Central Maryland Podiatrist Examining a Bunion on a Patient | Annapolis Bunion PodiatristA bunion isn’t just an unsightly bump at the base of your big toe joint or, in some cases, where the little toe joint meets the foot. These red, angry protrusions are progressive bone abnormalities that can worsen over time, eventually causing pain that makes standing and walking difficult and interferes with daily activities.

When bunion pads, toe spacers, footwear changes, and other conservative methods can’t make you more comfortable, surgery often offers the best chance for relieving pain and restoring mobility. Many traditional bunion surgeries require long and painful recoveries, which can make fitting them into a busy schedule almost impossible.

At Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center, our Central Maryland podiatric surgical experts perform minimally invasive bunion surgery to help patients get back on their feet faster—with minimal pain, discomfort, and downtime. Here’s what you should know about bunions and the minimally invasive surgical options we offer at our Annapolis, Stevensville, and Glen Burnie offices.

Bunion Causes and Risk Factors

Bunions are a progressive misalignment of the bones in a metatarsophalangeal joint, which connects the long bones in the feet (metatarsals) to the toe bones (phalanges). The misalignment occurs when a metatarsal shifts out of place and the phalanx leans toward the other toes, causing the metatarsophalangeal joint to jut out unnaturally and create the characteristic bump.

Bunions form at the base of the big toe. When the same type of misalignment affects the little toe, it’s called a bunionette or tailor’s bunion.

Risk Factors

Bunions develop due to prolonged pressure and abnormal foot structure, which can be influenced by genetics and environmental factors. You may face an increased risk for bunions and bunionettes if you:

  • Have a family history of bunions and other foot problems
  • Suffer from diabetes, arthritis, or another chronic health condition that can affect the feet
  • Have flat feet as an adult
  • Wear shoes that are too tight, too narrow, or have pointed-toe boxes

When to Consider Bunion Surgery

Conservative therapies such as padding or taping, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen, and switching to wider shoes are first-line treatments that can make living with a mild or moderate bunion more manageable. However, they can’t eliminate bunions; that requires surgical intervention.

Whether conservative methods failed to provide sufficient relief or you’re ready to get rid of a severe bunion for good, our highly skilled Central Maryland foot and ankle surgeons can help you explore your surgical options.

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Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery Offers Numerous Benefits Compared to Traditional Procedures

Traditional bunion surgery has significant drawbacks. In addition to being extremely painful and requiring an initial recovery period of up to six weeks, symptoms like pain, swelling, and stiffness can persist for as long as a year following a standard metatarsal osteotomy or bunionectomy procedure. Even worse: despite all the pain and downtime, bunions recur in up to 25 percent of cases.

Our Minimally Invasive Surgical Methods Help You Get Back on Your Feet Faster

Annapolis Foot & Ankle’s podiatric surgical specialists recommend minimally invasive bunion correction whenever possible. These advanced outpatient procedures result in fewer complications, faster recovery times, and lower recurrence rates than traditional bunion surgery.

During a typical minimally invasive bunion surgery, we administer general anesthesia, then make several tiny incisions in the foot that allow us to insert the special tools—including an endoscope (a skinny tube with a camera at the end)—we use to repair the misaligned joint. When we’re done, you’ll go to an observation room, receive medication and recovery instructions, and go home the same day.

The tiny incisions used in our minimally invasive bunion surgery don’t disrupt as much soft tissue as traditional long incisions. This results in less post-operative swelling, pain, stiffness, and scar tissue development. It also enables immediate weight bearing, promotes faster bone healing, and allows you to return to activity sooner.

Is Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery Right for You?

At Annapolis Foot & Ankle Center, our minimally invasive bunion correction procedures have helped countless patients get back on their feet. After a thorough examination and discussion of your symptoms, we can help you explore your surgical options and determine if a minimally invasive approach will deliver the desired results.

Eric Harmelin, DPM
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Experienced Amputation Prevention Specialist and Podiatrist in Annapolis, Stevensville, and Glen Burnie, MD.