A Manhattan podiatrist is pioneering a surgery that can cut bunion recovery time in half. NY1's Bree Driscoll filed the following report.
As a patient-service representative at Beth Israel Medical Center, Kathryn Gariba-Benjamin is always on her feet. But her bunions made getting around difficult.
"It was a lot of pain," she says.
A bunion is a boney bump that forms along the joint where the big toe connects to the foot. After suffering through 10 years of pain Gariba-Benjmain wanted to have surgery. But the recovery time is so long - usually about six weeks - she would have needed to go on longterm disability. She did not see that as a viable option.
"I got things to do, bills to pay, family to take care of so I am like doctor what is the easiest step to take," says Gariba-Benjamin.
Her podiatrist, Dr. Andrew Glass, suggested a new and less invasive procedure that he has pioneered.
"I'll shave off that extra bone through one stitch. Then on the other side, so in between the big toe and the second toe, if your toe is deviated or moving sideways than I will straighten that toe by cutting certain ligaments," explains Glass.
The procedure requires only two small incisions and two stitches compared to traditional bunion surgery, which uses a three to four inch incision, breaks the bone and requires stitches to remain for a month and a half.
"Much less chance of infection. You are not breaking a bone so you are not changing the structure of your foot as much so you are able to return to normal function. You won't have as much swelling or pain," notes Glass.
Dr. Glass says not only are there less risks of complications with this surgery but it also speeds up recovery time.
"After three to five days I will take their stitches out then at that point I will allow them to get back into a shoe already. It helps with early range of motion," he adds.
So patients like Gariba-Benjamin are back on their feet much quicker.
"Wearing a lot of my flip flops, sandals. As soon as the weather get a little bit more warm. I'll be ready," she says.