Bunions are common foot deformities that can pose a significant problem to those who have them. Surgery is a sure way to deal with this condition, and there are a few different types of bunion surgery that doctors commonly perform. Before you undergo the bunion correction procedure, be sure to inform yourself about these techniques.
What Is Bunion Surgery Exactly?
Bunion surgery, or a bunionectomy, is a common procedure used to fix bunion deformities, and it can be done with a few different kinds of procedures, depending on the severity of the case. A bunion (or hallux valgus, as it’s medically called) is a bony bump at the base of the big toe, on the inside of the foot – the place where the toe meets the foot, which is called the metatarsophalangeal joint. In some cases, the bump can form on the outside edge of the foot as well. Usually, fixing a bunion involves repositioning the big toe in order to relieve the symptoms caused by this protrusion.
Who Needs to Have Bunion Surgery?
So, who needs bunion surgery? Patients who need bunion surgery are usually those who experience unpleasant symptoms that interfere with their everyday activities. However, you can undergo this procedure even for strictly cosmetic reasons – but in that case, don’t expect your insurance to cover it. When it comes to symptoms that cause people to seek medical attention, the most common problem is pain that prevents the patient from walking or running. Sometimes, even wearing certain shoes can be uncomfortable.
In other cases, the bunion can be painful and swollen even after rest or taking pain medication. The occurrence of a rigid big toe, called hallux rigidus, is also quite common. Lastly, it’s important to note that a bunion can evolve over time, making the protrusion bigger – this can lead to the big toe drifting towards the second toe or even crossing over. If you feel like your symptoms affect your day-to-day life, the surgery will help you get rid of them once and for all.
What Are the Most Common Types of Bunion Surgery?
Once you finally decide that you want to have this surgery, you will come in for a consultation with your doctor, who will examine you and decide the course of action. There are three most commonly used techniques for removing bunions, and your doctor will choose the one that best suits your particular case.
Exostectomy is basically “shaving off” the bunion – that means your surgeon will remove a part of the metatarsal head, which is the part of the bone that makes the protrusion. This technique can sometimes be combined with osteotomy in order to reposition the toe. However, exostectomy can be used only for mild cases of bunions, and it’s rarely done nowadays.
Osteotomy refers to realigning bones so they can be returned to their normal position. The process is simple – the surgeon makes a few small incisions on the bones and then realigns them using screws and pins. This procedure is the most commonly used out of the three techniques described here.
Arthrodesis is a bone fusion technique. This procedure is usually performed on patients who have arthritis – the arthritis inflammation can sometimes lead to bunions. Your surgeon will remove parts of the big toe joint that are affected by inflammation. After this joint resection, screws will be placed in the toe to keep the bones in the correct positions while they heal. This kind of procedure is reserved for the most severe cases of bunions.
What Is the Risk of Bunion Surgery?
As with any other surgery, bunion correction involves some risks. However, this is a simple outpatient procedure that rarely leads to complications, but it’s still good to be informed about all the possibilities. Obviously, your doctor will inform you about everything when you come in for a consultation. Here are the most common risks related to bunion surgery:
- Infection of the incision site,
- Prolonged pain,
- Stiffness or weakness of the big toe,
- Issues related to wound healing,
- Nerve damage,
- Recurrence of the deformity.
Consult With Your Surgeon About the Different Types of Bunion Surgery
Detailed research about bunion surgery is always a good idea before you decide to undergo this procedure. Obviously, your doctor will tell you everything you need to know, but it’s still good to have some idea of what you should expect. When you come in for a consultation, the doctor will explain the risks and benefits of bunion removal, as well as the types of surgeries that are an option for you. After a careful physical examination, your doctor will decide how to proceed with your treatment.
If you want to ensure you have the best medical professionals by your side, don’t hesitate to reach out to Luxe Foot Surgery clinic. We have a team of excellent professionals who will give their 100% to ensure you get the proper care and treatment. Contact us to book your first appointment – you can do this by filling out an inquiry form on our website or by calling our office.
What Type of Bunion Surgery Is Best?
It’s best to have minimally invasive bunion surgery because it’s less painful and has a shorter recovery period. When it comes to the technique that’s used, it all depends on the particular case. Your doctor will tell you what the best fit for you is.
What Is the Newest Bunion Surgery?
The newest type of bunion surgery is called Lapiplasty, and it’s considered a minimally invasive bunion surgery. This procedure can correct all three shifts in the metatarsal bone that can lead to the forming of bunions.
What Are the Side Effects of Bunion Surgery?
The most common issues that can occur after bunion surgery include infection of the incision site, pain/weakness/stiffness, inflammation, wound healing issues, nerve damage, and recurrence of the deformity at a later time.