There are many conditions we treat here at The Kansas Foot Center that respond quite favorably to conservative care. Common issues like plantar fasciitis and stress fractures do not often require surgical intervention, but there are also some medical problems which do need surgical intervention.
In the case of bunions, we can often provide nonsurgical treatment to relieve pain and symptoms, but the only way to fully correct the condition is with bunion surgery. When you come see our medical specialists, we will evaluate your specific situation and then provide our professional recommendation for treatment. No matter which path we pursue, your issue will be resolved.
Bunions are fairly common toe deformities that tend to be seen more often in female patients. As a result—and combined with the fact that female footwear often has narrow toe boxes and high heels—it was widely thought that women’s shoes caused this issue. Since men and children can also develop bunions, though, this seems rather unlikely.
A bunion will usually develop in response to an imbalance in the joint found at the base of the big toe – the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. When the MTP joint faces excessive pressure and does not have balanced support, the joint can begin to drift out (towards the inner edge of the foot) while the big toe starts angling inwards. This condition is progressive, which means it cannot improve on its own and will continue to worsen without treatment.
Corrective Procedures for Bunions
We can apply nonsurgical treatment to relieve symptoms and prevent the deformity from worsening, but the only way to restore the joint and toe back to their natural position is with bunion surgery.
In order to achieve this objective, there are a couple of different procedures that can be used:
- In this operation, we will realign the joint by making small cuts in the affected bones and then keeping them in place with the use of screws, plates, or pins. These can be used in several different places to correct the deformity.
- When arthritis is in the picture too, we may remove arthritic joint surfaces and use wires, plates, or screws to keep the surfaces of the affected bones in place while they heal.
- This surgical procedure entails removing the bump jutting out from the toe joint, which does not realign the joint. As such, exostectomy is often performed in conjunction with another of the bunion surgeries.
- Resection arthroplasty. Sometimes it is necessary to remove the damaged part of the MTP joint to increase space between the bones. This is mainly reserved for elderly patients who either have severe arthritis or previously had unsuccessful bunion surgery.
The procedure we perform is obviously important, but so too is the recovery process. You can expect to be able to return to everyday activities in approximately 6 – 8 weeks, but it is closer to 4 – 6 months for complete recovery. You will need to wear a cast or surgical boot for the first couple of weeks after the procedure (to protect your foot), and be sure to keep your stitches dry.
After the cast or boot, we will provide a brace and crutches. The foot is not ready to bear weight at this time, so you will need to stay off of it and use the crutches for assistance. Weight-bearing is resumed in a gradual process and we provide careful instructions for this activity.
Expert Bunion Surgery at The Kansas Foot Center
As noted earlier, our goal is to treat our patients with the use of nonsurgical care when possible. To that end, we employ advanced techniques and use state-of-the-art equipment to relieve symptoms and restore functionality. When surgery is necessary, though, you and your loved ones can take comfort in the fact that our foot doctors are experienced, knowledgeable, and highly-skilled. We have performed thousands of successful surgeries, and we will do the same for you.
Contact us for more information by calling (316) 283-4330 and our staff will be glad to answer any questions or help you schedule an appointment at any of our three Kansas locations. You can also request an appointment online with our Wichita, Newton, and Emporia offices today!