People often say that bunion removal surgery is one of the most painful surgeries. It is the reason why so many people choose to delay fixing their bunions up until the pain is hardly bearable, or until they are left with one (or none) pair of shoes that feels comfortable. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. With minimally invasive bunion surgery, you can skip all the unpleasant side effects of bunion removal.
People that come to Northwest Surgery Center can be typically placed into one of the following categories:
- They’ve had problems with bunions for a long time, and they want them fixed right away
- They suspect they have bunions developing and they want to know what to do and when is the perfect time to fix it
- They have had unsuccessful traditional bunion removal surgery
How Is Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery Different Than Traditional Surgery
Traditional bunion surgery is performed using general anesthesia, which means you need to be put to sleep with medications. During the procedure, a long incision is made either on top or the side of the first metatarsophalangeal joint (MPJ/MTPJ). Afterward, everything between the bone and the skin is reflected, the bone is freed, removed and cut, joints are destroyed, and the joint gets realigned.
After the realignment, some internal hardware (screws, plates, and wires) is used to keep the new alignment in place. Layers of skin are sewn back, and bondage has to be put on. Patients usually need to stay off their feet for a couple of weeks, sometimes for several months. Also, physical therapy is often required to get you back on your feet again after not moving for such a long time.
Minimally invasive bunion surgery is performed without general anesthesia. The anesthesia we use at Northwest Surgery Center is quite similar to the anesthesia you get at your dentist – you are relaxed, you feel no pain, but you aren’t put to sleep. We only use three small incisions to fix almost any case of bunions. The bunion is removed through these three tiny incisions. Also, the doctor can make small fractures in your bone to realign it and shift it over.
Your foot isn’t opened or exposed, so no internal hardware is needed (no screws, plates, or wires). The doctor wraps up your foot in a soft cast and uses gauze and Coban as “external fixation.” It enables you to walk right out of the operating room. You can do pretty much anything right away, except for operating heavy machinery, jump or swim – swimming itself, in fact, might not even be a problem, but you need to keep the bandage dry.
When is a Good Time to Have Minimally Invasive Bunion Removal Surgery
You should not wait too long to have your bunion fixed. This is what Dr. Brant McCartan says about the best time to correct a bunion:
- When the bunion hurts, or before it starts hurting
- Before it gets bad or “too bad.” That’s before you have you start avoiding people seeing you barefoot and before you start accommodating shoes or avoiding physical activity because of the pain
- Before it starts affecting your other toes.
The most remarkable difference between traditional bunion removal surgeries and a minimally invasive bunion surgery is the recovery time. After a minimally invasive surgery, you can walk right out of the operating roomwith little to no pain.. There are no general anesthesia side effects; there is no lying in bed for up to three months. You can walk into the surgery center with a bunion, and walk right out of it bunion-free, just a couple of hours later.
Contact us for an appointment and free consultation. If you need your bunion problem fixed as soon as possible, we can make it happen. In some cases, it’s possible to have the procedure right after the free consultation.