Bunions – The Surgical Options Part 1 - Cheilectomy

Podiatrists, or chiropodists if you have been around for awhile, have long been known as the doctor to see when you get a bunion.  As specialists of the foot and ankle, they have spent many years studying and training to provide you and your feet with the best treatments to relieve pain.  Few of us can get through a day with out logging many miles on our feet, so when something begins to hurt it is hard to ignore.  There is no reason you should when help can be just a phone call away. Your Austin podiatrist has many options to offer you when it comes to correcting your foot and ankle pains. There are a variety of non-invasive treatments that can be offered for a variety of problems.  While there are a few conservative options for bunion pain, including special shoes or padding that we can, surgery is usually necessary to relieve pain and appearance of bunion deformities.


There are several options for surgical correction.  At Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists a  thorough exam will allow your doctor to see what ‘type’ of bunion you have and decide on the proper option accordingly  Depending on the structure and mechanics of your foot as well as the amount of time the deformity has been present will all influence the best procedure for your bunion. What might look like a simple bump on the side of your foot may actually be a miss aligned bone. Instability in certain joints and the stresses placed on them will effect progression and treatment.  Other times a portion of the bone my hypertrophy, or grow excessively, to create the bump.  While there are always risks of surgery and no option is simple, we want to give you an idea of what it involved in the less complicated deformity.


The Cheilectomy:  One of the first procedures utilized, it is still very appropriate when then deformity is an underlying hypertrophy of the bone. In these cases it is used as a standalone procedure and can have you back on your feet relatively quickly. An incision is made over the deformity and the extra bone is removed before closing the skin back with sutures. .  Additionally, we used radiofrequency ablation and injections of plasma rich protein or PRP, at the surgical site for optimal healing. Most commonly the extra bone growth occurs along with a malaligned bone.  In those cases, other procedure that we will outline in future blogs, are used in conjunction with this one.


Look for the second blog on this topic when we will address another option for surgical correction of your bunion deformity.


Until next time, keep those feet happy and healthy Austin!

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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