5 Myths About Bunion Surgery
Chances are, you’ve heard of bunions before. While it is common among adults, it is also widely misunderstood. Bunions affect more than half of the United States’ population, but its frequency hasn’t lent itself to a reliable form of understanding. There are a lot of myths out there about bunions – trust us, we’ve seen and heard them all. The fact remains that these myths sometimes cause people to avoid getting surgery to remove them. It’s a counterintuitive cycle that we’re about to debunk. Let’s cover the five most common myths about bunion surgery.
The surgery is VERY painful.
Think about one surgery that isn’t painful when the appropriate steps aren’t taken. Part of the process is recovery, and most of the pain associated with bunion surgery comes after the operation. Bunion surgery is not more painful than other surgeries, but the foot does tend to be more susceptible to pain and swelling. The location of the foot and the lack of soft tissue don’t help its case, but most pain is caused by agitation or a “throbbing” sensation. The post-operative pain is tolerable with the right doctor, the correct medication, and program dedicated to getting you back on your feet! For instance, good regional anesthesia or what is called a “pain block,” can leave you pain-free for the initial 24-hours, post-op.
Recovery takes forever.
This myth seems to be one that originated a long time ago and has remained ever since. Yes, in 1950 bunion surgery required an intense and extended post-operative recovery period. However, things have changed since then, and recovery is much quicker. Your recovery time is directly correlated with the complexity of your bunion. A mild bunion surgery may require surgical shoes to be worn six weeks after surgery; whereas more complex operations might require casts or crutches. Most people can return to work two weeks after surgery, depending on your job. The different techniques used and advances in recovery have drastically lowered the time it takes to recover from a bunion operation. At Warner Orthopedics & Wellness, we use high-tech implants that allow for more stability and earlier walking.
The surgery will leave severe scars.
First off, scars are natural after any surgery. Surgery without scaring is almost impossible, as it’s your body’s way of healing itself. Most incisions involved in bunion surgery are either on the top of the foot or the side. The specific technique and location of the incision will depend on the surgeon. Here at Warner Orthopedics & Wellness, we keep the incisions small and do our best to minimize any scarring. The truth of the matter here is that the scaring will depend on the methods and expertise of the surgeon you choose. Post-op anti-scar techniques can be utilized as well.
You should get surgery even if it’s not painful.
Most people come in to deal with bunions due to the pain they cause. However, there are some myths out there that once you notice a bunion, you should take steps to remove it. This mindset is a dangerous one in certain situations, as the inverse is true. Sometimes operating on a non-painful bunion can cause post-operative pain. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions, as it’s common for people to get surgery when their bunions become too large or impede their daily life. That being said, merely having a non-painful bunion is not cause to rush to the operating room. The best time to have surgery is when the pain severely limits you, and you have failed non-operative treatment.
Your bunion will come back, even after surgery.
Alright, this myth has some validity to it. Reoccurrence of the bunion can occur in up to 50% of cases nationally. Reoccurrence is dependent on the severity of the initial deformity and the surgical procedure chosen. If the patient has excessive motion after surgery, this could increase their chances of reoccurrence. Another reason is that the surgery was not appropriate involving the level of severity of the bunion. If you have a severe bunion, and the operation performed is assuming you bunion is mild, then yeah, it may come back. This is why it’s crucial you articulate how it feels and work with a doctor able to address any and all types of bunion. There are over 100 described procedure, so the proper one must be chosen for your particular problem.
Bunion surgery has its fair share of myths. The fact that the operation involves the bone contributes to what’s circulating about pain and recovery time. The truth is that not all bunion surgeries are treated the same and what applies to one person’s case may not apply to another. All surgeries are painful. All surgeries leave scars. There needs to be a recovery period. However, bunion surgery isn’t all that bad. Here at Warner Orthopedics & Wellness, we fight against these myths, giving you the best care possible to ensure you’re comfortable and back on your feet quickly.
For more information about bunion surgery, contact Warner Orthopedics & Wellness today!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Meredith Warner is a board certified, Fellowship Trained Foot and Ankle, Orthopedic surgeon practicing in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dr. Warner is committed to offering her patients an accurate diagnosis along with a comprehensive treatment plan in order to get them back to a pain-free life. Dr. Meredith Warner specializes in the treatment of orthopedic issues, providing operative and non-operative treatment plans of orthopedic problems, including musculoskeletal pain such as chronic back, neck and foot pain, reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle, arthritis, diabetic, hammertoe, bunion, wound care, work injuries, fitness and nutrition and osteoporosis issues.