A bunion, or hallux valgus, is a foot deformity that develops in the metatarsophalangeal joint at the base of the big toe. Many women, middle-aged and up, have these bony bumps that impair their gait and change their foot shape and mobility. If you have a bunion and have decided on bunionectomy surgery, then expect physical therapy as part of your recovery.
Let’s talk more about bunions and PT after surgery and where you can go for excellent foot and ankle surgery.
What Is a Bunionectomy?
A bunionectomy is a surgery performed by orthopedic specialists or podiatrists specially trained in foot and ankle procedures. The bunionectomy removes the large bony prominence where the big toe joins with the foot. It also helps straighten the big toe so that it points forward, enabling normal gait and balance.
Symptoms of a bunion include:
- Pain, swelling, and redness at the big toe joint
- Joint deformity and turning of the big toe toward and over the second and third toes
- Difficulties with standing and walking
Bunions develop due to heredity, tight-fitting and/or high-heeled shoes, and other factors that exert excessive pressure on the forefoot and toes. Age-related osteoarthritis contributes to this common podiatric problem, too.
When Does Someone Need a Bunionectomy?
Bunions are classified as mild, moderate, and severe. They best respond to conservative therapies, such as pain meds, elevation, stretching and properly fitting footwear, when treated early.
If bunion symptoms progress, then surgical removal may be the best option. Considering the symptoms and results of a physical exam and imaging, the orthopedic surgeon or podiatrist may recommend bunionectomy.
How Does Physical Therapy in Cedar Park Help?
Typically, doctors recommend physical therapy after bunion surgery. The physical therapist comprises a recovery and rehabilitation program to strengthen the foot and ankle muscles and to:
- Improve normal range of motion and movement
- Increase joint flexibility, particularly in the operated joint
- Reduce stress on the big toe and forefoot
- Speed surgical wound healing
- Improve balance and gait
So, if you undergo bunionectomy, your physical therapist will individualize a program specific to your surgery, age, and desired therapeutic outcomes. He or she will communicate with your surgeon to fully understand your needs.
PT after bunionectomy may include some of all of the followings:
- Active and passive stretching exercises
- Assistive devices to offload weight from the toe to improve balance and provide support (canes, shoe inserts or orthotics, and splints)
- Ice, limb elevation, and activity modification to reduce pain and swelling
- Strengthening exercises for the big toe and ankle
Physical Therapy in Austin, Round Rock, Hutto, TX, And More
At Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness, our team of friendly and highly skilled therapists helps many foot and ankle surgery patients regain their mobility, confidence, and independence. If you’re getting ready for a bunionectomy, give us a call to discuss your post-surgical options. We have four locations in Austin as well as facilities in Round Rock, Manor, Pflugerville, Cedar Park, Bee Cave, and Hutto, TX.
To know more or schedule a consultation, call us today at (512) 886-7110, or fill out our online appointment request form.