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San Antonio Podiatrist Discusses Five Mistakes Patients Make When Considering Bunion Surgery

SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 10, 2011 — Dr. Ed Davis, a Board Certified Podiatric Surgeon with over 25 years of experience, has two offices in San Antonio, Texas. He is experienced in bunion surgery as well as all aspects of foot surgery.

Here is Dr. Davis' advice for those interested in having bunion surgery.

1) Consider bunion surgery for the right reasons. Three   potential reasons for bunion surgery include a painful boney "bump" at the base of the big toe making shoe fit difficult, the big toe drifting laterally or toward the lesser toes and pain within the big toe joint. Pain within the big toe joint or painful range of motion is one of the more important reasons. If the big toe drifts toward the second toe it may deform it, causing it to become a hammertoe. One can live with a "bump" on the base of the big toe for quite a while by obtaining roomier shoegear.

2) There are over 30 different bunion procedures or variations of procedures performed by podiatric surgeons. The reason for that number is because different procedures and combinations of procedures work better for different patients. Often, it is procedure choice that is actually more important than surgical technique in obtaining a good result. Be cautious of advertisements for a particular procedure because there is no specific procedure that works best for all.

3) Recognize the reasons why bunions occur. Shoes do not cause bunions but can irritate bunions, making them more painful or accelerating their progression. The bump one sees at the base of the big toe is not a growth but a deformity of the big toe joint caused by a combination of hereditary factors and faulty foot mechanics or alignment. The foot surgeon chosen to perform the procedure must address the alignment issues to help ensure long-term success.

4) Mild bunions often need not be treated surgically despite the fact that there are surgical procedures such as "mini-bunionectomies" designed for that. There is always some risk associated with surgery so opt for surgery when it is definitely needed and opt for a procedure that completely addresses the deformity.

5) Pain and loss of range of motion in the big toe joint may be associated with a bunion but is more often termed "hallux rigidus" in which long-term joint misalignment leads to the big toe joint "wearing out."  There are four recognized stages of hallux rigidus based on severity. The first two stages can often be treated non-surgically. There are many good procedures to treat the more severe stages of hallux rigidus and the surgeon should present all reasonable alternatives. Fusion of the big toe joint is often utilized but, in the opinion of Dr. Davis, overutilized as there are advanced procedures to restore normal range of motion using cartilage repositioning or joint implants.

Dr. Ed Davis,
502 Madison Oak, Suite 346, San Antonio, TX 78258
12413 Judson Rd., Suite 250, Live Oak, TX 78233

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