Podiatric Surgery

A bunion is a swelling of the joint at the base of your big toe, which happens when the big toe pushes against the rest of your toes. This forces the big toe out away from the foot, which enlarges the joint over time. It also crowds the other toes, and causes pain. Crowded toes eventually become bent, a condition sometimes referred to as “hammertoe.” If you have a bunion you may notice a bulging bump, redness, soreness, swelling, thick skin, corns or calluses, and the inability to fully move your big toe. Bunions can make walking comfortably quite difficult.

Bunions Are a Common Foot Ailment In Women

Bunions are common problems that occur in approximately 30 percent of people, although much more frequently in women than in men. This is due to the fact that high-heeled, pointed-toe shoes contribute to the disorder. Flat feet, a congenital deformity, tightness in the Achilles tendon, or arthritis can also cause bunions.

Bunions are diagnosed through physical examination and x-rays. Conservative treatment, which involves wearing better fitting shoes, padded cushions, orthotics, or taking medication, is often successful, but sometimes does not produce enough relief.

Surgical Bunionectomy Removes The Bunion And Repositions The Big Toe Bone

If this is the case, your podiatrist may recommend a procedure called a “bunionectomy,” which can be performed at Northwest Specialty Hospital located in North Idaho. In this surgery, an incision is made at the top or side of the big toe, a portion of the bone is removed, and the bone is repositioned in the big toe. Sometimes a screw, pin, or wire, is inserted to hold the bone in the correct position.

Bunionectomy is usually performed on an outpatient basis at Northwest Specialty Hospital. During recovery, the foot will remain elevated, ice will be applied to reduce swelling and discomfort, and pain medicine may be prescribed. You may need to temporarily wear a special shoe and proper footwear and orthotics may help increase the chances of success with bunionectomy.

Call us today to learn more whether you may be a candidate for bunionectomy. Our board-certified podiatrists are here to talk with you about what to expect from a bunionectomy, and to help you decide if it is the right procedure for you.