Traditional vs Keyhole Surgery: Which is Better for Treating Bunions

A bunion is an unsightly and painful bony bump that forms on the base of the big toe joint. While pain medications and special footwear can help relieve symptoms, surgery remains the only effective and lasting way to get rid of bunions. Bunion surgery in Singapore can involve one of the following techniques:

  • Osteotomy – The bunion surgeon creates incisions on or removes a small wedge from the big toe bone, which allows the toe to be straightened and the joint to be aligned back into place. The straightened toe and joint are then fixed in place using metal pins, screws or plates. Osteotomy may also be done with soft tissue repair.
  • Exostectomy – This procedure, which is also called a bunionectomy, shaves or saws off the bony bump. An exostectomy is typically done with an osteotomy to realign the joint and repair soft tissue.
  • Resection Arthroplasty – Recommended for older patients with severe cases of bunions, this procedure involves removing the damaged portions of the affected joint, which gives more space between the toe’s bones. This is generally considered to be the last resort, as it reduces the function and strength of the joint.

The bunion doctor in Singapore can help advise which technique is most suitable for the patient. He or she may perform the procedure traditionally via open surgery or via keyhole (minimally invasive) surgery.

Traditional Bunion Surgery vs Minimally Invasive Surgery

The main difference between traditional and minimally invasive bunion surgery is the size of the incision made. With the former, the bunion doctor creates a large incision on the side of the foot, carefully cutting the skin and tissues underneath to access the joint. On the other hand, the latter involves making a few small incisions through which a thin, camera-and-light-equipped device (arthroscope) and small surgical instruments are inserted, allowing the doctor to see the joint and perform the operation from outside the body via a viewing monitor.

Both traditional and minimally invasive bunion surgeries come with their advantages and limitations, though minimally invasive is generally preferred in most cases. Traditional open surgery allows for easier access to the site and freer range of movement during the procedure. On the other hand, minimally invasive surgery offers quicker recovery, less scarring and bleeding, and decreased risk of complications. Not all patient is eligible for minimally invasive surgery, however, and your bunion surgeon will be the best person to advise you on your options.

Which Surgery Is Best for You?

Both open and keyhole bunion surgery treatment are safe and effective when performed by a skilled and experienced specialist. Which option also largely depends on the severity of the bunion. Your doctor will also keep you informed on the risks and benefits of the procedure, as well as how you can prepare and what to expect afterwards.

Dr Kevin Koo is an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in bunion treatment in Singapore, skilled in both open and minimally invasive surgery. To find out more about the doctor and his services, visit The Bone & Joint Centre today or call 9898 7781.

Our orthopaedic specialist is widely recognised in his field to skilfully diagnose & treat your injury or condition so you can emerge stronger and safely return to the activities you enjoy.

For more information, please call 9898 7781 or click here to send us an email

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We want to assure you that we remain committed to providing the high quality and compassionate care you have come to expect from us. For more assistance, please call us at 9898 7781 or fill up the form below and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

The Bone & Joint Centre
Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre,
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Singapore 228510
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