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When Do Bunions Require Surgery?

It starts slowly, and you don’t even realize it’s happening — little by little, your big toe is angling toward the outside of your foot. Next, a bump forms on the inside of your foot at the base of your big toe, and everything looks wonky. Welcome to the world of bunions, which are 10 times more common in women than men.

As foot health experts, the team here at Richard Hochman, DPM, under the direction of Dr. Hochman, has seen our fair share of bunion problems. In fact, this condition is so common that we offer several different surgical solutions for bunions that can eliminate the deformity.

If you’re contemplating your treatment options for your bunions, here are a few points to consider when considering bunion surgery.

Bunions don’t go away

Also called hallux valgus, bunions are caused by an imbalance in your metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, which is the first joint at the base of your big toe. Over time, the long metatarsal bone starts to drift toward the inside of your foot, and your toe begins to angle to the outside. The joint builds new bone to protect itself in this new position, creating the bony protrusion.

This process is progressive, and none of the changes is reversible once they occur. This means you can halt the progression but can’t undo what’s been done, at least not without surgery. With bunion surgery, we realign your MTP joint and shave the bony protrusion to restore your foot as close to its pre-bunion shape as possible.

Bunions can cause pain

As the bunion becomes more prominent, the bony protrusion encounters more friction, which can lead to inflammation. Once a bunion becomes inflamed, wearing shoes can be near impossible.

If you’re dealing with frequent bunion pain, surgery can provide a more sustainable solution than limiting yourself to flip-flops whenever there’s inflammation.

Dealing with side problems

As bunions progress, they can lead to a host of side problems in your feet, including:

Not to mention, a bunion throws off the balance in your foot, which can lead to pain elsewhere in the appendage.

If you’re plagued by problems associated with a growing bunion, surgery can put an end to these side issues.

You’re not keen on the aesthetics

We live in sunny Florida, and our feet are on display pretty much year-round. If you don’t like how your bunion looks, we can address this legitimate concern through surgery.

Ultimately, it’s not our place to say whether your bunion “requires” surgery, as that is a decision only you can make. Our goal is to provide you with a few reasons why patients come to us for bunion surgery.

If you’d like to sit down with us to explore your bunion treatment options further, please contact our office in Coral Gables, Florida, to schedule an appointment. You can either call us at 239-256-1450 or use our online booking tool.

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