Can I Wait To Have Bunion Surgery?
A bunion isn’t a life threatening condition that requires immediate medical intervention like some cancers and tumors, but that doesn’t mean you should keep putting off a corrective operation. Whether you should move on with a corrective procedure depends on a few key factors and a recommendation from your treating physician. We take a look at the factors that help determine whether or not you can put off bunion surgery or if it would be best to undergo an operation in today’s blog.
Putting Off Bunion Surgery
When it comes to deciding whether to move forward with a corrective bunion procedure or consider different options, you have to look at the totality of the condition. For starters, a bunion is considered a progressive condition, meaning that without intervention, it’s only going to get worse. Bunions also get harder to treat as the problem progresses, so you shouldn’t put off treatment. That said, surgery doesn’t need to be your first option.
For many patients with mild symptoms and deformation, non-surgical measures can be all that they need. Common conservative care techniques include:
- Changes to footwear
- Special padding inside shoes
- Limiting certain footwear options like heels or closed-toe shoes
- Weight loss
- Anti-inflammatory medications
Used in combination with one another, many patients who catch their bunion at an early stage find that symptoms and bunion progression alleviate or stop altogether. However, these interventions will not reverse the damage that has been done, so while they may make it more bearable, the possibility of surgery still looms down the road if the condition begins to slowly progress again.
For those patients with moderate to severe bunions who are questioning whether or not they should put off surgery, the best advice we can give is to meet with a foot specialist and get an individualized diagnosis. Bunion surgery is more successful when it’s performed at an earlier stage before the big toe joint has become excessively deformed, so oftentimes the recommendation will be for surgery. Not because you need it right this very moment, but because it will allow the doctor to preserve more healthy tissue and leave you with more flexibility, range of motion and normal joint function.
So to answer the question of whether or not you can delay your bunion operation, it really depends on the severity of your condition. If your doctor believes that surgery is the best option, it’s best not to put off that operation for too long, because it will only serve to hurt your long-term outcomes. If you’re interested in learning more about your options for the bony prominence on your big toe joint, reach out to Dr. Neufeld and the experienced team of foot specialists at The Centers For Advanced Orthopaedics.