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A team of professional podiatrists at Modern Foot & Ankle providing comprehensive care for patients suffering from bunions, including diagnosis, conservative treatment, and surgical intervention when necessary.

Updated:

March 31, 2024

At Modern Foot & Ankle, we provide comprehensive services for patients suffering from bunions, including diagnosis, conservative treatment, and surgical intervention when necessary. Our dedicated team of podiatrists ensures that each patient receives personalized care tailored to their specific needs. This guide will provide essential information about bunions, their causes, symptoms, and how we can help you manage this condition effectively.

What is a Bunion?

A bunion (Hallux Valgus) is an enlarged or prominent bone on the outside of the first, big toe joint. Most bunions are inherited and worsen as the joint responds to abnormal pressure on the affected foot from tight, restrictive, or flat shoes without support.

Pain can range from dull to sharp depending on the amount of joint damage as well as the level of irritation and compression of the surrounding nerves.

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Understanding Bunions

A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of the big toe, causing the toe to deviate toward the other toes. Bunions can result in significant pain, stiffness, and difficulty wearing shoes. If left untreated, the condition may worsen, leading to arthritis or other complications.

Causes of Bunions

  • Bunions develop due to an imbalance of forces exerted on the joints and tendons of the foot. Specific causes include:
  • Biomechanics: Faulty foot development and walking patterns may contribute to bunions.
  • Ill-fitting shoes: Tight or narrow shoes can compress the toes, increasing the risk of developing bunions.
  • Genetics: Heredity plays a role in foot mechanics, making some individuals more prone to bunions.
  • Neuromuscular conditions and congenital deformities
  • Occupational stress: Jobs that place excessive stress on the feet, such as ballet dancing, can increase the risk of bunions.

Symptoms of Bunions

Common symptoms of bunions include

  • A firm bump at the base of the big toe
  • Redness, swelling, or pain near the joint
  • Overlapping of the first and second toes, leading to corns or other irritations
  • Restricted or painful motion of the big toe

When to Seek Care

Bunions are progressive and typically worsen over time. If you experience persistent pain, seeking podiatric care to prevent further complications and discomfort is essential. Early intervention increases the likelihood of successful non-surgical treatment.

How We Treat Bunions

bunion surgery footwear x ray

Depending on the severity of the condition, either conservative treatment options and lifestyle readjustments or bunion surgery are necessary to treat severe bunions.

Each patient is different, and the question of conservative treatment versus surgical treatment depends on the particular type of foot problem, age, and lifestyle. The right treatment must also meet the patient’s expectations regarding the resolution of their problem(s) and future functionality.

If conservative treatment fails, the option to not have surgery is just as important as the bunion foot surgery chosen by your surgeon.

We always recommend bunion surgery conservative treatment first, such as lifestyle changes, before recommending bunion surgery. However, depending on the severity of discomfort or pain, surgical treatment to correct a patient’s bunions may be the best option.

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Conservative Bunion Treatment Options

Several conservative treatment options are available for those suffering from painful bunions before settling on surgical procedures treatment, including the following:

Wear Different Shoes:

Bunion surgery of the big toe joint

Wearing different shoes could help to relieve some of the bunion pain that comes with bunions. Try a larger-sized shoe, allowing for the width of your thumb at the end, and a high enough toe box to give your toes extra space.

Take Medication:

bunion removal surgery

Anti-inflammatory medication can help with the chronic pain that comes with bunions but are not much help with acute pain.

Add Padding:

Foot elevated to relieve pain

Over-the-counter bunion cushions and padding can be worn over the foot to help ease discomfort. Cushioning layers can fit easily in everyday shoes and ease shoe pressure and irritating friction.

Wear Orthotics or Arch Supports:

Bony bump on the hallux valgus

Temporary arch supports or custom molded orthotics can minimize the pressure placed on the bunion, getting rid of some discomfort while wearing shoes. These can be considered a viable short-term solution without surgical intervention.

Surgical Treatment for Bunions

During most bunion surgery, the bone causing the pressure is remodeled or smoothed down and then repositioned to prevent recurrence. Fixation of the metatarsal bone is commonly a metallic device (screw, staple, wire), but we use absorbable devices or natural bone pins.

Incisions are minimal and vary (average 2 cm to 4 cm), sutures are placed under the skin, and steri-strips (surgical tape) are removed after two weeks.

The procedure is performed at an outpatient facility with the patient under sedation, and the recovery period is anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks.

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Insurance Coverage for Bunion Care and Surgery

Many insurance plans cover bunion treatments, including surgery, if they're medically necessary. This means your podiatrist has recommended them to treat your bunion condition or improve your foot function. However, coverage varies. Some plans may not cover bunion treatments, or may only cover part of the cost.

Before getting treatment for your bunion, it's a good idea to check with your insurance provider. Ask about your coverage and any costs you might have to pay.

At Modern Foot & Ankle, we're here to help. We're proud to be in-network with all major insurance plans, which can make the process smoother and more affordable for you. Our team can assist you in understanding your coverage and guide you through the process. We're committed to providing you with personalized care, including bunion treatments designed to enhance your comfort and improve your foot health.

Why Choose Us

At Modern Foot & Ankle, we are committed to providing high-quality, patient-centered care for a range of foot and ankle conditions, including bunions. Our team of experienced podiatrists and surgeons use the latest techniques and technology to deliver effective treatments that reduce pain, improve function, and restore mobility.

When you choose Modern Foot & Ankle for your bunion care, you can expect:

  1. Personalized Treatment Plans - We work closely with each patient to develop a treatment plan that meets their unique needs and goals.
  2. Advanced Techniques and Technology - Our team uses the latest techniques and technology to deliver safe, effective treatments for bunions.
  3. Compassionate Care - We understand that dealing with foot pain can be stressful and overwhelming, and we are committed to providing compassionate care and support throughout your treatment.
  4. Experienced Surgeons - Our team of podiatric surgeons has extensive experience performing bunion surgeries and other foot and ankle procedures.
  5. Convenient Locations - We have multiple locations throughout the region, making it easy to access care close to home.

Don't let bunion pain keep you from enjoying your daily activities. Contact Modern Foot & Ankle today to schedule an appointment and learn more about our bunion treatment options.

In Summary

  1. Bunions are a progressive condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort if left untreated.
  2. Modern Foot & Ankle offers comprehensive care for patients with bunions, including conservative treatments and surgical intervention when necessary.
  3. Seeking care as soon as possible increases the chances of successful non-surgical treatment and prevents further complications.
  4. Trust the expertise of our dedicated team of podiatrists at Modern Foot & Ankle to provide personalized, effective care for your bunion needs.

The information on our website is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. For any health-related concerns, we strongly recommend consulting with a healthcare professional. Please note that any reliance on the information found on our site is solely at your own risk. For more details, please see our Medical Disclaimer.

FAQs

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How long does it take to recover from a bunion surgery?

Recovery from bunion surgery varies depending on the procedure's complexity, but typically, it takes about 6 to 8 weeks for initial healing. Full recovery, including the ability to wear regular shoes and engage in normal activities, can take up to 4 to 6 months.

How Painful is Bunion Surgery?

Pain levels post-bunion surgery vary among individuals but can be effectively managed with pain medication. Most patients report moderate pain, especially in the first few days after surgery, which gradually decreases as the healing progresses. With the smaller incisions and post-operative local anesthesia, some patients only take anti-inflammatories after further surgery. We do prescribe stronger to relieve pain medication just in case, but with a foot elevated and rest for the first 72 hours, most patients have lower than a 5 out of 10 pain level.

How Much Does it Cost to Get a Bunion Removed?

The cost of a bunion removal surgery depends upon a patient’s financial situation. For example, a low $500 deductible with coverage for the procedures may be the only cost. A high deductible with partial coverage afterward can become quite expensive. Cash pricing includes hospital costs ($1,500 to $10,000), anesthesia costs ($500 to 1500), equipment costs ($500 to $5,000), and surgeon costs ($750 to $2500).

Is it worth getting bunion surgery?

Bunion surgery can be worth it if your bunion causes persistent pain, limits your activities, or affects your foot's function. The decision should be based on a thorough evaluation by a podiatrist and a discussion about the expected outcomes and potential risks.

Are you put to sleep for bunion Surgery?

Yes, you can be “put to sleep” for bunion surgery. The general surgery using a laryngeal mask airway (LMA) is very safe and sometimes even safer than sedation with local anesthesia. Office surgeries using local anesthesia are less common now — having the patient relaxed and in a sterile hospital environment is the accepted standard. Some simple bunion surgeries can be performed under local anesthesia only, especially if the patient is at high risk under general anesthesia or sedation.

Do Bunions grow back after surgery?

Bunions rarely grow back after surgery. Bunions do not “grow back” per se, but the hallux (chronic big toe inflammation) angulation and metatarsal head (bone prominence inside the foot) can return to a bunion deformity if the incorrect procedure is performed or deforming forces assist its return over time.

Can you walk immediately after bunion surgery?

The ability to walk immediately after bunion surgery depends on the specific procedure performed. Some minimally invasive surgeries may allow for early walking in a protective shoe, while more extensive surgeries may require non-weight bearing for several weeks.

Can you straighten a bunion without surgery?

Non-surgical methods, such as orthotic devices, bunion pads, and corrective splints, can relieve bunion pain and improve foot function but do not permanently straighten the bunion. They are best used for symptom management or slowing the progression of the deformity.

Do bunion correctors really work?

Bunion correctors can provide temporary relief from bunion pain and improve the alignment of the toe in some cases. However, they are unlikely to offer a permanent correction of the bunion deformity. Their effectiveness varies among individuals.

How long should you stay off your feet after bunion surgery?

The recommended duration for staying off your feet after bunion surgery depends on the specific procedure. Generally, patients are advised to limit weight-bearing for 2 to 6 weeks, following their surgeon's instructions for gradual return to activities.

What not to do after bunion surgery?

After bunion surgery, avoid putting weight on the operated foot if instructed, getting the surgical site wet, engaging in high-impact activities too soon, and wearing tight or high-heeled shoes that can interfere with healing.

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Local Podiatrists specializing in Bunion Surgery

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Portrait of Dr. Adam Siegel, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, specializing in sports medicine and diabetic limb salvage
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Dr. Adam Siegel

His advanced training and diverse technology background equip him to provide top-tier care across a broad range of foot and ankle conditions.

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Dr. Roma Patel

Her approach is rooted in compassion and personalized attention for each patient, embracing an individualized treatment plan for a broad range of foot and ankle conditions.

Headshot of Dr. Steven Baker, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, known for his expertise in orthotic management and sports injuries of the lower extremity
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Dr. Steven Baker

Esteemed podiatrist with decades of experience, transitioning from surgery to non-surgical therapies. Known for his caring and friendly approach.

Close-up image of Dr. Jacob Huffman, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Orlando, known for his expertise in sports medicine and minimally-invasive surgeries
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Dr. Jacob Huffman

Expert in sports medicine and minimally-invasive surgeries, with a distinct honor in clinical excellence. His knowledge-driven ideology ensures optimal patient outcomes.

Close-up image of Dr. Kyle Haverstrom, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, renowned for his expertise in minimally invasive procedures and sports medicine
Tampa
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Dr. Kyle Haverstrom

Highly skilled in minimally-invasive procedures, trauma, and sports medicine. Known for his strong surgical skills and talent for diabetic limb salvage.

Close-up image of Dr. Sagar Shah, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, known for his expertise in sports injuries and wound therapy
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Dr. Sagar Shah

Expert in sports injuries, pediatric care, and wound therapy. Committed to advancing clinical expertise through understanding patient lifestyles and health.

Close-up image of Dr. Ryan Haaksma, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, recognized for his work in minimally-invasive procedures and diabetic limb salvage
Tampa
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Dr. Ryan Haaksma

Advanced training in minimally-invasive procedures and sports medicine. His dedication ensures new techniques in surgical intervention.

Close-up image of Dr. Tamara Nemeroff, a female Board Certified Podiatrist in Jupiter, recognized for her work in sports medicine and diabetic limb salvage
Palm Beach
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Dr. Tamara Nemeroff

Skilled in sports medicine, diabetic limb salvage, and reconstructive surgery. Now accepting Patients at our Jupiter Location.

Headshot of Dr. Patrick Derby, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, specializing in reconstructive surgery and wound care
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Dr. Patrick Derby

Skilled in reconstructive surgery and wound care, with a focus on diabetic limb salvage. His principle: making a uniquely positive impact on each patient.

Headshot of Dr. Todd Talbert, a male Board Certified Podiatrist in Orlando, known for his expertise in sports medicine and reconstructive foot and ankle surgery
Orlando
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Dr. Todd Talbert

Specializes in sports medicine, trauma, and reconstructive surgery. Known for compassionate care and training surgical residents in reconstructive surgery.

Portrait of Dr. Dean Sorrento, a male podiatrist in Orlando, recognized for his contributions to sports medicine and diabetic care.
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Dr. Dean Sorrento

Excels in advanced nerve decompression and sports medicine. His teaching background enhances patient understanding and care.

Portrait of Dr. Vanisaben Patel, a female podiatrist in Orlando, known for her focus on pediatric podiatry and limb salvage.
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Dr. Vanisaben Patel

Expertise in reconstructive surgery, sports medicine, and diabetic wound care. Her patient-centric, collaborative approach ensures optimal outcomes.

Portrait of Dr. Jalpen Patel, a male podiatrist in Orlando, specializing in minimally-invasive procedures and diabetic limb salvage.
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Dr. Jalpen Patel

Dr. Patel's specialized training and patient-centered approach uniquely position him to offer exceptional care across a wide spectrum of foot and ankle conditions.

Image of Dr. Trevor Baddaloo, a Orlando, FL-based board-certified Podiatrist, recognized for his personalized care in sports medicine and minimally-invasive surgical techniques.
Orlando
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Dr. Trevor Baddaloo

Dr. Baddaloo is renowned for his holistic and patient-focused care, skilled in sports medicine, podiatric surgery, and ensuring optimal health outcomes.

Portrait of Dr. Donald Adamov, a board-certified Podiatric Surgeon in Spring Hill, celebrated for his innovative approach to minimally-invasive foot surgeries and expertise in diabetic foot care.
Tampa
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Dr. Donald Adamov

Skilled in minimally-invasive bunion correction and advanced wound care, he provides individualized treatment for all conditions to achieve the best outcome.

Portrait of Dr. Melissa Prutch, a female Board Certified Podiatrist in Tampa, specializing in surgery & limb salvage.
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Dr. Melissa Prutch

Comprehensive expertise in podiatric surgery and wound care. Dedicated to a patient-first, holistic approach for superior health results.

Dr. Moore, a Spring, Texas-based board-certified Podiatrist, known for comprehensive care in all foot and ankle conditions with a focus on advanced surgical methods.
Houston
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Dr. Robert J. Moore III

Wide-ranging expertise in foot and ankle care, with a focus on surgery and wound management. Committed to patient-centered, holistic care.

Portrait of Dr. Divyesh Mehta, a male podiatrist in Orlando, Florida, specializing in sports medicine and diabetic reconstruction.
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Dr. Divyesh Mehta

Skilled in diabetic foot reconstruction and sports medicine through minimally-invasive procedures. His additional background in nursing provides supreme patient care.

Dr. Ivey, a male Podiatrist in Orlando, Florida, known for surgical expertise in lower extremity pathologies and sport medicine.
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Dr. Jacob Ivey

Wide-ranging expertise in foot and ankle care, with a focus on sports medicine and reconstructive surgery. Dedicated to patient-focused care and tailored treatment plans.

Dr. Marquez, a female Orlando, Florida-based Podiatrist, known for reconstructive surgery in lower extremity pathologies and sport medicine.
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Dr. Carolina Marquez

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Dr. Huynh, a male Orlando, Texas-based Podiatrist, known for diabetic foot care, bunion procedures, hammertoe correction, and sport medicine.
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Dr. Phi Huynh

Treating a variety of foot and ankle concerns, with a focus on diabetic care and cosmetic procedures. Committed to compassionate care and individualized care plans.

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Diabetic Foot Care

Our podiatrists specialize in caring for diabetic feet, providing routine foot care, wound care, and education to help prevent complications.

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We offer specialized care for athletes and active individuals, helping them prevent and treat foot and ankle injuries.

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