A Glimpse into the World of Podiatric Surgery
It’s hardly the most comfortable of topics discuss, but for those performing the surgery it’s reassuringly routine and something they do every day with few surprises. We took some time out our of own clinic to visit Mr Stuttard, a Podiatric Surgeon at The Highfield Hospital in Rochdale just around the corner from us, to study a routine Bunionectomy and provide you with some insight on a typical procedure.
Upon arrival we were whisked off to the changing rooms and into the typical scrubs and clogs visage you’d associate with a sterile surgical environment. There were 3 appointments booked for that morning but we were attending the removal of a Bunion, exactly the type issue that we’d identify at the clinic and ultimately refer to our contacts at The Highfield Hospital if required.
A Bunion is a boney deformity at the joint of the base of the big toe, but around these parts it’s better known as Hallux Valgus deformity - let’s stick with Bunion for now shall we? It’s a deformity that’s often associated with poorly fitting footwear, especially in relation to high heeled shoes or winkle pickers, but they can also be hereditary or even occur as a result of arthritic changes in the joint. Ultimately they lead to pain, discomfort and makes finding footwear that accommodates the deformity almost impossible.
In theatre the process is made to look simple by Mr Stuttard and his support team, this is hardly surprising as he’s been a qualified surgeon since 1987. With the patient under general anaesthetic another course of anaesthetic is administered along with adrenaline in what’s know as an ‘Ankle Block’. Upon incision and exposure of the bony deformity, it is described how the cartilage damage and bony cysts cause the patient pain and discomfort.
Forty-five minutes later and the surgery is complete. Recovery time for a Bunionectomy is around 6 weeks and the end result can be a huge improvement in the patients quality of life, decreasing pain and improving their overall mobility. It’s worth mentioning is that in this case and indeed with many other foot related surgery procedures, only day surgery is required, there’s no overnight stay needed.
For us, the relationship we have with The Highfield Hospital is vital for our patients and it allows us to deliver this type of insight into a procedure that can otherwise become quite scary. The reality is quite different, a short, routine surgical procedure, completed in and hour and with no overnight stay required has removed a painful problem and this patient back their mobility.