Decision making before bunion surgery
To most people in the street, the bunion is a single entity. This means it is a deformity and thus follows the same pattern of treatment that all corrective bunion follows. Nothing can be further from the truth. When we wrote about mild and severe forms of bunion in the 1997 book, Clinical Skills, we were expressing a fact that some people suffered differently. So, what does it mean to a patient after surgery? Well put simplistically some patients can expect to have different size surgeries and that means recovery will vary. There are 2 major questions a patient should ask about before admission. A: How does surgery affect my recovery B: From a medical perspective, what complications should I be concerned about? A small concern may not mean that in the event of a problem occurring that it won’t have a major impact your life. Serious pain may only affect 0.25% of a clinician’s case load, but, if you are the person with that problem it may affect your life. Perhaps one should ask; if this happens can you fix it, or is it easy to fix? Don’t have surgery before a big holiday or event as you may have to cancel. Low or high risk? Don’t expect the surgeon treating you to answer this as he has no crystal ball. As we are talking about elective surgery it is important to weigh up a decision whether to embark on this course of management. A good consultant will never press you into an instant decision but hopefully will offer you all available or realistic options.