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Patients say Bunion Surgery Relieves Pain, Helps Increase Physical Activity

Survey Results Show Satisfaction with Outcomes
There's good news for anyone weighing the pros and cons of bunion surgery.  More than 90 percent of
patients who had the procedure done say they experienced significant pain relief, increased their physical activity, and would recommend the procedure to others, according to the findings of a multi-state patient satisfaction survey conducted by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS). The patients surveyed had surgery performed by a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon to correct mild, moderate or severe bunions within the past 6 to 24 months.  
A bunion is the result of undue stress on the big toe joint, which causes a protuberance of bone or tissue around that joint.  Bunions can be very painful, inhibit normal walking, and make it difficult to fit into some shoes.
Contrary to popular belief, bunions are aggravated, not caused, by tight shoes.  They usually are due to inherited faulty foot mechanics which put abnormal stress on the front of the foot.  Pain is the primary reason patients seek medical attention for bunions. A majority of bunion surgeries are performed on women because they wear tight-fitting, high-heeled shoes that worsen the underlying foot problem and cause abnormal stress to the joint.  
Ninety-six percent of the survey respondents identified pain relief as a desired outcome of the surgery, and 86 percent also said they hoped to improve their walking and increase their physical activity following surgery.  On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 representing much pain, the survey respondents averaged a score of 7 when assessing their pain before surgery, and the average score dropped to 2 when they assessed their pain six months after the operation.  Ninety-two percent said they were able to increase their physical activities -- walking, golf, tennis, exercise -- and 89 percent said they would recommend bunion surgery to others.  These results should be good news for anyone suffering with a painful bunion who was advised to have surgery, said Timothy C. Ford, DPM, FACFAS, a podiatric foot and ankle surgeon with the University of Louisville, Department of Orthopedics, Division of Podiatry.  Sometimes, those who can benefit from the surgery avoid it and continue to endure pain because of myths or preconceived notions that surgery doesn't work and is excessively painful. The truth, as evidenced by the survey results, is that surgery effectively corrects bunion deformities and patient outcomes are excellent in terms of pain relief and improved quality of life, Ford added.
A complimentary brochure, Bunion Deformities and Treatment is available by calling the ACFAS toll-free number, 888 THE FEET, or on the Web at www.acfas.org.