Q&A About Bunions

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers about bunions and their treatment.

What is a bunion?

A bunion is a misalignment of the bone at the big toe and are often painful and can drastically affect the shape of the foot and therefore can limit daily activity.

What are the common symptoms of bunions?

People suffering from bunions commonly experience pain on the big toe and/or a noticeable bony bump on your big toe joint. 

Are bunions hereditary?

Technically the bunions themselves are NOT hereditary, but foot shape is and that can be the reason for “hereditary” bunions. Some foot shapes are prone to bunions! 

Do over the counter products (i.e. pads and splints) work?

Yes, they can help to relieve some discomfort and pressure; however, they will not reverse the appearance of bunions. If pain and discomfort have become too extreme, then these products will most likely not work and it is a sign that you need to contact an orthopedic surgeon to discuss your options.

What type of surgeries are there? And what are the recovery times?

Tradition bunion surgery- this type of surgery is a bit more invasive with a 3-5 inch incision and the recovery time is longer (approximately 4-6 months).

PROstep is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can help you to get back on your feet faster, with less pain (and is offered at Methodist Craig Ranch Surgery Center). The incision is around 3-5 millimeters (much smaller) and recovery time is about half the time of traditional surgery recovery.

Can my bunion come back after surgery?

Yes, there is a risk for bunion recurrence in some cases. However, you can help avoid bunion recurrence by following your doctor’s instructions for post-surgery, including wearing arch supports or orthotics in your shoes.

Not all patients are good candidates for surgery, and it is best to consult with your doctor to get all the details.

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