Bunions, medically known as hallux valgus, are a progressive and complex deformity affecting the front part of the foot, characterized by deviation of the big toe and a bony protrusion in the joint of the first toe. This condition, which develops gradually throughout life, can cause pain and other associated deformities, such as claw, hammer or gooseneck toes.
Bunion surgery is presented as a definitive solution to correct this deformity, and thanks to advances in surgical techniques, today you can opt for minimally invasive surgery. This article seeks to demystify this procedure, explaining what patients can expect before, during and after the operation.
Before deciding on surgery, a thorough evaluation is essential. This includes a detailed physical examination and imaging studies, such as x-rays, to determine the degree of deformity. The specialist will explain the surgical options available, considering factors such as the patient’s age and associated medical conditions.
Minimally invasive bunion surgery is performed under local anesthesia and does not require screws or pins. Depending on the degree of bunion deformity, there are two main approaches:
Surgery without osteotomy for mild bunions: Includes simple resection of the bony deformity of the bunion, allowing a quick recovery with minimal discomfort.
Osteotomy surgery for moderate to severe bunions: Involves resection of the bony protrusion and correction of the toe angles. In cases of associated deformities such as claw toes, they will be addressed in the same procedure.
These techniques allow a less invasive intervention, with small incisions, reducing the risk of complications and favoring a faster recovery.
Postoperative and Recovery
The postoperative period varies according to the technique used. For mild cases, the postoperative period usually lasts about a week, with almost immediate mobility and little pain. In more complex cases, recovery can take up to 40 days, although patients can walk from the first day with a special post-surgical shoe.
During this time, it is important to follow the specialist’s instructions, such as rehabilitation exercises, wound care and, in some cases, the use of orthopedic insoles.
It is crucial to have realistic expectations about the results of surgery. While the goal is to correct deformity, relieve pain and improve foot function, each patient is unique and results may vary.
Bunion surgery, performed using minimally invasive techniques, offers an effective solution to a painful and limiting condition. By better understanding the procedure, patients can make informed decisions and prepare for a successful recovery. As always, consultation with a specialist is the first step in addressing any concerns related to bunions and exploring available treatment options.