A bunionectomy is a surgery 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.

Types of Bunionectomy

  • Open-Foot Bunionectomy
  • Minimally Invasive Bunionectomy

There are different severities of bunions and different patient goals. Most bunions fall into the mild/moderate category or the ones that are best treated minimally invasive. A bunion is like a car tire off alignment (it wears out more quickly). The joint will wear out more quickly. It becomes arthritic the longer you wait to have your bunion fixed – so I suggest fixing it when you think about it before it hurts!

There are hundreds of bunion procedures. Almost every doctor trains to fix a bunion with an open-foot surgery.

What is Open-Foot Bunionectomy?

They usually perform traditional bunion surgery at a hospital, putting you to sleep with drugs and a breathing tube.

First, they make a long incision either on top or on the side of the big toe joint. Then, removing everything between the bone and the skin from the bone. Surgeons cut the bone, destroy the joint, and realign it. After this, plates, screws, wires, or they use other hardware to keep the new alignment in place. Then, the surgeon sews the different layers of skin back together.

Most doctors have their patients stay off of their feet for two weeks, up to three months! Typically, patients wear a cast or a boot that goes up to your knee. Usually, you will wear this for four weeks to three months. After this, patients will need to have physical therapy or possibly custom inserts for your shoes.  The patient may need to do several things to get back to moving again after not walking normally for up to three months.

How is minimally invasive bunion surgery different?

First, they perform the surgery without putting patients under anesthesia. Doctors use a local numbing agent, like Novocain before a dental cavity procedure, instead.

Next, they make three tiny incisions to fix almost all of our bunions. The incisions are small enough that doctors can close them with one small stitch. Then, they make a small fracture in your bone to realign it and shift it over. The doctor will wrap your foot up in a soft cast, using gauze. Because of this, you can walk out of the operating room. You can go back to work right away.

A Minimally Invasive Bunionectomy is the most current and most efficient surgery to get rid of bunions. It has many advantages over traditional open-foot surgeries.

Advantages of Minimally Invasive Bunionectomies:

  • Walk out of surgery– because of the small incisions, and the local numbing agent that the surgeons use, you will be able to walk out of the surgery the same day.
  • Drive yourself home – because there is no drug used to put patients under, there is no risk of them falling asleep after the surgery. This means that they can safely drive themselves home following the surgery.
  • Almost no pain – with the small incisions, there is not a lot of damage to the tissue around the surgery site. This means that there is a lot less pain.
  • No pins, plates, or other hardware – this procedure does not use hardware to correct the bunion. This is another reason patients have less pain with this surgery.
  • Almost no scarring – with the small incisions, they require a lot fewer stitches. This means that there will be very little, to no scarring compared to the other surgery.
  • No sedation – they use drugs used to numb the site instead of general anesthesia. This saves the patient from the after-effects of drugs that put patients under, like sleepiness and confusion.
  • Can be done according to patients’ demand – there is no need for a lot of tests before the surgery because patients are not going under for the procedure. Also, because this is a less intense surgery, they can be performed faster, so surgeons can do multiple bunion removals during their day.

Most preferred technique:

A Minimally Invasive Bunionectomy has become the preferred surgical technique to get rid of bunions.