Bunionectomy Program - Podiatry in Austin TX
Dr. Michael Golf discusses a Bunionectomy Program.
Bunions are caused by the way the bones move in your feet which is an inherited characteristic from your ancestors. The bunion develops slowly as a result of normal walking over years beginning when you began to walk as a child. We do see some bunions as early as age 9 or 10 called juvenile bunions. Bunions are rarely symptomatic unless patient's wear shoes that aggravate them. The bunions themselves are not symptomatic but pressure from the shoe is what causes the pain with bunions. There are some deformities in the bunion category that involve arthritis which can be painful without shoes. Overall most young adult patients do not develop arthritis with bunions. Bunions can be completely managed and accommodated conservatively with shoes. The bunion deformities in children can be slowed down with arch supports called orthotics. Often time bunions reach the point where they need to be operated on.
Bunionectomies are designed to reduce the everyday pain caused by the bunion and are broken up into many categories. I will discuss the most common. The first category is a simple bunionectomy where the bony prominence is removed and some soft tissue releases are performed. The second type of bunionectomy, which is for a moderate deformity, requires a cut in the bone called an osteotomy. This is by far the most common type of bunionectomy performed. The third bunionectomy is performed for a severe deformity and involves 6 to 8 weeks non weight-bearing and 6 weeks in a boot. The fourth type of bunionectomy usually involves arthritis in the joint or such a severe deformity that the joint needs to be fused or replaced. Most patients with moderate bunion deformities need to the second example, the bunionectomy with osteotomy at the head of the metatarsal which requires some non weight-bearing for 3-5 days. This type of bunionectomy requires that you take one week off work and is 80% healed in 6 weeks. This bunionectomy is designed to last 20 to 30 years.
In general patients cannot exercise, run or jump, for 3-6 months. It takes approximately six months to completely heal from a bunionectomy. The foot remains swollen for about six months post-operatively, this is the most common problem after surgery. This procedure is done on an outpatient basis usually under local anesthesia with IV sedation, however patients may be given a general anesthetic if they desire, and takes about 45 minutes.
We do research studies that involve free bunionectomies. However you do need to take an experimental medication and stay at our clinic for 3-5 days. Ask about these studies if you are interested. In most cases patients receive compensation for their time.
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