There are many different procedures available to address a bunion deformity. The 2 most common types of procedures that I perform is a
- metatarsal head osteotomy (Austin or modified version) or a
- metatarsocuneiform joint fusion (Lapidus).
These two have very important distinctions and one should know the risks and benefits common to these procedures before making the final decision.
What is the Austin Bunionectomy?
This procedure addresses the metatarsal head, shown in the picture as blue dotted lines. It is ideal for mild to moderate sized bunions. The bone is cut, shifted and then secured with screws in its new location. This will appropriately reduce the size of the bunion. In most cases patients are able to walk in a protected surgical shoe immediately and up to 6 weeks or until the bone has healed.
What is the Lapidus Bunionectomy?
This procedure is fusing of the joint between the metatarsal and medial cuneiform bone, the area is marked in red dotted lines in the picture. A wedge of bone is removed at the level of the joint then the final position is secured with screws and/or plates. This is ideal for hypermobile foot types (excessive movement at this joint) and very large bunions. Traditionally, the recovery time is longer, with nonweightbearing for an average of 6 weeks, depending on the type of fixation being used and inherent patient factors. Recurrence of bunion is a little lower with this procedure, but the risks are also a little higher.
Having a conversation with your surgeon about the various options are important. As there are many types of people, there are many types of bunions and many different types of surgeries to address it.
Schedule your bunion surgery consultation at 831-288-3400.