are considered to be unsightly growths on a person's foot, but the truth is, they're more than just a cosmetic issue. In fact, bunions can be quite painful, making it difficult to wear certain shoes or even walk comfortably. If you're dealing with this foot problem, you may be wondering if you need surgery to correct the issue.
At , Dr. Eddie Davis and his team of the top foot specialists San Antonio has to offer feel strongly about patients understanding their options when it comes to treating bunions. Here are a few things that will be taken into consideration when determining if bunion surgery is the best option for you:
1. The severity of the bunion.
Bunions can vary in severity, from mild cases that cause little to no pain to more severe bunions that make it difficult to walk or wear shoes. If your bunion is on the milder end of the spectrum and isn't causing you daily pain, surgery may not be necessary. However, if it's severe enough to interfere with your daily life and cause you a great deal of pain, surgery may be recommended.
2. Your age.
Age affects the way you heal, which is why it's an important factor in deciding if bunion surgery is right for you. If you're younger, your body may be able to heal on its own without intervention because you have a higher rate of cell regeneration. Older patients, on the other hand, may not heal as quickly and may require surgery to correct the issue.
3. Your overall health.
If you have any underlying health conditions that could complicate surgery, your doctor may recommend another treatment option. Some health conditions that can prevent you from being a candidate for a bunionectomy include:
- Arthritis: Bunionectomies are not recommended for people with arthritis in their toes because the procedure can actually cause the condition to worsen.
- Diabetes: People with diabetes are at a higher risk for developing complications after any type of surgery, including a bunionectomy.
- Heart Disease: If you have heart disease, you may not be able to have surgery of any kind due to the risks anesthesia can pose to your health.
4. The type of bunion you have.
There are two main types of bunions: hallux valgus and hallux rigidus. Hallux valgus is the more common type and is characterized by a deformity in the big toe that causes it to point towards the second toe. Hallux rigidus, on the other hand, is a bunion that results in stiffness in the big toe. This type of bunion is less likely to respond to non-surgical treatments, so surgery may be necessary.
5. The types of shoes you like to wear.
If you're someone who loves to wear high heels or pointy-toed shoes, you may be more likely to need surgery to correct your bunion. That's because these types of shoes can actually contribute to the development of bunions or make existing ones worse. If you're willing to make a few changes to your wardrobe and start wearing more comfortable shoes, you may be able to prevent a bunion from worsening and ultimately avoid surgery.
6. Your bunion recovery goals.
People have different reasons for pursuing treatment for their bunions, some of which are cosmetic and some of which are more related to their health concerns. The fact that bunions are considered unsightly isn't an issue to take lightly -- if your bunion causes you to feel a lapse in confidence or feel the need to hide your feet, you have the right to address that problem. If this describes your experience, and you're looking to improve the appearance of your foot, surgery may be an option. However, if you're only concerned with pain relief, other, non-surgical treatments may be recommended, such as:
- Changes in footwear: Wearing shoes that fit properly and don't put pressure on the bunion can help alleviate pain.
- Prescription orthoses: can also help reduce pain and prevent the bunion from getting worse.
- Anti-inflammatory medication: Over-the-counter or prescription medication can help reduce pain and inflammation.
If you're experiencing symptoms of a bunion, the first step is to make an appointment with a podiatrist in San Antonio like Dr. Davis. During your appointment, Dr. Davis will evaluate the severity of your bunion and make recommendations for treatment. If surgery is recommended, he will go over the risks and benefits with you so that you can make an informed decision about your care.
Whether you’re primarily concerned with the look of your feet or your bunion is causing you daily pain, it’s important to know that there are treatment options available to help you find relief. At , we perform cutting-edge bunion removal procedures, and we proudly create custom orthoses for patients who struggle with bunions.
With 20+ years of experience providing top-quality foot care, South Texas Podiatrist is here to help you get back on your feet. If you’re ready to experience care from the best podiatrist San Antonio has to offer, with us today.