Bunion correction surgery


A bony protrusion on the side of the big toe joint is known as a bunion or hallux valgus. On the outside edge of the foot, these bumps develop. They are visible at the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint, which is the joint where the toe and foot connect.

One way to treat bunions is by bunionectomy, often known as bunion surgery. There are various kinds of surgery for bunions. The majority of them entail realigning the big toe, to reduce discomfort and enhance function.

Types of bunion surgery

Your surgeon may perform your bunion surgery using a variety of procedures, such as:

  • Osteotomy: A few tiny incisions are made in the bones by your surgeon. After that, the surgeon realigns your big toe joint with screws or pins. The most popular treatment for bunions is this one.
  • Exostectomy: The bunion is surgically removed by your surgeon. To realign the toe, medical professionals frequently use this method in conjunction with osteotomy. This treatment is only performed in the most modest cases of bunions.
  • Arthrodesis: Bunions can sometimes result from inflammation caused by arthritis. Your surgeon will remove any arthritis-ridden components of the big toe joint during an arthrodesis joint fusion. The toe’s bones are then held together while they recover by screws that your surgeon inserts. Only the most severe bunions are treated with this surgical procedure.

Reasons for undergoing the procedure

Surgery is typically only necessary if your bunion is painful or interfering with your ability to function. Bunion removal might be an option for you if you have:

  • A big toe that is stiff, or hallux rigidus.
  • Big toe that sways in the direction of the little toes.
  • Inflammation and persistent swelling in the big toe.
  • Pain that prevents you from going about your regular activities.


The following are some potential dangers of bunion surgery:

  • Stiffness or constant pain
  • Inflammation
  • Infection
  • Nerve injury
  • Problem with healing
  • Bunion may come back

You and your doctor will talk about the potential dangers of bunion surgery. Complications from bunion surgery are uncommon and typically manageable. In the event that difficulties arise, your recuperation can take longer than anticipated.

Before the procedure

Your surgeon and you will talk about your health, exercise level, and any other issues that may impact your recovery prior to surgery. Using this information, your surgeon will determine which kind of surgery is ideal for you. Your surgeon will ask you to arrive one to two hours early on the day of your visit. In order to keep you comfortable during the process, surgeons usually combine light monitoring anesthesia with local anesthetic, which numbs the area around the toe. For this kind of treatment, intubation (breathing tube) and strong anesthesia are usually not required.

During the procedure

Your surgeon will typically make a little incision along your big toe joint to operate on bunions. Your big toe is then realigned by your surgeon. Additionally, your surgeon might reposition the ligaments or tendons surrounding your toe joint.

Typically, your surgeon uses wires, metal plates, and small screws as implants to keep your toes intact.

Your toe will be sutured and bandaged by your surgeon to promote healing. Depending on how severe the bunion is and what has to be done to fix it, the entire procedure could take 45 minutes to three hours.

After the procedure

Being an outpatient operation, bunion surgery allows you to go home the same day. You will spend one to two hours in a recovery room following surgery, or until your surgeon says it’s okay for you to go. You’ll need to arrange for a ride home. Your doctor will provide you instructions on what to do while recovering at home.

  • Steer clear of placing weight on your big toe.
  • Raise your foot to lessen edema.
  • Make sure the bandages and wound are dry.

Adhere to the recommended dosage for pain medication. (This kind of procedure would hardly ever need antibiotics outside of an operating room.)

You might need to ask someone to assist you with meal preparation or household duties during the first two weeks following surgery.


After surgery, your stitches will often come out in two weeks. Nonetheless, the healing process for your bones takes six to twelve weeks. Most likely, you’ll need to wear a boot or shoe for protection.

You won’t be able to support your entire weight on your foot throughout this healing phase. You might need to use a walker, a scooter, or crutches in order to move around comfortably. Depending on the kind of bunion correction operation you receive, weight bearing will change.

Your foot function will start to return after six to twelve weeks. Particular physical therapy exercises assist in regaining the strength and range of motion in your foot. In roughly three months, you can get back to your regular activities. But following surgery, edema could linger for six to nine months.

You will need to make prearranged post-operative appointments with your doctor after surgery in order to guarantee appropriate healing of your foot.