Bunions often develop slowly and many people put off treatment until their bunion either causes them pain or their deformity becomes so large it prevents them from wearing normal shoes. Like most medical conditions, bunions are easily managed when diagnosed in an early stage, when treatment can be less invasive. However, in some cases, when the bunion has reached more developed stages and causes significant pain, mobility issues, and stops you from participating in your normal activities, surgery may be the best option to correct the deformity and get you back on your feet.
What are the stages of a bunion?
Bunions are measured by the Manchester scale or the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society (AOFAS) score. These scales categorize bunions by the degree of the subluxation of the joint of the big toe, which means that the more your big toe turns toward your other toes, the higher your bunion rates on the scale. The Manchester scale involves four groups of bunions: none, mild, moderate and severe. The AOFAS system uses a hundred point scoring system and can also be applied to other conditions and injuries that affect the foot and ankle.
When should I consider foot surgery to treat a bunion?
In most cases, bunions can be effectively treated without surgery. However, if your bunion is getting in the way of your normal activities, surgery may be the best option to restore the structure of your foot. Signs that you may need foot surgery to correct your bunions include:
- Deformity of the joint that prevents you from wearing normal shoes
- Severe pain
- Difficulty in walking or running
- Numbness in the big toe or ball of the foot
- Your bunion didn’t respond to conservative treatments.
You should consult with your trusted podiatrist about the best treatment for bunions and to determine if surgery is the best option to address your condition.
What happens during bunion surgery?
At Nagy Footcare, we usually perform minimally invasive bunion surgery, also known as a bunionectomy. The outpatient procedure is performed by making a very small incision directly on top or side of the big toe joint through the skin to the bone to remove or realign the bone or soft tissue without damaging the soft tissue. This is done to relieve pain and restore normal alignment to the joint.
After the procedure, you’ll leave able to bear weight on your feet. It’s recommended that you ice, elevate and limit walking for about 72 hours. You can expect to have 1 to 3 stiches for about a week to avoid infections caused by irritations, but there is no time off your feet – you’ll be able to walk around doing your day-to-day activities in no time!
Dr. Nagy will discuss your options with you in detail, explaining the benefits and risks of all of the potential treatments, to help you make an informed choice about the best treatment for your bunions.
If Dr. Nagy believes that foot surgery is going to be the most effective treatment he will make that recommendation and answer any questions you have about the procedure.
Are there non-surgical treatments?
At Nagy Footcare, our podiatrist will usually try more conservative treatments before suggesting surgery. These treatments may include:
- Toe splitters
- Bunion pads
If you experience any foot pain or have noticed any deformity in your foot, schedule a consultation with a New Hampshire podiatrist at Nagy Footcare. They are dedicated to helping their patients maintain healthy feet and lifestyles and are always willing to answer questions to help you understand your condition and treatment options.
At Nagy Footcare, our best day is the day you wake up with no foot pain.