A Podiatrist Guide to Cosmetic Bunion Surgery
Fix Your Feet believes in providing medically necessary foot surgery with a cosmetic result. Most people focus on the cosmetic result and do not realize the foot surgery procedure is being performed because there is a true medical need. Foot surgery is “medically necessary,” and because it involves pain. Most clients with embarrassing foot and toe deformities typically have associated pain and have exhausted conservative therapies such as: changing shoes types and size, wearing over the counter or custom shoe inserts, padding, taping, and OTC pain medication.
Seeking the right podiatrist to perform the cosmetic foot surgery treatment should not be taken lightly. Your foot secures the foundation of your entire body. Many potential cosmetic foot surgery patients are lured by quick-fix surgery known as Minimal Invasive Surgery (MIS). MIS is often used interchangeably with Minimal Incision Surgery. With traditional MIS, doctors will proclaim they will make two to three small puncture incisions either with or without breaking the bones and promise a return to shoes in one week. Sound great? Yes! Is it too good to be true? Absolutely.
Bunions and hammertoes are bony deformities . The sole reason why bunions and hammertoes are so painful, and downright ugly, is due to foot or toe bone misalignment. If the structures of the bone are not directly addressed than the procedure will ultimately fail. When doctors claim they can fix your bunion with no broken bones or lasers, you should consider getting a second opinion. Literature shows that 95% of bunion and hammertoe sufferers require some type of bone reconstruction.
You may ask “What about the MIS procedures that do bone realignment surgery?” These procedures attempt to fix the dysfunctional component of a bunion or hammertoe. However, especially when addressing bunion procedures, fixation (the screws or pins to hold the bones together) is key to sound stability while the bone is healing. Doctors who perform MIS procedures try to realign the bone, specifically when correcting a bunion, often use a pin called a K-wire, instead of a screw to hold the bones together when it is healing.
A pin fixation, versus a screw fixation, is not stable and increases infection rate. K-wires loosely hold the bone together, which means the bones can rotate around the pin, and can ultimately lose correction and cause unwanted bony growth. Further, pin placement is percutaneous, which means the pin sticks out of the skin on the foot and penetrates bones at its correction site. The pin is removed weeks later, which means getting back into regular shoes is prolonged in addition to greater chance of infection.
The Pedi-Plastic™ bunion technique developed by leading podiatrist Dr. Yolanda Ragland combines a strategically placed minimal incision, traditional stable bone realignment, and use of the gold standard fixation and stabilization of the bone with a screw.