Considering Bunion Surgery? NYC’s Most Highly Rated, Award Winning and Board Certified Podiatrist Says: Here’s what you should be asking yourself.
Conservative care can slow down the progression of a bunion and should always be attempted first. However, only surgical correction can permanently fix this condition. Eventually, a mild bunion deformity will progress into a moderate to severely sized bunion.
Bone takes 6-8 weeks to heal after surgery, which allows most patients to return to normal shoes in 6 weeks and resume more aggressive exercising at the 12-week point. Due to advanced hardware and improved surgical techniques, bunion correction is an effective way to alleviate pain associated with bunions and allow you to return to your extracurricular activities within a relatively short period of time.
In most cases, the answer is yes and much more comfortably than before surgery. There are many pumps and dress shoes that could be worn if it weren’t for the bump on the inside contour of the foot. With bunion surgery, the width of the foot will be reduced as the great toe joint is aligned, which will also allow for greater motion of the toe.
With bunions, there are 44 different surgical techniques to correct the deformity, and there is no consensus across the board amongst surgeons as to which technique is best. Please keep in mind that it’s not one size fits all with bunion surgery. Depending on the severity of the bunion, a correction occurs with a variety or combination of different methods involving bone shaving, bone cutting to realign and fixate the bone into its anatomically correct position, and/or bone mending by fusing the bone at the joint. The gold standard correction for bunions regardless of incisional approach is to cut, realign, and fixate the bone into its anatomically correct position.
Bunion surgery for minor bunion deformities can be attempted utilizing a minimally invasive bunion approach by making a small incision to either shave down the prominent bone and/or break the bone to shift it into its correct position, and then fixate the bone with screws through another small incision. Rather than visualizing the bone directly with the traditional open approach, your surgeon uses tactile senses and real-time intraoperative x-ray to visualize the bone cutting, realignment, and stabilization of bony segments. This approach has become increasingly popular because patients prefer minimal scarring and surgeons prefer to have happy patients. Having a smaller scar is clearly an advantage of the minimally invasive bunion technique and can be appropriate in some cases, however, the incision does not always create enough room for the surgeon to visualize what they are doing. Essentially, the surgeon is cutting and driving screws into the metatarsal blindly and relying on tactile feeling and X-rays. The aesthetic of a foot may look great after this procedure, but the x-rays may suggest otherwise. For this reason, at Gotham Footcare, your Doctor will have a thorough and in-depth discussion with you regarding which procedure will best accommodate your individual needs and expected outcomes.
Most surgeons will show patients before and after surgery pictures. Surgeons typically dont show their patients before and after x-rays. Next time you consider having foot surgery please ask your surgeon to show you not only before and after pictures but also some x-rays.
If your bunion is severe, minimally invasive bunion surgery may only address the aesthetic of your foot externally at the expense of creating an osseous deformity internally. Your feet are the foundation of your body; they are responsible for locomotion, balance, posture, and supporting the weight of your entire body. Yes, it is important to have pretty feet, but it’s more important to have pretty feet that function properly. Ask your surgeon why he/she is choosing one procedure technique over others.
At Gotham Footcare, the doctors favor traditional realignment of the bone, however, we understand the importance of minimal scarring. The surgeons are trained to create a minimally invasive incision on the side of the foot rather than the top to directly visualize the bone. They also implement plastic surgery techniques to ensure that the cut heals invisibly. Not only does this allow the surgeons to perform this procedure to the highest gold standard, but it also promotes minimal scarring, which is essentially a better version of minimally invasive bunion surgery.