When to Consider Bunion Surgery


Bunions are the large bony bumps that form almost exclusively on the big toe, but they can form on the little toe in which case they are called bunionettes. While this condition is often thought to be hereditary, it can become painful and debilitating over time if simple and early treatments are not dutifully enacted. Some conservative treatments include splinting, bracing, stretching, icing, wearing shoes with a wide toe box, and using other custom orthotics.

Bunion complications that can make you a good candidate for bunion surgery include:

●     Overlapping toes - If your bunion is pushing your toe so that it actually overlaps the adjacent toes, then surgery will most likely be required to straighten it out.

●     Persistent pain - If your bunion is preventing you from carrying out your daily activities due the pain and discomfort, surgery may then become necessary.

●     Joint stiffness - A severely stiffened big toe joint can create considerable difficulty with walking, shopping, and using stairs. 

What are the different types of bunion surgery?

●     Osteotomy - Your foot surgeon makes a series of small incisions in the bone of the toe to help straighten it.

●     Exostectomy - This involves cutting away the bulging bump itself.

●     Arthrodesis - The hallmark of this method involves using small hardware pieces to help fuse the joints together.

●     Arthroplasty resection - The joint is removed and the ends are reshaped. An artificial joint may then be inserted.   

Having bunion surgery is not something to be taken lightly, as the recovery period can take many months requiring ample rest and physical therapy. At Fit Feet for Life, our team of board-certified podiatrists has access to advanced technologies and years of experience to help diagnose and treat a variety of foot and ankle problems, including heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, nail fungus, and plantar warts.  Bonnie Sanchez, DPM, and Gregory Cook, DPM, provide high-quality foot and ankle care to patients in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area at our five offices conveniently located in Sun City Center, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and our two Tampa locations. Please contact us for more information or to schedule an appointment.