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Do All Bunions Require Surgery?


You’ve probably seen this condition before. A bunion happens when your big toe points inward, toward your other toes, causing a deformity. It’s a common condition that may require surgery if it’s severe enough. 

When your big toe pushes against your other toes, the pain can be unbearable. When your big toe pushes inward, the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint angles outward, causing a noticeable bump on your foot below your big toe. 

Women are prone to bunions, but that doesn’t mean men aren’t susceptible too. Tight-fitting shoes, genetics, and arthritis are all factors that contribute to bunions. 

At Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC, your bunion care is our top priority. Our specialists are experienced in podiatric medicine and foot and ankle rehabilitation and can diagnose and treat all types of bunions. New York City patients can visit either of our two convenient locations in Midtown Manhattan and Downtown Manhattan. 

Types of bunions

Bunions may be inherited as a family trait. Bunions may also result from arthritis. There are many types of bunions and all vary in severity and pain levels. Initial treatment options may include recommendations such as better fitting shoes, orthotics, or over-the-counter medication for pain relief.

Mild bunion

A mild bunion is less invasive and moderately enlarged. If surgery is considered for a mild bunion, your surgeon may remove the enlarged portion of bone. 

Moderate bunion 

A moderate bunion is more painful and may require surgery. If surgery is recommended, your surgeon cuts the bone and shifts it back into its intended position. 

Severe bunion

A severe bunion is indicated by a serious deformity of the toe and requires removing the enlarged portion of the bone. 

Arthritic bunion 

Arthritic bunions are often more severe and can be beyond repair. The bone will need to be fused to allow healing and to disperse the pain. In some cases, joint replacement implants may be required to reconstruct the joint.

What is bunion surgery?

Bunion surgery isn’t a cosmetic procedure and isn’t meant to improve the appearance of your foot. The goal of surgery is to relieve your pain and correct the deformity. 

Bunion surgery is usually an outpatient procedure and doesn’t require a hospital stay. The skin over the bunion is cleansed and prepped for surgery. A local anesthetic is used to numb the area. The surgeon then cuts, realigns, and may even remove the bone, ligaments, or tendons causing the deformity. 

After surgery is complete, your doctor closes the opening, stitches the incision, and applies a sterile dressing.

Considerations for bunion surgery

Many bunions don’t require surgery. Some may require a shoe insole, specialized exercise, or pain medication. You should consider several factors when considering surgery: 

Your orthopaedic surgeon and doctor can assess the severity of your bunion and determine if surgery is a necessary next step. 

If you’re worried about your bunion pain, it’s time to get things under control. Schedule a consultation with Manhattan Podiatry Associates, PC. Call our office most convenient to you or book an appointment online to explore bunion treatment options today. 

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