Bunions

Learn about treatment options for bunions including the surgical procedure to correct a bunion.

Hi, I’m Dr. Leo Krawetz of Healthy Feet Podiatry.

One of the most common foot deformities that is see in my office is the bunion.  A bunion is an overgrowth of the first metatarsal bone at the base of the big toe.  When it becomes overgrown, it also becomes extremely painful when wearing tight fitting shoes or even with normal walking in a wider shoe.  The reason why it is become painful is because this joint is out of alignment and there are abnormal courses on the joint which causes the pain.  Eventually, the pain in the bunion can becomes a chronic pain and this has to be treated surgically.  In my office, I try to approach every deformity in a conservative manner before I can do surgery.  One of the conservative treatments for a bunion includes getting rid of these painful symptoms of a bunion.  What I do is I inject cortisone into this joint and that usually takes care of the inflammation.  Many times, this is just a temporary fix and in most cases a person with a severe bunion has to have surgery to remove the bony prominence.  To surgically correct the bunion, I make an incision on the top of the foot into the toe and I remove the bony prominent area.  Most of the time, I have to make a cut in the bone and move this joint over until the joint is in a straight position and the toe is back in alignment.  After the toe is back in alignment and after the foot is healed, the bunion pain is gone completely.  This can be done in an outpatient surgery center.  The surgery itself only takes approximately 45 minutes.  The recovery time for a bunion surgery is usually 4 weeks in a surgical shoe and you are able to walk in the surgical shoe immediately after leaving the surgery center.  The conservative treatment usually only gets rid of the symptoms and does not cure the bunion.  If you would like to have this corrected or have a conservative treatment attempted before trying surgery, please contact me by visiting my website at www.healthyfeetpodiatry.com.

Q: What is a bunion?
A: A bunion is an overgrowth of bone at the base of the big toe on the side of the foot. It typically looks like a bump on the side of the foot on the base of the big toe.

Q: What causes a bunion?
A: Bunions are hereditary and can also be caused by wearing shoes that are too narrow.

Q: How do I treat a bunion?
A: Bunions are usually fixed with surgery called a bunionectomy. Non surgical treatments would include wearing shoes with a wider toe box, or a shoe that does not rub on the bunion. Cortisone shots will treat the pain from a bunion.

Q: How do I fix a bunion?
A: The best way to fix a bunion is by performing a surgery called a bunionectomy. The bump is removed and the bone is moved over until the big toe is in a straight position.

Q: What is the recovery for bunion surgery and how long will I be off my feet?
A: After a bunionectomy or bunion surgery the patient will be wearing an open toed walking boot for 4-6 weeks. Most people prefer to take the first 2 weeks off work during the 6 week recovery for bunion surgery but many times it is not required. Most patients will take 3-4 days of stronger pain pills after the surgery.