Arthrex Bunionectomy Patient Stories | Loretta


The bunion itself would cause me a lot of pain, but I endured it. Not only was it just the pain, but when I needed to shop for shoes there was always an issue of how wide was the shoe, how comfortable was the shoe. Because of course the shoe would rub on that area.

Five years ago, I had traditional bunion surgery done on my right foot. Not only was the recovery period longer, but I also had quite an incision that definitely caused me to not consider [surgery]right away for my left foot.

After five years, my husband said to me that we were going on this beautiful Caribbean trip for 7days, so one of the things and agreements was that I would have the surgery done on my left foot. I had made the date with my surgeon. He told me the Arthrex Bunionectomy was a new procedure. He said it's going to allow you to heal quicker. It's going to allow you to be back on your foot fast, and you're going to see that downtime is minimal once we have the surgery.

Everything he told me about it was completely true. I could be up and walking and looking good on this trip. That was fantastic. Less pain, healed quickly, back on my feet within no time at all. Asa matter of fact, I think he was amazed at how well I healed and how quickly I was back into my soft sneakers.

Now, I can work out for an hour and nothing bothers me. I don't have to be that worried about what I'm doing. I can almost do anything I want to do. The Arthrex Bunionectomy allowed me to be back in the car driving on my own, not being chauffeured anymore. Those kinds of things matter.

Walking in the water is comforting, is soothing, so you can just put your sandals in your hand and you can go for it. You don't have to worry that “Oh, this is going to be painful later. I'm going to be in such pain.”

No, you can really move your toes and stretch your toes and flex your toes. It's like you’re a normal person again.

My name is Loretta and I got the Arthrex Bunionectomy.

This real patient was compensated for the time they took to share their personal experience with the Arthrex Minimally Invasive Bunionectomy procedure.

Loretta C describes herself as always on the move and loves “just enjoying life” with her husband. But for several years, her activities and the level to which she could enjoy them were limited by pain caused by a bunion on her left foot.

“Before the Arthrex Bunionectomy, I was limited in what I could do,” Loretta says. “It was painful for me if I bounced on my toes or worked out too long…or when I walked for long periods of time.”  

Now that she is retired after a 30-year career in the health care industry, Loretta wanted to enjoy her favorite activities, such as dance workouts, gardening, shopping, traveling, and even just trying new restaurants with her husband and friends.

But no matter the activity, Loretta first had to think about how her painful bunion would impact it. The couple has a home gym with a stationary bike, treadmill, weights, and more, but Loretta found she couldn’t use any of the equipment for too long before experiencing pain from her bunion. A home renovation meant lots of trips to home improvement stores—but Loretta found all those steps challenging.  

And, she says, it was “depressing” that she could no longer wear the stylish shoes she loved. Instead, she purchased comfortable shoes a half-size too large just to accommodate her bunion.

Going out to dinner with friends, another favorite activity, was complicated by Loretta’s self-consciousness about the appearance of her foot, both her bunion and the crossover toe that had developed as a result. “My confidence was affected when I was out with others, because I was afraid that they were looking at my feet,” she explained.

Fear of Another Painful, Long Recovery Holds Loretta Back From Bunion Surgery

Loretta was familiar with the symptoms of a bunion, as well as the potential complications of traditional “open” surgical correction. In 2014, she underwent correction for a painful bunion on her right foot, but her experience with the procedure was not at all positive, she says.

After her traditional bunion surgery, her foot was swollen for 6 weeks; she was in a surgical boot for even longer; and it was “2 to 3 months” before she could wear a soft, sneaker-like shoe, Loretta says. She still experiences stiffness in that toe, and has a large, long scar on her right foot that is still visible Because of this experience, Loretta put off finding a solution for the painful bunion on her left foot.

The Arthrex Minimally Invasive Bunionectomy Gets Loretta Back on Her Feet Faster

Even before retirement, Loretta says, her bunion slowed her down. The self-described “workaholic” spent 10-hour days in an office setting, where most women wore dress-style shoes. But Loretta couldn’t wear them for very long and kept multiple shoe styles under her desk for changes throughout the day, from comfortable flats to sandals that allowed space for the painful bunion on her left foot.  

Although her bunion pain limited her activities, she was very concerned that another procedure would keep her out of work and prevent driving herself to the office—in addition to worrying about the lingering pain and swelling she experienced with her first surgery.  

But in late 2019, on the verge of retirement and with a planned Caribbean vacation on the horizon, Loretta finally decided to again explore surgical correction for her bunion. She visited a podiatrist in her area, who recommended she visit an orthopedic surgeon.  

Her surgeon, who is trained in the Arthrex Minimally Invasive Bunionectomy procedure, explained to Loretta that he would make “pinhole” incisions to complete her surgery, then realign the bones of her big toe. The small incisions disrupt less tissue than open procedures, which her doctor told her meant she should experience less swelling and pain.¹

And, crucially to this active retiree, he told her she should be back in action much more quickly than after her previous open procedure.²

The result?

“Everything he told me about it was completely true,” Loretta says. “There was less pain. I couldn’t believe it… I was absolutely shocked!”

The minimal swelling she experienced subsided after just 10 days, Loretta says. She spent about the same amount of time in a surgical boot before transitioning to a soft, sneaker-style shoe. And within a few days, she was back to enjoying some activities with her husband.  

While her right toe is still stiff many years after her open procedure, within 3 months of her Arthrex Minimally Invasive Bunionectomy she was back to enjoying all her favorite activities, from dance exercise classes to shoe shopping. She is excited that, with her bunion corrected and just two tiny dots on her skin, she feels confident wearing her favorite shoes again. “It’s just comfortable getting back out there again and being as active as I want to be,” Loretta says. “I can scrunch my toes, do tippy-toes.”

With retirement the couple’s travel plans have only grown, and now Loretta does not have to fear limiting herself on vacation. Many visits are to beachfront locales, where she can take walks on the beach, wade in the water, and wear sandals to her heart’s content.

“The healing process, for me, was excellent,” Loretta says.“I have no pain at all anymore. No pain, and no fear of shopping for shoes!”  


1.  Lee M, Walsh J., Smith MM, Ling J, Wines A, Lam P. Hallux valgus correction comparing percutaneous chevron/Akin (PECA) and open scarf/Akin osteotomies. Foot Ankle Int. 2017;38(8):838-846. doi:10.1177/1071100717704941

2. Lai MC, Rikhraj IS, Woo YL, Yeo W, Ng YCS, Koo K. Clinical and radiological outcomes comparing percutaneous chevron-Akin osteotomies vs open scarf-Akin osteotomies for hallux valgus.Foot Ankle Int. 2018;39(3):311-317.doi:10.1177/1071100717745282  

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Surgeons using the Arthrex Minimally Invasive Bunionectomy procedure have been trained in minimally invasive surgery for bunion correction.

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