Overview of Bunion Surgery

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What is a bunionectomy? A bunionectomy is a surgical procedure that is used to remove a bunion. A bunion is the excessive growth of the joint. Particularly the joint at the base of the big toe and is composed of bone and soft tissue. It is usually the result of poor fittings of shoes which results in inflammation and irritation. With time, a large bump starts to appear and the big toe moves and buckles towards the second toe. If not properly treated, new bone can form as a result of inflammation called bone spur. This will cause intense pain making walking and doing other activities difficult. Since the big toe is significant in providing stability to bear weight of the body, and while walking and avoiding pressure on the painful area can create a unstable gait. 

The purpose of performing a outpatient bunionectomy procedure is when all other alternatives such as wearing comfortable shoes, shoe padding, and anti-inflammatory drugs have been unsuccessful. As the big toe shifts sideways it pushes the second toe as well creating a deformity of the foot. So along with pain, it’s also difficult to find a shoe that will fit this deformity. 

Bunion formation is genetic, which means that if one of your parents had this, the chances are higher. Bunion formation is almost 10 times greater chances to happen in females compared to males. The American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society study reports that 88% of females wear shoes that are too small for them which results in over 50% of the having bunions. The earlier bunions are diagnosed the better chance to reduce risk of deformity. 

Bunions are more common in middle age. Primary cause is due to improper fitting of shoes and with time the foot spreads and proper alignment is not maintained. To add to that, constant friction against the big toe cause greater problems further ahead. Ignoring this can worsen the situation. 

When the patient visits the hospital for bunion, his major complain is pain in the area. Differential diagnosis such as gout and other related illnesses must also be ruled out. 
When going through a Bunion Surgery Washington DC patients come to see the doctor and say their major complain is intense pain the big toe area. Doctors will first perform a physical examination, ask for patient’s history of signs and symptoms and medications and lastly perform an X-ray to check how bad the deformity is. 

Doctors usually don’t recommend bunion surgery as the primary course of treatment. Different alternatives are given such changing foot wear, padded shoes, and using anti-inflammatory drugs. An ideal candidate for surgery is a person which these alternatives are not working and physical activity is limited due to the pain and deformity. Bunion surgery should never be used for cosmetic purposes. It’s possible that after surgery it can cause pain in that area where there never was any before. So surgery is the last option recommended by doctors.


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