The latest low-down on Bunion surgery

May 24, 2022

Dr. Kevin MacIntyre is a specialist foot and ankle, fellowship trained, Orthopedic Surgeon who has performs minimally invasive bunion surgery. He says, when your bunions are causing you pain, or the deformity is worsening, it is time to get help.

Pain is the primary indication to operate on bunions. When pain impacts activities of daily living, and even wearing shoes becomes painful, it may be due to the deformity itself, or a shift in the mechanical axis of the foot. The problem is a drifting of the big toe towards the lesser toes, with pain under the second toe due to excessive pressure, or pain on the eminence of the big toe itself. We call this transfer metatarsalgia, and it is often accompanied by intractable callous growth.

Dr. Kevin MacIntyre who is based at Busamed Gateway Private Hospital, says wearing tight and narrow shoes might cause bunions or make them worse and is also a reason for recurrence after correction decades later. Certain arthritic conditions and alignment disorders also cause bunions to occur.

We have two approaches to the treatment of bunions. Non-surgical and surgical treatments.

Non-surgical treatment includes conservative management, such as the use of splints, inner soles, and the use of pain killers. The idea is to unload the pressure on the sole of the foot, under the second toe. It may be able to hold back the deformity for about 6 months.

The surgical treatment of bunions nowadays is no longer synonymous with big cuts and scars, but rather the use of a new technique called MIS, or minimally invasive surgery. Surgery is performed through small skin incisions or what we term “key holes” or portals. All surgery is done through these small holes. This means the wounds and trauma to the skin are small and the healing process is faster.

Dr. MacIntyre says “smaller cuts, mean faster recovery, with less pain and swelling. This has made the world of difference and changed the way we recover from operations.” Re-aligned bones are held in position with specialised screws embedded within the bones, and near normal walking is now possible as soon as 2 weeks after correction.

 

Dr. Kevin MacIntyre
Dr. Kevin MacIntyre

Orthopedic Surgeon