One of the aims of bunion surgery is to allow a better fit for most shoes. What shoes to wear immediately following the surgery is a different question, because a return to ‘normal’ footwear may not be possible until week 3 or 4 post procedure, and sometimes longer depending on the amount of swelling present.

Bunion surgery involves: Bone limiting joint motion and/or protruding from the joint is removed and the big toe is realigned. Usually, a bone cut is made to allow for realignment of the metatarsal bone. Tight soft tissues are released on the inside of the joint and loose soft tissues on the outside of the joint are tightened. A combination of bone and soft tissue procedures allow the big toe to be properly aligned. A pin is used under the skin to hold the bone in its new position. Occasionally these pins need to be removed although this is rare.

Dr Kim is also qualified to perform the minimally invasive(keyhole) bunion surgery in Brisbane and Gold Coast. Surgery is performed through several keyhole incisions(around 3mm) to minimise soft tissue damage and blood loss during surgery that allows a quicker recovery as well as a minimal postoperative pain.

The majority of bunion surgery is performed as day surgery and allows for immediate walking after surgery in a postoperative shoe. Although this shoe enables immediate walking, generally speaking, patients are required to elevate their operated foot for 15 minutes twice an hour in the first 3 weeks. This is important as it helps to aid in the reduction of swelling.

After the postoperative shoe is no longer required, the patient may return to ‘normal’ shoes – this does not include high heels and flip flops! The best footwear for patients in Brisbane and Gold Coast, particularly in summer, are supportive/rigid sandals, such as the Ecco or Naot range of footwear. A good footwear store, such as Footmaster or Sole Integrity, should have the correct shoe for those patients recovering from bunion surgery.

By – Dr Ji Soo Kim

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