Are Bunions Covered By Insurance?

The cost of bunion surgery varies depending on the type of surgery, the location of the procedure, your health insurance or Medicare coverage, and other factors. In most cases, if your bunion pain is causing physical limits and your podiatrist deems surgery medically essential, insurance will pay the procedure. However, the amount your insurance will cover is determined by the plan you have.

What happens if you leave a bunion untreated?

A bunion is a noticeable lump on the side of the big toe that usually develops as a result of repeatedly wearing ill-fitting shoes or applying extended pressure to the joint at the base of the foot. Some people are more prone to bunions than others, depending on the form or size of their feet. While there are some home cures that may help with large and minor bunions (bunionettes), surgery is usually the best solution.

A bunion can lead to arthritis if left untreated, especially if the big toe joint has undergone substantial, long-term damage. Bunions can cause cartilage to degrade in the joint. Bunions can be treated surgically, but arthritis and the likelihood of chronic pain are not. Interventional therapy techniques, on the other hand, may be able to alleviate discomfort.

Crossover toe is another issue that people may have if they do not seek the necessary surgery. The second toe lies on top of the big toe when you have crossover toe. While an uneven foot structure is usually the cause, an untreated bunion puts you at a higher chance of getting crossing toe.

These are just a handful of the risks that patients face if they don’t get the surgery or treatment they require. In addition to the heightened dangers of this condition, the quality of life may suffer. Bunions are known for worsening with time, which can result in a variety of issues such as toes rubbing against each other, causing pain while walking, or the difficulty to wear shoes that fit.

You’re more likely to acquire other illnesses and pain if your bunion is inflamed. Please do not hesitate to contact one of our orthopedic surgeons who specialize in foot and ankle operations if you would like your bunion assessed and surgically removed.

Is bunion surgery medically necessary?

If you have severe foot discomfort that persists even when walking or wearing flat, comfortable shoes, you may need bunion surgery. When rest and medications fail to relieve chronic big toe irritation and swelling, surgery may be required.

Toe deformity, a drifting in of the big toe toward the tiny toe, and an inability to flex and straighten the big toe are all indications for surgery.

Your healthcare professional may prescribe bunion surgery for various reasons.

What age should you get bunion surgery?

When it comes to treating bunions in the big toe, I’m always hesitant to make snap conclusions (Hallux valgus). In fact, I prefer that my patients exercise prudence so that all of the facts are laid out and understood. Consider two patients: C, who is in her sixties, and F, who is in her twenties.

C was on the mend after her second surgery on her opposite big toe. She ran into obstacles again, but was not deterred from continuing. Healing required time due to slow healing, a tiny wound infection, and edema. When we eventually got to the stage when everything was fixed at 10 weeks, I was overjoyed. All of the rules were adhered to, but that was simply the way things were. Most patients do well, and being sixty or older isn’t a concern as long as medical health is in order, which C’s was.

F was a charmingly self-reliant young lady. She wanted both feet treated for a minor abnormality, but she also wanted to fly to Australia 8 weeks after surgery. This increased the chances of a blood clot. We can reduce the danger by minimizing alcohol on the flight, taking a 75mg aspirin, and wearing flight socks, but not by exposing the wound to Australian sun. First and foremost, you must understand that if both feet are operated on at the same time, you will be DISABLED! Depending on how well you do, this might last 2-6 weeks. Reoccurrence? Yes, being under 30 is riskier, but it’s not impossible. You can have surgery at any age, but 35-45 is still the greatest age for me in terms of risk and optimism.

How long do you have to be off work for bunion surgery?

You can take actions to prevent bunions from returning after bunion surgery. Wearing tight-fitting shoes is one of the most common causes of bunions. Be warned that resuming the usage of a too-tight shoe may result in the recurrence of bunions.

Additionally, if the bunion was caused by a pronated (flatter) foot type to begin with, an orthotic may be useful in preventing recurrence.

If your bunion is caused by equinus (tight calf muscles), stretching may assist.

If you have painful bony bumps called bunions, your doctor may propose bunion surgery. Bunions can be treated surgically to relieve pain and restore foot function. The majority of patients who have bunion surgery recover quickly and can return to their normal activities in six to twelve weeks.

Is removing a bunion painful?

There are over 100 procedures for bunions, and many procedures may be performed at the same time. The following are some of the most common surgeries:

  • Exostectomy or bunionectomy – These operations entail removing a portion of the metatarsal head, which is the hump that protrudes from the toe joint and causes the bunion.
  • Realignment operations — As a bunion grows, the big toe commonly turns in, which is a major source of pain. To reduce pain, realigning bones (osteotomy) or ligaments helps restore toes to their original position.
  • Fusion procedures – A fusion surgery helps to alleviate discomfort by preventing movement between two bones. The following are two common bunions fusion surgeries:
  • The joint between the metatarsal bone and the mid-foot is fused using the Lapidus method.
  • Implant – An implant surgery includes replacing a broken toe joint with an artificial joint, either partially or completely.

How long does bunion surgery take?

The length of time it takes to have bunion surgery is determined by a number of factors, including the type of surgery you’re having and whether you’re having numerous treatments done at the same time.

The surgery itself will usually take an hour or longer, but you’ll need to stay at the hospital or surgical center for a few of hours before and after. Bunion surgery is normally performed as an outpatient treatment, which means you’ll be able to go home and recover the same day.

Is bunion surgery painful?

The surgery isn’t painful in and of itself. Your foot will be numbed with a local anesthetic so you won’t feel any pain. In addition, you will be given a sedative to help you relax.

Do bunions worsen with age?

The majority of people with bunions have one or more of the following symptoms:

Bunions affect women more than men, owing to their proclivity for wearing high heels and tight shoes. Bunions can also affect adolescent girls between the ages of 10 and 15, but this is uncommon. The foot bones are squeezed into an unnatural shape over time, causing damage to the structure and pain. It’s also common knowledge that as we age or gain weight, our feet widen, worsening existing problems or triggering the development of bunions.

How can I shrink my bunions naturally?

  • Wide shoes with a low heel and a comfortable sole are ideal. Bunion discomfort is usually eased by wearing wider shoes with enough toe room and other easy therapies that release pressure on the big toe.

What is considered a severe bunion?

Bunions are minor at first, but they tend to develop worse over time (especially if the individual continues to wear tight, narrow shoes). Because the MTP joint bends with each step, the larger the bunion becomes, the more painful and difficult it becomes to walk.

A bunion that has progressed can drastically affect the appearance of the foot. The big toe may angle all the way under or over the second toe in severe bunions. The big toe’s pressure may push the second toe out of alignment, causing it to collide with the third toe. Where the toes rub against each other, calluses can form, creating further discomfort and trouble walking.

Why is bunion surgery so painful?

A successful bunion surgery outcome should indicate that the patient is feeling better and that their function has improved. Furthermore, the patient should be permitted to wear any shoes they wish, even high heels. A good bunion surgery will also allow the patient to walk and return to work relatively fast following the procedure.

If you’ve had bunion surgery and are still in pain or your bunion has relocated, you may benefit from’revision’ surgery. The term “revision surgery” simply refers to a change or revision of a previous procedure. The purpose of revision bunion surgery is to obtain the above-mentioned positive outcome. This type of surgery is difficult to perform and necessitates a great deal of training and experience. The foot anatomy and relationships between the various sections must be carefully evaluated, as well as the patient’s radiographs and any other imaging. Before arranging the proper operation, the foot doctor or surgeon should have a thorough understanding of the patient’s activity levels and job description.

Following bunion surgery, many patients experience pain under the second and third toes at the ball of the foot. This type of pain is frequently associated with physical exertion and might be scorching, agonizing, or throbbing in nature. There is also swelling there at times. This form of discomfort is known as ‘transfer metatarsalgia,’ which simply means that the pain has been transferred from the bunion to the area beneath the ball of the foot; the pain persists even after surgery. This pain often occurs after bunion surgery because the great toe bone was reduced a little too much during the bunion correction. During walking, the form of the foot is altered, and the patient’s weight shifts to the next toes. The bones in the second and third toes were not built to bear so much of the body’s weight, and they react with pain as the tissues around them stretch out and compress. A revision bunion surgery would restore normal foot balance through a difficult process of extending the relevant bones to address this issue.

Surgery is a serious decision that should not be taken carelessly. However, if a patient has had surgery and is still in discomfort, a consultation is necessary to assess whether revision surgery is warranted. Even if you’ve already had surgery, there are surgical and non-surgical methods that can help relieve bunion pain.

Dr. Meredith Warner is a fellowship-trained, board-certified foot and ankle orthopedist in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Dr. Warner is dedicated to providing her patients with an accurate diagnosis as well as a complete treatment plan to help them return to a pain-free lifestyle. Dr. Meredith Warner specializes in the treatment of orthopedic difficulties, including chronic back, neck, and foot pain, reconstructive surgery of the foot and ankle, arthritis, diabetes, hammer toe, bunion, wound care, work injuries, fitness and nutrition, and osteoporosis.

Can bunions be reversed?

Bunions are a type of degenerative foot deformity that will only worsen over time. Orthotics and splints can help with foot placement, foot function, and pain relief, but they cannot reverse or prevent the development of a bunion. Surgery is the only technique to permanently repair a bunion.