Diabetic Foot Care Advice

The aim of this blog is to help members of the public to understand their feet better. However the information on this blog should never be regarded as medical advice. Readers with foot problems are strongly encouraged to visit their GP if not the podiatrist for further medical assessment and treatment.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Bunion Surgery

A bunion is the formation of a bony hump on the inside of the foot. Bunions can be extremely painful. It Is best to meet with a doctor to determine the best treatment for the bunion. The doctor is likely to take a family history, examine the bunion, and order x-rays so the doctor can judge the severity of the deformity. Non-invasive treatment measures are generally tried first. Many people find relief with these simple treatments.

Bunions that cause considerable pain despite a trying a less invasive alternative to bunion surgery may require surgical intervention. A bunion operation is called a bunionectomy. A bunion removal surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis.

To prepare for surgery, the doctor may do a complete physical to assess the patient’s lungs and general health. It’s important for the doctor to know all the medications the patient is taking. A special set of x-rays may be ordered to help the surgeon plan for the procedure.

An anesthesiologist evaluates the patient before the bunion operation. General anesthesia may be used. Bunion operations are commonly performed using an ankle block anesthesia. Ankle block anesthesia numbs the foot while the patient remains awake. Bunion operations typically take approximately one hour. Most people are able to leave the hospital one or two hours after bunion surgery.

More than 90% of patients do not have any complications after a bunionectomy. Infection is a possible complication. Recurrence of the bunion, nerve damage, and failure to eliminate pain are other possible bunion surgery complications. Aftercare instructions are things for the patient to do to help prevent these complications and encourage the foot to heal properly.

Recovering usually takes three to five weeks. Bunion surgery post op care is very may include physical therapy or exercises to strengthen the foot. Exercising after bunion surgery may help improve the flexibility and range of motion of the foot. Antibiotics may be prescribed to help prevent infection. The doctor may instruct the patient to elevate the foot and apply ice to help reduce swelling. The swelling may last up to six months.

The patient may have to use a cane, crutches, or a walker. The doctor may prescribe the use of a postoperative or bunion surgery shoe to help protect the foot from injury while it heals. The doctor or surgeon should be notified if the bandages come off, loosen, or get wet or if the patient develops signs of infection. Bunion stitches after surgery are removed about two weeks later.


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