Frequently Asked Questions

Foot Surgery FAQ’s
When deciding on an appropriate physician to treat a foot disorder or injury, keep in mind that a podiatrist is more likely to have the knowledge, training and skills to provide the highest quality of care possible due to his or her specialized training in the care of the foot and ankle.
Foot Surgery FAQs: About Podiatry

Many podiatric physicians have from one to four additional years of residency training to study foot care and surgery in addition to completing four years of medical school. Podiatrists continue their education when in practice, learning new techniques and procedures and keeping up with recent developments in the field.

Podiatry FAQ’s

What is a Bunionectomy?2019-09-25T11:21:54-05:00

A bunionectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove a bunion. It gets rid of the boney bump that sticks out from the base of the big toe. In the surgery, the doctor will realign the big toe back to its natural position.

Also see our blog post, What is a Bunionectomy?

What is minimally invasive surgery?2019-09-25T11:23:46-05:00

In minimally invasive foot surgery, a small incision provides access to the surgery site. The entire procedure is performed through an incision of about 1/4″ long.  At the conclusion of the surgery, a single stitch closes the opening and a small bandage is applied over the incision.  Compare types of surgeries here.

Why is minimally invasive surgery better?2019-09-25T11:25:29-05:00

Minimally invasive means minimal pain, plus there are many more advantages over the traditional method of open bunion surgery.

90 minutes after you arrive at the surgery center, you can walk out of surgery and drive yourself home.  You will also have minimal pain throughout the process and recovery.  There is a quick recovery time because this is outpatient surgery.  As long as you have a job that does not require you to be on your feet all day, you don’t have to miss any work.

Minimally invasive surgery uses a local anesthesia so you stay conscious throughout the surgery.

We apply a small cut, not a large incision.

Minimally invasive surgery causes less damage to the tissue of the body because there is less dissection of the layers of the body. This means quicker walking and shorter recovery times.

Here’s a detailed blog post.

What are some of the the advantages of minimally invasive surgery?2019-09-25T11:27:54-05:00

Minimal pain

90 minutes after you arrive at the surgery center, you can walk out of surgery and drive yourself home.

Quick recovery time

Outpatient surgery

Walk out of surgery

Drive yourself home

Don’t miss work

Local anesthesia – Stay conscious throughout.

We apply a small cut versus a large incision.

This smaller incision results in: less bleeding, less scarring, less pain, reduced use of narcotics, fewer complications including reduced risk of infection, less trauma to the muscles, nerves and tissues.  Compare Surgeries Here



Is this a new type of surgery?2019-09-25T11:29:46-05:00

It has now been over forty years since the original pioneers began the development of this art. As their development progressed, they found that it was rarely necessary to incapacitate their patients. Painful bunions, heel spurs, contracted toes and hammer toes have been corrected by this new technique and the patients remained ambulatory (mobile). Compare Surgeries Here

What is a bunion?2019-09-25T11:32:26-05:00

A bunion is a foot deformation that causes the big toe to angle toward the other toes while a large bump appears on the inside of the foot at the big toe joint.  It is also known as Hallux Valgus.  It is caused when ligaments tendons and muscles become out of balance.  They can be removed with a simple, fast outpatient procedure similar to going to the dentist.

A bunion removal procedure is called a bunionectomy.

What is an arthritic bunion?2019-09-25T11:34:37-05:00

An arthritic bunion is when the big toe stays straight and bone spurrs form around the main big toe joint causing pain whenever the big toe moves, especially when under pressure like when walking.

See Also: What is a Bunion?

What is a tailor’s bunion?2019-09-25T11:37:13-05:00
A tailor’s bunion is a bump that forms on the outside of the foot where the pinkie toe joins the foot.
Why should I treat my bunion?2020-02-27T16:30:09-05:00
Left untreated, your bunion will progress and affect other parts of your foot. A bunion will most likely affect the alignment of your other toes as a result of pressure from the affected toe. Toenails may begin to grow into the sides of the nail bed; toes may develop corns or become bent (hammer toes).
What type of surgery do I need?2019-09-25T11:46:36-05:00
A proper diagnosis by a qualified professional will determine the specific procedure that is appropriate for your condition.
There are two main types of foot surgery: minimally-invasive and open.  Open foot surgery creates long incisions to access the surgery site, which damages large areas of soft tissue.  Minimally-invasive foot procedures access the surgery site thru a small cut about 1/4 inch long.  The outpatient procedure with local anesthetic is similar to a dentist visit.
How long does the surgery take?2019-09-25T11:50:25-05:00
Minimally invasive bunion surgery generally takes 30-45 minutes to perform, depending on the specific procedure. The patient will usually be in the surgery center for about 90 minutes, from start to finish; which includes the preoperative preparations and postoperative recovery.  Traditional open bunion surgery usually takes longer.
Is there much pain?2019-09-25T11:52:49-05:00
If the patient follows the postoperative instructions including elevation and icing of the operative area, the pain is kept to a minimum. Patients are given pain medication to take as needed, however, many of our patients are not medicated following the surgery.
When can I drive?2019-09-25T12:09:48-05:00

Driving is allowed immediately after the operation and walking is okay as long as it is not overdone.

When can I go back to work?2019-09-25T12:29:59-05:00

Depending on the type of work you do, you may be able to go back to work after surgery on the same day.  If you have to be on your feet a lot at work, you may need to be off of them more than usual.

How long will I wear the post op shoe?2019-09-25T12:35:11-05:00

In a simple bunionectomy, the postoperative shoe is worn for a week. In a more complicated bunionectomy, including surgical fractures, the shoe is worn for up to five weeks.

See Also:

Will I miss work?

Bunion Surgery Recovery Time

What if I’m from out of town?2019-09-25T12:37:49-05:00
We treat patients from across the country and want to make it as easy as possible for people outside of our immediate area to consider Northwest Surgery Center. We even have partnerships with local hotels to provide discounted rates to patients.

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