How many people out there are hobbling around with bunions? Probably more than you think. Recent research suggests the rate could be as high as 1 in 4 for adults younger than 65, and 1 in 3 for seniors. If you’re female, the rates are even higher.
Bunions can cause a lot of pain and stress, for a variety of reasons. Of course, on a basic level they’re a little on the unsightly side—especially if the bump at the base of the big toe is large and swollen, and the big toe is already beginning to cross over its neighbor. You may be embarrassed to show your feet in public.
But more importantly, the pain associated with bunions can prevent you from living an active, independent life. That bulging bump can make fitting into any pair of shoes comfortably a nightmare, and running, jumping, or even walking may become increasingly painful.
So, maybe you’re thinking surgery. How will you know when it’s time to put this treatment option on the table?
At North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute, we believe surgery is an investment in yourself, but we also are careful not to rush into it too quickly. In many cases—especially if you seek care early—bunion symptoms can be appropriately managed through conservative measures. In general we want to exhaust all of these options, such as footwear modifications, padding or taping, medications, or orthotic inserts. If these are sufficient to get you back to full activity without constant pain, then surgery is not necessarily warranted.
However, if you’re in constant pain, your activities have been limited, and conservative treatments haven’t worked or aren’t appropriate, it may be time to consider surgery. After a careful evaluation, Dr. McSpadden will help select the procedure (or procedures) that will provide the best overall results for your situation. While no one enjoys recovering from a surgical procedure—most likely it’ll take around 6 weeks or more before you can return to wearing normal shoes—the downtime is a very small price to pay for the potential benefit: years of increased quality of life and pain free activity.
We understand that surgery is a difficult decision, and our goal is to help you find the best possible treatment (surgical or otherwise) for your life. To schedule an appointment with us, please call (512) 593-2949.