New bunion surgery cuts recovery time

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NEW YORK (CBS) For years, Catherine Cobb-Ryan put off bunion surgery because the mom and actress worried it would leave her in even more pain.

"I was always in pain. But you ignore it," she said.

A bunion is a bony bump that forms on the bottom of the big toe, making it painful to walk and wear shoes.

"When I realized, 'Oh my gosh, I need to get this done.' I Googled: 'New bunion surgery yet?' And up came this article," Cobb-Ryan said. "I started yelling, 'Honey! Honey, there's a new bunion surgery!"

Orthopedic surgeon Ettore Vulcano at Mount Sinai West is the first in the U.S. to perform this procedure. He says the new, minimally invasive surgery takes less time and is far less painful.

"What's revolutionary about it is that it's done through extremely tiny incisions. And so that is, that allows us to cut on recovery time substantially," Vulcano said.

During the operation, Vulcano makes a 2-3 millimeter incision and then uses a live X-ray to shave and realign the bone.

"What I did here with Catherine was through the tiny incisions I cut the bones at this level, I shifted it over and made it straight," Vulcano explained. "Then, I put a titanium pin inside into each one of the bones to keep that in position."

Cobb-Ryan had both feet done six weeks apart and says she walked out of the hospital with no pain and was off crutches in a week.

"I'm gonna be able to buy more shoes," she laughed. "It's really hard to find shoes."

And she's looking forward to getting back to exercising and skiing, which her bunions forced her to give up.