At Prairie Path Foot and Ankle Clinic, we see patients daily with bunions and great toe pain. We understand you are worried about the pain from your bunion, about your shoes hurting, about not being able to yoga or run! When a bunion is mild we can often slow the progression and help keep the bunion flexible and, thus less painful. If the bunion is causing you daily pain or limiting your activities, it might be time to think about surgery.
Bunion surgery is an outpatient procedure which takes anywhere from 45 min to 2 hours. Our surgeries are done at Elmhurst Outpatient Surgery Center and, occasionally, at Elmhurst hospital. The surgery is done under MAC or twilight anesthesia and the foot is numbed with a local anesthetic. After surgery, the foot is numbed with a long acting anesthetic that lasts 4-6 hours and then you begin oral pain medication. You leave the surgery center with a walking boot or shoe (in rare instances a cast is needed, but that can be discussed with your doctor) and can put weight on the heel immediately after surgery. You will have a big bulky dressing to protect the incisions and you will need to keep your foot completely dry for 2 weeks. Don't worry, you can purchase a shower protector so you don't get it wet!
Pain is most intense the first few days after surgery and we recommend you limit your walking to meals and bathroom only. This helps keep the swelling under control and thus decrease the pain and the risk of infection. After 3-5 days, you will see your doctor for a follow up and x rays. If all is going well they may release you to do more activity (still very limited). At 2 weeks, your stitches are removed and you can get the foot wet and take a real shower without the risk of infection.
Our doctors at PPFAC are always available for consultation to discuss if bunion surgery is right for you.