Types of Bunion Surgery

We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach to medicine. Every person who walks through our door is a unique individual who deserves individual attention and a medical approach crafted specially for them.

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to bunion surgery, either. Like people, bunions come in all shapes and sizes, and the best procedure for one may not work for another. Similarly, lifestyle goals or other concerns may vary from person to person—looking at the advantages and disadvantages of each approach, you may choose a different option than your neighbor. We’ll always do our best to help you make an informed decision.

Foot with bunion compared to foot without bunion

Some of the procedures most commonly employed in bunion correction include:

  • Osteotomy. In this procedure, the surgeon cuts the bone (or bones) in order to reposition them into a better alignment. Hardware is used to hold the toe in place during the healing process.
  • Exostectomy. Also known as a “bunionectomy,” this procedure simply means removing the bony bump from the base of the toe. It’s not usually performed alone since it doesn’t fix the fundamental alignment error and therefore is prone to recur, but it may be used in combination with another procedure or procedures to produce optimal results.
  • Arthrodesis. Often reserved for more serious cases, in this procedure joint surfaces are removed, then the bones are realigned and fused together during the healing process.
  • Resection arthroplasty. A “last case” scenario typically reserved for elderly patients who have had unsuccessful surgery in the past or are not a good candidate for arthrodesis. In this procedure, the entire damaged portion of the joint is removed, creating a flexible “joint” made out of scar tissue.
  • Tendon and ligament repair. During an osteotomy or other realignment procedure, soft tissues such as tendons and ligaments may need to be adjusted if they are too loose or too tight. This helps them keep the repaired toe more stable over the long term.

You deserve medical care that places your needs first. For individualized assistance for your bunion pain, please call Dr. Keith McSpadden and North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute at (512) 593-2949. 

Posted on July 20, 2016 .