | Ingrown Toenails| Nail Fungus

Skin Problems

Allergies | Athlete's Foot (tinea pedis) | Blisters| Burning Feet | Calluses | Corns | Cysts | Frostbite | Fungus | Gangrene | Lesions | Psoriasis | Smelly Feet and Foot Odor | Swelling | Ulcers | Warts

Toe Problems

Bunions | Claw Toe | Digital Deformity | Hallux Limitus (stiff big toe joint)Hallux Rigidis (rigid big toe)Hallux Varus | Hammertoes | Intoeing | Overlapping, Underlapping Toes | Subungal Exotosis (bone spur under toenail) | Turf Toe

Vascular/Nerve Problems

Acrocyanosis | Alcoholic Neuropathy | Chilblains (cold feet) | Erythromelalgia | Ischemic Foot | Neuroma | Spasms | Venous Stasis

 

 

Overview of Foot and Ankle Problems

Basic Foot Care Guidelines

Medical Care

Diagnostic Procedures

Computed Tomography | MRI | Ultrasound | X-Rays

Orthotics

Pain Management

General Information and Tips | Pain Management for Specific Conditions

Surgical Procedures

General Information | Achilles Surgery | Ankle Surgery | Arthritis Surgery | Arthroscopy | Bunion Surgery | Cyst Removal | Flatfoot Correction | Hammertoe Surgery | Heel Surgery | Metatarsal Surgery | Nerve Surgery (Neuroma) | Toe Surgery

Therapies

Athlete's Foot Treatment | Cryotherapy | Extracorporeal Shock Wave | Iontophoresis | Physical Therapy | Neurolysis

Fitness and Your Feet

General Information About FitnessAerobics and Your Feet | Exercise Those Toes! | Aerobics | Fitness And Your Feet | Stretching | Walking and Your Feet | Feet | Work Footwear

Sports and Your Feet

Baseball | Basketball | Cycling | Golf | Jogging and Running | Tennis

Foot Care

Basic Foot Care Guidelines | Athletic Foot Care | Blisters | Children's FeetCorns and Calluses |Diabetic Foot CareExercise Those Toes! | Foot Care For Seniors | Foot Self-Exam | Pedicures | Your Feet at Work | Bunion Prevention | Burning Feet | Ingrown Nails | Nutrition For Your Feet

Women's Feet

High Heels | Stockings? | Pregnancy | Women Over 65

Foot Odor and Smelly Feet

Prevention | Treating Foot Odor

Shoes

Anatomy of a ShoeAthletic Shoe GuidelinesChildren's Shoes | Corrective and Prescription Shoes | What to Look FoWhat To Look For| Getting a Proper Fit | Men's Shoes | Women's Shoes | Your Footprint | Wear Patterns

Links

 

 

 


Bunions are progressive bone deformities of the foot that often cause recurring or chronic inflammation, irritation, and pain that require surgical correction. Surgical removal of a bunion is called a bunionectomy. However, there are multiple types of bunionectomies, each designed to resolve different structural changes caused by the deformity.

Bunion surgeries fall into two major categories:

  • Head procedures that treat the big toe joint. In a head procedure bunionectomy, the bone is cut just behind the joint, moved into its proper position, and fixed in place with a screw or pin. Head procedures are often used for patients who cannot be immobilized for long periods of time.
  • Base procedures concentrate on the bone near or behind the big toe joint. Different types of base procedures are conducted depending on the nature of the deformity. These range from cutting a wedge out of the bone and splitting it so that it can be moved into its proper position; making a semi-circular cut and rotating the bone into its correct position; or fusing the joint. Ligaments inside and outside the toe may also be treated during a base procedure.

There are three important factors that impact the success of bunion surgery:

  1. Choose a surgeon with extensive experience with bunionectomies. Because a deep understanding of the biomechanics of each patient's foot as well as the intricacies of each surgical option is needed, surgeons with more experience at doing bunionectomies are better able to help each patient achieve the best outcome.
  2. Be realistic in your expectation about what a bunionectomy can accomplish. No physician can guarantee that a bunion won't recur or that a patient will be absolutely pain free. Additionally, because of the complexity of the foot structures impacted by a bunion, patients may never be able to wear normal or slender shoes. Bunion surgery can reduce or eliminate the bone deformity, improve foot alignment and function, and prevent damage to other toes, but it does have its limitations. Be sure you understand all the possibilities before opting for this surgery.
  3. Bunion surgery is not a magic bullet.  Surgery alone may not be all that is needed to achieve your best outcome. After surgery, many patients experience long healing and recovery times and often have to spend time in physical therapy. Additionally, you may need a corrective orthotic device on an ongoing basis.

What To Expect

Most bunions surgeries today are performed on an outpatient basis at a surgical center or hospital. Set aside the entire day for the surgery, although you may only be at the facility for a half day.

Prior to the surgery, patients will need to make some preparatory arrangements. These include:

  • Seeing your Primary Care Physician (PCP) to make sure any other health conditions are stabilized prior to surgery and to document your complete medical history, which can then be given to the foot surgeon.
  • Arranging your schedule to make sure you don't need to take any long trips for at least two to three weeks following the surgery.
  • Lining up another person to drive you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours after the surgery.
  • Stopping the use of any anti-inflammatory medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen, for five to seven days before the surgery.

The night before the surgery, you will not be able to eat or drink anything after midnight. You should also wash your foot the night before and morning of the procedure to help reduce surrounding bacteria and prevent infection.

Bunion surgery is usually performed with a local anesthetic and is administered by an anesthesiologist. This may be combined with sedation medication to put you into "twilight" so that you are fully relaxed. After the surgery, patients are often given a long-acting anesthetic and pain medication, which is why someone else must drive the patient home.

The type of procedure you have will determine the degree to which you can put weight on the foot immediately after the surgery. Some patients, particularly those having base procedures, may have to use crutches; others may be sent home wearing a surgical shoe. The foot will be covered in a dressing, which you will need to keep dry for up to two weeks or until the sutures are removed.

During the first week after surgery, you will need to keep the foot elevated as much as possible. Ice packs also should be applied for the first three to four days to reduce swelling. Limited ambulation or walking is required over the first two weeks to promote healing. Most patients also are instructed on some basic exercises that need to be performed daily.

Sutures are generally removed about two weeks after the surgery in the doctor’s office. Once the sutures are removed, you can bathe and shower normally, but will still need to wear a dressing over the wound to keep it clean and prevent infection.

By the third or fourth week post surgery, swelling generally subsides enough for the patient to begin wearing a wide athletic shoe. It is important to continue daily exercises. If recommended, physical therapy may be initiated at this time. Once the wound has completely closed, you can use lotions to soften the skin in the surgical area.

By week five after the surgery, you will be able to walk short distances and do mild fitness activities. Continue following your surgeons instructions for increasing exercise and activities until you are back to normal.