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Latest news from The Montefiore Hospital

9th March 2020

It's National Feet Week!

Consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Mr David Redfern, has developed pioneering minimally invasive surgery for bunions. He says:  

“Bunions are one of the most common foot problems, but so many people put off having them corrected as they have heard how painful the surgery can be. Minimally invasive surgery drastically reduces pain after the operation – studies have shown most patients have said they haven’t needed to use painkillers and recovery is quicker.

“Many patients opt for surgery because they can no longer walk, run or go to the gym without pain, or because fashionable footwear is too uncomfortable for their feet, but they are just not ready to wear what they call `give-up’ shoes.

“However, you don’t have to have something done about your bunions just because they look unsightly, but if you are in pain regularly with them, then seek medical advice.”

*Over the past 10 years, Mr Redfern has trained more than 500 consultants worldwide in minimally invasive techniques and is currently training surgeons in America. His techniques have been used in more than 50,000 procedures across the world.

Recovery after surgery:

For the first two weeks, the foot needs to be elevated as much as possible. While the foot is fully weight-bearing straight after surgery, it is recommended that crutches are used as an additional support for the first two weeks.  Low impact sports like swimming or cycling can resume within six to eight weeks but avoid high impact activities like running for up to three months.

Facts about bunions

  • Bunions are painful bony lumps which form on the joint at the base of the big toe. They gradually worsen with age as the big toe is pulled towards the smaller toes, forcing the joint to stick out further.

  • The shape and structure of the foot is hereditary, so if a close relative had a bunion, your risk of having one increases.

  • They are not caused by high heels. However, tight shoes and heels can increase the discomfort of bunions.

  • Bunions are a common foot condition affecting more women than men.

  • Not everyone suffers pain with them. For those that do, they have often lived with bunions for a long time before seeking help.

  • While the bunion might not be painful, the big toe can cause pain and deformity in the second toe.

  • Apart from surgery, there is nothing you can do to prevent bunions getting worse. Silicone shields and toe spacers can help ease the pain.  Choose comfortable shoes. A massage or foot bath at the end of the day can help ease the pain, as can anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen.

  • Bunion is an old English word for `turnip’.

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