Is bunion surgery really that painful?

Mr Sam Singh | November 14, 2022 | Video

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Mr Sam Singh, lead foot and ankle consultant at Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust explores how surgeons minimise their pain after a bunion operation.

So, how painful really is bunion surgery?

Sam: So look, historically bunion surgery has always had bad press and it’s one of the few conditions, as we know, that runs in the family. So, people come to me saying ‘well, when my nan had it done in 1957, she was in agony and she was in hospital for two weeks’.

Now, the key thing is, that was a long time ago and things have moved on. So, today we do the surgery much more succinctly, much more quickly and much more efficiently, and patients are much more mobile - and in a lot less pain.

So, bunion surgery does hurt, but it hurts for only three to four days after the operation.

How long does the pain last?

Sam: So, bunion surgery does hurt, but it hurts for only three to four days after the operation. The first twenty four hours, which is the most painful, we give you a strong nerve block that numbs the foot. And because you have a numb foot you don't feel the pain.

Now, the pain does kick in after twenty four hours, but by then the surgical pain has already reduced anyhow. And also, we’ll give you strong pain killers so you get ahead of that pain kicking in. After three to four days it is very rare for patients to be taking anything beyond simple painkillers like maybe Ibuprofen or Paracetamol.

Mr Sam Singh, performs a range of other procedures in the foot and ankle for conditions such as: achilles tendon problems, Moreton's neuroma, plantar fasciitis, ingrowing toenail and sports injuries. He is deeply passionate about his work and puts patients at their ease within moments of meeting him.

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