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

Bunion Surgery

Bunions are painful and unsightly. If you experience this problem you know the excruciating pain of putting on tight shoes and walking with the pressure pushing on your bones. Buying new shoes is a hassle because you can only wear soft wide shoes. Eventually, you give up on long walks and the shoes you really want. But what causes bunions and how can you get rid of them today?

Women who wear tight, pointy shoes for long periods of time are susceptible to a toe disfigurement or bunions. Bunions may be caused by years of stress on the toes, an injury, or a genetic component.

No matter the cause, bunion surgery is an option that can relieve bunion pain. At Premier Podiatry, your best doctor for bunion surgery assesses if you are a good candidate for treatment. It is worth trying more conservative methods of treatment first. Call our Clifton podiatrist office for an evaluation.

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

Dr. Velimir Petkov at Premier Podiatry in Passaic County, NJ evaluates how far your bunion progressed. Then he recommends the best course of treatment for your 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 debilitating, you may be a candidate for foot bunion surgery.

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Who Needs Bunion Surgery Procedure?

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 podiatrists in New Jersey 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.

What Can Be the 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 hallux valgus 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 hammertoes. Shifting your weight away from the bunion leads to calluses or pain in the ball of your foot. You may 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.

What Are My Bunion Surgery Options?

There are several different types of bunion surgery procedures. Laser bunion surgery isn’t yet an option. However, top-rated foot specialist Clifton, NJ Dr. Petkov relies on targeted laser techniques to treat a host of other foot conditions, such as toenail fungus removal. The latest techniques in bunion procedure are minimally invasive, which shortens recovery time and reduces the risk of infection, as well as the amount of pain and swelling you experience after surgery.

Several examples of bunion removal options:

  • 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. The 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.

How Long Does It Take to Recover From Bunion Surgery?

In general, full bunion surgery recovery can take between four to six months. However, you will be able to resume your regular activities already after six to eight weeks. During the first two weeks following your surgery, you will have to wear a surgical cast or boot. It will help protect your foot.

One of the most important bunion surgery recovery tips is to avoid getting your stitches wet. Once your doctor for bunion surgery removes the boot or cast, you will wear a brace, which will support your foot during the healing stage. Keep in mind that you will not be able to bear weight on your foot at first. Therefore, make sure you have crutches for assistance. After some time, you can start putting some weight on your foot.

Another recovery tip is to ice your toe and foot. This will speed healing and reduce inflammation. You will be ready to drive after a week or two following the removal procedure. You should not have any concerns about your foot remaining swollen for several months after surgery.

As an option, you can wear shoes with ample room to limit your pain. Women should restrict themselves from wearing high heels for at least six months after surgery. Your doctor can also refer you to a physical therapy where you will be taught bunion exercises that will strengthen your lower leg and foot.

How Do I Get Help for My 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 surgical intervention is very low, especially under Dr. Petkov’s care.

Frequently Asked Questions

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 hallux valgus 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. They 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. Hallux valgus 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 hallux valgus change the way your toes rub up against the insides of your shoes, you’re more prone to developing painful corns or unsightly calluses.

How long does bunion surgery take?

In general, surgery is done on one foot at a time. Depending on the procedure type, both may be done. The actual surgery typically takes around an hour. However, you should also allow for the preparation phase.

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 local bunion surgery. Modern bunion surgery is minimally invasive and involves realigning your toe joint, removing damaged tissue, and repairing connective tissues, if needed.

While the procedure 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.

How painful is bunion surgery?

You will not experience any pain during the procedure due to general anesthesia. The degree of pain experienced after surgery differs from person to person and depends on your pain threshold. Normally, patients experience discomfort for three to five days following the procedure. Your surgeon will provide you with instructions on how to minimize swelling and pain during recovery.

What are the possible complications of bunion surgery?

Just like any surgical procedure, foot surgery bunion removal carries certain risks and complications. They are rare but still possible. In most cases, the below-listed complications are treatable but they can extend your full recovery. Before the procedure, your doctor will discuss every risk with you and take all necessary measures to avoid them.

Possible bunion surgery complications include:

  • Nerve injury
  • Inability to relieve pain
  • Infection
  • Failure of the bone to fully recover
  • Recurrence of the bunion
  • Stiffness of the big toe joint

How to prevent bunions?

Bunion pain can be extremely acute and restrict you from performing your everyday activities. It is crucial to take care of your feet during childhood and early adulthood. It will definitely pay off later in life. Bunion treatment is not an easy process.

Therefore, it is highly advised to make use of the following bunion prevention tips:

  • Monitor the shape of your feet as they develop over time (especially if there is a record of this health condition in your family)
  • Wear comfortable shoes that fit you well and do not pinch or cramp your toes
  • Exercising your feet will strengthen them (try picking up small objects with your toes)
  • Women should avoid wearing high heels or pointed shoes when possible

You can contact your podiatrist who will provide you with recommendations regarding the type of bunion corrector sandals you require. The aforementioned recommendations can decrease the risk of this foot condition dramatically.

Can you correct bunions without surgery?

There is some debate as to whether it is possible to completely eliminate your bunion without surgery. Hence, it is not possible to give a definite answer to this question. To be able to decide whether bunion correction without surgery is an option for you, it is recommended to consult a specialist and undergo a proper examination.

How much does bunion removal in NJ cost?

The cost varies greatly depending on the type of procedure, your geographic location and insurance coverage. According to recent reputable studies, the average bunion surgery cost is around $5,600. Although, it can range from $3,500 up to $12,000. Keep in mind that minimally invasive bunion removal surgery in NJ, offering a fast recovery and almost no pain, is considerably less expensive.

Does insurance cover the cost of surgery?

You can expect to get reimbursement for bunion treatment if it is causing pain and/or changing the way you walk. In this case, it will be considered a medical necessity and the costs associated with surgery will be partially covered. The coverage depends on the type of insurance plan you have. You should not forget that if you choose a surgeon who is out-of-network, your insurance provider might not cover your expenses. Before deciding on the surgeon, keep in mind that your health should always be the most important consideration in any medical decision.

If you have bunions or are looking for the highest-quality “bunion surgery near me”, consulting an expert in the field of podiatry will be the best option for you. Dr. Velimir Petkov, as a leading bunion doctor in NJ, will determine the severity of the problem 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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