If you have a bunion, you may be alarmed at how the appearance of your toe is changing. However, if your bunion doesn't cause pain, you may not need to have surgery to correct it. Surgery is usually reserved for when your toe hurts so bad you can't walk very long or when other treatments for the bunion don't work. There are several types of bunion surgeries. Here's a look at what general procedures your doctor may perform to treat your bunion.
Surgery On The Bones
Your doctor may remove part of the bone in your toe so it can be realigned. The new position is held in place with screws or pins. It may be necessary to insert the pins in various locations along the toe to straighten it and hold it in place. The doctor can remove the bump on the side of the toe too. This improves the appearance of your toe, but it needs to be done along with another surgery that also straightens the toe bones.
Surgery On Tissues
This surgery removes excess tissue and adjusts the length of the tendons and ligaments on the sides of your toe. Due to the position of your toe, one side of your toe may have developed shorter tendons and ligaments than the other side. Your doctor can lengthen the short side and shorten the long tendons and ligaments so your toe isn't pulled out of its new position when the bones are realigned.
Surgery On The Joint
Your doctor may remove part of the affected joint in your toe. The bones are then held together with wires or screws so they can fuse together. This eliminates the crowding caused by the enlarged joint and the shifting it causes to the other toes in your foot. Your doctor might even consider putting an artificial joint in your toe if your joint has a lot of damage.
You may have to wear a cast on your foot after the surgery. There may be pins sticking out of your toe if the doctor used pins to hold your bones in place. These are removed when your bones have had time to fuse. It takes several weeks to heal from bunion surgery. You may not even be able to put weight on your foot for several weeks because the bones need time to heal. Once your foot has recovered and you've resumed your normal activities, your doctor may advise you to wear shoes with wide toes and avoid high heels in the future since heels contribute to the formation of bunions.
For more information, contact a center such as Collier Podiatry PA.