EmergeOrtho—Blue Ridge Region’s Foot & Ankle team is committed to integrating the latest innovations, technologies, and surgical techniques into their specialized orthopedic treatment centers. Minimally invasive bunion surgery—a leading-edge approach to addressing the discomfort and limitations caused by bunions—is currently offered to patients by Blue Ridge Region specialist Dr. Andrew Butler.
Dedicated to adopting innovative advancements to achieve optimal outcomes, Dr. Butler’s patient-first approach makes education and support a top priority, guiding his patients through every step of the surgical and recovery process.
What Is a Bunion?
A bunion, medically referred to as “hallux valgus,” is a common foot ailment that appears as a bony protrusion at the bottom of the big toe. Bunions develop gradually due to a misalignment of the joint at the base of the toe, causing the big toe to angle toward the other toes. This misalignment often leads to friction and pressure against your shoes, which can result in pain, inflammation, and limited mobility.
Symptoms of Bunions
Though symptoms can vary with each patient, some commonly occurring symptoms include:
- Pain and discomfort: Individuals with bunions frequently experience pain, particularly when walking, wearing tight shoes, or standing for prolonged periods. The pain can range from mild to severe, affecting daily activities and overall quality of life.
- Swelling and inflammation: The area around the bunion may become swollen and inflamed due to constant pressure and friction.
- Reduced range of motion: As a bunion progresses, the ability to move the big toe freely may be limited, leading to reduced flexibility and function.
- Corns and calluses: The continued rubbing of a bunion against your shoes can result in the formation of corns and calluses, adding to the discomfort.
Bunion Treatment Options
While nonsurgical interventions such as orthotic devices, specialized footwear, and physical therapy can provide relief for mild cases of bunions, surgical intervention is often recommended for more advanced cases. Among the surgical options available, minimally invasive bunion surgery has emerged as a breakthrough solution.
Benefits of Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery
Minimally invasive bunion surgery, also known as laparoscopic bunionectomy, is a significant advancement in bunion treatment. Unlike traditional open surgery, which involves larger incisions and longer recovery times, foot surgeons use tiny incisions and specialized instruments to correct the bunion.
Performed on an outpatient basis, the benefits of this procedure are numerous and include:
- Smaller incisions: The procedure involves smaller incisions, resulting in minimal scarring and reduced risk of infection.
- Faster recovery: Patients typically experience shorter recovery periods compared to traditional surgery, enabling them to return to regular activities sooner.
- Less pain: Smaller incisions and reduced tissue disruption contribute to less pain after the surgery and during recovery.
- Preserved joint function: Minimally invasive techniques allow for more precise correction of the bunion while preserving joint function and stability.
- Less scarring: Because the incisions are smaller, there is less noticeable scarring on the foot.
- Reduced risk of complications: The less invasive approach minimizes the risk of complications such as infection.
Recovery From Less Invasive Bunion Procedure
After surgery, our surgeons provide a recovery plan tailored to your specific situation. While recovery timelines can vary based on the severity of your bunion and your overall health, our patients usually recover over a period of weeks:
- Immediate post-surgery period: As an outpatient procedure, you will be discharged on the same day as the surgery, with pain medication and instructions for proper wound care.
- Early weeks of recovery: We generally advise our patients to keep weight off the operated foot. Wound dressings may need to be changed and follow-up appointments are scheduled. As weeks progress, you can put more weight on your foot. Physical therapy exercises may be recommended to increase mobility and strengthen the foot.
- Long-term recovery: Over the months following surgery, you can gradually return to your regular activities. Specialized footwear may be recommended to support your foot while healing.
Regular follow-up appointments with your surgeon are important to monitor progress, address any concerns, gauge your healing, and make any necessary adjustments to your recovery plan.
Patients who have undergone bunion surgery under Dr. Butler’s care get the benefit of his meticulous approach, comprehensive pre-operative assessments, and personalized treatment plans. If you are experiencing any pain or limitations from bunions, you owe it to yourself to get the best treatment available. Learn more about Dr. Butler and schedule an appointment today to find out how he can help you Emerge Stronger, Healthier, and Better.