• 925 Clifton Ave, Ste. 107 Clifton, NJ 07013

Bunion Surgery

Women who wear tight, pointy shoes for long periods of time are susceptible to developing a toe disfigurement called bunions. Bunions also may be caused by age from years of stress on the toes, an injury or a genetic component. No matter what the cause, bunion surgery is an option that certainly can relieve the accompanying pain associated with bunions. At Premier Podiatry in Clifton, New Jersey, your experienced podiatrist assesses whether you make a good candidate for bunion surgery or whether you should try more conservative methods of treatment first. Call today for an evaluation of your bunions.

A bunion, technically called hallux valgus, is a painful enlargement that usually forms on the side of the joint of your big toe. Bunions develop gradually as pressure on your big toe joint causes the toe to bend in toward the next toe. This creates a deformity that can make it painful to wear shoes or even walk properly. A severe bunion can lead to other foot problems that significantly impact your mobility, such as:

If you have a bunion, Dr. Velimir Petkov at Premier Podiatry in Passaic County, NJ evaluates how far it has progressed. Then he recommends the best course of treatment for your individual case. When your bunion is small, conservative treatments such as orthotics, extra padding for your shoes, physical therapy or changes in footwear may give you relief or deliver improvement. If these methods don’t bring relief or your pain is too debilitating, you may be a candidate for foot bunion surgery.


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Who Needs Bunion Surgery?

Not everyone who has a bunion needs bunion removal surgery. This type of surgery isn’t usually recommended if you’re not experiencing pain. And it’s not typically done solely for cosmetic reasons, even though the results may leave you with more attractive feet. Cosmetic foot surgery in general isn’t something to undertake lightly. You may be a good candidate for bunion surgery, however, if you experience:

  • Chronic inflammation of your big toe that doesn’t improve with medication or rest
  • Significant pain that affects how you walk or your ability to wear shoes
  • Pain that isn’t relieved by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as naproxen or ibuprofen
  • A deformity in which the big toe drifts toward the smaller toes and may even cross over them
  • An inability to bend or straighten your big toe

Your northern New Jersey podiatrist tries to make accommodations to reduce your discomfort. To that end, he takes into consideration how active you are, as well as the condition the rest of your connective tissue and bones. Your age and overall health also play a role in the decision to go ahead with the minimally invasive bunion surgery.

Consequences of Not Getting Foot Bunion Surgery

The goal of bunion surgery is to correct as much deformity as possible and to relieve pain so that you can return to your normal level of activity. If you have severe bunions that haven’t been treated, they can lead to ongoing issues, including damage to your other toes.

Pressure from your big toe may lead to the development of persistent corns or cause your toes to bend so that you end up with hammer toes. Continually shifting your weight away from the bunion leads to calluses or pain in the ball of your foot. You may eventually decide to avoid exercising altogether because of the pain your bunion causes, but if you develop a sedentary lifestyle, you become at risk for other serious health issues.

Bunion Surgery Options

There are several different types of bunion surgery. Laser bunion surgery isn’t yet an option, although Dr. Petkov relies on targeted laser techniques to treat a host of other foot conditions, such as toenail fungus removal. Still, the latest techniques in bunion surgery are minimally invasive, which shortens recovery time and reduces the risk of infection, as well as the amount of pain and swelling experienced after surgery.

Several examples of bunion surgery include:

  • Bunionectomy. This procedure addresses mild deformities. Your podiatrist shaves off the enlarged portion of the bone and realigns muscles, ligaments and tendons.
  • Osteotomy. In this bunion bone surgery, small cuts are made in the bone to realign the joint. The break is fixed with pins, plates or screws. Your connective tissue is repaired if needed.

Minimally invasive bunion surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. Surgical time varies, depending on how much of your foot is misaligned. In most cases, you’re able to go home within an hour or two after surgery. Full recovery may take four to six weeks. Success of the procedure depends on how well you follow your doctor’s instructions, which includes dressing care, elevating the foot and staying off it until it’s safe to put weight on it again.

Getting Help for Your Bunions

The decision about whether to have bunionectomy surgery must be made with all the facts. All surgical procedures have some risk of developing an infection, but the risk of complications from bunion surgery is very low, especially under Dr. Petkov’s care.

Bunions & Bunion Surgery Q & A

What causes bunions?

Bunions are painful bony bumps that form over the side of your big toe joint, right near the base. Medical experts believe that bunions most commonly develop because your big toe gets pushed into an unnatural position due to wearing high heels or snug-fitting shoes. This is why women are more likely to suffer from bunions than men.

But bunions can also occur because of your genetic foot shape. If someone in your family has bunions, chances are, you have a foot shape that can leave you prone to developing them, too. Bunions can also develop due to:

  • Arthritic conditions
  • Prior injury
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Flat feet
  • Low arches

You can even have the same issues with the joint in your baby toe — causes, symptoms, and treatments are similar — but it’s called a Tailor’s bunion.

What are the symptoms of bunions?

Aside from the visible bony bump, bunions are known for causing an array of issues, ranging from minor to severe. Bunions can lead to:

  • Pain, redness, or inflammation
  • Limited range of motion or movement in the toe
  • Changes in your gait (the way you walk)
  • Difficulty bearing weight on the affected foot

Plus, because bunions change the way your toes rub up against the insides of your shoes, you’re more prone to developing painful corns or unsightly calluses.

Do I need surgery for a bunion?

Possibly, although before taking the surgery route, Dr. Petkov puts together a treatment plan that consists of conservative measures to see if you get relief. Bunion treatment can include:

  • Custom prescription orthotics
  • Padding, strapping, or taping
  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Wide-toed shoes
  • Stretching or physical therapy

After trying bunion therapies for several months to no avail, it might be time to consider bunion surgery. Modern bunion surgery is minimally invasive and involves realigning your toe joint, removing damaged tissue, and repairing connective tissues, if needed.

While bunion surgery requires you to stay off your feet for a few days, it’s the most effective way to correct bunions that are causing severe pain or are continuing to get worse. The team at Premier Podiatry offers comprehensive pre- and postoperative care if surgery is required.

If you have bunions, consulting an expert in the field of podiatry is the best way to determine the severity of your bunions and the best course of treatment. Don’t ignore painful bunions. Contact Premier Podiatry today to set up an appointment for an evaluation.

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