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General Practice 2023

Bunion surgery: when to do it, recoveryç&athility and risks

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Bunion surgery: when to do it, recoveryç&athility and risks
Bunion surgery: when to do it, recoveryç&athility and risks

Bunion surgery is performed when other forms of treatment have failed and, therefore, aims to definitively correct deformity caused by hallux valgus, the scientific name by which the bunion is known, and relieve discomfort.

The type of surgery used may vary according to the age of the person and the type of deformation caused by the bunion, however, in most cases it consists of cutting the big toe bone and placing the finger in the correct place. The new position of the toe is usually fixed using an internal screw, but it can also be accompanied by the application of a prosthesis.

Usually, bunion surgery is performed in the orthopedist's office under local anesthesia and, therefore, it is possible to return home a few hours after the end of the surgery.

Before and after surgery

Before and after surgery

When to have surgery

Surgery to treat a bunion is usually performed when no other form of treatment has been able to alleviate the discomfort and limitations caused by the change in the big toe.

In most cases, surgery is performed when the pain is very intense and constant, but it can also be considered when there are other signs such as:

  • Chronic swelling of the big toe;
  • Deformation of the other toes;
  • Difficulty walking;
  • Difficulty bending or straightening the thumb.

This surgery should be avoided when it is performed only for cosmetic reasons and there are no symptoms, as there is a high risk of persistent pain after the surgery.Therefore, it is always recommended to choose other forms of treatment first, such as the use of orthopedic insoles and exercises.

Watch the following video and see some exercises to relieve bunion pain:

What is recovery from surgery like

Recovery time varies depending on the type of surgery, as well as bone quality and general he alth. In the case of percutaneous surgery, many patients may already be able to put their feet on the floor with the use of a special shoe, known as an "augusta sandal", which relieves pressure on the operated site. In other cases, recovery may take up to 6 weeks.

It is also necessary to take some precautions such as avoiding putting too much weight on the foot, keeping the foot elevated for the first 7 to 10 days and applying cold compresses to reduce swelling and pain. To take a shower, it is advisable to put a plastic bag, protecting the foot from the water, in order to avoid wetting the bandages.

In addition, the orthopedist also prescribes analgesic drugs to reduce postoperative pain, which can also be alleviated with physical therapy, skin less, 2 times a week.

During recovery from surgery, you should gradually return to daily activities at home and watch out for signs of complications, such as fever, exaggerated swelling or severe pain at the surgery site, referring to the orthopedist if they arise.

Postoperative shoes

What shoes to choose

During the postoperative period, it is necessary to wear the proper shoes recommended by the doctor for at least 2 to 4 weeks. After this period, preference should be given to running shoes or shoes that are not too tight and comfortable.

Possible risks of surgery

Bunion surgery is quite safe, however, like any other surgery, there is always some risk of:

  • Bleeding;
  • Site infections;
  • Nerve injuries.

Furthermore, even if the bunion does not come back, there are also some cases where there may be constant toe pain and stiffness, which may require several sessions of physical therapy to improve the result.

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