I refer to your article, “ When it cuts both ways: the painful road to bunion relief” (March 16), and would like to offer my professional opinion.

Not long ago, doctors were still mistakenly blaming patients for wearing high heels. Unfortunately, the bunion condition has been dogged by such misconceptions and regrettably futile treatments.

Surgery is surprisingly still abhorred by many bunion sufferers, despite tens of different ways of cutting bones and fusing joints having been innovated upon and refined. They are obviously concerned about expected results, in comparison to many other orthopaedic surgeries having much shorter history but greater success.

Bunions compromise the proper functioning of feet. It is not unreasonable to expect any proposed surgery to restore the ability to return to normal activities and footwear, including high heels if desired, without pain or recurrence. This is no small order but otherwise why have surgery?

The Chinese saying “對症下藥” (dui zheng xia yao) means “treat according to the pathology”. A bunion is a condition made up of displaced bones due to the failure of their stabilising ligaments. For generations, bunions have been mistakenly regarded as a bone and joint problem when it is a ligament issue. Sacrificing healthy bones and joints to compensate for abnormal ligaments can only complicate the matter. Missing the real cause only invites recurrence.

It is time for bunion surgery to be reinvented, outside the “bone-cutting and joint-fusion” box. Dr Daniel Wu, Centre for Syndesmosis Bunion Surgery, Hong Kong Adventist Hospital

Source: SCMP

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