Published on Nov 18, 2016, modified on Jun 7, 2019 by Dr. Solomon (Podiatrist), Manhattan Foot Specialists

Bilateral Bunionectomy

Bilateral Bunionectomy NYCBunions are bumps on your big toe joints that have become inflamed and enlarged. This deformity can become so severe that the base of your big toe joint juts toward the outside of your foot. Bilateral bunionectomy refers to the process a podiatrist performs to correct this condition on both of your feet at the same time.

Bunion surgery in NYC is usually the last option for a foot doctor in New York after trying:

  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Special shoes
  • Inserts to decrease pressure spots

If all these have failed to reduce your symptoms or discomfort, surgery may be required. If the pain of walking persists or the angle of the joint becomes so severe as to interfere with your ability to walk, your NYC foot doctor may recommend a bunionectomy. You may be at an increased risk of developing complications after surgery if you:

  • Are obese
  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Drink alcohol regularly
  • Don’t eat right
  • Have overall poor health

All symptoms, potential procedural/surgical options should always be discussed with your podiatrist after a thorough consultation and examination  for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Bilateral Bunionectomy Procedure Options

The goal of the surgery is to re-align your big toe joint to relieve pain and pressure to give you back the ability to walk normally. When your New York foot doctor performs a bilateral bunionectomy, he removes a small piece of bone and repositions it somewhere else on your foot. A podiatrist has two different procedure options to accomplish this:

  1. Distal osteotomy: A pediatric doctor takes a small piece of bone from the end that sticks out and moves it so the bone isn’t so deviated. This procedure involves a few pins to hold everything in place. The pins are removed later. This procedure is for mild to moderate bunion issues.
  2. Proximal osteotomy: This procedure is used for more severe bunions. The surgery involves cutting the bone in the middle or near the end, realigning it, and holding it in place with either pins or screws, to be removed later. It’s not unusual for a foot doctor in NYC to complete a soft tissue release (described below) at the same time as this surgery.

Your NYC foot doctor reviews your surgical options with you prior to your procedure. Depending on any risk factors you may have, as well as the exact nature of your bunions, a good NYC podiatrist helps you make an informed decision as to which procedure can give you the most relief. Available techniques include:

  • The lapidus procedure fuses the first joint, straightens out your toe and limits movement. This procedure is currently a popular procedure among foot doctors in New York.
  • Exostectomy is a procedure where the part of the foot that is bulging out is actually removed.
  • Soft tissue release does not involve the bone, but instead re-aligns the big toe ligaments.
  • In a metatarsal osteotomy, a small piece of bone from your foot, rather than your big toe, is removed.
  • Phalangeal osteotomy means that a piece of your toe bone is removed.
  • Resection arthroplasty is the reshaping of your big toe and metatarsal bones.
  • Arthrodesis involves fusing the bones of your big toe joint.

Post-Operative Care

Depending on the type of surgery you’ve had, your New York City foot doctor uses either local or general anesthesia so you don’t experience any pain during the procedure. You may need to stay overnight at the hospital if you’ve had a long or complex surgery. Once you get home, expect:

  • A podiatrist has bandaged your feet.
  • You may or may not be allowed to put weight on your feet, depending on a number of factors your foot doctor should discuss with you. You may have post-operative shoes, casts or splints. Additionally, especially since you’ve had both feet operated on at once, you may need crutches or even a walker for a period of time to keep your full weight off the surgical sites.
  • Swelling is a concern. Your foot specialist should tell you to ice your feet and keep them elevated. Never put ice directly on your skin; instead, put ice in a sealable bag and wrap it in a towel before applying to your feet.
  • A podiatrist may ask you to keep your feet dry and away from water for a certain period of time. This means wrapping your feet in plastic and keeping them out of the bath.
  • Follow your foot doctor’s instructions to the letter to ensure proper healing and to avoid infections.
  • After surgery, your foot doctor in New York may have specific recommendations for footwear to try to keep the bunions from recurring. A podiatrist recommends where to you can buy the best shoes or what specific brands you should try.
  • Physical therapy may be necessary, especially when both feet have been operated on. When your ability to walk was impacted by the bunions, you may have developed an uneven or awkward gait. To make sure you’re walking and balancing properly, as well as to regain foot flexibility, physical therapy helps you the most. Follow the therapist’s instructions for at-home exercises to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

Following Up with Your Foot Doctor

More than likely after your surgery, you need to schedule several follow-up appointments. Issues a podiatrist looks out for during your first follow-up appointment include:

  • Fever
  • Swelling of your lower leg
  • Infection
  • Stiffness
  • Numbness
  • Bleeding or other drainage of fluids from the incision site
  • Redness or pain around the surgical site

In the weeks following your procedure, a good podiatrist in NYC makes sure that your toe is not misaligned or too short, that healing isn’t progressing more slowly than expected and that your bunion hasn’t come back. As long as you go to physical therapy and follow the post-op instructions, you should be feeling better in six to eight weeks, although a full recovery can take up to six months.

All symptoms, potential procedural/surgical options should always be discussed with your podiatrist after a thorough consultation and examination  for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

Important Reminder: This information is only intended to provide guidance, not a definitive medical advice. Please consult foot doctor about your specific condition. Only a trained, experienced board certified podiatrist or foot specialist can determine an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment.

Do you have any questions about Bilateral Bunionectomy procedure in NYC? Would like to schedule an appointment with an internationally recognized, top NYC Podiatrist and foot doctor, Dr. Sophia Solomon of Manhattan Foot Specialists, please contact our office for consultation.

Manhattan Foot Specialists
Dr. Sophia Solomon, Podiatrist (NYC Foot Doctor)

51 East 25th Street, Ste 409
New York, NY 10010

(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
(212) 389-9918

The information on this website is to provide general guidance. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive medical advice and self diagnoses should not be made based on information obtained online. It is important to consult a best in class podiatrist regarding ANY and ALL symptoms or signs as it may a sign of a serious illness or condition. A thorough consultation and examination should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call a foot doctor or call our office today and schedule a consultation with the leading foot surgeon Dr. Sophia Solomon.