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Posts for category: Bunions

By Raymond A. DiPretoro, Jr., D.P.M.
November 03, 2014
Category: Bunions
Tags: Bunion Surgery   Bunions   Bunionectomy  

Bunion SurgeryMyths About Bunion Surgery

6 Myths About Bunion Surgery
A bunion is a structural problem of the big toe joint causing a boney prominence. Surgery is commonly performed to correct the problem.

Surgery for bunions involves more than just simply shaving the boney protrusion. It typically requires that the bones have to be structurally realigned. Milder bunions are corrected with bone cuts close to the big toe joint. Larger bunions typically need a more "involved" bone cut or a fusion procedure to completely realign the problem. It takes approximately six weeks for the bones to heal in the corrected position.

Myth #1: Bunion Surgery Is Excruciatingly Painful

Bunion surgery is not particularly "more" painful than other surgeries. Foot surgery, in general, can lend itself to increased pain post-operatively because the foot is below the level of the heart and blood can rush to the area, causing a throbbing feeling. Also, the foot does not have much soft tissue surrounding the bones, so moderate postoperative swelling can aggravate the nerves, causing pain. Most patients find that the postoperative discomfort is tolerable with pain medication. 

Myth #2: Bunions Come Back Even After Surgery

A majority of patients are satisfied with their outcome after bunion surgery. Recurrence is possible, but not particularly likely.  The return of a bunion is not necessarily a complication, but something that can happen over time. Some patients have excessive motion in the foot that may predispose them to the bunion coming back.  Another possible reason for recurrence occurs when a procedure that was performed did not best suit the severity of the particular bunion -- so it's important to have the surgery tailored for your particular bunion and to make sure your surgeon has had experience and successful outcomes with bunionectomey surgery. 

Myth #3: Bunion Surgery = Cast and Crutches 

While this was true years ago, more modern techniques have allowed surgeons to mobilize patients quicker. Mild bunions typically involve walking in a surgical shoe for six weeks. Surgeons consider casting with crutches with larger bunions because setting the bones is more complex. Some surgeons have moved away from bone cuts and instead perform a fusion procedure that allows for realignment of the entire deviated bone. This fusion procedure is called the Lapidus Bunionectomy, and contemporary approaches allow for early protected walking at two weeks postoperatively. This is a procedure that Dr. Raymond A. DiPretoro, Jr. is well-versed in!

Myth #4: You Have To Be Off Work

This is simply not true,!  A patient can return to a  desk job within two weeks of the surgery, and varies based on surgeon protocol and type of bunionectomy performed. Jobs that require excessive walking, standing and physical activity may require a medical leave of absence -- which can be up six weeks up to two months depending on healing and job requirements. Getting around can be difficult and driving may be off limits if you have your right foot operated on and/or drive a manual.

Myth #5: Don't Fix A Bunion Unless Painful

The concern with surgically correcting a non-painful bunion is that the surgery can result in longstanding post-operative pain that may not have been there prior. However, people do have surgery for non-painful bunions if the bunion interferes with activity, continues to become larger, or if they have difficulty wearing certain shoes and/or if the bunion is simply unsightly. Surgeons strongly prefer (or require) that patients have a painful bunion before they consider surgery. Fortunately, pain is the most common reason people seek treatment. 

Myth #6: Healing After Bunion Surgery Results In Unsightly Scars
Surgical healing is part of the process with any surgery, and bunion surgery is no different. Incisions can be minimized, or alternate surgical approaches may be used to hide surgical scars. Bunion incisions are either located on the top of the foot or on the side of the foot, and technique varies based on surgeon. A surgeon may perform a plastic surgery-type closure to keep scaring minimum. 
To learn more about bunion surgery visit the Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Inc. near you.  For your convenience, there are location in Wilmington, Newark and Glasgow, DE.  You can also find us online, or contact us by calling (302) 355-0056!
Photo Credit:  Leagun via

Bunion Surgery RecoveryYou’ve always wanted to do it. You’ve psyched yourself up. You’re ready to take the plunge. No we’re not talking about a polar club dive or jumping out of a plane; we’re talking about bunion surgery. This is it. You’re finally going to say good bye to the bump that’s been bugging you and causing you pain and embarrassment for years. Just remember this though—the key to recovering from bunion surgery successfully is knowing what to expect.

First off, recovery time depends on many different factors, including your age, general health and fitness level, and the severity of your condition. Procedures vary accordingly. For mild bunions, the enlarged portion of the bone is removed and tendons and ligaments realigned. Moderate bunions may necessitate cutting the bone and shifting it into position along with the tendons and ligaments. The severe variety entails a combination of these procedures, and an arthritic joint might even be replaced completely. Obviously, how quickly you recover is highly dependent upon the level of procedure you undergo. Dr. Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr. will explain the procedure you need and outline your expected recovery stages, so you can have peace of mind about your surgery.

Typically you can expect the healing process to take at least 6 to 8 weeks. During this time it’s important to keep weight off your foot and rest it. You can manage pain with icing and any pain reliever we prescribe. We will likely give you physical therapy exercises to help you regain strength and range of motion. Recovering from bunion surgery takes time and patience, but if you know what to expect on your road to recovery, you’ll reach your goal of pain-free days before you can say “bye-bye bump, it was not-so-nice knowing you!”

To learn more about bunion surgery, visit Advanced Foot and Ankle Center Inc. in Glasgow, Newark, or Wilmington DE. Dr. Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr. can help you decide if taking the plunge is right for you. Just call (302) 355-0056, and say good-bye and good riddance to your bunion now.

Photo Credit: Stock Photo via

By Raymond A DiPretoro Jr., DPM
June 05, 2014
Category: Bunions
Tags: Bunions   Footwear  

High Heels often Cause even more Bunion Pain.Woo-hoo! It’s shoe shopping time. What? You’re not excited? Come on, everyone loves buying new shoes. Unless, of course, you have a bunion. A painful bump on the joint of your big toe can really put a damper on a trip to the mall. No worries, though. Finding comfortable footwear that doesn’t rub you the wrong way can be a challenge, but if you know what styles to steer clear of, you’ll find the fun in shoe shopping again. Here’s a guideline for shoes to avoid with bunions:

Bring it on down. High heels like stilettos put pressure on your forefoot and squish your toes together. Think about it—if your big toe is forced against your other toes, your bunion will be sticking out even more, and that invites friction to the party. No one likes an uninvited guest, especially one that causes pain!

Platform wedges and high-heeled boots cause the same problems. As a rule, get used to your natural height. Other shoes to avoid with bunions are ones that are too narrow and don’t give your toes enough room to spread out and relax.

Finally, back away from that stiff style, too. You need to find footwear that is made of a stretchable, conforming material, like the new canvas shoes that are all the rage right now.

You can still be fashionable when you have a bunion if you follow these helpful tips. For more ways to keep your pain from getting worse, visit Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr., DPM, FACFAS, at Advanced Foot & Ankle Center. There are three convenient locations to choose from in Glasgow, Newark, and Wilmington, DE. Call (302) 355-0056 for a consultation today.

Photo credit: Gualberto107 via

By Raymond A DiPretoro Jr., DPM
June 02, 2014
Category: Bunions
Tags: Bunions   Exercise  

Pick Shoes that Fit Well to help with Bunion Pain.Is your big toe bringing you down? Don’t let that bump cramp your style. With some extra measures, you can stay active with bunions, really—you can.

Before slipping on your running shoes, there are things you can do that can help prevent the friction that causes bunion pain. Pick up a toe separator at your local drug store, place it between your big toe and second toe and tape it in place. This will keep your joint in a more normal position. Also, you can try these exercises that increase blood flow to your big toe joint:

Sit with your knee bent and foot flat on the floor. Keeping your heel in place, lift your foot and pull your big toe to the side, away from the others. Repeat 10 times. Pretty easy, huh?

From the same position (you don’t even have to get up!), raise your foot and curl your toes down toward the ground. Gently push down on each toe to flex them. Again, repeat.

The shoes you wear make a big difference too. Be sure to select a style of running shoe that fits properly and offers a roomy toe box. Lastly, adjust your steps so that you plant your midfoot, not your toes.

Big toes don’t need to give you the blues. With a little TLC, you can stay active with bunions. To find out more ways to manage that painful bump, call (302) 355-0056 and talk to Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr., DPM, FACFAS, from Advanced Foot & Ankle Center. You can also visit our website or a location near you in Wilmington, Glasgow, and Newark, DE.

Photo credit: hyena reality via

By Raymond A DiPretoro Jr., DPM
May 05, 2014
Category: Bunions

Wearing Sandals with BunionsWhen you have a bunion, it’s important to wear shoes that fit, but that doesn’t mean you have to skimp on style.  Keep that in mind when you go shopping for sandals this summer, because even if you have a bunion, there are plenty of styles out there that can work for you.  First, though, you need to know what to look for besides “cute.” 

Say you have your eye on those Roman sandals that are so trendy right now, but they look kind of narrow. Your solution is simple, just ask if they come in different widths.  A wider width will give your foot more room and put less pressure on your bunion, alleviating any pain.  This is true with size as well, so try on a size that is a little bigger than you normally wear. Fabric sandals are hot this summer, and that’s great, because sandals made of mesh or canvas provide more “give” and will stretch to fit more comfortably. 

Make sure the sandal you choose doesn’t have a pointy toe, either—that’s a definite no-no.  Pointy shoes squish your toes, and that puts painful stress on your bunion. Instead, look for squared, rounded, or open-toe options. A thick, supportive sole is also recommended.

If you know what to look for, you’ll have all kinds of options. Don’t let your bunions keep you from making a fashion statement this summer. Follow these tips and you’ll not only be comfortable, but stylish too!

For more information about what shoes are best for those with bunions, visit the Advanced Foot & Ankle Center today in Newark, Wilmington or Glasgow, DE, or contact Raymond A. DiPretoro Jr., DPM, FACFAS, online or by calling (302) 355-0056. 

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Newark, DE Podiatrist
Advanced Foot and Ankle Center - Neuroscience & Surgery Institute of DE.
774 Christiana Road, Suite #105, Newark, DE 19713
(302) 355-0056

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1415 Foulk Road, Suite #101, Foulkstone Plaza, Wilmington, DE 19803
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