If you suffer from bunions, you know that they can be unsightly and uncomfortable. While bunions don’t pose a serious risk to your health, they can make it difficult or even painful to exercise or do various physical activities. Fortunately, bunions are not an irreversible condition. You can get bunions removed with a bunionectomy. So, what is a bunionectomy?
We will answer this question a little later, but first, let’s look at what bunions are and how they occur:
What Are Bunions?
A bunion is a bony lump that forms at the bottom of the big toe. It can occur in either foot, typically due to many years of pressure and misalignment. This misalignment causes a visible bump on the interior side of the foot. At the same time, this misalignment forces the big toe to curve inward, pushing against the “long” toe. Bunions can make walking, running, or wearing certain kinds of footwear painful. They can also lead to feelings of “stiffness” in the joints of the big toe.
As previously mentioned, bunions do not present a serious risk to your health. However, they do change the shape of your foot. For many, bunions are unsightly and make their feet look deformed. In addition to the visual change, most people with bunions experience mild-to-severe pain and stiffness in the affected area.
What Causes Bunions?
The type of shoes one wears, arthritis, and even genetics have all been suggested as causes for bunions. If you wear tight shoes or shoes that put pressure on your toes, the bones of the toes can become misaligned over time. This is especially common for people who wear tight-fitting walking shoes, high heels, or pointed-toe shoes. If you do not wear shoes that give your feet and toes room to breathe, you’ll gradually see a shift in the bone alignment. Eventually, the issue could turn into painful bunions. In other cases, bunions can also be caused by injuries, your genetics, or conditions like arthritis.
Can Bunions Be Treated?
In short, yes, bunions can be treated. Changing shoes is one of the best ways to prevent or even lessen the severity of a bunion. Special padding in your shoes and painkillers can also reduce the symptoms of bunions, however, none of these solutions can completely reverse the condition. If you want to permanently fix one or more bunions, you will need a bunionectomy.
What Is a Bunionectomy?
Technically, there are three different forms of bunionectomy or “bunion removal.” The first is the osteotomy, in which your surgeon will surgically fracture the metatarsal, and realign the joint in your big toe. The second procedure is the exostectomy, in which your surgeon will simply shave down the bunion without adjusting the bone alignment. Finally, the arthrodesis will require your surgeon to replace your joint with screws and metal plates to correct the misalignment.
At Northwest Surgery Center, a bunionectomy is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure to correct the malalignment of the bones in the big toe. Instead of making a large cut and fixing your bunion with screws and metal plates, we do the whole process through a small opening of less than an inch. At our surgery center, you will receive a local anesthetic in your foot or ankle to alleviate pain during the procedure. Our process ensures that you will be able to walk out of surgery with minimal time off work. Plus, your recovery time will be measured in weeks, not months like in traditional surgery.