Services & Technology

Scarfplasty Surgery for Bunions

Get scarfplasty surgery for bunions from one of our expert podiatrists.

What are Bunions?
A bunion occurs with instability of the foot structure. This inherited characteristic allows the foot bones to spread out over time. Activity and the types of shoes you wear can speed up the development process but do not cause bunions.

As a result of the spreading, the large bone behind the great toe leans inwards creating a large bump while the great toe falls over towards the outside of the foot. The resting position once formed is of a wider front part of the foot with pain and pressure of the bunion bump against the shoe and a great toe that is starting to move out of position and dislocate.

The first line of treatment is avoidance of pain. Wearing wider and softer shoes allows for the wider foot by placing less pressure on the foot. Toe splints and braces will not help straighten the toe nor will they correct the problem. Inserts or orthotics can help slow down the development process, but they cannot stop it.

Surgery is considered when the bunion is large enough that softer and wider shoes no longer are comfortable, and the discomfort is more persistent.

There are more than 100 surgeries described in medical literature for the correction of bunions. While all procedures obviously will correct a bunion, not all bunions are created equal and therefore procedures must be used with the proper clinical parameters.

The doctors of the Weil Foot & Ankle Institute have championed the Scarfplasty which was initially developed in 1985 by Dr. Lowell Weil Sr.

Today the scarfplasty is performed worldwide and is the most procedure performed. The procedure provides for full correction of bunions on both feet at the same time with less complications and faster return to weight bearing and activity.

A main benefit of the Scarfplasty is that the procedure allows correction in the multiple planes of deformity that a bunion exists in. Providing the comprehensive correction avoids further surgical procedures decreasing cost and rehabilitation.

Due to the inherent stability of the procedure, weight bearing is tolerated and allowed immediately. The stability of the scarfplasty is strong enough to allow post-operative weight bearing to occur on both feet at the same time.

Most patients return to athletic shoes within 7-10 days and return to work within 2-3 weeks of the procedure. No casts, boots, or sutures are necessary for recovery, and you can return to bathing normally within a week as well. Physical therapy and non-weight-bearing exercise can begin as soon as one week after Scarfplasty. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking and jogging, can resume as quickly as 6 weeks after surgery.

Published research by the doctors of Weil Foot & Ankle Institute demonstrates recovering from Scarfplasty on both feet is no more difficult than recovering on one foot. After surgery, your chances of a bunion reoccurring are significantly reduced in comparison to other procedures.

Scarfplasty Patient Pre-Op Photo vs. Post Surgery 2021 (photo credit to WFAI patient Joan S.)


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