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What is an Austin Bunionectomy?

Author: Craig Payne
by Craig Payne
Posted: May 03, 2022
austin bunionectomy

Bunions or hallux valgus are a common problem and usually surgery is the only way to get rid of them. This does not mean that any pain cannot be managed without surgery and that might involve splints, exercises and wearing better shoes. However, these conservative approaches will not usually get rid of bunions. The actual deformity of a bunion and the development of hallux valgus is actually quite complex. Because of the involvement of so many different structures and their involvement in differing amounts, there is not one surgical procedure for bunions. There are actually surprisingly a very large number of options that surgeons have for surgery to fix a hallux valgus. It has been claimed that there are more different surgical procedures for bunions that there are for any conditions in any other part of the body.

One of these procedures for bunions is the Austin Bunionectomy which is less commonly called and more correctly described as a distal metatarsal osteotomy. The Austin bunionectomy is a procedure done on the bones where the bunion is corrected by relocating or sliding across the top of the first metatarsal bone. This involves cutting the bones and changing their position. The Austin Bunionectomy is generally used to remove the prominent lump of the bone (bunion) and to release a tight tendon that tends to the great toe towards the second toe. The osteotomy or bone cut is close to the joint, so it is useful when the distal end of the metatarsal needs to be realigned. The Austin bunionectomy is not for everyone with a bunion or hallux valgus as there are so many different bones and issues that can be involved in each bunion. It is not going to be used in those with a lot of deviation in the metatarsal bone as it does not realign that. There are different procedures that can be used for that. The choice of procedure will depend on how much of each of the different bones and soft tissue are involved and the preferences of the individual surgeon. For example, if the bunion is larger, a Lapidus procedure may be considered.

Following the Austin bunionectomy, weightbearing is permitted early in a surgical shoe but you do need to take it easy for a while. Healing of the bone normally taking around 6 weeks if things go okay. After that initial six weeks, shoe wearing and activity levels can be slowly and gradually increased as they can be tolerated. The Austin bunionectomy is generally well tolerated with minimal complications that are usually easily dealt with if they occur. Some of these complications include the non-healing of the bone cut. Sometimes there are other structures that get overloaded when you start walking again and they may become painful as you get used to the new foot structure and alignment. The Austin bunionectomy is not something that you can ask your surgeon for as there are so many factors that get put into the decision as to which is the best one for you and your bunion.

About the Author

Craig Payne is a University lecturer, runner, cynic, researcher, skeptic, forum admin, woo basher, clinician, rabble-rouser, blogger and a dad.

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Author: Craig Payne
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Craig Payne

Member since: Aug 16, 2020
Published articles: 254

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