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Myths And Misconceptions About Bunionectomy Surgery

Bunions start off as a minor annoyance, but they often become more bothersome over time. Eventually, you may reach a point where your bunions start rubbing on your shoes, causing you pain during the day and making it hard for you to enjoy activities like jogging and sports. When this occurs, it's often wise to consider bunion surgery, also known as a bunionectomy. This is a fairly common procedure, but there are some misconceptions about it that deserve to be cleared up before you commit. 

Misconception: A bunionectomy involves draining fluid from the bunion.

Some people assume that bunions are essentially lumps of fluid, much like abscesses or cysts. But a bunion is actually an overgrowth of bone. The first bone in your big toe and the one that forms the inside of your forefoot start bowing out from one another at an angle. As such, a bunionectomy involves shaving down and repositioning these bones. It's more extensive than simply having an abscess or cyst drained.

Misconception: The sooner you get a bunionectomy, the better.

Actually, this is one surgery podiatrists and doctors often recommend putting off for as long as possible. Bunionectomy procedures come with a pretty long recovery period, so you don't want to undergo one unless it really is necessary. Many cases of bunions never get bad enough to require surgery and can be managed with less invasive measures, such as splints and specialized footwear. So, your doctor will often advise you to try these methods and only resort to a bunionectomy if and when the other methods stop working. If your bunions are barely bothering you, then you probably don't need a bunionectomy — at least not yet.

Misconception: Your bunions will just come back after bunion surgery.

Some patients do find that their bunions come back or redevelop after surgery. However, this is pretty rare, and it is even more rare with modern bunionectomy procedures. Most modern bunionectomy procedures involve "fixing" the bones in place, which prevents the joint from distorting and forming a bunion again. This was not always done years ago. If you know an older person who had bunion surgery years ago and had their bunions reoccur, don't assume your results will be similar.

With these misconceptions cleared up, you should be better prepared for bunion surgery. Talk to a local doctor or surgeon if you need more information about bunionectomy surgery.