Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery
Traditional bunion surgery involves making an incision exposing the painful bump at the base of the big toe in order to perform cuts in the bone to realign the big toe and first metatarsal. Results are generally favorable with the majority of patients experiencing relief in pain, an easier time with shoewear, and high rates of satisfaction. Unfortunately, recovery after a traditional bunion surgery can take months. Swelling and residual pain can last a prolonged period of time although this generally resolves with most patients back into shoes by twelve weeks.
Previous attempts to minimize incisions were less successful and the procedures from the past were largely abandoned. Over the last decade, there has been a resurgence in the use of minimally invasive techniques to treat bunions. A greater understanding of the deformity associated with a bunion, innovations in implants and instrumentation, and learning from the mistakes of the past have resulted in high patient satisfaction with rapid return to normal activities often times cutting the recovery in half compared to traditional bunion surgery.
What is Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery?
If you are considering surgery for a painful bunion, a minimally invasive surgery can reliably address the appearance of the foot as well as the pain associated with the deformity.
Using a series of nick incisions (usually around 2mm in length), cuts in the bone can be performed using live x-ray to allow visualization of the surgery without the need for a large incision. The incisions often times don’t require sutures for closure.
What Can I Expect After Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery?
Generally, people who have a minimally invasive bunion correction will be allowed to walk the day of surgery. The surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure and patients are often discharged from the hospital in under 3 hours.
At two weeks a postoperative visit will allow your doctor to evaluate your foot. In the majority of people, shoewear can be advanced to regular shoes as pain allows. By six weeks the majority of patients are back to all shoewear and can often participate in low impact exercises such as yoga, pilates, elliptical training, and exercise bike. By twelve weeks many patients are back to higher impact activities such as running, and tennis.
Scars are minimized with this technique and many people cannot even see where the surgery was performed.