Is Spring the Right Time to have Bunion Surgery?

Spring has sprung!  The weather is getting warmer, the clothes are getting lighter, and the shoes are becoming...well...lesser.  Here in Houston, TX, sandal season comes early as our spring quickly evolves into our hot, humid summertime.

When the patients in my Houston podiatry practice come in during this time of year, they are more aware of their bunions, hammertoes and other bumps that have been hidden in shoes all winter.  They don't like them, they don't look nice, and they want them gone...NOW!  So practically speaking, is springtime the best time to have bunion surgery?

A bunion is when the first metatarsal bone rotates to cause a painful bump on the side of the foot, just below the big toe.  It often aches when you walk and makes it difficult to wear shoes because of the pressure.  Commonly, if you have a bunion, a parent or grandparent likely has or had one too.  Bunions can only be "removed" with surgery.  That surgery usually involves the metatarsal bone being surgically fractured and repositioned.  The bone is secured with a tiny screw.

Recovery after bunion surgery is somewhat involved.  It requires a period of time without walking and then walking with the assistance of crutches.  Stitches stay in for 2-3 weeks and it takes 6-8 weeks for the bone to be completely healed.  So...will your feet look good in sandals?

Bunion surgery is very effective for correcting the appearance of the feet and many feel little discomfort after surgery.  Best results come with great compliance from my patient to help to minimize swelling.  So lets put it this way.  If you had surgery in April, you'd probably ready to wear those strappy sandals after about 2 months...still most of the summer left to enjoy.

A few caveats...first of all, I personally don't recommend surgery when there is a bunion without pain.  The foot is too important to bear weight and function to play with the structure.   There's no such thing as cosmetic surgery of the foot.  Furthermore, everyone is different and procedures vary, so visit the office to see what your surgery and recovery would look like. Happy shoe shopping!
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
Wow! this was just what I was looking for. Thank you so much. I have a bunion that is not painful, yet, and I don't care what it looks like. I live in Florida and wear sandals and flip-flop type shoes all year. I didn't really want surgery and your post confirmed my feeling that I can wait awhile. Again thank you so much.
by Donna Estevez August 27, 2012 at 09:07 AM
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