Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery is a great treatment for bunions. But is Minimal Incision Surgery right for your bunion?
If you are considering Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery, here are a few of the things you want to know.
Traditional Bunion Surgery causes a big scar
One of the negatives of traditional bunion surgery is that it causes a big scar. It is possible to have a big scar after bunion surgery, but scarring can be minimized by using plastic surgery techniques. Not all traditional bunion surgery ends up with a big ugly, red scar – but, this could definitely happen. More often, though, after one year, the scar from Traditional Bunion Surgery is often hard to notice.
Since Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery creates very small incisions, often about 1/4 inch long, a big, ugly scar is unlikely.
Traditional Bunion Surgery reduces range of motion in the big toe joint
Any surgery around a joint can reduce range of motion – even Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery. Because Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery stays away from most of the joint surface, there may be less decrease in range of motion after surgery.
If you have decreased range of motion in the big toe joint before surgery, you are better off with traditional bunion surgery. Traditional bunion surgery has many more options to increase your range of motion and improve how you walk.
Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery is NOT for big bunions
This is true. Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery is designed to treat smaller bunions. The bigger your bunion, the less likely you will get a good result with Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery.
Minimize walking for 4 to 6 weeks after Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery
There are certain traditional bunion surgeries that are very stable and you can bear weight on your foot the same day. However, when a bone is cut and repositioned, you should be very cautious about walking after surgery.
Since Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery involves cutting of a weight-bearing bone, be very cautious about walking until the bone is healed.
Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery does NOT heal faster than Traditional Bunion Surgery
Unfortunately, this is true. The procedure most compared to the Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery is the Austin bunionectomy, also called the Chevron bunionectomy. The cut used during the Austin bunionectomy is much more stable than the straight cut used in Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery.
Since the Austin bunionectomy can be held in place using screws, the cut on the bone is much more stable than in Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery. The cut on the bone in Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery is held in place using a smooth pin. Because of the excellent holding power of screws compared to pins, bone healing is improved dramatically and range of motion of the joint can be started sooner.
Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery has less of a chance of infection
If Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery is performed in an operating room setting, then the potential for infection is reduced because the surgery time is shorter and the wound created during the surgery is smaller.
However, this is likely offset somewhat by the fact that Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery uses fixation pins, called K-wires. These pins stick out through the skin for three to six weeks. This means there is an opening in the skin and potential for bacteria to enter the surgery area.
During traditional bunion surgery with internal fixation, the wound is closed completely and allowed to heal.
In reality, the incidence of infections for both bunion surgery types is low.
Is Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery a long term solution?
There are approximately 65 different types of bunion surgery, but there is only one optimal bunion surgery for each patient. The further you deviate from the optimal procedure for you, the greater your chances of having your bunion return over time.
Since there are so many different types of bunions, Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery may or may not be a long term solution for your bunion.
Is Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery right for me?
Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery is just one solution for painful bunions and is one option for any patient considering having bunion surgery. It is important to understand that this procedure may or may not be right for you. Since there are so many different types of bunions, you want to make sure you speak with your doctor to find out if Minimal Incision Bunion Surgery is a good option for you.
For smaller bunions with good range of motion at the big toe joint, Minimal Incision Surgery might be a good option for you.
If you have questions about your bunion or bunion surgery, please feel free to make an appointment with Dr. Schlam to discuss your bunion type and surgery options. Hollowbrook Foot Specialists – serving the Hudson Valley from Wappingers Falls.
By: David Schlam