I (Dr. Lawrence Silverberg) specialize my practice of podiatry in surgery of the foot. The most common foot surgeries I perform are correction of bunions and hammertoes. I have dedicated this site to discussing surgery for bunions.
Bunion surgery is my favorite foot surgery to perform. I do all kinds of foot surgery from simple correction of bunions and hammertoes to complex foot reconstruction surgery but bunions are my absolute favorite (followed by hammertoes). I have patients that fly into New York City from all over the United States, and other countries for me to perform their bunion surgery. I have done bunion surgery on many athletes and celebrities.
Complex Bunion Surgery
Bunion surgery is a very complex surgery. I believe no two bunions are the same and I adapt my surgery to each individual patient. I consider many variables in choosing which of the many different kinds of bunion surgeries to do. I perform all kinds of metatarsal osteotomy procedures and have even have invented many variations of these. The resident doctors I teach love working with me because I teach them how to do surgery like no other podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon. Note, the residents are there to assist and help me and I do all the surgery myself with their assistance.
Most foot surgeons to the same old textbook procedures that have been around forever. I have adapted these procedures in order to achieve the best possible outcome for each patient. I am able to do this due to my background, training and (as of this 2014) 14+ years of experience.
What Makes Me Different Than Any Other Foot Surgeon or Bunion Surgeon?
Innate and learned mechanical dexterity
I have to thank my father for the first part of this. At a very young age, my father taught me carpentry, mechanics, how to fix things, and how to use tools. We were a real DIY (do it yourself) family. We fixed everything that broke and built things we needed built. Most surgeons pick up a [bone] saw for the first time in their lives in medical school or residency. By the time I cut my first bone I was experienced using saws. I had worked as a carpenter throughout college to pay my tuition building store fixtures. I was experienced in using saws to cut intricate angles building wood, metal and glass fixtures. Cutting bone was similar to cutting anything else.
Foot surgery requires the use of saws, drills, rotary burrs, screws, plates, and other instruments that require manual dexterity. In addition to my innate and learned manual dexterity, surgery requires analytic thinking and visualization in three dimensions. In my DIY years and carpentry job I always excelled in designing my projects with the ability to think analytically. I literally visualize what I want to do in surgery in three dimensions prior to even making my first cuts.
Bunion Surgery Training, Podiatric Surgery Residency
The next part is my training. I had the advantage of training in one of the top podiatric surgical residencies in the country. I trained at Parkview Hospital Podiatric Surgical Residency in Philadelphia, PA. My attending physicians were the doctors that wrote the text books of podiatric surgery. The doctors that lectured, and still do, nationwide to other doctors at conferences to teach foot surgery. My excellent grades, clinical judgment, bedside manner and personal skills as a medical student allowed me to match with this highly sought after residency. Unfortunately, years after I graduated, this hospital closed due to the unfortunate situation in healthcare with decreased funding and hospital bankruptcy.
During my residency training my attending physicians quickly saw my potential and a student surgeon. In an unprecedented situation, most of them allowed me to perform surgery on their patients under their guidance what we call in surgery, “skin to skin”. This means they allowed me to perform the entire procedures form the initial incision to the final stitch. I was performing hundreds of surgeries each month in three different hospitals under the guidance of approximately 125 different podiatric surgeons. Working with so many surgeons in this amazing residency allowed me to learn a diverse skill set as each surgeon had their own personal style. To this day I consider my style an adaption of all of theirs. I literally took the best attributes from each of them and created my style.
Cosmetic Bunion Surgery, Plastic Surgery for Bunions
In addition to working with so many podiatric surgeons, I made the effort to work with Plastic Surgeons, Vascular Surgeons, Orthopedic Surgeons and General Surgeons. The plastic surgeons in particular taught me how to adapt my foot surgery to produce the most cosmetically appealing results possible. One of my closest friends is a plastic surgeon that was a fellow of plastic surgery during my training. He allowed me to assist him in all kinds of cosmetic procedures like breast implant, face lifts, tummy tucks, and wound care. He taught me so many skills that I apply to foot surgery every day. I am forever grateful to him for giving me this opportunity.
In addition to alleviating the pain of bunions, I also make them look nice. Almost all podiatrist fail to address the excess skin left over after bunion surgery. For years patients have stretched out skin over the bump of bone. I perform plastic surgery procedures called ‘skinplasty’ in order to remove the excess skin. This involves cutting out the excess skin in very intricate patterns consisting mostly of triangles and diamonds to advance the skin and make the best cosmetic result possible. I also utilize plastic surgery type stitching in order to produce the best possible scars. To reduce visual scarring I also plan my incision in less conspicuous places. Many podiatrist place the incision right on top of the bunion in the most visual unappealing place possible. I utilize side of the foot incisions to reduce visual scars. Side incisions make accessing the far side of the bone more difficult but I am able to access everything from this incision easily.
Bedside Manner and Doctor Ethics
In addition to all this, I have made it a priority to treat all my patients like they are family. I have been told countless times that patients wish all their doctors had my bedside manner. I love what I do and it shows in my practice of foot surgery. I take interest in all of my patients and love talking to them. I take my ethics very seriously also. I often tell patients not to have surgery despite my potential for financial gain. Again, treating them like a member of my family would be treated. Unfortunately, there are many doctors that push surgery for their own gain. In my office you will never feel rushed or pushed into surgery. I provide all the necessary information for patients to decide if they need surgery or not. On occasion I tell patients surgery is necessary sooner than later when they have progressive problems or worsening arthritis, but for the most part, foot surgery is elective and the patient chooses if and when they do it.
More Information about Me and Bunion Surgery
Thanks for taking the time to read about me. It seems I can write forever as I am very passionate about foot surgery. For more inforamation (as if this was not enough) see my other site, City Footcare (click). Here I have some before and after pictures of bunion surgery and more information about me. I also have a blog (click) with extensive information about foot surgery and general podiatry.
Below this, I will post blogs on bunion surgery including before and after pictures and descriptions of my unique bunion surgery.