MedStar Orthopaedic Institute is one of the leading orthopedic groups in the D.C. area performing bunionectomy surgery. Our experienced foot and ankle surgeons offer you the comprehensive care you need for an effective procedure and a successful recovery. Our fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeons specialize exclusively in treating lower extremity conditions.
What is a bunionectomy?
A bunion is a small lump that protrudes from the base of your big toe due to joint and bone instability. They can cause pain ranging from minor irritation to intense, debilitating pain. When conservative treatment options are unsuccessful or you have extreme pain, our orthopedic specialists may recommend having bunion surgery.
A bunionectomy is a surgical procedure that removes a bunion, also known as hallux valgus, by moving the toes back into their correct position. Bunion removal surgery balances the muscles around the toe joint to make sure that it does not grow back.
Why is surgery performed?
At MedStar Orthopaedic Institute, a bunionectomy is usually recommended if you:
- Are suffering from extreme discomfort or pain
- Have experienced difficulty walking or standing as a result of a bunion
- Have tried conservative treatments without success
What does bunion surgery involve?
The surgical procedure is performed through a small incision on the side of the foot directly over the deformed area. Once the skin is opened, the bunion is removed using special surgical tools. Your surgeon may also utilize one or more of the following techniques to realign your toe and prevent the return of your bunion.
When realignment is needed, our surgeons may perform an osteotomy. During this surgery, the bone is cut and repositioned using two different techniques:
- Distal osteotomy is performed by cutting and moving the bone sideways, usually requiring one or two small incisions in the foot. Metal pins are used to hold the bone in place and are removed six weeks following surgery.
- Proximal osteotomy is performed by cutting the first metatarsal near the end of the bone. This procedure usually requires two or three small incisions in the foot. The bone is realigned and held in place with metal pins until it heals.
During a capsulotomy, realignment of the big toe is completed by releasing the tendons on either side of the joint. In doing this, the toe is no longer pulled out of alignment. Once the toe is in its proper alignment, the joint capsule is tightened to keep the toe straight and balanced.
What does bunionectomy recovery involve?
During the first few days following surgery, the doctors at MedStar Orthopaedic Institute will focus on helping you keep your swelling down and minimizing your pain. Our doctors generally recommend one or more of the following during your recovery period:
- Foot elevation
- Walking avoidance
- Pain medications
After a few weeks, you can begin bearing more weight on the affected foot. We may also recommend physical therapy to help you regain your strength. Your orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon will discuss the specific details of your recovery with you before your procedure.
What are the benefits?
Our goal is for you to experience the following benefits after having bunion surgery:
- Corrected deformity
- Low chance of deformity returning
- Foot pain relief
- Pressure relief
- Toe alignment
- Ability to wear normal shoes after recovery
- Ability to return to normal activities without pain
- Improved balance and foot strength
If you believe you may need surgery, call 202-295-0511 to schedule a consultation with one of our orthopedic specialists at MedStar Orthopaedic Institute.