Your Health: New treatment option for bunions
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The average American adult takes approximately 4,000-6,000 steps a day. In fact, most Americans travel 75,000 miles on their feet by the time they reach 50.
It’s not surprising 75% of people will suffer from foot pain at least once in their lives. One in three will experience the pain of a bunion - a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe.
“They can be worsened by high heels,” said Dr. David Garras. “The strongest factor for developing a bunion is usually genetics.”
Kathleene Faragai-Moke has had them since she was a teenager. When she became a high school math teacher, the pain became unbearable.
“It was a shooting pain, even if I was just standing still,” Faragai-Moke said. “I didn’t even have to be walking.”
The traditional way most doctors correct a bunion is through an open surgery that can be painful with a long recovery time. But now, some orthopedic surgeons are using a minimally invasive bunionectomy.
“What she ended up having is a bunionectomy done through about four or five small little poke hole incisions,” Garras said.
Through those holes, Garras was able to cut the bone using a small burr. While surgery time is the same for both, incisions are smaller, there’s less soft tissue damage, less bleeding, less scarring, less swelling and less pain.
“I would say by the second week, I was walking on my heel,” Faragoi-Moke recalled.
The surgery worked so well, a few months later, she had the other foot done.
“Changed my life,” Faragoi-Moke said. “I never have pain in my feet. I wear sandals again. I don’t have to wear wide shoes anymore. It was great.”
Garris said not everybody is a candidate for the minimally invasive bunionectomy.
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