Bunions often start off as asymptomatic, other than causing your foot to look distorted. But over time, they start leading to aches and pains. Bunion surgery can alleviate these aches and pains, but not everyone with bunions needs or opts for surgery. Some prefer to use less invasive measures like physical therapy and orthotics. Should you go ahead with surgery or stick to these less-invasive (and often less effective) options instead? Consider the pros and cons of bunion surgery to decide.
Pro: Bunion surgery is a one-and-done solution.
Other bunion treatment and management options require ongoing input and attention. For instance, if you opt for physical therapy, you will need to keep seeing your physical therapist every few weeks indefinitely. With bunion surgery, you go in for the procedure and a few follow-up visits, and once you're healed, you're done. Other than wearing shoes that will help prevent the bunions from coming back, you won't have to think about bunion care again.
Con: Bunion surgery comes with the classic risks.
As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection and of a poor reaction to anesthesia. Your doctor will do all that they can to minimize these risks, but they are still risks. More conservative treatments, like orthotics, do not carry these risks. If you are someone who has had a poor reaction to anesthesia in the past, or if you are at an increased risk for infections, then surgery might not be for you.
Pro: Bunion surgery addresses the appearance of your feet, too.
Bunion surgery does not just get rid of the pain. It also restores your foot to a more normal appearance. If you are embarrassed by the look of your feet, bunion surgery will make you feel more confident wearing sandals again. Restoring the shape of your foot will also allow you to wear more normal shoes, which can be nice if you work in a professional setting or like to dress up.
Con: Bunion surgery has a decently long recovery time.
You will need to arrange for some time off from work if you decide to go ahead with bunion surgery. Most patients need to basically stay off their feet for a few weeks, and then wear a protective boot for another 2 - 3 months. It can take some planning to squeeze in this recovery time.
If you can afford to take time off and can manage the risks, bunion surgery is an excellent way to ease your pain and restore the look of your feet. Contact a bunion surgery clinic for more information.