When is bunion removal surgery needed?
Non-surgical treatments of bunions focus on relieving pressure and irritation of the bump at the base of the big toe, but generally will not correct to deformity of the big toe joint. Some of these include various footwear like gelled toe spacers, bunion / toes separators, bunion regulators, bunion splints, and bunion cushions. When someone has bunion pain and would like to have the toe straight again, surgery is the main treatment for bunions since it is a fixed bony deformity.
A patient can expect a 6- to 8-week recovery period, but most can walk without crutches while recovering. Much of the recover depends upon the procedure chosen. Dr. Segler conducted research on bunion surgery patients that was presented at the American Podiatric Medical Association meeting in Toronto. You can view a pdf of the abstract of the bunion surgery research conducted in San Francisco and Oakland by clicking on the link.
Does bunion surgery hurt?
When anyone has suffered from painful bunions and starts to think about bunion surgery, they always ask me...is bunion surgery painful? Bunions surgery does not have to be painful. With the obvious disclaimer that any surgery certainly can be painful, it does not have to be. There are many techniques the properly trained and skilled foot surgeon can use to ensure that you have as little discomfort as possible related to your bunion correction surgery.
First, make sure your bunion surgeon will provide local anesthesia before your surgery starts. This is important because making the foot completely numb before the procedure starts will help to ensure that you do not experience the "anesthesia awareness" that has recently been reported on it the news. This is the situation where someone might be unconscious for the surgery, but still actually feel pain. If your foot is numb because it has been made numb with local anesthetics before the procedure begins, this can prevent that otherwise rare occurrence.
In addition, make sure that your surgeon utilizes (so you will benefit from) all of the latest developments in post-operative pain reduction. For example, Dr. Segler worked on research related to a low-cost method of reducing pain following bunion surgery. In that study, nearly all of the patients reported taking less pain medicine and believed that there pain much less than had the "pain pump" not been placed in the surgical site and used in their foot surgery cases. He published the secrets on his technique in a medical journal called Ambulatory Surgery in order to teach other foot surgeons how to make bunion surgery better for their patients. If you are one of the many foot surgeons across the country interested in this technique, you can reach the published article by contacting Dr. Segler. If you are a foot surgeon interested in the surgical instrument Dr. Segler invented to simplify complicated bunion procedures, contact Dr. Segler.
You should also make sure that you have access to other postoperative pain reducing techniques such as cryotherapy. This is a very simple device that circulates temperature controlled cooling through a special pad incorporated into the dressings applied at the time of surgery. By continually icing and cooling the surgical site for first couple of days after surgery, patients have less pain, less swelling, and recover faster.
Post-operative pain is not an unpleasant annoyance, but it is also generally healthy. Pain can actually impede wound healing and stall your recovery. For these reasons, your foot surgeon should use every single effective method to make sure that bunion surgery goes smoothly and with as little discomfort as possible. Your feet are critically important to your ability to enjoy everything from walks on the beach to dancing important, and you should only expect the very best performance from your surgeon when considering corrective foot surgery.
It is important to not only imagine what your life would be like without the pain from bunions, but also to think about how simple bunion surgery could be if you chose a surgeon who would help ensure the fastest most comfortable surgery possible.
What if I already had bunion surgery by another doctor, but I got a bunion again, will Dr. Segler help me?
Due to the demand for his surgical expertise, Dr. Segler is only able to accept revisional bunion surgery cases on a limited basis. If you have already had bunion surgery by another doctor and would like to be seen for an evaluation, you must complete our Foot and Ankle Surgical Second Opinion Evaluation Application. If Dr. Segler accepts your case, you will also need to obtain all of your x-rays and medical records prior to you first evaluation. At your initial evaluation, Dr. Segler will examine you and go over those records to determine how he will be able to help you. He will only accept your case if he believes he can reduce your foot pain with a successful surgery.