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Footnotes / Blog

Bunion Surgery: Part 2

Monday, September 13th, 2010 Kenneth Donovan

Last time we talked about what a bunion is and how mild bunions are treated, most notably the Silver Bunionectomy or McBride Bunionectomy were discussed. Today i will discuss the most common procedure for mild-moderate bunion deformities the Austin Bunionectomy.

The Austin Bunionectomy was first described in 1962 by (you guessed it) Dr. Austin. Unlike the Silver Bunionectomy and McBride Bunionectomy, where only the bump is shaved off, Dr. Austin proposed making a cut across the metatarsal (in essence creating a surgical fracture), then moving the front end of the bone over to help reduce the bunion deformities.

Now this was nothing new at this point, as several doctors had described making a cut in the metatarsal and moving it over for correction of bunions. What Dr. Austin did differently was create a V-shaped cut. The shaped of the “V” allowed for more stable cut allowing for faster and more predictable healing.

In orthopedic circles his procedure goes by the name “Chevron Bunionectomy”, as the word Chevron is just a fancy word describe the letter “V” (think of the logo on the Chevron gas station).

By utilizing the a V-shaped cut in the bone, it allowed for greater and greater correction of bunion deformities. So much so that its the most widely used procedure in bunion correction today.

Today the 2 fragments are either pinned together (w/ an absorbable or non-absorbable wire) or fixated w/ a bone screw. Post-op usually requires 4-6 weeks on limited weight bearing in a special surgical shoe.