Hallux valgus surgery –– otherwise known as bunion surgery –– is a very common procedure. Millions of people suffer from the condition hallux valgus, and bunions can sometimes become so large and painful that surgery is required to remove them.
However, the nature of bunion surgery may vary on a case-by-case basis. Indeed, there are hundreds of bunion-related surgical methods, which can make it confusing for patients to find the best solution to their specific problem. Thankfully, we’re here to help.
If you’re suffering with bunions, here are the three basic choices you can make moving forward:
Avoid Surgery (Do Nothing)
Understandably, a number of individuals may feel hesitant to undergo hallux valgus surgery. What’s more, they may feel tempted to try out over-the-counter bunion treatment methods like bunion sleeves, cushions, or pads. Sadly, though, once a bunion forms, the only way to get rid of it for good is to have it surgically removed. Though over-the-counter treatments may offer some short-term relief, they won’t reduce the size of the bunion, nor will they address the root cause of bunion pain. Instead, bunions tend to only become larger and more painful over time.
As mentioned above, traditional bunion surgery can occur under a number of guises –– including procedures known as osteotomies, exostectomies, and arthrodeses. In general though, traditional bunion surgery starts with a large incision along the side or the top of the foot. From there, the bunion is removed, often with some pieces of bone as well. Many traditional bunion surgeries also require the placement of metal screws, pins or plates to realign the foot and hold the structure together after the damage caused by the surgery itself.
In terms of the patient experience, traditional bunion surgery can be extremely taxing. The procedure itself can be quite painful and many patients are forced to stay off their feet for at least two weeks after the surgery. Furthermore, they may require anywhere from six weeks to six months to fully rehabilitate their foot. Though traditional hallux valgus surgery may be effective, it’s not patient-friendly to say the least.
Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery
For years, patients suffering from hallux valgus could only choose between cumbersome, traditional surgery or soldiering on with painful bunions. Now though, minimally invasive bunion surgery allows patients the chance to deal with their bunions once and for all with minimal recovery. As its name suggests, minimally invasive surgery is an outpatient procedure that requires only a few very small incisions along the side of the foot to remove the bunion. In addition, most patients who undergo minimally invasive surgery are able to walk out of the operating room and drive home from the clinic on their own. (We use local anesthesia during this surgery.)
Recovery times are also dramatically shortened for patients who elect to undergo minimally invasive surgery. And foot scarring and residual pain are severely reduced when compared to traditional bunion removal methods.
People with bunions no longer have to suffer from daily pain or long recovery times as a result of traditional surgical methods. At Northwest Surgery Center, we use the most sophisticated minimally invasive techniques to ensure our patients’ health and happiness. Contact us here to learn more or to schedule a consultation ASAP.