It’s not just older women that suffer from bunions that can be uncomfortable and painful, as it can occur in most ages. This applies to many other foot problems too.
Some people put up with the pain and inconvenience that impacts their walking, work, sport and even their daily activities.
The common misperception is that forefoot surgery is unsuccessful, painful, or you’re unable to walk for prolonged periods of time. But over the years there has been many advancements for bunion surgery and arthritis of the first toe leading to predictable and reliable results, less pain, internal fixation devices and development of minimally invasive techniques.
Hallux valgus deformity (bunion) is a common condition of the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. When wider fitting shoes or activity modification is no longer effective, surgical correction of the deformity may be considered.
Correction of the deformity involves osteotomy of the first metatarsal head, shifting the head laterally and fixing the displacement with screws. The shaving of the bone is of the remaining prominent shaft rather than prominent head.
The operation is done through an open incision or increasingly via minimally invasive techniques as day surgery, with the patient relatively pain free after surgery and able to walk on the foot on the same day.
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Degenerative arthritis of the first MTP joint is often called a bunion due to the presence of a bony prominence but the clinical difference is the associated stiffness of the joint.
Initial treatment consists of shoe changes to increase the height of the toe box, avoidance of high heels or use of a ridged insert to limit joint motion with walking.
When these measures are no longer effective, surgical treatment is required – this will often allow them to return to normal activities without a limp.
Dr Anthony Cadden, orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon at Seaview Clinic in Wollongong, is able to assess your bunion problem and advise what can be done.
The Seaview Clinic was formed when the three main doctors moved into the top north-facing suite of Wollongong Private Hospital with views of the sea.
It is a group practice that started with an orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon, neurosurgeon and neurologist. Since starting it has expanded to offer consultation with hip, knee, shoulder and hand surgery, and pain and rehabilitation treatment.
The rooms provide consultation of orthopaedic, neurological, neurosurgical and pain related conditions, and also provide electrophysiological investigation.
Dr Anthony Cadden is an orthopaedic surgeon who has gone on to subspecialise in foot and ankle surgery, both elective and trauma management since 2009.
“I provide minimally invasive surgery of bunions and other forefoot problems, arthroscopic surgery to the ankle and achilles,” he said. “Also I manage sport injuries to the foot and ankle, assessment of ligament or tendon injuries and treatment of ongoing problems. Plus joint sparing surgery of the ankle such as replacement surgery and interposition of the first toe using the Cartiva implant.
“I often provide assistance to surgeons in Sydney performing the procedure with the latest patient specific alignment guides and the Infinity ankle replacement.
“See us for hammer toe correction, recurrent painful corns due to deformities, Morton neuromas, ingrown toenails, midfoot arthritis, painful flatfoot or cavus foot deformity, plantar fasciitis, ankle and hindfoot arthritis, plus treatment of foot and ankle fractures or soft tissue injuries.
“All of these involve consultation to diagnose the problem and provide non surgical treatment options prior to any consideration of surgical treatment through private Illawarra hospitals.”
Besides Dr Anthony Cadden, Dr Rob McGrath is a neurologist with a key interest in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and neuroimmunology. He also provides electrophysiological investigation in clinic.
Neurosurgeon Dr Ravi Kumar Cherukuri performs all aspects of spine surgery, fusion of the spine using the Mazor robot plus neurosurgery including minimally invasive intracranial surgery.
Seaview Clinic is at Suite 701, Level 7, Wollongong Private Hospital, 360-364 Crown St. Phone 4210 7870 or see seaviewclinic.com.au.