Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery
Our feet take a tremendous amount of stress every day. Then, if we wear shoes that are too narrow, they take even more of a beating. If this continues for too long, there is a chance that the structure of your foot will change. For some, this change is minimal. For others, they can develop painful bunions that begin to affect their quality of life. Surgery can correct this issue, but traditional methods could be quite invasive. Recent progress in technique and technology have allowed us to develop minimally invasive bunion surgery. Dr. Stein provides cutting-edge procedures designed to keep you on your feet.
What is a Bunion?
A bunion occurs when the joint of your toe deviates from its natural alignment. Individuals who suffer from joint conditions are more vulnerable to developing them. From a visual perspective, a bunion appears to be a bony lump on the outside of your foot. Often, swelling or redness might radiate from the affected area. Physically, you will likely feel discomfort or even severe pain from the misaligned joint.
They typically start by affecting either the big toe or the pinky toe. If left unchecked, they can begin to affect the joints of your other toes, making the situation even more complicated.
What Makes Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery Special?
Traditional methods involved cutting and reshaping the bone itself within your foot. The results addressed the problem, but you could risk significant scarring and a long recovery process. You could be off your feet for weeks or even months! And it doesn’t end there. Often, you would need to undergo physical therapy once you’ve healed. However, this method is still very important. Some bunions are so extreme that bunionectomy is the only way to treat them.
With minimally invasive bunion surgery, you can restore your foot’s alignment without large incisions. The recovery time is quicker, yet you still see amazing improvements.
We can still remove the bunion, but your foot is not opened. Instead, we make tiny fractures that allow us to realign the bone to its original position.
What Does the Procedure Look Like?Traditional surgery would require a general anesthetic. With a minimally invasive approach, local sedation is enough to keep you comfortable throughout the process. Dr. Stein then makes small fractures are key locations along your bone. Each area is targeted purposefully to allow him to move the bone over and straighten it. We then carefully wrap your food in a soft cast. For patients with minor bunions, you might even be able to walk that same day! However, we still advise taking it easy and giving your foot time to heal fully.
Recovery and DowntimeSince this procedure doesn’t open your foot, you won’t need any metal plates installed. This alone cuts down the recovery period. Your exact recovery period will vary depending on the size and severity of your bunion. However, many patients will be able to return to work right away. If your job requires you to be on your foot for long periods, you might want to take some time off so that you can heal properly. We also advise that you don’t do any extreme activities for several weeks. You will be able to walk and go about your daily routine, but heavy lifting or exercise should be avoided. You will still need to wear special footwear designed to facilitate healing. However, most patients can return to wearing normal shoes within six weeks.
Am I a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery?This procedure is best for bunions that have not had too much time to progress. At the first sign of a bunion, we recommend scheduling an appointment and learn about your treatment options. Waiting longer will only decrease your chances of being a candidate for minimally invasive bunion surgery. Some signs that you should seek this treatment immediately include:
- Pain is centered in the affected toe.
- The bunion has not yet spread to other toes.
- You see a small but noticeable change in the alignment of your big toe.