There are many different conservative (nonsurgical) treatment options for bunions. For many patients, these options can relieve pain and prevent the condition from worsening. A bunion is a progressive condition, though, which means it cannot be reversed without surgical intervention. (That also means the condition will continue to worsen over time if it is not addressed, so early treatment is very important!)
In cases where nonsurgical treatments fail to relieve your bunion pain—and especially when the pain of a bunion interferes with daily activities—it’s time for us to discuss bunion surgery together and determine if this is the right course of treatment for you.
When it comes to bunion surgery, there are a variety of different procedures we may use. The goal of these procedures may be to correct changes in either bone structure or the soft tissues supporting the affected joint, or to remove bone tissue. Depending on your case, we may recommend any of the following:
- Exostectomy – This procedure is rarely used by itself, and is centered on removing the bump from the big toe’s metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint where the bunion exists (found at base of toe). Most often, an exostectomy is performed in conjunction with osteotomy.
- Osteotomy – This bunion surgery uses small cuts in affected bones to help realign the MTP joint back into its natural position. Plates, pins, or screws may be used to fix the cut bone and keep everything in place.
- Arthrodesis – Whereas this procedure is commonly used for arthritic patients, arthrodesis is sometimes used in cases where previous bunion surgery has not provided the results we were hoping to achieve. In this case, joint surfaces are removed and plates, pins, and screws hold parts in place while the affected bones mend.
Other procedures include resection arthroplasty (removal of the damage part of the joint) and ones used to repair the ligaments and tendons that surround the big toe (to correct any imbalances in the affected joint).
In selecting the procedure (or combination of procedures) to correct your bunion, we take into consideration your age, activity level, and the extent of the toe deformity based on the x-ray findings. The length of your recovery period will depend on various factors, including the procedure or procedures we perform.
Our hope is always that conservative treatment will sufficiently address any symptoms, but you can have peace of mind in knowing that Eagle-Summit Foot & Ankle also provides exceptional bunion surgery procedures (when necessary). For more information, call our Frisco office at (970) 668-4565, our Avon office at (970) 949-0500, or contact us online today.