Bunions are a common problem for many seniors with more than five million Australian’s suffering from the painful foot condition. The good news is, this issue can be easily fixed with minimally invasive bunion surgery.
73-year-old Sue Strong discovered that her bunion issues can be an easy fix with little to no pain. At one point, the Helensvale resident’s bunion became so painful she could no longer wear shoes. That was when she decided something had to be done.
“Any time my bone touched or rubbed something the pain was excruciating and I just couldn’t bare it any longer,” said Sue.
“I told my GP I wanted to go to Gold Coast Private Hospital and she put me onto Dr Platt as she’d heard very good things about him.
“When I walked in I was delighted with his approach and manner. I actually really enjoyed my appointment.
“I had already researched minimally invasive bunion surgery and he confirmed I was a good candidate for it.
“The surgery itself was so quick – my appointment was at 12.30pm and I was home just after 5pm the same day.
“I couldn’t believe it, but I had not one ounce of pain from my surgery. Obviously coming home that first night I’d have had pain control from the anaesthetic, and I was prescribed Panamax but I only took it for the first day and really just as a precaution. It’s been amazing.”
New Technology Improving Bunion Surgery
Sue had been referred to Gold Coast Private orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist Dr Simon Platt. Dr Platt an expert in minimally invasive surgical techniques that help reduce pain in the post-operative phase. Dr Platt said Sue’s bunion was the result of a deformity, making her a great candidate for minimally invasive surgery.
“In the past, bunion surgery has garnered a reputation for being extremely painful with a long and difficult recovery – but with today’s techniques, this is rarely the case,” said Dr Platt.
“My patients who have minimally invasive bunion surgery are usually surprised about the appearance of their foot – which has just a couple of small incisions that heal quickly and leave virtually no scars.
“What we do to the bone is the same whether you have open surgery or minimally invasive surgery, so it’s important to remember that the bone takes just as long to heal regardless of which method is used.
“What we’ve seen is that patients who have minimally invasive, also known as ‘keyhole’ surgery, experience less swelling, discomfort and pain due to the fact that less soft tissue is disrupted.
“This also results in a faster recovery initially, but the long-term recovery is the same.”
Be Free of the Pain
For Sue, the procedure has been life changing.
“I’m only a few weeks post-surgery so I’ve still got to wait for the bone to fully recover but I am pain-free and I can’t wait to wear shoes again,’ she said.
“The recovery has been easy because the wounds are so small – like scratches really. I do my own bandages and my husband couldn’t believe it when we first took them off and he saw virtually nothing on my foot.”
Sue hopes her story will encourage others who are suffering from bunions to seek the right treatment. She also hopes that people will not be put-off by the idea of surgery.
“Anyone with a bunion knows how excruciating it is,” said Sue.
“For me, surgery has eliminated that pain. I hope anyone in my situation can get the same relief.”
Bunion Surgery: Non-Surgical Treatment Alternatives
Dr Simon Platt said non-surgical treatments such as bunion braces and silicon spacers could provide short-term relief. He said while surgery should always be the last option, it provided more reliable long-term corrections.
“Most people I see have tried conservative treatment methods but the pain has become too great to bare. They want to know their options,” he said.
“Generally, most people who have a bunion caused be deformity can have minimally invasive surgery, but I thoroughly investigate every patient and decide the best treatment method based on their individual circumstances.”
Minimally invasive bunion surgery is performed in Gold Coast Private Hospital’s Day Surgery Centre. Patients are discharged the same day. Dr Platt said patients with two bunions could have them operated on simultaneously, further reducing recovery times.
“Patients can expect to be able to walk and mobilise immediately after surgery in a post-operative shoe, which is worn for an average of six weeks,” he said.
“After this time, people can wean back into normal shoes and activities including running.”
For more information contact Dr Platt or visit your GP for a referral. Dr Simon Platt, Gold Coast Specialist Suites, Gold Coast Private Hospital, 14 Hill Street, Southport, Qld, 4215. T: (07) 5530 0770. Check out the website for the Gold Coast Private Hospital here.
Worried about the bigger health issues that can have a long term toll? Check out our article about how the Gold Coast Private Hospital is leading the charge in stroke prevention.
Editor for Silver Magazine Gold Coast