There are two words that are often used to describe bunions: “unsightly” and “annoying.” However, for some people, bunions can be so much more than a cosmetic nuisance: they can cause severe pain, which eventually results in gait problems and throws off the entire foot off balance, thereby increasing one’s risk for injuries.
If your bunion is causing you significant pain, your podiatrist (foot doctor) may first address the problem using nonsurgical modalities. However, if these methods fail to adequately ease the symptoms, surgery may be necessary.
Your podiatrist (foot doctor) will carry out a complete assessment of your bunion to determine the appropriate surgical intervention for you. Your doctor may recommend any of the following procedures.
If your bunion has caused the soft tissues around your big toe to become too tight on one side and too loose on the other and consequently created an imbalance that has pushed your big toe toward the others, your podiatrist may perform soft-tissue repair (ligament and tendon repair).
The goal of the procedure is to restore balance to the soft tissues surrounding the bunion. A ligament and tendon repair is often performed along with an osteotomy.
In this procedure, your podiatrist makes small cuts in your bones and uses pins, plates, or screws to maintain alignment and position. As mentioned, this procedure may be performed in combination with soft-tissue surgery (ligament and tendon repair), and the goal is to ensure excellent big toe alignment.
There are two types of osteotomy:
- Proximal osteotomy – This is ideal for patients with bunions that are extremely large and that have pushed the first toe and second toe out of alignment as well as for patients with mid-foot spacing issues.
- Distal osteotomy – This is often recommended for people with large bunions but whose toes remain in relatively good alignment.
A bunion can form as a result of arthritis. In such case, your podiatrist may recommend arthrodesis, which involves them fusing the first metatarsal bone with the adjacent toe bone. To hold the surfaces together until the bones heal, your podiatrist either uses metal plates and screws, or inserts a pin into the bones and attaches it to an external frame.
Also known as bunionectomy, exostectomy involves your podiatrist removing the characteristic bump at the toe joint. Exostectomy is typically carried out as one part of a larger corrective surgery, which includes osteotomy and soft-tissue repair, since the procedure per se does not realign the joint.
A resection arthroplasty involves your podiatrist removing the damaged portion of the joint, thereby increasing the space between the bones and creating a “scar” joint.
A major drawback of this procedure is that it limits how the big toe works, and thus, it is often reserved for older patients for whom other procedures are not appropriate or for people who have lower physical demands.
Bunion Treatment near me in South Texas
There is no need to live with bunion pain any longer. In South Texas, your go-to is one of our very own board-certified podiatrists here at The Podiatry Group of South Texas. Our providers are renowned experts in the field, so whatever type of bunion surgery they deem is suitable for you, you can trust our team to help you achieve the best possible outcome.