Bunions are more than meets the eye
A big toe bent inwards with a hard growth at the joint sounds unsightly. But there are more severe consequences than cosmetic appearance. Bunions can cause acute pain that can affect gait and prevent walking for long distances. Persons with bunions also face swelling, redness, and difficulty moving the big toe. While researchers have not been able to pin down the real cause of bunions, many believe the condition is inherited. In most examples, ill-fitting shoes worn over long periods can speed up the process.
Turning to bunionectomy surgery
Bunion treatment varies based on the severity of the growth. Common treatment options include ice, medication, and special inserts to keep the natural shape of the foot. If non-surgical treatment fails, the doctor will recommend surgery. Once agreed, the surgeon will perform a bunionectomy. Bunionectomies are minimally invasive procedures, meaning small incisions are used as opposed to the longer ones in traditional open surgery. This means a faster procedure and a shorter recovery. To complete the operation, the surgeon makes small incisions to insert tools to access the bunion. The surgeon then removes the bursa and other growth at the joint before realigning the big toe.
Cutting it down to size with osteotomy
In some cases, a bone spur develops in the space left by the big toe. For severe cases like these, the surgeon may decide an osteotomy is the best course of action. Osteotomies aren’t limited to bunions. The process involves removing a bit of bone to realign or shorten a joint. The surgeon will remove some of the metatarsal bone. Removing the bone allows the surgeon to reposition the big toe. Screws then keep the shortened bone in place. The surgeon will also reduce or lengthen surrounding tendons and ligaments. There are many cases where the surgeon will perform both bunionectomy and osteotomy to correct the issue.
Get the best treatment for bunions today
Bunions are common, with 36% of persons forming the growth by age 65. Without surgery, some bunions can get worse. In the past, persons with bunions would avoid open surgery, which had a long recovery and large scars. Now minimally invasive procedures make bunion correction a smooth process. A doctor will perform surgery if the bunion is not responding to non-surgical options. Speak with a doctor or podiatrist today.