The decision whether to have bunion surgeryIf you like to run for the joy of it, help a good cause, and don’t mind the likely cold weather, then jingle on over to the Holiday Classic Fun Run this December 14. There’s no fee for this run; just bring an unwrapped toy for the Salvation Army’s toy drive, and possibly some festive attire to wear. Running with bunions may not always be fun, but it’s often possible to treat them and live a happy life without surgical intervention. There are some cases, however, when bunion surgery may be the best option.

Bunion surgery is almost always seen as a “last resort” when other, more conservative types of treatment, such as custom orthotics, fail to provide the necessary relief.  Sometimes purchasing wider and more comfortable shoes will stall the necessity of even having surgery.  Patients who experience the following are also considered more likely candidates for surgery:

  • Severe pain that limits your daily activities

  • Toe deformity or stiffness that prevents the bending or straightening of the digit

  • Chronic swelling of the big toe that does not respond to treatments

  • If you find that the bunions are altering your lifestyle

The decision to undergo surgery is typically made after following a timeline of other treatment options and is not taken lightly. The goal of the surgery will be relieving pain and correcting as much of the deformity as possible. It will very likely not return your foot to a cosmetically “perfect” condition, but a number of studies have found that 85-90 percent of patients are satisfied with their results.

After surgery, orthotics and special shoes may still be recommended to help prevent a bunion from returning. Even then, some are naturally prone to bunions and surgery may provide only a temporary solution.

If bunion pain or complications are keeping you out of life’s race, see Dr. Brian McDowell and the staff at McDowell Orthopedics & Podiatry Group. We will provide a full evaluation of your condition and discuss plans of treatment, as well as whether surgery might be a possibility. Call our Carmichael, CA office at (916) 961-3434 to schedule an appointment.

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