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Do You Need Bunion Surgery?

Do you have a bunion, that pronounced bump at the base of the big toe? Many people suffer the pain and irritation of this common Bunionspodiatric condition, and its frequency and severity increase with age, overuse, gender, and hereditary factors. For the best evaluation and treatment, including state-of-the-art bunion surgery, see Dr. James Kent at East Texas Foot & Ankle Centers in Tyler, TX.

Symptoms of bunions

Also called Hallux valgus, bunions affect a large portion of the adult population--a full 36 percent, reports Science Daily. Obvious upon visual inspection, this sore, reddened bump at the bottom of the big toe causes significant irritation and pain on the inside of the foot. As time goes on, the big toe often turns inward toward the second and even third toes, leading to mobility problems and other issues such as corns, calluses and hammertoes.

Precipitating factors include age (over 40), gender (women get more bunions), and shoe fit. Poorly supportive shoes with tight toe boxes and high heels place undue pressure on the forefoot, bending the big toe inward.

Treating bunions

At East Texas Foot & Ankle Centers, Dr. James Kent does a thorough physical inspection and review of bunion symptoms. He also takes X-rays and an MRI, depending on how severe the deformity and disability are.

Bunion care is very individual. Each case is different, and most do not require surgery. However, if rest, ice, splints, orthotics (shoe inserts) and analgesics provide little relief over the course of several months, bunion surgery may be warranted.

The surgery, called a bunionectomy, may be performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthetic, nitrous oxide, oral sedation, or a combination of all three. Dr. Kent is trained in MIS, or minimally invasive surgeries called:

  • Head procedures which work on the big toe joint
  • Base surgeries which involve the bone of the big toe and its surrounding ligaments

Base surgeries are more complicated and require a fair amount of downtime, crutches, and physical therapy.

Your foot doctor will go over your care plan with you so you understand your bunion treatments--surgery or not. Dr. Kent and his team always say, "We keep you walking."

Find out more

Bunions do not resolve on their own. If you are exhibiting symptoms and have any questions about bunion surgery, give East Texas Foot & Ankle Centers a call. Your podiatric health will be in the best of hands. Phone (903) 939-3668.

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