Scarless Bunion Surgery Versus Traditional Bunion Surgery

A bunion is an unsightly deformity of the foot which causes the bone of the base of the big toe to protrude outwards. Some individuals believe that a bunion is actually growing and that the bone slowly grows larger and larger.

 Well, it is true that the bunion gets larger with time, but the bone doesn’t really grow, it is actually the joint that is slowly protruding outwards making it look larger. It is common to find the big toe overlapping the second toe due to extreme protrusion of the joint.

Now when it comes to this point, when the bunion becomes too large, the only way to effectively treat and alleviate the pain associated with this type of bunion is thru surgery. Below is a comparison between a traditional bunion surgery versus a new technique called minimally invasive bunionectomy or scarless bunion surgery.

Traditional bunion surgery

In traditional bunion surgery, it involves a 5 to 7 cm incision to expose the affected joint. Then the bony protrusion from the first metatarsal is removed.  Next, the first metatarsal bone is cut near the head joint so that it can freely move to be aligned to adjacent metatarsal bones. The big toe is also straightened to the first metatarsal and adjacent toes. After realigning, the cut portion of the first metatarsal is pinned. Then the first metatarsal and the second metatarsal are pulled together using the Syndesmosis procedure.

This procedure can be done by local, spinal or general anesthetic. A patient can expect swelling and pain after surgery and it takes around 6 to 8 weeks of recovery time during which crutches are required for mobility.

Minimal Invasive or Scarless Bunion Surgery

Minimally invasive or scarless bunion surgery is a new technique in removing bunions. This involves a very small incision, only 5mm. With the aid of live x-ray, the surgeon cuts the bone behind the head of the first metatarsal and carefully aligning the foot. Then a pin is inserted to immobilize the joint, which will be removed after 4 to 5 weeks. This procedure is virtually painless and there is very little discomfort and swelling after surgery. Recovery time is very short, taking only 2 to 3 days or even less depending on the patient’s tolerance.

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