What is the Austin Bunionectomy procedure?

An Austin buionectomy is a ‘V’-shaped osteotomy or cut into the distal end of the first metatarsal bone with with a lateral displacement of head of metatarsal. The corrected postilion is then held in place with one or two screws. This surgery is not technically difficult and is very commonly used. The Austin bunionectomy is generally used when the deformity is moderate, the intermetatarsal angle between the first and second metatarsal is less than 16 degrees and there no degenerative joint disease in the first metatarsophalangeal joint.

The advantages of the Austin Bunionectomy are that no cast is needed after the procedure (just a protective shoe is often all that is needed) and weightbearing can be immediate, though activity needs to be limited for the first week or so and crutches are often used. The Austin bunionectomy typically has a shorter recovery time than other bunion procedures. Runners can often return to running about 10 weeks after the procedure. The disadvantage is of the procedure is that it can not be used on the more severe bunion deformities.

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