Bunionectomy (Chevron Bunionectomy)
This procedure involves surgically correcting a bunion. Bunionectomies remove bunions and readjust the bone structure with pins, screws, wires, or plates, or artificial devices.
What You Need To Know About Bunionectomy
What is Bunionectomy Surgery?
A bunion is a lump made of bone and soft tissue that appears at the bottom of your big toe. It also causes your big toe to point towards your second toe. Irritation from poorly fitting shoes can cause you to overpronate, eventually causing bunions to develop. Bunions affect men and women; however women are more likely to get them. 23% of adults between the ages of 18 and 65 have bunions. And a further 35% of people over 65 have them.
A bunionectomy is an outpatient procedure to correct a bunion. During the procedure, the surgeon may remove excess bone and then shift the toe into proper alignment. This surgery is commonly performed with regional anesthesia, so that you will feel no pain. And since it's an outpatient procedure, you will be able to leave the same day you come in.
Often a bunion can be remedied with less intensive methods like using toe spacers, bunion pads and braces, and even shoe stretches. Your doctor will not recommend a bunionectomy unless all other options will not work.
Learn more about this procedure by watching the video below or by reading this article on bunions and procedures.
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Why is a Bunionectomy Performed?
A bunionectomy helps alleviate pain for people suffering from debilitating bunions. Some people with bunions may lose the ability to use their foot, and may no longer be able to fit their toe in their shoe.
Bunions can appear on either of your feet. Your doctor may recommend surgical intervention if your condition doesn't get better with medication and less invasive remedies. For patients with severe foot pain that limits their everyday activities, surgery can help them.
Your doctor will not recommend surgery unless other conservative treatments have not produced optimal results.
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How to Prepare for a Bunionectomy Surgery
for your bunionectomy can help improve your recovery. You will need to be cleared for surgery by a doctor. Your doctor may require imaging tests like electrocardiograms, X-rays, and analyses of your blood and urine. This evaluation may include a physical where they will assess your bunion and pain level.
Make sure you are open and direct about any medications you are taking. Your doctor will be able to advise you on if any of your medications could interfere with your recovery. If you are taking medicines like aspirin or warfarin, you will need to stop before your surgery. If you are a smoker, make sure you quit smoking at least four weeks before your surgery to avoid infection.
You can help encourage a faster recovery by exercising and eating well before your procedure. Your doctor will be able to give you more thorough information.
What Happens During a Bunionectomy Procedure?
After a doctor clears you for surgery, they will determine your surgical procedure. There are several different types of surgical remedies for bunions. And each treatment has a unique process.
Generally, a bunionectomy begins with a surgeon making an incision over the enlarged area near the big toe. They remove the swollen lump. Sometimes the surgeon will need to reposition the alignment of the bones and tendon around the big toe. If this needs to be done, they will often need to make additional incisions. Depending on the extent of the damage, the surgeon may need to use pins, screws, wires, or plates to hold the joint in place. For more severe cases, the whole joint is removed, and a joint replacement will be set in your foot.
After this step is complete, the surgeon will close your incisions and apply surgical dressing and a compression boot. Wearing your compression boot will help keep your foot in alignment as it heals.
Are There Risks Associated with a Bunionectomy Surgery?
There are risks associated with a bunionectomy. However, they are infrequent and do not occur often. When risks do happen, they are usually easily treatable.
Potential risks include:
Injury to nerves
Inadequate relief from symptoms
Improper bone healing
Feeling stiffness in the big toe joint
Return of bunion
Bone readjustment isn't sufficient and/or over-corrects the problem, causing the toe to point inwards.
Reduced function of big toe
Your doctor will be able to explain all the complications and risks before your procedure. Schedule an appointment now.
Post Bunionectomy Surgery and Recovery
During your recovery, it's important that you follow some necessary steps to help you heal. Immediately after surgery, you will recover under our observation. Once your doctor has cleared you to leave, make sure you make arrangements to have someone pick you up and help you after surgery. Our process is out-patient, so you will be able to fully recover from the comfort of your home.
In the first few days after surgery, it's important to keep your inflammation down and reduce your pain. Your doctor may prescribe pain medications and antibiotics to help you during this period. Keep your foot elevated and avoid walking on it during the first few weeks of your recovery. If your doctor prescribes pain medicine, remember these drugs are potent and habit-forming. Use them with caution.
As you heal more, you can begin placing more weight on the affected foot. Enrolling in a physical therapy program can help promote your recovery and regain your strength.
Your doctor will be able to advise you about when you can put on your foot. Putting weight on your foot before it's ready can reverse the procedure and cause the bunion correction not to work. Using devices like crutches or knee walkers can help you from putting too much weight on your foot.
It will take several months for your bones to heal. After completing your initial healing period, your doctor will be able to advise you on shoe wear. Protect your bones by wearing soft leather oxfords or athletic shoes. Sometimes a doctor may recommend you never wear high heels again.
Recovering from a bunionectomy takes time. But when you follow your doctor's advice, have patience, and are mindful of your recovery needs, you set yourself up for a strong recovery.
Contact a Resurgens foot and ankle physician today and learn more about how you can get relief for bunions!