22 Mar Overview of different types of bunion repair in Arizona
A bunion or also known as hallux valgus is the enlargement of the bone or tissue surrounding the joint at the base of the big toe, or at the base of the little toe (called bunionette or tailor’s bunion). It occurs most commonly due to a stressed joint over a prolonged duration. 90% of bunions occur in women as they tend to wear tight and pointy shoes. It can also be hereditary, or a result of arthritis. Non-invasive treatment includes the use of splints to reposition the toes or the use of analgesics to provide pain relief. If unsuccessful, surgery may be suggested to relieve pain and correct deformity.
In general, if the bunion is not painful, surgery is not required. Many patients can slow the progression of the bunion with appropriate shoes and toe splints. Good candidates for bunion surgery commonly have significant foot pain that limiting routine activities such as walking. It may be hard for them to walk even in comfortable shoes without significant pain. Toe deformity with the tendency for the big toe to overlap over or under the index toe is also a factor contributing to surgery.
Other factors include toe stiffness, failure to obtain pain relief with multiple different footwear or analgesics (pain killers obtained over-the-counter). There are different types of bunion surgery including:
- Repairing tendons and ligaments surrounding the big toe – some cases have soft tissues that are too tight on one side and too loose on the contralateral side. Surgery corrects the imbalance and may need the combination of other procedures such as osteotomy.
- Osteotomy – small cuts in the bone are made to realign the joint and is fixed with pins, screws or plates. The bones are then straighter and joint is balanced.
- Arthrodesis – arthritic joint surfaces are removed and screws, wired and plates are inserted to hold the surfaces together until the bones heal. This procedure is commonly used for patients with severe bunions, severe arthritis or history of unsuccessful bunion surgery.
- Exostectomy – the bump is removed from the toe joint. This procedure alone is rarely used to treat bunions alone as it does not realign the joint. It is most often used in combination with osteotomy and soft-tissue procedure. Performed alone, bunions often reoccur.
- Resection arthroplasty – the damaged portion of the joint is removed, increasing the space between the bones and having a flexible scar tissue in the joint. This procedure is mainly used in the elderly, in those with previous unsuccessful surgery or severe arthritis that is not suitable for arthrodesis.
The type of surgery also depends on several factors including: severity of bunion, patient’s age, general health, activity level and condition of the bone and connective tissue. Risks of the procedure includes stiffness, numbness, swelling, delayed healing and infection. Other risks include recurrence of bunion, nerve damage and recurrent pain. Most patients experience pain reduction and improvement in the alignment. Length of recovery depends on procedures performed and subsequent proper shoe fit.
Oasis Foot and Ankle offers top treatment for patients suffering with all types of foot issues such as bunions, hammertoes, arthritis, fractures and more. The Phoenix podiatrists are experts in all of the various surgical options for bunions, and have developed minimally invasive options that involve very little blood loss.
Most insurance is accepted at Oasis, with all types of nonsurgical and surgical options available for bunions. Call today!