Americans are always on the move. Even though millions of workers have office desk jobs or work from their homes, they are still moving around and taking tens of thousands of steps each day. Because of this constant movement, roughly 75% of U.S. adults will experience foot health issues at one time or another.
One of the most common medical foot conditions: Bunions.
Currently, between 25% to 33% of American adults have bunion deformities. These problems result in significant foot pain that prevents normal activities such as walking and standing. Additionally, bunions can lead to swelling and inflammation and cause severe pain when trying to bend or straighten the toe.
Luckily, a new form of bunion surgery could lead to improved recovery times.
According to the New York Post, bunion surgery, which has traditionally required a two-inch (or longer) incision to remove tissue and bone, would cause patients to be off their feet for up to six weeks. Now, thanks to an innovative microsurgery, recovery time could be much shorter.
“You basically grind down the bone, and the bone is crushed into a paste,” said Dr. Ettore Vulcano, an orthopedic surgeon. “It really is revolutionary and cutting-edge.”
The new technique requires surgeons to make a smaller incision inside the foot (between two and three millimeters) and shaves and realigns the bone during a live X-ray of the bunion.
Not only is this new form of surgery showing faster recovery times, it’s cutting down on pain as well.
“Patients should always be aware that any invasive surgery on the foot — no matter how minimal — presents risks of infection and other complications such as pain and decreased mobility,” added Dr. Rock Positano, a podiatrist at the Hospital for Special Surgery.