Steps involved in bunion surgery

What happens during Bunion surgery? Contrary to what some people may think, by “shaving off the bump” the problem is not fully addressed. Unless the underlying deformity is corrected the bunion will reoccur in a matter of months. 

 

Current techniques are aiming at rectifying the two bones that are “crooked”. This is done by a sliding cut (Scarf or Chevron osteotomy) in the metatarsal and another closing wedge cut (Akin osteotomy) in the phalanx. Once the correct position is obtained these bone cuts are held with small screws which remain within the bone and therefore are not noticeable.  This in addition to some soft tissue releases of tendons and ligaments will allow for a complete surgery that will provide long-lasting results.

 

This technique is well represented in this “Sawbone” model that we use in the courses I teach in for trainees to practice and learn surgical techniques. The screw heads can be seen in the bone (*) as well as the metatarsal osteotomy (1) and phalanx osteotomy (2). By using screws, patients can fully bear weight from day one while the bone is healing in the desired position. No casts, crutches or boots are required; just a small orthopaedic shoe that is used to accommodate for the dressings and bandage.