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Family Foot Care & Surgery, LLC

Decision Time: Should Your Teen Have Bunion Surgery

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Taking care of your family’s health means sometimes you have to make tough choices for your kids’ welfare and comfort. Warm, nice spring weather means teens are back outdoors and being active, so your son or daughter is more likely to develop problems that cause foot pain, including adolescent bunions. These forefoot deformities make wearing shoes and enjoying activities very difficult for your teen, so of course you want to take care of it. In some cases, this may lead you to consider bunion surgery for your son or daughter.

Bunion surgery is a big step for anyone. It can involve significant restructuring in the forefoot and a long recovery time, depending on how serious is the bunion deformity. Bunion surgery for kids tends to be considered more risky than the procedure for adults, too. Pre-teens and teenagers are still growing. Their bones haven’t finished developing and hardening yet, which makes the procedure more difficult.

Since surgery involves realigning and possibly cutting bones to fix the deformity, growing bones have a big impact on both how the procedure is done and whether or not it will be successful. This also means adolescents have a higher risk for another bunion re-forming later in life. Because of this, bunion surgery for kids and teens is never performed for cosmetic reasons—it’s reserved for serious and painful deformities.

Noninvasive options are always tried first. Conservative methods are usually very successful for mild bunions. They can both relieve pain and stop the problem from worsening. Shoe changes, orthotics, and other methods are specialists’ go-to treatments. Only if your adolescent has a bunion that isn’t responding to these treatments, and prevents him or her from participating in activities or wearing normal shoes, is surgery considered an option.

You don’t have to make the decision about bunion surgery alone, of course. Our team of experts at Family Foot Care & Surgery, L.L.C. will examine your son or daughter’s lower limbs and help decide on the best course of treatments. Just use the website to make an appointment. You can also call us directly: (203) 288-4055 for Hamden, CT, or (203) 876-7736 for Milford, CT. 

Dr. Sanjay V. Patel
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Dr. Patel has over 30 years of experience in the field of podiatric medicine and podiatric surgery.
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