Scott Biggerstaff, MD
Bunions, which are foot deformities of bone and soft tissue, appear as a large bump where first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint meets the foot. They can be highly painful and irritating for people who have them. Known scientifically as hallus valgus, a bunion makes the big toe point excessively towards the smaller toes. People with bunions frequently have foot pain and significant functional disability.
For many people who cannot find relief from nonsurgical treatment methods, bunion surgery becomes necessary. Surgical candidates include patients who can’t walk more than a few blocks without foot pain, cannot bend or straighten their toe, or whose big toe is constantly red and painful.
Traditional bunion surgeries have included bunionectomy, osteotomy, exostectomy and arthrodesis, but we now have a minimally invasive surgical option to offer patients called PROstep™ , a minimally invasive surgical technique developed by Wright Medical. The procedures are performed with a percutaneous 3-5mm incision (smaller than traditional incisions), and osteotomies are made with a rotating burr instead of a micro sagittal saw.
What are the benefits of a minimally invasive bunion surgery?
A smaller incision means faster recovery, less pain, less swelling and a quicker return to weight bearing. Patients generally take less pain medication, have a lesser risk of infection, less soft tissue disruption, and smaller scars.
On the surgical side, the surgeon is better able to get correction through the bone rather than soft tissues, which vary from person to person.
This type of surgery is carried out with assistance from Bunion X-ray to allow for visualization of the bony structures.