Sometimes, bunion deformities get so bad that individuals consider surgery to remove the bump from the big toe joint. While the thought of getting a quick operation to be able to fit into pretty shoes again may sound tempting, people considering bunion surgery may want to first think about the risks that come along with going under the knife.
Recently, foot-obsessed UK news source the Daily Mail reported on some horror stories of men and women who went in for a simple foot operation, and came out with infections, amputated toes or impaired mobility.
Aerobics instructor no longer gets physical
Fitness enthusiast Beth Day was reportedly taken out of commission by a botched bunion surgery, as it resulted in a broken toe and subsequent nerve damage, arthritis, pain and disfigurement, according to the Daily Mail.
"I am often in much more pain than before I had the operation, and am very restricted in terms of footwear," Day told the news source.
The Mail also tracked down a 66-year-old man who received a six-figure settlement after a foot surgery left him unable to continue his career due to immobility. Additionally, the reporters spoke to an individual who developed gangrene following a hammer toe operation. Apparently, the man had a plaster boot put on after the surgery, and when it was removed, an "awful sight" was revealed, according to the news source.
Don't let bunion surgery get the best of you
Fortunately, some foot operations can be avoided. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, most bunion deformities will respond to conservative bunion correction methods.
This can include something as simple as changing your footwear. Choosing shoes that have good arch support and a sturdy, roomy toe box is typically the best for people with bunions or hammer toe. Also, icing the feet when they're sore and inflamed may reduce swelling, as can taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as ibuprofen or aspirin.
Many people have found relief in bunion splints and orthotics. By using inserts during the day for added support and cushion, and a splint at night to encourage a straightening of the big toe joint, some individuals see and feel results that are significant enough that they can avoid going under the knife.