Hallux valgus operations: timely solutions to solve the problem.

Correction of hallux valgus is by far the most common foot surgery. There’s a large amount of literature about it but what is stated is not always true or accurate. The first thing to clarify is that there is not a unique solution to the correction of this deformity. There are several techniques: some of them are excellent, some are good and some are much less.
What matters is that the surgeon must be able to choose the right one for each case, avoiding attitudes of “extreme fanaticism” namely, favouring one technique over the others.

The attention given to the soft tissues that enclose the bone makes us prefer mini-invasive techniques, namely, operations which are performed without cutting the skin but allow the deformity to be realigned.

There are also some forms of valgus which require mini-approaches (mini-incisions), best for the most significant deformities or to perform insufficient correctional treatments connected to previous operations (corrective operations).

Being an orthopaedic surgeon means to be exposed to a respectable number of patients and people affected by a certain problem. This results in a considerable number of patients who are advised to undergo a surgery. Keep in mind: often not always. Occasionally, careful listening and check-up of patients can lead to the conclusion that surgery is not the only possible way. There are also conservative treatments (plantar, physical therapy) for ankle and foot problems.

However, it is hard to think about correcting a symptomatic deformity such as hallux valgus without surgery.
Another delicate issue of the activity that I and many of my colleagues are daily concerned is the frequent incompatibility between the over-specialised surgeon and the response capacity/ability of the regarding hospitals or institutes who confront budget problems. This gap often creates long waiting lists, especially for certain medical conditions. In particular, non-urgent operations are the subjects of this phenomenon. These pathologies have doubtlessly inferior impact on life quality compared to serious deformities and arthritic degenerations. Even so, they are disturbing and disabling.

Nevertheless, in these cases there is an option regarding operations carried out by the National Health Service: operation to be paid for, either directly or through health insurance. In both cases the patients can contact the relevant professional’s secretary to agree on the date and means of the intervention.

Obviously, this costly service is not for everyone. Exactly with this in mind, I designed and developed another way, called ‘flat-rate scheme’. With this option, costs are very low and similar to the reimbursement that National Health Service provides (changes may be possible). Obviously it is the patient who bears the costs not the state. This solution guarantees a firm date for the operation with a waiting time of maximum 2 months.

In conclusion, I would like to stress that any of the above mentioned form chosen, (National Health Service, solvency scheme or flat-rate scheme) the patient is treated and operated with the same surgical and anaesthetic techniques, supervised by the same careful and prepared stuff.