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Dr. Moy Q&A

A bunion is a protrusion of the bone of the great toe joint. It usually grows toward the mid-line of the body, pushing the big toe toward the smaller toes. Sometimes the extra bone growth is on top of the knuckle.

This enlarged bone can limit normal foot function and make wearing everyday shoes uncomfortable or even unbearable. Without treatment, bunions often continue to grow and become more painful.

Bunions develop over a period of years. They are initially caused by inherited bone structure, and may be further irritated by shoes. People of any age can develop bunions. Reshaping the great toe knuckle at the earliest signs of bunion formation can minimize inevitable discomfort and add to the quality of life of the patient.

Links to information about bunions:

Perhaps you know someone who has had bunion surgery and needed a cast or crutches during recovery. In 1992, I created an out-patient bunion removal technique that minimizes pain and recovery time. Through a combination of precise bone realignment and delicate tissue handling, I’m able to surgically restore natural foot function without the need for a cast or crutches.

Patients receives intravenous sedation, not general anesthesia. This makes them sleepy and more comfortable so they will not feel the injection of local anesthetic which numbs the foot. Strategic portions of the bone are removed. The joint is realigned and the bone is secured with a screw that can remain in your foot. Tendons are repositioned to restore their optimal mechanical function and the bone is given a final polishing. The incision is closed using plastic surgery techniques and bandaged.

I recommend surgery on one foot at a time. Surgery takes about one hour. Including paperwork, preparation and post-operative care, patients can expect to be at the surgery center for about three hours.

  • Patients need to arrange for a ride home after surgery. Numbness lasts about 24-36 hours. Patients who follow post-operative instructions to take it easy rarely have any pain.
  • Patients go home with a comfortable Velcro shoe and can walk as soon as they get home. Patients can drive the day after surgery and return to work within one day to six weeks after surgery, depending on the demands of the job.
  • For two weeks following surgery, the bandage needs to be kept dry. A “shower shoe” is available at my office.
  • Two weeks after surgery, stitches are removed. Brief showers are fine but patients need to wait another week before prolonged immersion of the foot in water.
  • Light exercise is fine after suture removal as long as it is comfortable. Running activities can be resumed about six weeks after surgery.
  • The patient should wear the walking boot for four weeks.  At four weeks after surgery, patients can wear a loose, comfortable shoe. Dress shoes can be worn after another three weeks.

Patients can minimize their healing time by complying with post-operative instructions and limiting activity as recommended. Factors affecting recovery time for each individual include: severity of bunion, foot structure, tissue elasticity, general health, and age.

I have successfully performed bunion removal surgery thousands of times since 1992, and I am not aware of any patient who has experienced re-growth of their treated bunion. What’s more, I have patient testimonials on file documenting virtually pain-free surgery in 97% of cases. That’s based on patient feedback from every surgery since my office began requiring post-op feedback in the year 2000.

The cost of surgery varies based on the specifics of each unique foot problem. After your consultation with Dr. Moy he can determine the type and number of procedures required to correct the condition. The office will check with your insurance company to determine approximately what expenses you may incur. If you do not have insurance benefits your estimated cost can be determined after your consultation.

Insurance often covers podiatric services as medically necessary expenses. A patient’s insurance coverage may result in either full or partial payment for our services. We’ll gladly contact your insurance company to review your coverage and do our best to minimize your financial responsibility for the services we provide. Unfortunately some insurance companies will not provide you with any benefits for Dr. Moy’s office and may restrict you to a certain Doctor, Group of doctors, or a specific geographical area. In that case you may want to change you insurance policy or use a check or credit card. Remember our goal is virtually pain-free treatment… and that extends to your finances as well!

Please call the office at (949) 837-FEET (3338) to schedule a consultation for yourself, your family member or friend who may be experiencing foot pain.