- Depending on your needs, bunion repair surgery can range in price from a few thousand dollars to more than $7,000 for each foot.
- Not all bunions need to be operated on. Surgery is typically only advised by medical specialists if bunions are severely painful, persistent, or limiting your ability to walk.
- The costs of bunion surgery correction are typically fully or partially covered by many health insurance programs.
What is surgery for bunions?
The big toe deformity that develops when the big toe bends inward toward the other toes and the big toe joint protrudes is treated with bunion surgery. The procedure has a long recovery time and is very uncomfortable. A recent procedure known as minimally invasive bunion surgery guarantees quick recovery and nearly no pain.
You most likely have a bunion if you’ve observed a lump on your primary big toe joint and your big toe is pressed up against the other toes. They are, at best, uncomfortable for most individuals. They may be fatal and excruciatingly painful.
Bunions do not normally disappear. In actuality, they deteriorate with time. They may seriously affect your back, legs, and feet.
Once a bunion starts to bother you and negatively impact your quality of life, bunion surgery, also known as a “bunionectomy,” becomes necessary.
Because there is no need to pay for a hospital stay or the drugs to put you to sleep, minimally invasive procedures are far less expensive. In fact, patients leave minimally invasive bunion surgery by walking out.
Bony protrusions called bunions usually develop at the joint at the base of the big toe. A bunion (hallux valgus) can become painful and affect your ability to walk normally if it is not corrected.
Surgery is frequently chosen by those who have bunions to treat physical deformity and associated pain. There are various bunion surgery procedures. These usually entail realigning the out-of-place bones, mending the tendons and ligaments in the area, and possibly fusing the joint.
With more than 350,000 operations on the forefoot performed each year in the United States, bunion surgery is one of the most common.
A bunionectomy, commonly known as bunion correction surgery, often costs at least a few thousand dollars. In many instances, bunion surgery can cost up to $7,000 per foot. The cost is influenced by things including the surgery’s complexity and your insurance coverage.
The costs of surgery can be partially or entirely covered by your health insurance plan if you have one. However, you might still be required to cover your deductible as well as additional out-of-pocket expenses like a copay or coinsurance.
- The typical out-of-pocket expense for bunion treatment for patients with health insurance is a copay or coinsurance of 10%–50%. Depending on the plan, therapy for bunions may not be covered by health insurance. For instance, Anthem BlueCross BlueShield does not cover the majority of bunion therapy since it is regarded as palliative or cosmetic.
- Depending on the procedures utilized, bunions are often treated conservatively for less than $1,000 for those without health insurance. Alternatively, if surgery is required, treatment might cost anywhere from $2,000 to $15,000 or more.
- For instance, at FootSmart.com, bunion splints range in price from about $20 to about $70. When given to a joint, cortisone injections typically cost $100 to $300. Also, bespoke orthotics run between $200 and $800.
- The cost of a bunion operation at Affordable Foot Care in Texas is $2,000. Surgery to treat a bunion can cost anywhere between $8,000 and $15,000 at Saint Elizabeth Regional Medical Center in Nebraska, not including the doctor’s charge. Patients on a HealthBoards.com forum report bunion surgery expenses ranging from $5,000 to $30,000.
What causes bunions?
Bunions do not appear suddenly. They can actually take months or even years to form. Their development may be influenced by a number of variables, including:
- Genetics: Bunions were once assumed to be an environmental condition, but current research suggests there may be a hereditary component. Between 63% and 90% of people with bunions are thought to have a familial history of the condition, according to a U.S. study of adults of European heritage. This suggests that heredity has a significant influence on their growth.
- a background of particular illnesses: Bunions may be caused by certain illnesses, like rheumatoid arthritis. Bunions may be more likely to form in people with connective tissue disorders such as Ehlers-Danlos syndrome and Marfan syndrome.
- Bunions are more common in those with flat feet, a short Achilles tendon, poor connective tissue, or a short metatarsal bone in the big toe.
- Shoes: Bunions and other toe abnormalities can be brought on by tight or narrow shoes. Additionally, these shoes might exacerbate bunions that already exist.
- Bunions can happen to anyone at any age. However, older women or those who frequently wear heels or tight-fitting shoes seem to experience them the most. Additionally, bunions are more likely to occur in older women.
How do you treat bunions?
Bunions can only be removed by corrective surgery. Surgery is typically only advised by foot and ankle experts if the problem is serious and other noninvasive therapies are failing.
Here are several alternatives to bunion surgery if you cannot or do not want to get it:
- Select the proper footwear. High heels and constrictive footwear may increase the likelihood of bunions or exacerbate existing ones.
- Get specialized padding or cushions. Use pads to relieve pressure and pain if you’ve developed calluses or corns around the bunion.
- Spread your toes. These, which fit in between the first and second toes, can ease discomfort. There are over-the-counter (OTC) choices, but custom ones could need a prescription.
- Apply an ice bag. The swelling and soreness in the joint can be reduced by applying ice for 20 minutes at a time. To avoid skin damage, place a barrier between the ice and your skin (such as a cloth or towel). If you have a history of cold-related illnesses, consult a doctor.
- ingest OTC painkillers. Ibuprofen, naproxen, and other over-the-counter drugs can momentarily lessen pain and inflammation.
Here are a few additional remedies for bunions that are more severe or painful:
- Use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications on prescription (NSAIDs). Prescription NSAIDs may be helpful if you have painful bunions as a result of other medical illnesses like arthritis.
- use specialized orthotics. These inside-the-shoe implants can ease discomfort and stop a bunion from getting worse.
- Opt for orthotic therapy or physical therapy. Exercises for strengthening the feet can increase mobility and reduce pain. By shifting pressure while you walk, orthotic therapy may help flat-footed people with lessened foot pain.
- Nonsurgical methods can lessen discomfort and edema while slowing changes to the foot bones.
- You could require corrective surgery if your bunions are limiting your ability to move about or treat chronic pain. Talk to your healthcare practitioner about the potential advantages and drawbacks before taking this course of action.
When is bunion surgery needed?
If any of the following apply to you:
- have attempted further nonsurgical remedies with little to no success
- enduring persistent swelling or excruciating discomfort when standing, sitting or walking around the bunion
- Having trouble fully straightening your big toe because it is becoming painfully crowded with the others.
- experiencing pain or a bunion deformity that makes walking difficult
- experiencing changes in quality of life or reduced mobility
- wanting to treat the apparent abnormalities brought on by the bunion
- The best course of action isn’t usually surgery, even if you have bunions. It can be wise to look into other solutions first if the bunions do not hurt or impede your gait.
- Consult a foot and ankle surgeon if you’re unsure. These medical professionals, who focus on treating foot disorders, can assess your condition and assist you in deciding whether surgery is appropriate for you.
Approximately 90% of patients who undergo surgery are happy with the results, though this percentage can vary depending on the treatment and bunion severity, among other things. Risks and problems associated with bunion surgery include:
- An excessive amount of correction could cause the big toe to stretch too much in one direction
- Inflexibility in the joints
- delayed recovery
- chronic discomfort or swelling
- Latex, pharmaceutical, or anesthesia-related allergies
- persistent bunions
- nerve injury
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