A bunionectomy involves removing part of the metatarsal head, which is the part of the foot that is bulging out, via an incision in the top or side of the big toe joint. This process can relieve pain and restore normal alignment of the joint. Screws, plates or small wires can be used to hold the bones in place.
It is typically a last resort when conservative treatment options for bunions are exhausted.
Some of the most common conservative treatment methods for bunions may include:
- Using over-the-counter arch supports or prescription orthotic devices to help position the foot correctly
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen to reduce pain and swelling
- Buying well-fitting shoes with wider tops
- Using warm soaks, ice packs, ultrasound or massage
- Using a moleskin or gel-filled pad to protect the bunion
For Sherry, she tried all of the options, but the bunionectomy revision surgery was the only option left available to provide relief. In a revision surgery, the surgeon will correct previous errors or make required adjustments to help the patient achieve the best outcomes possible.
“Running wasn’t an option anymore at all,” she says. “I realized the amount of pain I was experiencing wasn’t normal…I decided I needed to look into my options instead of just living with it.”
After meeting Dr. Wiernik, she was ready to commit to the revision surgery to help her move past the failed procedures of another foot specialist.
“He explained what he felt he could do with surgery and let me decide. He was fantastic and really helped ease me into a comfort zone,” she remembers about her initial appointments with Dr. Wiernik.