By contactus
September 10, 2011
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Q & A with Associated Podiatrists, LLP: Bunions


Q) What causes bunions?

A) Bunions are caused by a faulty mechanical structure or muscle imbalance in your foot that tends to run in families.  If your parents or grandparents had bunions; that means that you may be predisposed to getting them at some point in your lifetime.

Q) Are bunions caused by tight fitting or poor shoe gear?

A) Not entirely.  Shoes by themselves normally do not cause bunions.  While wearing shoes that crowd the toes together can, over time, make bunions more painful or speed the progression of the deformity, shoes themselves are usually not the sole contributing factor to the development of bunions.

Q) Are there non-surgical treatments available for bunions?

A) Custom orthotics, pads, and splints can ease the pain of bunions and perhaps slow the progression of the bunion.  However, only surgery can correct the alignment of the toe.

Q) When is the right time to have a bunion surgery?

A) When the bunion starts to become painful it is a good idea to see your podiatrist to discuss the options.  The old saying goes: "if it isn't broken, don't fix it."  That is pretty sound advice.  However, if one waits too long to have the bunion corrected, other problems can occur which also need to be fixed surgically and can prolong your recovery.  

Q) Do you, as a podiatrist, perform the surgery for bunions?

A) Podiatrists are skilled surgeons who perform a multitude of foot and ankle surgeries.  Podiatrists are recognized as the authority on bunion surgeries.

Q) What is the recovery time for a bunion procedure?

A) Nowadays, most patients walk the same day of surgery with a special shoe or walking boot.  We rarely need to place the patient in a cast or have them utilize crutches for extended periods of time.  Most patients require about 4 weeks before they can comfortably walk in their normal shoes again. 

Q) What about time off of work after a bunion surgery?

A) If your job allows you to sit for the majority of the day, then you can expect to return to work within about a week but this varies from patient to patient.  If your job requires long periods of standing or walking, then your time off of work may be longer.  Most patients with a job that is very physically demanding go back to work sooner if they can go back with certain restrictions or on "light-duty."

Q) Does bunion surgery hurt?

A) Bunion surgeries require surgically fracturing the bones in order to realign them.  Pain and discomfort will vary from patient to patient.  Most patients tolerate the surgery very well and do not need to take pain medicine regularly for more than a few days.

Q) Do the bunions ever come back?

A) Your podiatrist will evaluate your bunion and will choose the most appropriate type of procedure for you.  Preventing recurrence is crucial in the planning of the surgical procedure.  With the technology and surgical techniques available nowadays the recurrence rate is generally very low.

Q) Where can I go for more information?

A) Make an appointment with your area podiatrist or ask your doctor for a referral.  There are also some great web sites you can visit like 


Madison West
6510 Grand Teton Plaza
Suite 406
Madison, WI 53719

Fax: 608-829-1319


Madison East
4237 Lien Road
Suite A
Madison, WI 53704

Fax: 608-244-5518