How Podiatrists Help Their Patients With Bunions

Bunions are a painful condition that people form on their feet. In this entry Wikipedia explains that a bunion forms at the base of the big toe and is the joint there that becomes red and painful. It causes the big toe to bend towards the other toes and simply walking becomes difficult. 

There is no one cause of a bunion forming, podiatrists explain. It could result from wearing too tight of shoes while other times its a hereditary issue. It can also be the result of rheumatoid arthritis. A podiatrist will x-ray their patient’s foot to determine what is going on and how best to treat it. 

Podiatrists have different ways of taking care of their patients with bunions. If a conservative approach is called for they will recommend that their patients use a larger and/or specialized type of footwear. This can include padding in the big toe area so that the toe has space to move around. They also prescribe the patient staying off their feet when possible, using ice on the area, and taking over the counter pain meds like acetaminophen. 

The conservative approach just deals with the symptoms, though, and not doesn’t fix the bunion itself. To correct the deformity the podiatrist will perform surgery. This involves removing the large bony enlargement from the base of the big toe and then realigning the remaining bone so the big toe goes back to its natural position. They might also work with and realign other bones in the area if that is called for. 

In general bunion surgery is covered by health insurance. A bunion surgery washington dc can be performed by many area podiatrists. After the surgery patients wear a surgical boot for two weeks and full recovery can take around four to six months on average. While any surgery can result in complications surgery on a bunion is not likely to do so. 

This article describes what you should do before and after a podiatrist operates on your foot. Before deciding if operating is the right way to go the podiatrist will take an x-ray of your lungs and an electrocardiogram of your heart to make sure you are a good candidate for surgery. Additionally, they will take both urine and blood tests to make sure no underlying illnesses exist. The operation itself is an outpatient procedure and the patient will be discharged a couple of hours after the operation has been successfully completed. Rather than using a general anesthetic, the podiatrist will place an ankle block in place. This device numbs the ankle on down so that the patient doesn’t feel anything despite being awake for the procedure. 

After being fitted with the surgical boot the patient needs to make sure that the stitches don’t get wet. The boot stays in place for two weeks at which point the podiatrist will cut it off and inspect the foot to make sure no complications have arisen. The patient will need to use crutches for a while before they can start putting weight on their foot with assistance from a walker or the crutches.

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