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Know what to expect before your bunion surgery – decision making

Decision making before bunion surgery

To most people in the street, the bunion is a single entity. This means it is a deformity and thus follows the same pattern of treatment that all corrective bunion follows. Nothing can be further from the truth. When we wrote about mild and severe forms of bunion in the 1997 book, Clinical Skills, we were expressing a fact that some people suffered differently. So, what does it mean to a patient after surgery? Well put simplistically some patients can expect to have different size surgeries and that means recovery will vary. There are 2 major questions a patient should ask about before admission. A: How does surgery affect my recovery B: From a medical perspective, what complications should I be concerned about?  A small concern may not mean that in the event of a problem occurring that it won’t have a major impact your life. Serious pain may only affect 0.25% of a clinician’s case load, but, if you are the person with that problem it may affect your life. Perhaps one should ask; if this happens can you fix it, or is it easy to fix? Don’t have surgery before a big holiday or event as you may have to cancel. Low or high risk? Don’t expect the surgeon treating you to answer this as he has no crystal ball. As we are talking about elective surgery it is important to weigh up a decision whether to embark on this course of management. A good consultant will never press you into an instant decision but hopefully will offer you all  available or realistic options.

Comments (3)

  1. I had bunion surgery in November 2015 and have had no pain from the surgery until recently when I have started wearing a small heel and wedge style shoe. I have pain in the middle of my foot under my 3rd toe, is it due to the weight being put on this area? As thinking about corrective surgery to my other foot but may put me off if this is a lasting effect of the surgery as painful when walking.

    • Lisa, in some cases post bunion surgery does lead to what we loosely call transfer problems. This often has no relationship with the surgery and can be an existing condition that develops as a result in changing the foot’s mechanics. The two chief irritants are joint inflammation of the toe joint, or an irritated nerve.

      • Thank you for your reply I have since been to see you for steroid injections which has completely solved the pain I was experiencing. I have now gone on to book my second corrective bunion surgery with confidence. Many thanks.

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