Need Bunion Surgery? Dr. Mark Fillari is Here for You!
Bunions don’t just look bad. They can actually cause you a lot of pain and even limit your ability to be active. So if you have a bunion, you may be wondering what you can do to treat it, and when – or if – you should start considering surgery.
Here at Burlington County Foot & Ankle Associates, we always recommend trying conservative approaches to relieve your bunion symptoms first. Patients often find relief through simple, conservative measures like wearing wider footwear or custom orthotics to reduce pressure and friction on the bunion. However, if these methods don’t quite seem to help your condition, then we can start discussing the benefits of surgery.
Note that, usually, if your bunion is not causing pain, then you most likely don’t need surgery. Though we understand that bunions often get bigger over time, surgery is not recommended to prevent bunions from worsening (since in most cases you can slow the progression of a bunion with proper shoes and other preventive measures).
So, bunion surgery should not be done for cosmetic reasons.
The good news is that our foot experts can help you decide which approach is best for you. When you come visit our office, we will perform a thorough examination of your condition and put together a plan that will benefit you most.
Is Bunion Surgery the Best Choice for You?
While we examine your feet and ankles, we will take many factors into consideration, like:
- If you are experiencing foot pain that limits your everyday activities, like walking and wearing shoes.
- If you are experiencing chronic inflammation and swelling that doesn’t seem to improve even with rest and/or medications.
- If your big toe has become stiff and unable to bend or straighten.
- If you have found no pain relief even after footwear modifications.
Does one or more of these apply to you? Then we are likely to recommend bunion surgery in order to correct your condition.
How Does Bunion Surgery Work?
The general objective of most bunion surgeries is to reposition the metatarsophalangeal joint at the base of the big toe in order to relieve pain and correct the deformity of the bones.
Most people don’t need a general anesthetic during bunion removal surgery. Instead, you will most likely get a local anesthetic called an ankle block. This type of anesthetic will make you numb below the ankle, allowing you to be awake during surgery.
Once the anesthetic has taken effect and the area is completely numb, we will remove the bunion, realign the joint, and make other necessary repairs to your foot.
The surgical time depends on how much of your foot is misaligned – naturally, surgery will take longer if your deformity is greater.
After we complete the surgery, we will bandage your foot and take you to the recovery room where your blood pressure and heart rate will be monitored as you wait for the anesthesia to wear off. Typically, patients are able to go home after a couple of hours in recovery. Regardless of how long this process takes, it’s important to have someone available to safely drive you home afterward.
What Does Recover Look Like?
In order for your surgery to be successful, it is vital that you closely follow recovery instructions at home during the first few weeks after surgery. Part of recovery also means coming into our office for follow-up examinations throughout the following several months to make sure your foot is healing properly.
Below are some things you should keep in mind when recovering from bunion surgery at home:
- Dressing care. Never disturb or change the dressing without the assistance of a podiatrist – interfering with proper healing could cause a recurrence of the bunion. Also, be sure to keep your wound and dressing dry at all times – when you are showering or bathing, cover your foot with a plastic bag.
- Medications. In addition to pain medicine, we may prescribe antibiotics to help prevent infection. It’s important to use medications as directed, but if your pain has not improved within a few days after surgery, then you should call our office right away.
- Swelling. Keep your foot elevated as much as possible for the first few days after surgery, and apply ice as recommended to relieve swelling and pain. However, never apply ice directly on your skin – use a towel for protection.
- Bearing weight. Depending on the type of procedure you have, if you put weight on your foot too early or without proper support, the bones may shift and the bunion correction will be lost. In addition to no weightbearing activity for a period of time, driving may also be restricted.
- Physical therapy and exercise. Specific exercises will help restore strength and range of motion after surgery. We will provide you with some great exercise routines when you come visit us.
- When you have completed the initial rehabilitation period, we will then advise you on footwear – athletic shoes or soft leather oxford type shoes will best protect the bunion correction until the bones have completely healed.
All in all, the common theme throughout all these recovery steps is to follow rehabilitation instructions very closely. And, if you suspect there is something unusual going on during this sensitive time, then you should seek medical advice immediately.
Our Bunion Surgery Expert – Dr. Mark Fillari
Our goal is to do what is best for you and your foot health. We understand the value of conservative care and see surgery as a last resort – though we also recognize when it is time for a more aggressive approach.
And if we determine that surgery is, in fact, your best option of treatment, then you can find comfort in knowing that Dr. Mark Fillari is an expert in surgical repair for bunions. He is our newest podiatric surgeon and has performed numerous successful procedures for patients just like you!
So, if you are not quite sure about whether it is time for bunion surgery, come visit us! Better yet, come visit us long before your bunion situation gets to that point – the earlier you seek treatment, the more likely conservative care will be effective in your specific case.
Schedule an appointment with us today – call our office at (609) 714-0052 or fill out our request form online.