Experience Less Post-operative Discomfort With Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery

By: Gen Wright

Most people think bunions and other foot problems mean painful hospital surgery or a lifetime of orthopedic shoes. However, podiatrists have developed specialized instruments which allow them to work through smaller openings in the skin. This results in less pain and swelling, and a nicer cosmetic result and faster recovery. With minimal incision bunion surgery, you can return to work and normal activities quicker than with conventional surgical methods in the vast majority of cases.

Bunions: What are they and What Causes Them?

Often referred to as hallux valgus, bunions are one of the most common forefoot problems. A bunion is a painful enlargement at the big toe joint where the first metatarsal bone drifts away from the other metatarsals. The big toe goes the opposite way, towards the other toes. This causes the big toe joint to stick out and rub against your shoes. It is possible that the big toe will eventually lie under or over the second toe. Some signs and symptoms of bunions include:

* Inflammation
* Swelling
* Pain in the area of the big toe joint

Bunions occur more often in women than men and can be aggravated by fashionable shoes. Bunions can develop from abnormal foot function as well diseases such as arthritis. Bunions can be aggravated by wearing inappropriate footwear that does not fit properly. High heels and pointed shoes can cause your bunion to worsen to the point where surgery may be necessary.

What is Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery?

Minimal incision bunion surgery is based on the same sound biomechanical and surgical principals as conventional surgery. However, podiatrists have developed specialized instruments which allow them to work through smaller openings in the skin. With this surgery, there tends to be much less soft tissue trauma and less post-operative discomfort. The minimal incision bunion technique is usually performed in an office setting with local anesthesia. You can read a book or magazine, listen to music, or watch TV while you are being treated for your bunion.

The procedure is typically painless due to local anesthetic. When the local anesthesia wears off, there is usually very little post-operative discomfort and most patients can return to work and normal activities quicker. Many people may not need anything stronger than Aspirin or Tylenol. Casts and crutches are typically not required with minimal incision surgery. Instead, an adhesive tape and gauze dressing is used for four to six weeks.

Prevention is Key

The best relief from bunions is prevention, and that means giving your feet a break from high heeled shoes. If a bunion begins to form, soaking feet in warm water can provide temporary relief in the early stages. To minimize your chances of developing a bunion, do not force your foot into a shoe that doesn't fit. Improper fitting shoes can aggravate bunions and foot pain. Choose shoes that conform to the shape of your foot. Custom orthotics may also be helpful in slowing the development of the deformity and relieving the pain.

If you already have a bunion, it is important to wear shoes that have enough room as to reduce pressure on it. When a bunion progresses to the point where walking becomes difficult and conservative treatments aren't effective, you may need surgery. A consultation with your podiatrist in Toronto will be needed for further diagnosis and to develop a proper treatment plan.

Sheldon Nadal, a podiatrist in Toronto, has been treating bunions through minimally invasive procedures since 1980. He has also contributed a chapter on bunion surgery which was published in an orthopedic foot surgery textbook recently in order to share his knowledge and experience with other podiatrists. Your Toronto podiatrist can treat and suggest ways to alleviate and prevent your bunion pain. Remember, pain in your feet should not be ignored.

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Sheldon Nadal, DPM, podiatrist in Toronto, has been in private practice since 1980. His goal is to bring permanent relief for a wide variety of foot problems using the most up-to-date technology, while keeping his patients as comfortable as possible. Nadal offers an array of treatments for Toronto bunion sufferers.

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