Three Things You Need to Know About Bunion Surgery

If you have a bunion, does that mean you'll need to have surgery? Not necessarily 

Many people find relief by taking measures to remove pressure from the big toe. This may include wearing a shoe that provides comfort or better cushioning in the shoe. 

However, if these measures have failed and you have continued pain, surgery may be an option. As such, you may be a candidate for surgery at an outpatient orthopedic surgery center in Cary.  

1. How to Know if You are a Candidate for Surgery?

If you are free of pain, then you may not need surgery. Though the bunion may get bigger over time, doctors do not usually recommend surgery unless it affects daily life. 

Indications for bunion surgery include:

  • Pain that is significant enough and affects activities of daily life. You should be able to walk at least a few blocks before you experience significant pain. 
  • Pain that does not improve with taking OTC medications, including NSAIDs
  • Toe inflammation that does not improve at rest
  • Toe stiffness
  • Toe deformity where it appears that the toe may drift over the smaller toes

2. What to Expect if You've Decided to have surgery?

Surgery often provides pain relief for patients. They can get back to participating in their usual activities of daily living. 

Surgery is completed on an outpatient basis at our Cary orthopedic surgical center. Though the surgery is the same day, be aware that it can take up to six months to recover. 

There are specific changes you may need to make following surgery. You may not be able to wear the same types of shoes, especially those that push up against the big toe. 

Your surgeon will discuss with you the risks versus benefits of having bunion surgery, including possible complications. 


3. What Should I Know About the Procedure?

There are a few goals for the surgery. For one, pain relief. Most patients establish this as their number one goal for the procedure. 

Another goal is to correct any deformity. Because every bunion varies in shape and size, the surgical procedure is different for everyone; most often, the surgery will correct the toe's alignment while also repairing the soft tissue around the toe. 

There are different types of bunion surgery:

  • Osteotomy- The surgeon will make cuts in the bone to realign the bone and then fix it with pins, screws, or plates
  • Arthrodesis- The surgeon will remove the arthritic part of the bone then insert pins, screws, or plates to realign the bone
  • Exostectomy- The surgeon will remove the bunion. It is not as common because, with the procedure, the toe is not realigned. 
  • Resection Arthroplasty- This procedure is also used rarely. The doctor removes the damaged joint, which allows for more flexibility in the toe. Because it will affect the strength of the big toe long-term, it generally is not recommended. 

If You Have Additional Questions on Bunion Surgery, We Can Help! 

As the leading outpatient surgery center in Cary, our Board Certified doctors and fellowship-trained surgeons are experienced in diagnosing and treating a variety of orthopedic procedures, and we specialize in foot and ankle surgeries as well as joint replacements.

You can be assured our staff will use the best and most advanced surgical techniques for your procedure so you will have the best outcomes.

Questions? Do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to being a partner in your care. 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

outpatient orthopedic surgery cary
6715 McCrimmon Parkway
Suite 205 A 
Cary, NC 27519
Monday – Friday: 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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