What is involved in bunion surgery of the foot?
Bunions surgery is performed when conservative management of the symptoms and pains associated with these deformity’s have not helped.
There are many and varied types of bunion surgery with each surgeon having their own preferential techniques to manage each of the complexities that present with every foots differing biomechanics.
Common surgery types for Bunions:
Bunionectomy: In this procedure, your doctor removes the bump from your toe joint. Bunionectomy alone is seldom used to treat bunions because it does not realign the joint. Even when combined with soft tissue procedures, exostectomy rarely corrects the cause of the bunion. Exostectomy is most often performed as one part of an entire corrective surgery that includes osteotomy, as well as soft-tissue procedures. If a doctor performs exostectomy without osteotomy, however, the bunion deformity often returns.
Arthroplasty: In this procedure, your doctor removes the damaged portion of the joint. This increases the space between the bones and creates a flexible "scar" joint. Resection arthroplasty is used mainly for patients who are elderly, have had previous unsuccessful bunion surgery, or have severe arthritis not amenable to an arthrodesis (see above). Because this procedure can change the push off power of the big toe, it is not often recommended.
Tendon repair: In some cases, the soft tissues around the big toe may be too tight on one side and too loose on the other. This creates an imbalance that causes the big toe to drift toward the other toes.Surgery can shorten the loose tissues and lengthen the tight ones. This is rarely done without some type of alignment of the bone, called an osteotomy. In the majority of cases, soft tissue correction is just one portion of the entire bunion corrective procedure.
Osteotomy: In an osteotomy, your doctor makes small cuts in the bones to realign the joint. After cutting the bone, your doctor fixes this new break with pins, screws, or plates. The bones are now straighter, and the joint is balanced. Osteotomies may be performed in different places along the bone to correct the deformity. In some cases, in addition to cutting the bone, a small wedge of bone is removed to provide enough correction to straighten the toe.As discussed above, osteotomies are normally performed in combination with soft tissue procedures, as both are often necessary to maintain the big toe alignment.
Arthrodesis: In this procedure, your doctor removes the arthritic joint surfaces, then inserts screws, wires, or plates to hold the surfaces together until the bones heal. Arthrodesis is commonly used for patients who have severe bunions or severe arthritis, and for patients who had an unsuccessful surgery.
Global Rehabilitation Network
We provide a complete online program of 12 consecutive weeks of instructions on how to conservatively manage this injury
We provide a global network of therapists that can chat remotely via our Telehealth services to guide you through the process week by week for minimal cost.