Bunions, commonly known as “bunions” or “bunions,” are one of the most widespread foot disorders, affecting primarily females over 30 years of age compared to males.
It is a condition characterized by a deformity of the front part of the foot: the entire foot appears laterally deviated outward, and in severe cases, the smaller toes are often involved as well.
It prevents the wearing of desired footwear and causes discomfort and embarrassment, especially with open shoes.
Initially, the deformity is mild, and wearing comfortable shoes with a wider sole is usually sufficient to avoid pain. Over time, however, it tends to worsen, and the pain becomes constant during walking or standing.
In advanced stages, consideration must also be given to the possible progression of deformities, actual skin wounds, and the functional and aesthetic damage to the foot.
If neglected, it worsens to the point of limiting personal autonomy: it is not only an aesthetic issue, and suitable footwear does not resolve it; it can become debilitating.
For this reason, people are seeking an effective remedy to alleviate the pain.
In this article, we answer some questions about bunion correction:
- How to alleviate bunion pain?
- Bunion surgery and its recovery;
- Bunion surgery: through public or private channels;
- Who to turn to for the procedure.
1. How to alleviate bunion pain?
The causes are not fully understood, but genetic predisposition and inappropriate footwear play a role in its onset and aggravation.
The deformation and inflammation of the bunion can be due to various factors:
- Genetic predisposition;
- Congenital malformations;
- Foot trauma;
- Rheumatic or neuromuscular conditions.
The diagnosis, easily obtained through a medical examination, is accompanied by a thorough medical history and a meticulous clinical examination of the foot as a whole.
The main symptom is pain caused by continuous friction with footwear while walking or moving, and over time, a true inflammation of the tissues develops, bursitis, which can be very painful.
Localized pain on the bunion, with time, can be accompanied by continuous pain extending to the sole of the foot.
Fortunately, several therapeutic solutions can resolve the condition when surgical intervention is not necessary. In the early stages, our advice is to use comfortable shoes and insoles to alleviate discomfort and distribute the load correctly. Avoiding high heels and activities that require prolonged standing is also recommended.
Taking anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving medications and undergoing physiotherapy treatments can alleviate pain, as well as applying ice packs to the deformity.
However, conservative treatments are not curative, as they do not address the pathology but only allow for living with less discomfort.
Only surgical intervention ensures true healing and the disappearance of bunion pain because the procedure provides reliable and reproducible results.
Surgery can be performed with “open” techniques, involving incisions of a few centimeters, or with a minimally invasive percutaneous surgery, involving punctiform or small millimeter incisions through which dedicated and miniaturized surgical instruments are introduced.
The minimally invasive techniques used by Dr. Vanni Strigelli have numerous advantages, including reduced surgical trauma, smaller incisions, faster recovery, and a lower risk of postoperative complications.
How long does postoperative bunion pain last?
Postoperative pain is almost absent, as are scars, with a significant aesthetic advantage.
You may experience some discomfort in the first few days, easily manageable with common pain relievers prescribed by the doctor upon discharge.
The percutaneous technique involves postoperative bandaging and an orthopedic shoe with an even sole. To return to a “normal” life after 30 days, the bandaging and the even shoe are removed.
2. Bunion correction and its recovery
As we have seen, if the deformity causes significant discomfort and pain, surgical correction is necessary.
Today, thanks to continuous advances in surgical techniques and a better understanding of foot biomechanics, it is possible to act with a minimally invasive procedure.
The minimally invasive percutaneous surgery, lasting about 10-15 minutes, is performed under local anesthesia, with a single injection behind the calf, providing reliable and reproducible results.
It involves the use of very thin instruments, small surgical drills similar to those used in dentistry, in a ‘closed sky,’ without exposing bones and surrounding tissues.
Three small punctiform incisions are made through which the orthopedic surgeon performs the corrective procedure live, addressing all forefoot conditions.
With this method, bones, tendons, and joint capsules can be corrected without the need for incisions, saving tissues, and without resorting to internal (plates, screws) or external (metal wires) synthesis means.
The main advantages of the minimally invasive percutaneous technique for bunion correction include:
- Quickness (average intervention time of 10-15 minutes);
- No surgical scars;
- Absence of synthesis means;
- Immediate walking;
- Faster recovery times;
- Minimal postoperative complications.
How long is the recovery after the operation?
The recovery period for those undergoing bunion surgery is very short with the new techniques and lasts about 30 days.
The operation is performed on a day-hospital basis: after bandaging, you can return home walking and bearing weight on the operated foot.
During recovery, corrections are maintained by special bandages that stabilize the corrections made in the operating room, renewed by the specialist and permanently removed after about 30-35 days.
Rehabilitation is functional and rapid: for daily activities, timing may vary case by case, but indicative times are:
- After 1 month, you can wear normal shoes;
- Return to work varies depending on the type of work, almost immediate for office jobs, while between one and two months for heavy work;
- You can drive when pressure on the pedal does not cause discomfort or pain, usually after one month;
- Intensive sports activities after 3 months from the intervention.
And after only 3 months, you can wear high-heeled shoes again.
Read this article to delve into the recovery after bunion surgery.
3. Bunion correction: through public or private channels?
All the advantages we have seen of the percutaneous technique, used in most cases, can be summarized as follows:
- Short operation, approximately 10-15 minutes;
- Local anesthesia with a single injection behind the calf;
- Punctiform incisions and no scarring;
- No synthesis means such as screws, plates, or metal wires;
- Quick healing, in 30/35 days;
- Immediate walking.
For this reason, booking a visit with an orthopedic specialist and intervening early in the pathology is essential: in fact, the earlier the pathology is at the initial stage, the faster the recovery.
How can you undergo bunion surgery?
The surgical procedure can be performed privately, through health insurance, or even through the National Health Service (NHS).
The costs of interventions vary depending on the execution method.
In Tuscany, you can turn to Dr. Vanni Strigelli, who visits various facilities in Florence, Pontassieve, and Bologna, and performs his surgical activity privately and in agreement with the NHS.
Waiting times vary but are usually around 6-9 months for procedures in agreement and about 2 weeks privately or with health insurance.
4. Who can you turn to for the procedure?
Dr. Vanni Strigelli is the Head of the Orthopedics Department at Valdisieve Hospital, and he visits and operates in various facilities in Florence, Pontassieve, and Bologna.
Quick diagnoses and cutting-edge treatments, with state-of-the-art procedures and technologies, are the path taken to ensure complete healing from the condition.
After the visit, you can access the waiting lists for the surgical procedure.
The three cornerstones of the specialty are:
- Percutaneous or minimally invasive surgery for bunion correction and foot;
- Intervention without synthesis means (without screws and plates): absence allowing fractures to heal quickly, with minimal risk of infection, less pain, and no rehabilitation;
- Rapid recovery to quickly return to normal habits.
The main goal is to restore patients to their normal lives by reducing pain in the shortest possible time.
Therefore, Dr. Vanni Strigelli uses the Rapid Recovery approach in every procedure so that each patient can get up immediately after treatment, with less postoperative pain, minimal bleeding and swelling.
This way, you can start walking right away, without a cast or crutches, and wear any type of shoes after only a month and high heels after 90 days.
Rapid Recovery constitutes modern perioperative medicine, thanks to its lesser invasiveness and smaller scars, less bleeding, and less pain, to ensure the patient’s rapid recovery.
All treatments are always aimed at improving patients’ quality of life, eliminating pain and all aspects that limit the quality of life, even at a young age.
If you suffer from bunions and want to delve into the procedure with a specialist, you can contact us using the “Contacts” form.