Bunion Surgery Relieves Pain, Helps Increase Physical Activity

10/22/2003

Survey results show satisfaction with outcomes

For immediate release

Watch a video about this bunion surgery survey on YouTube.

Media contact: Mark Forstneger
(773) 693-9300
forstneger@acfas.org

Patients say bunion surgery relieves pain, helps increase physical activity

Survey results show satisfaction with outcomes

(CHICAGO - October 22, 2003) There’s good news for anyone considering bunion surgery. A survey found more than 90 percent of patients who had the procedure say they experienced significant pain relief, increased their physical activity, and would recommend it to others.

The patients surveyed by the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons (ACFAS) had surgery performed by a foot and ankle surgeon to correct bunions within the past 6 to 24 months.

“Sometimes, those who can benefit from the surgery avoid it and continue to endure pain because they have heard that surgery doesn’t work and is excessively painful,” said Kimberly Eickmeier, DPM, FACFAS, a foot and ankle surgeon with Christie Clinic in Champaign, Ill.  “The truth, as evidenced by the survey results, is that advanced surgical techniques have allowed us to effectively correct bunion deformities with excellent outcomes in terms of pain relief and improved quality of life.”

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 90 percent said they would recommend bunion surgery to others. 

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 pressure 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.

One survey respondent, Joann Morini of Windemere, Fla., returned to an active schedule as a club tennis player following surgery to correct severe bunions on both feet.  “The pain was so bad I couldn’t walk normally or wear decent looking shoes. Playing tennis, of course, was impossible,” said Morini.  “After surgery, I couldn’t believe the improvement. The pain was gone and I was able to play tennis again about two months after surgery.  Looking back, I regret waiting so long to have the surgery done.”

For more information on foot and ankle health, or to find a foot and ankle surgeon in your area, visit FootHealthFacts.org, the ACFAS consumer Web site.

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