Our state-of-the-art miniBunion™️ minimally invasive bunion surgery. What you need to know.

University Foot and Ankle Institute (UFAI) has teamed with CrossRoads Extremity Systems, an innovation leader in the field of podiatric technology in the creation of CrossRoads’ revolutionary bunion surgery system, known as miniBunion™️.

University Foot and Ankle Institute, the leader in Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery, announces great success with miniBunion™️ surgery

UFAI will now utilize miniBunion™️ for the many minimally invasive bunionectomy patients for whom it will be the absolutely optimal surgical choice.

MiniBunion™️ uses a small incision and advanced hardware to guarantee minimal scarring, rapid recovery, and durable stabilization. In short, miniBunion™️ provides the best possible surgical outcomes for most bunion patients.

Before we fully describe the mini Bunion procedure, here’s a short primer on bunions.

What is a bunion?

Bunions, also known as hallux valgus, are bony protrusions at the base of the big toe. They are caused by gradually increasing misalignment of the joint between the big toe and the first metatarsal bone. Ideally, the bones of your big toe would align with that first metatarsal to form a straight line throughout your lifetime.

But various factors can cause the joint between the first metatarsal bone and the first bone of the big toe to gradually veer outward. The process is like slowly bending a slender branch to form a chevron or V shape. The point of that V is the bunion. That V also can represent very, as in very painful.

Nina discusses her miniBunion™️ procedure and painless recovery.

What causes bunions?

There are a number of things that can cause bunions. The most common include:


If your ancestors had bunions, you’re more likely to have them as well.


Though approximately 66% of bunion sufferers are women, there are plenty of men that develop them as well.

Structural abnormalities

If you are missing bones, have flattened arches, a short first metatarsal, asymmetry of the legs, or prolonged healing of a foot injury, these can contribute to the development of a bunion.


During pregnancy, the body releases a hormone called relaxin. This facilitates birth by relaxing the ligaments surrounding the pelvis. But relaxin also softens ligaments throughout the body, including ligaments in the foot.

This can cause bones in the foot to spread and arches to fall. Both of these events can lead to bunions.

Bad shoe choices

Yes, we are primarily talking about high heels. High heels cause weight-bearing to shift to the forefoot. This can often result in a gradual arch collapse and flattened arches contribute to bunion formation.

Conservative treatments for bunions?

CrossRoads Extremity Systems and UFAI Launch miniBunion™️ Technique
Eva, MinVasive Bunionectomy™️ patient. Her after picture was taken six weeks post-surgery.

A bunion will never spontaneously correct itself. The only way to permanently restore proper bone alignment for a bunion is with surgical intervention.

UFAI almost always recommends trying conservative treatment options before recommending any surgical procedure.

Fortunately, there are several non-surgical treatments that can possibly help relieve some painful bunions. These include:

  • Supportive footwear
  • Custom orthotics
  • Bunion pads
  • Steroid injections
  • Topical medications
  • Exercise and stretching
  • Bunion splints
  • Activity modification
  • A new treatment using a Botox-like substance that has shown positive results in trials

But if these fail and the pain is not tolerable, surgery is the only way to correct the condition.

How many types of bunion surgery are there?

While there are “officially” over 40 different kinds of bunion surgeries, very few have stood the test of time. One thing that has been proven over the years is there is no “one size fits all” bunion surgical technique, even though many surgeons perform just one type.

For example, our trademarked Lapidus Forever Bunionectomy™️ is the gold standard for more severe and complicated bunion deformities and uses state-of-the-art fixation hardware. This virtually guarantees the bunion will never return.

But this is not the right surgery for many patients with more moderate deformities. For years podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons have been performing what they call “minimally invasive bunion surgery” with entry into the foot through a tiny incision.

Unfortunately, many of these surgeries failed because they used no fixation hardware, the very thing that helps make our Lapidus Forever Bunionectomy™️ so successful. Without that corrective hardware, the joint would too often fail to heal in the correct position and the bunion would return requiring a traditional bunion surgery.

That is, until now!

Our miniBunion™️ procedure provides all the elements of ideal bunion correction

Through years of diligently turning vision into practice, CrossRoads Extremity with Dr. Bob Baravarian and the University Foot and Ankle Institute has developed a minimally invasive surgery system that meets all the criteria of the ideal bunion surgery.

The miniBunion™️ experience begins with a local anesthetic, which numbs the area surrounding the bunion. The local elimination of pain is accompanied by mild sedation to simply relax the patient.

A tiny (one centimeter) incision is made adjacent to the bunion. Importantly, the big toe joint is not penetrated as in traditional surgery.

“With mini Bunion™️, we do not open the joint, so patients don’t form scar tissue as they would with traditional bunionectomy,” says Bob Baravarian, DPM, Director of UFAI. “This eliminates scar formation inside the joint and the surrounding soft tissue. It also maintains a normal blood supply to the joint throughout the procedure. Post-operative pain and swelling are greatly minimized with faster recovery time and a lot less pain if any. This is what a minimally invasive surgery is supposed to be like.”

The maladjusted bone is sliced, and then reconfigured into its proper position: a line that is truly straight, in all three dimensions, and from every angle.

The secret to success is our specially designed plate

An essential component of miniBunion™️ surgery is the specially designed plate devised by Crossroads and the surgeons at UFAI.

This plate is fitted to the newly reshaped bone and then fastened by screws to both the bone’s head and shaft. This structural reinforcement ensures that the correct configuration will be permanently maintained. The plate’s low-profile means that any need for removal will be rare.

The incision is then closed with a maximum of two stitches. When its function has been fulfilled, the surgical thread will fall out on its own, thus eliminating any need for an office visit for removal. The scar is tiny. And it’s on the inner side of the foot, where it will be virtually invisible during all sorts of barefoot activity.

Recovering from miniBunion™️ surgery

The miniBunion™️ plate and screw mechanism allow some weight-bearing immediately post-surgery. The patient is also able to promptly begin range of motion exercise therapy.

The miniBunion™️ surgery enables a walking recovery. Full recovery is usually accomplished after 4 to 6 weeks in a weight-bearing boot. The need for physical therapy is minimized, and the process produces an earlier return to normal daily activity.

MiniBunion™️: a practically perfect process

Although the miniBunion™️ system may not be optimal for larger bunions or patients with very loose joints, it is ideal for a large majority of bunion deformities.

If you are experiencing bunion pain, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our foot and ankle surgeons to see if the miniBunion™️ procedure is right for you.

Why choose University Foot and Ankle Institute for minimally invasive bunion surgery?

If you’re experiencing bunion problems, or any other foot problems, we’re here to help. Our nationally recognized foot and ankle specialists offer the most advanced podiatric care and the highest success rates in the nation. We are leaders in the research and treatment of all foot and ankle conditions.

For more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (877) 736-6001 or make an appointment online now.

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