You used to enjoy being active. You’d go for a jog every morning, walk up the stairs on the way to the office, and end your evening with a leisurely stroll around the block. That all changed after your bunion–when wearing a pair of shoes became too painful. Now you spend most of your time with your feet up.
Bunion surgery is an outpatient procedure that can correct the deformity and remove the prominent bone, diminishing your discomfort and helping you become more mobile once again. After bunion surgery, you’ll be able to return to the activities you enjoy.
What is a Bunion?
There are more bones in your foot than you might think! And each bone works in concert with the next to help you stay balanced and upright. So when something changes how your feet behave–like a tight pair of heels that press your toes in on one another–there can be impacts you aren’t expecting. A bunion is a prominent bone and tissue that forms near the big toe. Typically, bunions are caused by:
- Toes that are pushed out of alignment. Often, this is done with narrow shoes. As a result, bunions tend to be more common in women than in men.
- Arthritis: Sometimes rheumatoid arthritis can cause a painful bunion.
- Genetic factors: Some people are more predisposed to bunions than others.
The first symptom you may notice is a bulging or bump along the outside of the big toe. You may also develop new callouses. Eventually, that bump could start causing pain or become red and inflamed. Often, the discomfort will become so severe that it may be difficult for you to walk.
When is Bunion Surgery Required?
Bunion surgery is an outpatient procedure designed to remove a bunion, eliminating the discomfort this lump of bone can cause.
Before your provider schedules surgery, non-surgical interventions will usually be attempted to address the bunion non-invasively. For many, this may simply mean wearing comfortable, soft, and properly-fitting shoes. If the bunion is detected early enough, this may help the issue go away.
What Happens During Bunion Surgery?
When non-surgical interventions fail, surgery will be required. Bunion surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis. Usually, you’ll be given a local anesthetic, so you won’t be able to feel anything below your ankle. In some cases, however, general anesthesia may be used.
Many people still think of bunion surgery as painful–and with a long recovery. The majority of patients tolerate the surgical discomfort well and are often allowed to walk in a boot immediately after surgery. The goals of surgery are to:
- Reduce the prominent bone and correct the deformed bone position.
What Happens After Bunion Surgery?
Once the surgery is complete, you’ll be allowed to return home for your recovery. Your surgeon will give you detailed instructions. In most cases, you’ll be asked to avoid driving for at least a week after surgery. And you may need to refrain from exercise for even longer. In most cases, you can count on wearing bandages or boots for anywhere between 6-8 weeks.
What Are The Advantages of Having Bunion Surgery at an ASC?An ambulatory surgery center is a clinic specially designed to perform outpatient surgical procedures. This means that patients who come to Iowa City ASC for bunion surgery are able to avoid the hospital altogether. This presents several benefits:
- Convenience: Hospitals can be large, sprawling complexes with confusing signage. This can make them especially stressful places for medical procedures. At an ASC, you’ll have a more convenient, clinic-like experience.
- Staffing: In general, ASCs have a higher staff-to-patient ratio. This means that you’ll receive excellent care throughout your bunion surgery.
- Safety: Because they treat a wide variety of issues, including illnesses, hospitals can often become the source of secondary infections. Surgery performed in an ASC setting tends to result in fewer infections.
- Cost: It’s likely that your bunion surgery costs will be higher in a hospital setting than in an ASC setting.
Bunion surgery is nearly always performed as an outpatient procedure, making ASCs a perfect venue for this procedure. To see if you can have your bunion surgery performed at an ASC, ask your doctor for a referral today.