1What is minimally invasive surgery?
A small incision is made in the foot and a specially designed instrument is inserted into the opening. The entire procedure is performed through a 1/4″ opening. At the conclusion of the surgery, a stitch may be used to close the opening and a small bandage protects the area.
2Why is minimally invasive surgery better?
Minimally invasive surgery causes less damage to the tissue of the body because there is less dissection of the layers of the body. This means quicker walking and shorter recovery times.
3What are some of the the advantages of minimally invasive surgery?Small cut versus a large incision
Less trauma to the muscles, nerves and tissues
Less pain and reduced use of narcotics
Fewer complications, including reduced risk of infection
4Is this a new type of surgery?
It has now been over forty years since the original pioneers began the development of this art. As their development progressed, they found that it was rarely necessary to incapacitate their patients. Painful bunions, heel spurs, contracted toes and hammertoes were corrected by this new technique and the patients remained ambulatory (mobile). Dr. Stephen Weissman has been performing this type of surgery for more than 30 years.
5What is a bunion?
A bunion deformity usually has three parts. The doctor will analyze your foot during the consultation and explain to you which portion, if any, or all of these parts your bunion deformity has.
1. An enlargement of the metatarsal head, this causes the bump on the side of the foot.
2. The first metatarsal bone deviates toward the midline of the body and causes the metatarsal head to stick out and therefore makes the bump more prominent.
3. The big toe drifts toward the little toe and pushes against the second toe.
6What is an arthritic bunion?
With this type of bunion, the big toe and the first metatarsal usually are straight but there is arthritic bone spurring present around the joint and it limits the motion which causes a great deal of pain when walking and an inability to flex the toe properly.
7What is a tailor’s bunion?
A tailor’s bunion occurs on the joint where the little toe bone meets the foot bone on the outside of your foot.
8Why should I treat my bunion?
Left untreated, your bunion will progress and affect other parts of your foot. A bunion will most likely affect the alignment of your other toes as a result of pressure from the affected toe. Toenails may begin to grow into the sides of the nail bed; toes may develop corns or become bent (hammertoes).
9What type of surgery do I need?
The type of surgery needed depends on which type of bunion and which parts of the bunion deformity the patient is correcting. The different types of procedures are:
1. Simple Bunionectomy – removes the bump of the enlarged metatarsal head
2. Bunion with Osteotomy – removes bump and straightens out the toe and metatarsal
3. Tailor’s Bunion – removes the bump of the enlarged 5th toe
10How long does the surgery take?
The surgery generally takes 30-45 minutes to perform depending on how many portions of the deformity are being corrected. The patient will usually be in the surgery center for about 90 minutes, from start to finish; which includes the preoperative preparations and postoperative recovery.
11Is there much pain?
If the patient follows the postoperative instructions including elevation and icing of the operative area, the pain usually is kept to a minimum. Patients are given pain medication to take as needed, however, many of our patients are not medicated following the surgery.
12When can I drive?
Driving is allowed immediately after the operation and walking is okay as long as it is not overdone.
13When can I go back to work?
This depends on which type of surgery you have and what type of work you do. People who are on their feet for eight or more hours a day need to take a little more time off than people who can sit immediately.
14How long will I wear the post op shoe?
In a simple bunionectomy, the postoperative shoe is worn for a week. In a more complicated bunionectomy, including surgical fractures, the shoe is worn for up to five weeks.
15What if I’m from out of town?
We treat patients from across the country and want to make it as easy as possible for people outside the immediate Milwaukee area to consider Northwest Surgery Center. We’ve even partnered with a hotel across the street from our center to provide discounted rates to patients. Learn more on our Out-of-Town Visitors page.