Dr Kim (podiatric surgeon) answers the following frequently asked questions about bunion surgery.
Is it painful to have bunion surgery?
Pain is a subjective percetpion that differs from person to person. Generally speaking, pain after bunion surgery is not unbearable. Surgeons always arrange pain medication after the surgery and this will reduce the level of discomfort. Actually, it is quite common to see patients who said they did not have much pain after bunion surgery.
Will I be able to walk after surgery?
Yes you will. Back the old days, bunion surgery required 2–3 months postoperative non-weight bearing period. However, with modern surgical techniques with a stable fixation, patients will be able to walk immediately after the procedure — although some severe bunion require non-weight bearing periods after the procedure.
Will my bunion get worse if I decide not to do anything?
Bunion is a progressive structural deformity which may get worse over time. However, smaller bunions require a simpler operation that makes the postoperative recovery easier.
Do bunions come back after surgery?
Generally, bunion surgery is very successful. There are risk factors which may cause recurrence of bunion deformity such as severe flatfoot deformity and generalised ligament laxity where all body ligaments are loose. These factors are usually taken into the consideration during a pre-operative appointment and surgeons may recommend alternative procedures for bunion correction.
When can I exercise again?
Bunion correction requires not only removing bump from the side of the foot but also realingning bones in the foot that require 6-8 weeks to heal. It usually takes around 3 months back to normal daily full acitivies but may take up to a year.
Do you perform a minimally invasive keyhole surgery for bunion?
No. There is a few number of case studies in the literature that minimally invasive procedure produces good results. However, there have not been good randomised-controlled trials to affirm that. With a meticulous surgical technique and a gentle tissue handling, conventional bunion surgery has produced good post-operative outcomes and have been reported in various literature.
If you have a bunion deformity that worries you, schedule your appointment to see Dr Ji Soo Kim for a consultation. He will recommend a full detail of surgical and non-surgical treatments for bunion.