The 6 Most Common Bunion Surgery Questions Answered

If you have never had bunion surgery before but are in need of it due to a hugely inconvenient and painful bunion, you probably have a few questions about the entire process. It’s completely normal to worry about what to do beforehand and afterward and be confused as what to expect. That’s why we will address the six most common surgeries regarding bunion surgery and answer them to give people a better sense of what to expect.

1. What Exactly is a Bunion?

Most people mistakenly believe that a bunion is overgrowth of a bone in the foot. This is actually not the case. A bunion is caused when the bone becomes misaligned, thus causing the big toe joint to protrude out the way it does.

2. If I Don’t Get Surgery, Will The Bunion Worsen?

Generally, yes, bunions worsen and grow larger over time. Some bunions are quite small in size while more severe bunions are substantially larger. Although some small bunions will take years to steadily grow larger, it is always a wise idea to get surgery when the bunion is small since larger bunions require more complex surgery.

3. Will My Bunion Surgery be Covered by my Health Insurance?

The straightforward, but still complicated answer is that it depends. Most surgeries are covered by health insurance plans and because a bunion is a medical condition, bunion surgery is usually included underneath that. However, if you are getting bunion surgery for the sole purpose of making your foot look better, this is considered cosmetic and that is often excluded from many health insurance plans. If your bunion is causing you pain and limiting your mobility and function, this often means that bunion surgery is necessary and therefore more likely to be covered by insurance.

4. When Can I Start Walking After Surgery?

Thanks to the medical resources we have in today’s society, walking can be done immediately after surgery with a surgical shoe. Years ago, people coming out of bunion surgery needed to wear a cast and use crutches to walk for several weeks. Fortunately, this is not the case anymore. Especially if the surgery was done on a small bunion, you’ll be able to walk right after surgery with the support of a surgical shoe and soon after comfortably walk without it.

5. Will my Bunion Come Back After Surgery?

Bunion surgery is considered a cure for bunions. Once you have gotten the surgery, it would be very rare that the bunion would come back. However, it should be noted that certain people with ligamentous laxity might be more at risk for a bunion returning. In general, this usually does not happen to people.

6. How Does Surgery Get Rid of my Bunion?

There are a few different techniques used by surgeons to remove bunions. One way is by shaving the bunion. This is typically a technique used on bunions smaller in size and is rarely used on its own. It is often conducted in combination with other procedures. When bunion shaving is done, ligament repair is also conducted. This allows for realignment of the big toe. Another surgery technique is called “bone cutting”. The deviated bones are cut during surgery and restructured to create a healthier alignment. Lastly, bone fusion is another technique used. This entails realigning the entire bone. In medical terms, this is known as “lapidus bunionectomy”.

Do you have any additional questions regarding bunion surgery? Don’t hesitate to contact us today. If you are experiencing any other kind of foot pain or are interested in learning about our extensive list of podiatry services, we would be happy to talk to you!