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Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic offers minimally-invasive bunion surgery

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Image of a left foot, highlighting a bunion

Multiple poke holes are the key to a new procedure for treating bunions, a deformity of the big toe.

Jason George DeVries, DPM, a fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon with Orthopedics & Sports Medicine BayCare Clinic, performs the procedure, called a percutaneous or MIS bunionectomy, to help correct bunions.

A bunion forms when a person’s big toe points inward, toward their other toes. It causes a bump to appear on the outside edge of the big toe. If left untreated, bunions may cause pain and can lead to arthritis in the affected toe.

“During a percutaneous bunionectomy, we make small incisions along the inside of the foot through which we can cut and shift the problematic toe bone,” DeVries says. “We also use pins and screws to maintain the correction.”

The use of small incisions means less soft tissue is disrupted, leading to a less painful surgical experience, DeVries says.

A percutaneous bunionectomy is an outpatient procedure that generally takes about an hour, depending on the severity of the condition.

Benefits of the new procedure include less pain and swelling, earlier weight-bearing after surgery and a quicker return to physical activity, among others.

However, the procedure isn’t ideal for all patients, DeVries says.

“If your toe deformity is quite severe, if you’ve already had bunion surgery or if you have other serious toe issues, a more traditional open procedure might be the best course of action for you,” he says. “Discuss with your foot and ankle surgeon.”

Published: Thursday, September 23, 2021