This minimally invasive technique is designed to eliminate the painful bunion bump and return your toe to a normal position. During the procedure, Dr. McDonald makes series of three small incisions to correct the deformity. The incisions are just a few millimeters long compared to three- to five-inch incisions used in traditional open bunion surgery. Dr. McDonald performs the surgery under image guidance, which allows him to have “eyes inside” the foot. Because of its minimally invasive nature, recovery time is typically quicker than traditional bunion surgery.

6 Common Questions Patients Ask About Bunion Surgery

Bunions are an incredibly common foot condition, and although certain groups may be at a heightened risk for their formation, they can affect people in all walks of life. Because they are so common, bunions are an issue we treat with relative frequency at our clinic, and we’ve come to notice that many of our patients have similar questions about the surgical management of bunions. In today’s blog, we want to highlight some of the most common questions and provide answers so that you are more informed in the event that you need to have a bunion surgically treated.

Can a bunion be treated without surgery?

Most bunion specialists will work to avoid bunion surgery if at all possible, simply because surgery carries some additional risks. That said, a bunion cannot be reversed with conservative care, so you’re not going to be able to return your big toe joint back to its normal location without surgery. Some patients may find that conservative care reduces symptoms and prevents the progression of a bunion such that they are comfortable enough to avoid surgery, but since surgery is the only way to reset the big toe joint into the correct location, surgery is typically pursued for moderate and severe bunions.

How is bunion surgery performed?

Bunion correction surgery can be performed in a few different ways, but Dr. McDonald specializes in minimally invasive correction. He will make a few small incisions near the big toe joint and insert some specialized tools to correct the deformity along three planes, ensuring that total stability is restored. This type of correction also significantly reduces the likelihood that the bunion will return in the future. The entire procedure can typically be completed in 30-60 minutes.

Is bunion surgery painful?

Surgery itself is not painful because local anesthesia is used to numb the area prior to the operation. You will have some mild discomfort as the anesthesia wears off after the procedure, but we’ll walk you through some pain control techniques and set you up with anti-inflammatories or pain medications to help alleviate discomfort. Recovery will not be completely painless, but it shouldn’t be overly uncomfortable.

How long does it take to recover from bunion surgery?

Recovery from traditional bunion surgery typically takes 12 weeks, but minimally invasive techniques can have you back on your feet much sooner. Many patients are walking just a few days after surgery, and you may be able to return to a desk job around this same time. You can be back to normal walking in about six weeks, although return to high impact activity may take 3-4 months.

Will I have any restrictions after surgery?

You will have some standard restrictions during your recovery period that your surgeon will cover with you, but once you’ve finished your rehab, you shouldn’t have any physical restrictions. You should be able to run, wear high heels or return to athletic activities once recovery is complete.

Who should I choose for bunion surgery?

You should look for a surgeon who specializes in bunion surgery, and you should find someone who is confident in their ability to perform the correction using minimally invasive techniques. This ensures that you find someone with the experience and technical prowess to perform the correction and give you the best chance at a short and full recovery. In the greater Hartford area, we believe Dr. McDonald can be that provider!

For more information about bunion surgery, or to set up a consultation with a specialist about a different foot issue, reach out to Dr. McDonald and his team today at (860) 244-8889.

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