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It is important to know the bunion surgery pros and cons before you undergo the procedure. It is a relatively simple procedure, however it can come with complications that can disrupt your life and lifestyle. Bunions affect up to 25% of adults between the ages of 18 to 65 and 36% of people over age 65. This makes them one of the most common foot ailments in the world.

Understanding Bunions

Bunions are bony formations that form at the base of the big toe. They are caused by genetics, arthritis, age, and shoes that are too tight. Bunion symptoms include red/calloused skin on the edge of the big toe, pain in the big toe joint, visible or palpable bony protrusions, and abnormal angles of the big toe.

The Positives of Surgery

It is a short procedure that doesn't require an overnight stay in the hospital. The sooner you do it, the less complicated the procedure will be. If you wait too long, there is a possibility that toe joints will need to be replaced, or that bone joints will fuse together. This means more intrusive surgical options and a longer recovery period.

When considering the pros and cons of bunion surgery, most people consider the pain relief it brings to be a significant benefit. In this regard, surgery is indeed highly effective. Moreover, surgery allows individuals to re-engage in activities they enjoy once the recovery period has passed. This has a significant impact on quality of life and overall health.

The Not So Positives

Recovery can take time to heal. Your physician will likely prescribe a customized bootie for you to wear for the first three to four weeks following the surgery. Once you take the bootie off, it will take another two to four weeks to completely heal.

Of all bunion surgery pros and cons, swelling is the most frequently cited negative factor. In most cases, a little ibuprofen is all it takes to bring the swelling under control. This swelling gradually decreases in severity as the foot heals. 

Perhaps the most significant complaint of post-surgery patients is the disruption to their daily lifestyle. Patients recovering from bunion surgery can't run, jump, or do activities that may strain the foot. This recovery period can last three to four months’ post-surgery. 

Finally, it is not a fix all surgery. Indeed, bunions can reappear if you are genetically prone to them. If you wear poorly fitting shoes or are involved in activities that can re-injure the foot, then there is a strong possibility of a reoccurrence. 

The Right Shoes Can Make a Big Difference

Shoes should be chosen to fit the shape of your foot. Shoes with broad toes and soft soles are the best choice. If you are at risk for developing bunions, you should avoid high heels and shoes with sharp points as these will encourage bunion formation.

If bunions have already started to form, then it's important to cushion the area to protect it.  This can be accomplished with custom aligners or specially designed socks. You should also apply ice two to three times a day. These steps can help slow progression and may alleviate symptoms to a degree where surgery isn't required.

The team at Foot Sensation would be happy to discuss these bunion surgery pros and cons with you. We invite you to contact us, or stop by our Toronto stores to speak with our associates.