Bunions are fairly common toe problems — about one-third of Americans walk around with one at the base of their big toe. You can get a bunion from wearing tight shoes that force your toes into a narrow box, having a family history, or an inflammatory disease like rheumatoid arthritis.
Whether you blame genetics or footwear, bunions change the skeletal structure in your toe joint with a deposit of bony material that causes your toe to angle toward your other toes and form a big bump at the base of the joint.
Bunions won’t resolve on their own, but you can stop the progression and prevent surgery by wearing shoes that conform to the bunion and relieve pressure, padding your shoes, and wearing custom orthotics. However, severe bunions require surgery to restore function and eliminate pain.
That’s where the Family Foot and Ankle Center of South Jersey comes in.
Our experienced podiatrists treat bunions daily and help our patients throughout Cherry Hill and South Jersey walk pain-free. When bunion surgery is the best option, trust our specialists to perform the procedure carefully, quickly, and with minimal damage to healthy tissues.
With bunion surgery, we can straighten your toes, stop the pain, and enable you to participate in your favorite activities again. However, we encourage you to follow these tips during your recovery to ensure an optimal bunion surgery outcome.
Understand the healing process
As with all surgeries, post-bunion surgery recovery takes time. Expect some swelling and discomfort for a few days, and elevate your foot to reduce these symptoms. We let you know what signs to look for, indicating that healing is progressing, such as decreased pain, reduced inflammation, less redness, and improved mobility.
Follow our post-op instructions
We discuss what to expect after surgery. We also send you home with written instructions for keeping your incision clean and dry, dealing with post-op pain, and spotting signs of infection. The closer you follow our guidelines, the better your chances of a speedy recovery.
After bunion surgery, your body needs vital nutrients to help your incision heal. Ensure you get plenty of lean protein, fresh fruits, and veggies to boost your body’s healing power.
Take your meds
Depending on your situation, we may prescribe pain medication or antibiotics after bunion surgery. Since everyone has different pain tolerance levels, talk with our team about a pain medication dose that suits you.
If we prescribe antibiotics, take them as instructed until they are all gone to prevent infection.
Take care of your incision
You don’t need to do much after your bunion surgery — in fact, rest is a requirement, especially for the first few days. However, we ask that you are diligent about wound care. That means ensuring that your incision stays dry because moisture breeds bacteria. We show you how to change your wound dressing to prevent dirt and bacteria from entering your incision.
Keep your follow-up appointments
It’s tempting to blow off your post-op follow-up appointments, especially if it seems your recovery is progressing well. We urge you to resist that temptation and see us as scheduled.
During your follow-up appointment, we check for infection and signs of slow healing that could indicate a problem. We also assess your level of recovery and determine when to start rehabilitating your toe and foot with physical therapy — the best way to regain full function.
If you need bunion surgery or want more information about how to recover, call the Family Foot and Ankle Center of South Jersey at 856-381-0310.