What You Need to Know" (2024)

posted: Feb. 16, 2023.

What You Need to Know" (1)

Bunion surgery is a serious, invasive procedure that should be carefully considered. Despite the fact that it is a commonly performed procedure, there are many reasons why you should avoid bunion surgery if at all possible. First, one needs to understand that a bunion is actually a chronic dislocation of your big toe joint, due to a life time of stress on your big toe joint capsule, also know as the first metatarsophalangeal joint. As the bunion gets bigger, it is because the head of the first metatarsal head is dislocating due to weakness of your joint capsule. This weakness in the big toe joint, typically comes from misalignment of the back part of your foot, which creates the abnormal forces that cause and create your bunion. A bunion is actually a symptom of these abnormal hind foot forces. You do not "grow" bunions. Understand that this is a soft tissue deformity and your metatarsal bone does not "bend".

What You Need to Know" (2)Bunion surgery should only be considered as a last resort, after failed conservative treatments. Before pursuing bunion surgery, be sure to explore all available treatment options and make an informed decision. If a doctors first and/only treatment of a bunion is surgery; get another opinion or two.

The first reason to avoid bunion surgery is the length of time it takes to recover. The recovery process can take up to six months before you’re feeling back to normal. During that time, you may experience pain, swelling, and stiffness. In addition, you may require physical therapy to help you regain full function of the affected foot.

Another reason to avoid bunion surgery is the high failure rate. Studies have shown that bunion surgery has a failure rate of up to 40%. This means that in 40% of cases, the surgery does not provide the desired outcome. Unfortunately, the surgery can leave you worse off than before you had the surgery, which can mean more pain, swelling, and disability.

Infection is another serious risk associated with bunion surgery. Infections can be severe and can lead to serious complications, such as amputation of the affected toe. Infections can also cause chronic pain and disability. Blood clots in the lower leg can form, and these can move to your lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism.

When it comes to treating bunions, it’s important to understand the risks and potential complications associated with different types of bunion surgery. Two of the more commonly proposed bunion surgeries today are the MIS (Minimally Invasive Surgery) and Lapidus bunionectomy. While both of these procedures

can effectively treat bunions, they can also cause permanent changes to your foot structure. MIS bunionectomy is a less-invasive procedure that involves making small incisions in the foot. The surgeon then removes the bony bump and repositions the bones in the joint. While this procedure is often used to reduce pain and improve the appearance of the foot, it can also lead to permanent changes in the natural shape and alignment of the bones in your foot/feet, which will affect the biomechanics of your feet and how they absorb pressures when you walk, stand, climb, run, etc. The bones can also be cut and fused in abnormal and incorrect position, leading to a permanently altered foot architecture.

On the other hand, Lapidus bunionectomy involves cutting and fusing the bones together in a new position. While this procedure can be effective in treating bunions, it can also cause permanent changes to your foot. One of the most common complications encountered with the Lapidus is shortening your first metatarsal bone. Once again, your bones can be cut and fused in an abnormal position, which can lead to a permanently altered foot structure.

Bunion surgery is not a weekend recovery. You will need to take time off work and may require additional assistance with daily activities during your recovery. You may also need to make lifestyle changes, such as wearing special shoes and avoiding certain activities.

Fortunately, there are other treatment options available for bunions that may be more effective than bunion surgery and are much less invasive. One of the most popular treatments is prescription orthotics. Orthotics are custom designed shoe inserts fabricated from a special impression mold of your foot. Prescription orthotic can help reduce the pressure on the bunion and provide relief from pain and discomfort; long term, by keeping your foot properly aligned.

Another option is to wear shoes that are designed to provide support and cushioning for the affected foot. Many podiatrists recommend shoes with a wide toe box and extra cushioning to help reduce the pressure on the bunion. One of the best long term solutions to a painful or uncomfortable bunion is prescription orthotics and proper fitting shoes.

In some cases, conservative treatments, such as physical therapy and lifestyle modifications, can be enough to provide long-term relief from bunions.

When considering bunion surgery, it is important to choose a qualified podiatrist who has experience with bunion surgery. Avoid doctors who are not board certified or are being paid by surgical implant companies. You can search for information on a doctor’s background and financial ties by visiting the Open Payments Data website:


It is important to understand the risks and potential complications associated with bunion surgery. While both MIS and Lapidus bunionectomy can effectively treat bunions, they can cause permanent changes to your foot if they are not done correctly and even sometimes when they are done correctly. Therefore, it is important to discuss the risks and potential complications of these procedures with your podiatrist before deciding if bunion surgery is right for you.

That's all for now

What You Need to Know" (3)

What You Need to Know" (2024)


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