Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery: Your Guide to a Pain-Free Life

Dr. Tan Ken Jin at our clinic specializes in minimally invasive bunion correction.

Understanding Bunions

Bunions, medically termed as hallux valgus, are bony protrusions that form on the inner edge of the big toe joint, often leading to foot deformities. These can lead to the big toe overriding the other toes, resulting in a deformed foot shape. This condition is relatively common and increases with age. In severe cases, bunions may cause other toe deformities, such as claw toe and hammertoe. A thorough physical examination is pivotal to diagnose this condition and prescribing appropriate treatment, ultimately relieving pain and restoring normal foot function.

Detecting Bunions

Bunions may be almost unnoticeable in mild cases but can worsen and become increasingly painful if left untreated. Common indicators of bunions include redness and bulging at the big toe joint, pain, formation of calluses on the second toe due to friction with the big toe, and limited movement of the big toe. If you notice any of these symptoms, bunion surgery may be the recommended course of treatment.

 

Why Bunions Develop?

Bunions primarily occur due to improper pressure or rubbing. Our feet, a complex structure of hard bone and soft tissue, can develop discomfort when the skin and soft tissue get trapped between the shoe and the bone. Persistent pressure and rubbing can lead to painful bunions, resulting in the formation of calluses and thickening of the soft tissues underneath. Bunion surgery can alleviate this pressure and reduce the associated pain.

Non-Surgical Bunion Treatments

Minor bunions can often be managed by switching to footwear with a broader toe area, reducing pressure on the forefoot. Physiotherapy focused on calf muscle stretching can also be beneficial. In addition, bunion pads, larger shoes, and toe spacers can help minimize the pressure and correct the deformity.

 

Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery Treatment Options

If conventional treatments like physiotherapy and footwear adjustments fail to alleviate bunion discomfort, surgical intervention may be necessary. Traditional bunion surgery often involves extensive incisions and a lengthy recovery period. However, advancements in medical technology now enable us to adopt a minimally-invasive approach.

Surgical Treatment Options for Bunion Surgery by Dr Ken Jin

We are proud to have Dr Ken Jin on our team, which offers advanced surgical treatment options for bunions. His patient-focused approach aims to provide the most reliable and accurate correction. His innovative techniques include:

Guidance Jig System

Dr Ken Jin is the first and currently the only surgeon in Singapore utilizing the latest guidance jig system for bunion surgery. This technique provides more precise and accurate alignment during the procedure, ensuring optimal patient outcomes.

Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery (MIS)

 Dr Ken Jin also specializes in minimally invasive bunion surgery techniques. This advanced procedure involves smaller incisions, reduced scarring, and a quicker recovery period compared to traditional bunion surgery. Patients can, therefore, achieve better results with less downtime and discomfort.

In minimally invasive bunion surgery, the bone is carefully sliced with a burr instead of a saw. This method allows for “percutaneous” cuts, made through small incisions in the foot’s skin, rather than the lengthy incisions typically required in conventional procedures.

As a result, fewer soft tissues (like skin, muscle, and joint capsule) are damaged, leading to faster and less painful healing. Patients can bear weight immediately after surgery and return to their regular activity levels more rapidly.

The benefits of this orthopaedic surgery extend beyond a quicker recovery. The small incisions lead to fewer side effects, improved cosmetic outcomes, and a reduced chance of bunion recurrence. However, traditional open surgery may offer a more effective solution for particularly severe bunion deformities.

An anaesthetic block ensures a comfortable and pain-free procedure during minimally invasive bunion surgery. After the surgery, patients can walk comfortably in medical sandals. The surgical correction is stable, and patients recover quickly. When combined with physical therapy, it’s the most effective bunion treatment option available.”

Post-Operative Recovery

Recovery time can significantly vary based on whether you undergo open or minimally invasive surgery. Patients undergoing the latter can typically transition to regular footwear within six weeks and can gradually increase their activity level. However, elevating the foot and limiting activities in the initial two weeks post-surgery is crucial to reduce swelling and promote healing.

Preparing for Post-Operative Recovery

Proper preparation is key for a smooth post-operative recovery. It’s crucial to allow yourself sufficient recovery time, which can range from six weeks to six months, depending on the complexity of the surgery. Always ensure that you have a designated driver to take you home post-surgery, wear appropriate footwear, and keep your stitches dry to prevent infection.

 

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation plays a critical role in recovery following bunion surgery. The healing process usually takes about eight weeks, during which a cast or special shoes may be needed to protect the bones. Crutches and pain relievers may also be prescribed to aid in the healing process.  A bandage or dressing will typically be required for a week following the procedure, and dissolvable stitches, if used, will not need to be removed. Follow-up appointments will include X-rays to assess bone healing and the effectiveness of the treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Each person's experience with discomfort following bunion surgery can vary. Most patients experience discomfort for three to five days post-operation. Strict adherence to your surgeon's recommendations can help manage swelling and pain.

In some cases, non-surgical interventions such as orthotics, padding, modified activities, analgesics, and injection therapy may be sufficient. If the pain interferes with your daily activities, it may be time to discuss surgical options with your doctor.

While it is possible, bunion recurrence post-surgery is relatively uncommon. Patients with excessive foot movement are at a higher risk. Your surgeon will customize your surgery to minimize the risk of recurrence.

As with any surgery, there can be complications, including swelling, numbness, stiffness, delayed healing, infection, or nerve damage. Adhering to post-operative instructions can significantly reduce the risk of complications.

 

In conclusion, minimally invasive bunion surgery is a safe and effective treatment for painful bunions. By combining surgical intervention with proper post-operative care and rehabilitation, you can quickly regain normal foot function and return to your daily activities.

Read more about Bunion Treatments.

Minimally Invasive bunion surgery
Minimally Invasive bunion surgery

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