Phantom Nail Bunion Surgery
Our feet carry the weight of our body everywhere we go, so it’s no surprise that finding an uncomfortable bump by your big toe would cause some concern. These bumps are known as bunions and start out as a mild inconvenience with the potential to become debilitating if not addressed. While not being able to wear your favorite shoes is a small side effect, many individuals with bunions start to feel an increased level of pain in the area over time.
Thanks to advances in bunion research and podiatry technology, bunions have fallen off the list of conditions that require invasive surgery. With the Phantom Small Bone Intramedullary Nail, patients are able to get back on their feet faster than ever with minimal scarring and downtime.
How Do I Know If I Have a Bunion?
Known as hallux valgus, bunions form at the base of the big toe and create a bony notch right on the joint. This typically occurs when the big toe starts to point inward towards the second toe, causing the bottom joint of the toe to start pushing out away from the foot. While the big toe is the main victim of bunions, the change in the big toe’s orientation can cause the second toe to become deformed if left untreated.
Bunions are most commonly caused by structural defects acquired at birth, but high amounts of force and stress on the feet and even conditions like arthritis can also lead to the development of a bunion. Certain activities and professions that require tight or narrow shoes see their workers forming bunions more often due to the big toe being unable to rest in its natural position. If you think you have a bunion, check for symptoms such as:
- Swollen or sore big toe joints
- A new bump on the bottom joint of your big toe
- Constant dull sensation on the toe with intermittent sharp spikes of pain
- Stiffness of the big and second toes due to swelling or arthritis
There are even bunionettes, which are simply smaller bunions that form on the little toe instead. As with normal bunions, bunionettes can quickly go from a minimal bump to a swollen, red, and sore center of pain at the base of your toe. If you have a bunion that’s become too painful to ignore, it may be time for bunion surgery to help alleviate the pain and realign your foot’s bone structure.
The Phantom Nail Surgery Process
At Align Foot and Ankle, we pride ourselves on transparency with all our patients. Our surgeons will only operate if other avenues of bunion treatment have failed and the pain is causing you to miss out on aspects of your daily life. When the time comes for bunion surgery, you’ll undergo the following:
- The bunion and surrounding area is cleaned and sanitized.
- A standard incision is made at a precise location based on X-rays and other imaging technology.
- Specialized tools are then used to remove any excess bone growth to allow the toe the flexibility needed to be realigned.
- The Phantom Nail is placed completely within the bone to avoid complications with footwear or future operations
- The incision is then closed and sealed with stitching before final sterilization and dressing are done.
While bunion surgery isn’t entirely new, the Phantom procedure raises the bar on the quality level that can be achieved. With an extremely low rate of failure and recurrent bunions, the Phantom Nail finds the perfect balance between lightweight design and long-term durability. The corrective power of the Phantom Nail can’t be matched by other operations and builds upon the collective knowledge and experience found throughout the podiatry world.
Should I Consider Foot Surgery?
How much a bunion impacts a person depends on a number of circumstances. While a bunion isn’t an instant cause for concern, there are times when surgical removal is the best route going forward. Bunions that only pose cosmetic problems should be tackled with nonsurgical treatment options such as specific bunion shoes and braces.
If you have a bunion that doesn’t cause sharp pain but is always hurting at a low level, try using additional support in your shoes or a floor mat if your work requires you to stand for long periods at a time. Practicing better health habits can lower your risk of developing a bunion as well by reducing the weight the feet have to support throughout the day. When all else fails or a bunion turns into an emergency situation, it’s time for surgery.
Contact Our Team for a Quick Consultation
No two patients are the same, and our doctors understand that these differences have to be accounted for during every appointment and surgery. Our approach to bunion therapy is a conservative one, with surgery being used as a final effort. Your initial consultation will help us discover the best course of action for your pain.
If bunions are repeatedly causing a drop in your quality of life, don’t hesitate to reach out to Align Foot and Ankle today.
Visit a location near you:
Camarillo, CA Office
"I've always believed in exhausting conservative treatment over surgery. Over the years in practice, I've kept many people out of the operating room. Even then, the patients who have been taken to surgery are extremely pleased with their results. I will do all I can to get you moving again...without pain or discomfort!"
Dr. Hai-En Peng