CHICAGO, Ill. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The average American adult takes approximately four to six thousand steps a day. In fact, most Americans travel 75 thousand miles on their feet by the time they reach 50.  So, it’s not surprising that 75 percent of people will suffer from foot pain at least once in their lives.  One in three people will experience the pain of a bunion. That’s a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe.  Ivanhoe busts the myths about bunions and tells us about a new procedure to fix them.

What causes bunions?

David Garras, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon at Midwest Orthopaedic Consultants says, “They can be worsened by high heels. The strongest factor for developing a bunion is usually genetics.”

Can you correct them by using any of these?  Doctor Garras explains, “They can alleviate some of the pain or what have you. They cannot correct the bunion.”

Kathleene Faragai-Moke has had them since she was a teen. When she became a high school math teacher, the pain became unbearable. She says, “It was a shooting pain, even like, if I was just standing still, I didn’t even have to be walking.”

The traditional way most doctors correct a bunion is through open surgery which can be painful with a long recovery time. But now, some orthopedic surgeons are using a minimally invasive bunionectomy.

Doctor Garras explains, “What she ended up having is a bunionectomy done through about four or five small little poke hole incisions.”

Through those holes, Doctor David Garras was able to cut the bone using a small burr. 

Surgery time is the same for both, but with the minimally invasive procedure, incisions are smaller, and 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.” Says Faragoi-Moke

The surgery worked so well, that a few months later, she had the other foot done.

Faragoi-Moke states, “Changed my life. I never have pain in my feet. I wear sandals again. I don’t have to wear wide shoes anymore. It was great.”

Doctor Garris says not everybody is a candidate for the minimally invasive bunionectomy. It works best on somebody who has a moderate to severe bunion, no arthritis, no midfoot collapse.