When you've tried everything and your bunion is still causing pain, surgery to correct the bunion is the best choice at that point. My name is Dr. Andrew Schneider, and I'm a podiatrist in Houston, Texas. Bunions are one of the most common conditions that I see in my patients and affects people of all ages. Despite our best efforts, sometimes non-surgical treatment of a bunion doesn't solve your discomfort. In today's video, I'll discuss the considerations when it comes to Bunion Surgery.
In my previous video, I discussed the non-surgical treatment for bunions. There are times, however, that this doesn't take care of the discomfort from your bunion, or you reached a point where you can't wear a shoe comfortably because of your bunion. In these cases, it's time to consider surgical correction for your bunion. There are a lot of different procedures for bunions and it's not just a one size fits all situation. The procedure is dictated by the extent of the bunion deformity. If there is just a minor deviation between the first metatarsal bone and the second metatarsal bone, we can do a procedure at the head of the first metatarsal bone. These procedures involve making a surgical fracture in the metatarsal, and then we shift the head of the bone over into a more corrected position. This is held in place with a surgical screw. After this procedure, you're typically able to bear weight immediately while wearing a surgical shoe or boot. Stitches come out in two to three weeks, and you can expect to return to full activity in eight to 12 weeks after the surgery.
If there's a larger deviation between the first and second metatarsal bones, we'll need to do a procedure at the base of the first metatarsal bone. Often this procedure involves a fusion at the base of the metatarsal bone. Now, a fusion of this joint is not going to stop you from doing anything. You'll still be able to run or do any activity that you like. It's not a very mobile joint to start with. You'll have a plate and screws the base of the bone. It's a more extensive and it's a less stable procedure than the procedure that we do at the head of the bone. After the surgery, you'll be non-weight bearing for a period of time. Stitches will still come out in two to three weeks. You'll then progress to weight bearing while wearing a surgical boot. And it'll take a little bit longer to get back to full activity. Figure about three to four months after surgery.
Remember that within each broad category of bunion surgery, there are many different procedures. Too many to go into in this video. The selection of the right procedure is going to depend on your individual circumstances, and I'll be able to recommend what's best for you based on a simple x-ray that we take in the office. But remember that just because you see a bunion procedure on YouTube or social media, or a friend or family member had a particular procedure, that doesn't automatically make it the best or the right procedure for you. Thanks for watching this video series all about bunion deformities.