What is a Bunionectomy?

Published: 13th May 2009
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Why Get a Bunionectomy?
If you have a painful bunion that is making it difficult for you to carry on normal functions in your life, you should address the problem. The first step will be to get a referral to visit a foot doctor, also called a podiatrist. Your podiatrist will evaluate your bunion for the cause, symptoms and severity. Typically, a foot doctor will recommend non-surgical methods of correcting your situation first. Non-surgical solutions will most likely mean wearing comfortable shoes or perhaps specific orthotic shoes. For women, heals may not be an option as they can increase the pressure on the base joint. Braces, physical therapy and other corrective procedures may be an option to realign your toe. If these more conservative methods do not succeed in removing the pain and inconvenience of your bunion, you may be a candidate for a bunionectomy.
Types of Bunionectomies
If you determine to proceed with bunion surgery, there are a few different procedures that may be right for you. The exact procedure your foot doctor decides on will depend on your bunion and specific needs. The severity of your bunion, the angle of your toe and other factors in your medical history will come into play when your doctor makes a determination. Some procedures are more invasive than others. Types of techniques include McBride, Chevron and Keller.
A McBride bunionectomy is also called a "simple bunionectomy" and involves soft-tissue removal but little to no realignment of your actual foot bones. A Chevron bunionectomy is for mild to moderate bunion problems.
 Chevron bunionectomies are unique because they require an incision of the metatarsal, a bone in your foot. If you have a Chevron bunionectomy, you will likely have pins in your foot for 4 to 6 weeks following your surgery.
 A Keller bunionectomy is a form of bunion surgery in which the joint is reconstructed using soft tissue. Patients who undergo the Keller procedure will be back on their feet quickly but sometimes have complaints that the joint on the big toe is not as strong after the procedure.

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