It’s a tricky dilemma – do you persist with the pain and unsightliness of having a bunion, or do you go through the pain of an invasive operation which will leave you with a large scar afterwards?
Happily, you can now have smooth, pain-free feet with hardly any scarring, thanks to an innovative procedure offered at BMI Shirley Oaks Hospital in Croydon.
Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Kumar Kunasingam is one of just a handful of surgeons in the UK using a new procedure which enables him to break and reset the bone through tiny holes in the skin, and to keep the new setting secure with a purpose-made screw. Both the technique and the special screw were invented in Germany.
The result? New smooth feet, with minimal pain and scars so tiny you can hardly see them.
“Because the cuts are so minimal and the scars are so small, there is less risk of infection, less bruising, a reduced risk of blood clotting and a much quicker recovery time,” he said. “I use five small incisions each of less than 3mm, which is even smaller than a keyhole surgery scar. I’ve seen bunion scars of 7, 8, even 9 cm long – this new technique leaves practically no scarring and, because the holes are so small, they don’t even need stitching.”
The so-called ‘minimally invasive’ keyhole technique has been well received by Mr Kunasingam’s private patients at BMI Shirley Oaks Hospital, where both insured and privately-funded patients have undergone the treatment.
Patient, Mrs Theo Spring of South Croydon, said: “Before the operation, my bunion was getting pretty bad. It was red and painful and my big toe was advancing inwards and underneath my second toe. I couldn’t even stretch my toes apart.
“It was getting more and more difficult to find shoes that fitted and were comfortable and I thought ‘enough is enough’.”
Mrs Spring, aged 71 said, “It just so happened that my GP had heard a talk from Mr Kumar about this technique shortly before I went to see her and so she referred me straight to him.
“I was in hospital for less than a day and sent home with strict instructions to ensure I put my foot up as often as possible. I was able to get round pretty easily with a surgical boot over the bandage and using a walking stick and then after a couple of weeks, they gave me a soft splint to wear on my foot, which I wore for about 4 weeks,” she said.
“If you look really hard, you can now just about see a tiny, tiny scar on my foot, but it really isn’t noticeable at all. The very the best thing though, is that I really haven’t had any pain at all from the operation. It’s been incredible, just a little bit of aching occasionally!
Theo added, “I really can’t praise Mr Kunasingam’s skill and care enough. I am absolutely delighted with the results and I’m so glad I finally decided to do something about my bunion.”
Kumar Kunasingam added: “Bunions are deformities of a person’s big toe, which causes the joint to swell and the toe to tilt over towards the smaller toes. They are quite common and poor footwear is often blamed, but the reality is that a lot of it is down to genetics. I say to my patients that we need to look at their family history to see who is to blame! Lots of people have bunions, but now they also have a solution which is not painful and which does not leave a scar.”
20th September 2017