Answers to Bunion Alternatives for Surgery
Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Questions
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Answers to Bunion Alternatives for Surgery:
What is a bunion? (Back To Top Of Page)
A localized, painful swelling at the base of the big toe due to new bone formation. The affected toe is often curved outward. Bunions (also referred to as Hallux Valgus) are frequently associated with inflammation of the nearby bursa (bursitis) and degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis). Bunions most commonly affect women, particularly those who wear tight-fitting shoes and high heels. Treatment includes rest, a change in shoes, foot supports, medications, or surgery.
Are bunions genetic? (Back To Top Of Page)
Bunions are not genetic. Have you ever seen a baby with a bunion? Your foot structure is inherited which predisposes the foot to getting bunions (either by wearing tight shoes and/or walking incorrectly). Bunions usually form as a teenager or in the a person’s twenties. Few might get it in their thirties or forties.
Do bunions run in the family? (Back To Top Of Page)
It very often does. The reason is that family members usually wear similar footwear and walk in a similar pattern.
Are bunions called something different if they are on your pinky toe? (Back To Top Of Page)
Yes. A bunion on the pinky toe is referred to as a Tailor’s bunion (or Bunionette). It is a prominence of the fifth metatarsal bone at the base of the little toe. The metatarsals are the five long bones of the foot. The prominence that characterizes a tailor’s bunion occurs at the metatarsal “head,” located at the far end of the bone where it meets the toe. Tailor’s bunions are not as common as bunions, which occur on the inside of the foot, but they are similar in symptoms and causes. Dr. Levingston also can address the Tailor’s bunion (or Bunionette) in his Non-Surgical Bunion Treatment if the patient is in need.
I’m a runner with bunions, what can I do to stay an athlete? (Back To Top Of Page)
A runner creates repetitive pressure on the big toe joint. This joint can move out of place, swell, and turn inward, causing a stiff, painful bony protrusion on the side of the foot. Overpronators are especially prone to bunions because they put excessive stress on this joint during the push-off phase of running. Too-narrow shoes can cause bunions, and genetics play a role as well. Severe cases can bring you to a standstill, requiring surgery to repair the joint, which is why we advise the following program at the first sign of redness or discomfort. Dr. Levingston addresses not only the bunion, swelling, pain or toe stiffness but also addresses overpronation of the foot & ankle. This gives the bunions less of a chance of reforming. Overpronation is one of the main reasons why people who get surgery have a re-occurrence years later.
Are bunions related to back, hip, knee, or foot pain? (Back To Top Of Page)
A new study shows that bunions can really slow a person down. Study participants with bunions were more likely to experience pain in other parts of their body, including the hip, knee, low back, and foot. And those with the most severely deformed big toes, a condition known as hallux valgus, also had the poorest scores on measures of life quality, like social and physical functioning.
“Our findings indicate that hallux valgus is a significant and disabling musculoskeletal condition that affects overall quality of life,” says Hylton Menz, an associate professor at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia, in a news release. “Interventions to correct or slow the progression of the deformity offer patients beneficial outcomes beyond merely localized pain relief.”
Do foot stretches really work? (Back To Top Of Page)
Exercises will NEVER be able to correct the position of the toe due to the adaption of bone that has gone on for many years as the bunion developed, but they are important to keep the toe flexible and mobile.
Do orthotics or orthopedic shoes help bunions? (Back To Top Of Page)
There are no exercises, splints or other devices that reliably correct a bunion. Orthotics can sometimes slow or halt the progression by addressing the instability which causes the deformity, but they cannot reduce the deformity.
Bunion Surgery Related:
How long does recovery from bunion surgery take? (Back To Top Of Page)
The usual recovery period after bunion surgery is 6 weeks to 6 months, depending on the amount of soft tissue and bone affected. Complete healing may take as long as 1 year. When you are showering or bathing, the foot must be kept covered to keep the stitches dry.
Will my bunions come back after surgery? (Back To Top Of Page)
Bunions may return after surgery, especially if you continue to wear narrow or high-heeled shoes, have poor walking habits, and have constant overpronation of the foot (placing pressure on the big toe joint). Dr. Levingston addresses all these factors in the “No Incision” Non-Surgical Bunion Treatment so that the bunions and hallux valgus deformity have much less chance of relapsing.
When do you recommend bunion surgery? (Back To Top Of Page)
Surgeons that I talk to usually recommend a conservative approach to treating your bunions (especially if there is moderate to no pain) and the bunion is not very large. Call us 303-532-4844 for your free, no obligation consultation so that we can see if we can help you.
Who do you recommend for bunion surgery? (Back To Top Of Page)
We recommend surgery to patients if we grade their bunion as being too large.
Our NO SURGERY “No Incision” Bunion Treatment:
Do you accept health insurance? (Back To Top Of Page)
Currently, we do not accept health insurance simply because insurance companies rarely pay for holistic/conservative alternatives to surgery. It doesn’t mean that it won’t be available one day through your insurance carrier as we are in the beginning planning phases of petitioning for reimbursement. In the meantime, we have made the treatment affordable. Please call us at 303-532-4844 to find out more.
How long does the treatment take? (Back To Top Of Page)
The length of your treatment is dependent on the severity of your condition. I need to examine you. I need to determine your history. If you have had a history of lower back pain for an extended period of time; and, you have had injections, epidurals, disc surgery, etc., it is most likely going to take longer. Ten sessions is the minimum requirement to correct a bunion deformity, based on my experience.
You need to give your body enough time to correct the muscle memory. Some might need more than 10 sessions if the condition is severe. In my opinion, patients recover faster if given a time line. The timeline is usually no longer than a 2 week period of time.
Not everyone is a candidate. I need to see you in the office in order to determine that fact. That’s why I offer a free consultation. Please call 303-532-4844 to set yours up today.
How does your “No Incision” Non Surgical Bunion Treatment compare to Surgery? (Back To Top Of Page)
It is a lot less expensive. It does not involve opening up the foot. This means that there are is no risk of getting infection, no need for anesthetics, and no downtime. You can walk immediately right after treatment with significant reduction of pain & swelling as compared to surgery which you can’t bear full weight or have to be on crutches for months. There is no worry of over correction as in surgery as everything is under your own control. It is an active interactive correction. There is no sawing of bones nor transposition of tendon as in some surgery (which would severely weakened the foot).
How much does the treatment cost? (Back To Top Of Page)
“No Incision” Non Surgical Bunion Treatment is a fraction of the cost of surgery. Please call us at 303-532-4844 to get more detailed information.