Have you finally reached a point where you can no longer live with your bunion pain? Is your foot pain so severe that you find it hard to walk even short distances? Then it may be time to consider bunion surgery.
Try Alternatives to Surgery First
Because bunion surgery is a major operation that can keep you off of your feet and on a knee scooter or crutches for weeks, most doctors will recommend that you try non-surgical approaches at first, including:
- Wearing shoes that fit. Although this sounds simplistic, the truth is that some people will cram their feet into shoes that don't fit properly but are stylish. Unfortunately, this can aggravate or cause bunions to develop.
- Avoiding high heels. Because high heels force your weight onto the ball of your foot and cram your toes into the front of your shoe, they can increase your bunion pain or worsen your condition.
- Wearing shoe inserts. A padded shoe insert could alleviate some of the pain you are experiencing from your bunion.
- Medications. Depending on the severity of your bunion, your doctor could recommend that you take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to reduce the pain you are experiencing. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a cortisone injection.
If none of the above treatments have helped, and your pain has become intolerable, then it may be time to undergo surgery for your bunion. The surgery is typically done under regional anesthetic to the foot and should only take about an hour. During the surgery, your doctor may:
- Remove soft tissue and bone in your big toe joint.
- Repair the tendons and ligaments around your toe.
- Possibly insert screws, wires or plates to stabilize your toe.
- Realign the joint to straighten out the angle.
- Possibly join the bones of your affected toe.
After the Surgery
Some people are surprised at how long the recovery period is for bunion surgery. If you undergo this procedure, here are a few things you should expect:
- You may not be able to put weight on your foot for six to eight weeks after some bunion procedures. Unfortunately, most people who are employed can't stay home for the duration of the recovery. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average number of sick days for an employee who has been on the job for ten years is ten days. So you can expect to be on a knee scooter or crutches for a long period of time. In addition, your doctor will also recommend that you be partial weight-bearing for an additional few weeks after that.
- Depending on the type of surgery you have, you may not be able to wear regular shoes for four weeks and possibly up to three or four months.
Consider Obtaining a Knee Scooter
Because the recovery time for bunion surgery is so long, it is important to find a comfortable walking aid. Unfortunately, most people find crutches to be cumbersome and difficult to use, especially for long periods of time or over a great distance. That is the reason why some people prefer knee scooters. The following are some of the reasons why you might also want to utilize a knee scooter rather than crutches during the long recovery period required by bunion surgery:
- Your lifestyle involves a lot of walking. For example, if you are a student at a university who has to travel between classes, a scooter will help you move more quickly between buildings.
- Your job requires that you be on your feet for long periods of time.
- Scooters are easier and offer more stability in inclement weather.
If bunions are making your life miserable, and other less invasive alternatives have failed, it may be time to consider having surgery. You should talk to your doctor about the surgery, and contact local medical equipment suppliers for more info about knee scooters or crutches.