What may be happening on the outside of your foot in the form of bunions, is really due to your bone structure on the inside of your foot—e.g. your first metatarsal and your big toe. And while all of this may be happening to your foot, all you know is that you are in pain.
If you suspect you have bunions or whether you’ve already confirmed that you have bunions with your podiatrist and have scheduled surgery, it’s always nice to know just what to expect. (If you have already lined up a time for surgery, your podiatrist has most likely already gone over what’s going to happen, so be sure to follow his or her instructions.)
After talking with your surgeon, he or she may ask you to not use aspirin-type drugs up to two weeks before the surgery. You’ll also discuss what prescriptions you can remain taking. If you smoke, consider stopping as it prolongs the healing process.
Day of Surgery
After determining your surgery time, you’ll most likely be asked to not eat or drink from 6 to 12 hours before. Your doctor’s staff will discuss all of the particulars with you.
The following is a general outline of what you may experience during surgery:
- You may be awake during the procedure and be given a local anesthesia.
- Incisions will be made around your joint and the bone.
- Your podiatrist will use pins, wires, screws, or a cast to keep joint in place.
- Depending on your particular case:
Tendons and ligaments may be made shorter or longer.
Toe joint bone may be shaved off.
Bone may be cut away and then put in the proper position.
In most cases, bunion removal surgery is outpatient so you may go home that same day. When home, you can expect your foot to swell, so keep your leg elevated. You’ll also most likely have to wear a surgical boot for up to 8 weeks so your foot heals correctly.
A walker, crutches, or a cane will need to be used for approximately 2 to 3 weeks after surgery, so get used to not putting weight on your foot.
Finally, you’ll be asked to do therapeutic exercises so you can strengthen your muscles and make an estimated full recovery in about 3 to 5 months.
Salt Lake City Bunion Removal Study
Bunion surgery, although common, can be expensive depending on the exact procedure you need. If your insurance doesn’t cover the cost, there is another option available in Salt Lake City, Utah.
If eligible, you may be able to take part in a no-cost bunion removal study conducted by Jean Brown Research. It’s possible that, if selected, you could receive:
- Study-related exam
- Study-related pain medication
Space in this bunion study is limited. To see if you are a match, please fill out and submit the form at Jean Brown Research Bunion Removal Study.