Minimally Invasive Surgery for Bunions

Reviewed by: Justin Robbins, M.D.

Bunions, also known as hallux valgus, are bony deformities that occur at the inner aspect of the big toe. This deformity can begin to cause discomfort and mobility issues, impacting daily life for many individuals. Fortunately, advancements in medical technology have introduced minimally invasive bunion surgery as an alternative to traditional methods. In this blog, we will receive details of the minimally invasive bunion surgery, its benefits, and what patients can expect from the procedure.

What is minimally invasive surgery for bunions?

Minimally invasive surgery for bunions is a surgical approach aimed at correcting bunions with less tissue damage and a quicker recovery compared to traditional bunion surgery. The procedure allows for the correction of a patient’s bunion through small incisions as opposed to one or two large incisions. Although the incisions are smaller, the bones will still be cut and metallic hardware will need to be placed in order to hold the bones in the correct position to heal and correct the patient’s bunion.

How does minimally invasive surgery for bunions work?

Minimally invasive bunion surgery employs specialized techniques and instruments to correct the bunion deformity. The procedure is conducted through 4-5 small stab incisions where the surgeon will use a water-cooled burr to cut the patient’s bones. Using this water-cooled system helps minimize tissue trauma compared to traditional bunion surgery where large incisions are made, and a saw blade is used to cut the bone.

Once the bone has been cut and the bone is shifted into alignment, the surgeon will use screws to stabilize the bone to maintain its corrected position during the healing process. These screws are inserted through small incisions. This process will potentially allow for a quicker postoperative recovery and less scarring. In many cases, patients are able to bear weight immediately.

When is minimally invasive surgery for bunions necessary?

Physicians will deem surgery necessary when patients have exhausted all conservative treatment options such as medications, altered their activities, and/or wearing wider-toe box shoes; if these measures fail to provide adequate relief and the patient’s symptoms persist or worsen over time, surgery may be necessary. It’s important to note that not all bunions are suitable for minimally invasive surgery, and the decision to pursue this approach will vary from patient to patient.

Benefits of Minimally Invasive Surgery for Bunions

Minimally invasive bunion surgery offers several benefits. Below is a list of potential benefits of the procedure:

  1. Faster Recovery: Minimally invasive techniques typically allow patients to return to normal activities sooner compared to traditional surgery.
  2. Reduced Pain: With smaller incisions and less disruption to tissues, patients often experience less pain during the recovery process.
  3. Minimal Scarring: The smaller incisions used in minimally invasive surgery result in less noticeable scarring compared to traditional methods.
  4. Improved Cosmetic Outcome: Minimally invasive techniques can lead to a more aesthetically pleasing result, with smaller scars and less tissue trauma.

Ultimately, the choice to have minimally invasive bunion surgery depends on factors such as the severity of the bunion, individual patient preferences, and the expertise of the surgeon. It’s essential to consult with a qualified orthopedic surgeon to discuss the available options, potential risks and benefits, and determine the most appropriate approach based on your specific needs and circumstances.

What to expect after minimally invasive bunion surgery?

After bunion surgery, it’s normal to experience a range of sensations and feelings as your body begins the healing process. As long as the patient has good bone quality, patients are often able to walk immediately on their heel for the first 2 weeks in a surgical shoe that is given to them after surgery. They are then transitioned to weight-bearing on their entire foot at 2 weeks after surgery once their stitches are removed. Typically, 6 weeks after surgery, patients are back in regular athletic shoes. Low-impact activities like walking, biking, or elliptical can be started. It is normal for patients to experience swelling between 6 months to 1 year after surgery, but this approach allows patients to return to their normal activities with greater comfort and mobility.

What does recovery look like?

The recovery process will vary from patient to patient. When recovering from bunion surgery, whether traditional or minimally invasive, patients should expect postoperative pain, swelling, bruising, as well as activity restrictions. Though this approach allows a faster return to full weight-bearing on the foot and minimal loss of motion of the big toe as the joint itself is not affected during the surgery; the recovery process will require patience, adherence to postoperative instructions, and proper care to ensure optimal healing. It’s essential to follow your surgeon’s personalized recommendations and guidelines for the best possible outcome. While the immediate postoperative period may be challenging, knowing that you’re taking steps to address the underlying issue can bring a sense of hope and optimism for the future.

If you are considering bunion surgery, the Foot and Ankle specialist Dr. Justin Robbins at TSAOG Orthopaedics & Spine can help diagnose your condition and provide treatment options to deal with your pain. TSAOG offers experienced providers to help aid in your care that include in-house x-ray, casting, and physical therapy. Schedule an appointment using our self-scheduler today.

How Long Does Hip Replacement Surgery Take? – Duplicate – [#39338]

Replacing an important joint like the hip is no small matter and tends to spark a lot of questions among patients. Thoughts of anesthesia or pain are some of the first things that come to mind of patients. Because of this, one of the most common questions patients ask before going into surgery is “how long does a hip replacement surgery last?” While this kind of procedure seems daunting, in actuality, hip replacement surgery is relatively quick with an even faster recovery time than most would expect.

How long does hip replacement surgery take?

So how long does a hip replacement usually take? For most patients, it can be completed in under two hours. Multiple factors play into how long you will be on the operating table such as health factors and severity of a patient’s condition. The type of surgery you are having plays into how long it will take. An example of this is a patient having a full hip replacement versus a partial hip replacement. In terms of recovery, most patients who go into a hip replacement surgery can go home, and even walk on their leg, that same day. It can take about four to six weeks after physical therapy before patients start to get back to daily activities.

What happens before a hip replacement surgery?

Before you even enter the surgery room, your doctor and medical team will have prepared you with everything you need to have a successful recovery period. This can include getting certain equipment or DME before the day of your surgery. Items like canes and shower chairs can make a huge difference in your quality of life while you are recovering. Another thing that your doctor will discuss with you is your physical therapy plan. Doctors always want you in the best shape possible before you go into surgery. So they may have you complete a few physical therapy exercises before you go into surgery to strengthen muscle groups to help advance your recovery time.

What happens on the day of a hip replacement surgery?

To make sure your surgery goes as smoothly as possible, make sure to arrive on time for your scheduled appointment. From here, you will meet with our surgical center staff who will review and sign any day-of-surgery paperwork, take your vitals, and get you dressed for surgery. Your doctor will meet with you one last time to review the surgery and answer any last-minute questions you may have before entering the operating room.
The surgery itself starts with an incision made near the groin of the patient. This allows the surgeon access to your femur (thigh bone). From here, your surgeon will prep both your acetabulum (hip socket) and femur with artificial components called prostheses. These components will act as your new ball and socket joint that makes up your hip. After testing the joint to make sure it is functional, your surgeon will close the incision with sutures.
Once your incision has been closed off, you will be moved into post-operative care while the effects of the anesthesia wear off. During this time your medical team will continue to monitor your vitals and check your surgical wound for any abnormalities. In most cases, once you have regained full consciousness and your medical team has made sure that you are capable and ready for transportation, you will be able to go home that same day.

What happens after a hip replacement surgery?

One of the most important things to improve your recovery time after a hip replacement is to follow the physical therapy plan laid out by your doctor and physical therapy team. During the first few days after your surgery, you may experience some pain or discomfort. It is especially important to follow through with your exercises at this time to strengthen the muscles around your hip. If you avoid doing your exercises or stay off your leg too long, you may have a prolonged recovery time. It is also important to follow up with your doctor after your surgery and let them know how your recovery process is going. If you have any concerns about where you may be during your recovery, make sure to consult with either your doctor or physical therapist to see the best results. If all goes according to plan, by the end of your physical therapy plan, you should be able to complete your normal daily activities with a low level of pain.

The overall goal of a hip replacement is to improve the quality of life of the patient who receives it. This is carried out through the entire medical staff every step of the way from prep to recovery.

If you feel that you are a candidate for a hip replacement, call or schedule an appointment today with a hip specialist to discuss your diagnosis and treatment options at TSAOG!