Bunions: Non-Surgical & Surgical Care in Golden Valley, Minnesota
Surgical Correction of Bunions
Unfortunately, the only way to get rid of a bunion is with surgery. If your bunions progress beyond the point of conservative care helping, then surgery is necessary. The goal of surgery is not just to improve the cosmetic look of your foot, but to relieve pain, correct the deformity, realign the big toe and get you back to wearing shoes comfortably.
Surgery typically involves removal of the bunion bump and realignment of the bones. The realigned bones are held together with small surgical screws that stay in your foot (but don’t send off any airport alarms). If you have bunions on both feet that need care, for best results we typically only perform surgery on one foot at a time.
When one foot has healed sufficiently then we can correct the other foot, often three to four months later. Even though you may have large, painful bunions, not everyone is a good candidate for surgery due to health, circulation or other problems.
After a thorough examination and evaluation of your feet and current health status, Dr. Silver will determine if surgery is right for you. Since there are various bunion procedures, depending on the extent of the changes in your foot structure, Dr. Silver will determine what will be the best bunion procedure for you to obtain the best results.
Whether you need non-surgical or surgical care for a bunion, we can help you! If surgery is necessary to treat your bunion, we will do everything possible to make your experience as comfortable and positive as possible with the best possible outcome.
Below are examples of three common bunion types and how they are corrected:
Scheduling and Preparation for Surgery
After the doctor reviews the x-rays of your feet, he will discuss the planned procedure(s), what to expect in the post-op period and complications that could occur. Once you have a full understanding of what is involved and decide to proceed with surgery, our surgery scheduler will work with you to schedule the date and time of surgery.
Bunion surgery is performed at the Centennial Lakes Same Day Surgery Center in Edina, typically with light sedation to prevent any discomfort, along with a long-acting local anesthetic. The anesthesiology department at the surgery center requires that you to have a brief examination by your primary care physician for preoperative clearance.
Please note: cigarette smoking can slow healing of skin and bone, as well as increase your risk of infection. Therefore, if you smoke, we request that you stop (or significantly reduce) smoking 10-14 days prior to surgery and continue this throughout the post-op period.
Prior to surgery you will also return to our clinic for a “pre-operative visit”. We encourage you to have your spouse/significant other, family member or close friend with you. The planned procedure(s) along with pre and post-operative instructions will be reviewed at that time. If you are given a prescription for post-op discomfort, you will need to have this filled prior to surgery.
We will also review the surgical consent form, discuss what to expect post-operatively and review possible surgical risks. This is also the time to have any questions or concerns discussed with the doctor or staff.
At the Surgery Center
Surgeries are typically scheduled in the mornings. You are expected to arrive one hour prior to surgery and will leave about one hour after being taken to recovery.
Surgery time can vary from 45 minutes to a couple of hours or more, depending on the particular procedure and any additional procedures needed. In recovery you will be fitted with a post-operative shoe, CAM walker (cast boot) or knee walker (that allows you to walk without putting weight on the surgery foot). These are typically needed for about 6 to 8 weeks after surgery.
After Surgery: the post-op period
A long-acting local anesthetic is used in surgery that will keep your foot numb for about 8-36 hours. During the first 2 days you will need to take it easy with your foot elevated and an ice pack around your ankle for up to 30 minutes at a time, several times a day. If you experience any significant discomfort, it typically only lasts about 12-36 hours after the anesthetic wears off and the prescription medication you will have will help you during this time.
Once this initial period is over, most patients usually only need a non-prescription anti-inflammatory (such as Ibuprofen, Aleve or Tylenol) periodically. Two to four days after the surgery you will return to the office for x-rays and a dressing change.
Most patients typically are seen a week later for another dressing change and in another week after that for suture removal. There will also be two to three follow-up visits after that.
Surgical risks and potential complications
Even the most minor surgical procedure has a degree of risk. Problems that can occur after bunion surgery include: infection, slow healing, excessive discomfort, scarring, numbness or nerve damage, excessive or prolonged swelling, stiff or painful big toe joint, failure of screws to hold bone, shifting of bones, recurrence of the bunion, need for additional surgery or less then desired results.
Complications are treatable or resolve over time, but can increase your recovery time. The risk of complications is greatly reduced when post-operative instructions are followed, when you return for all scheduled post-op appointments and when you contact us immediately if you have any problems, concerns or questions.
After surgery, you will have priority scheduling if you need to be seen for any problem or concern (big or small). Whether you need non-surgical or surgical care for a bunion, we can help you.
If surgery is necessary to treat your bunion, we will do everything possible to make your experience as comfortable and positive as possible with the best possible outcome.