Bunion removal

Definition

Bunion removal is surgery to treat deformed bones of the big toe and foot. A bunion occurs when the big toe points outward toward the second toe, forming a bump on the inner side of the foot.

Alternative Names

Bunionectomy; Hallux valgus correction; Bunion excision; Osteotomy - bunion; Exostomy - bunion; Arthrodesis - bunion

Description

You will be given anesthesia (numbing medicine) so that you won't feel pain.

The surgeon makes a cut around the toe joint and bones. The deformed joint and bones are repaired using pins, screws, plates, or a splint to keep the bones in place.

The surgeon may repair the bunion by:

Why the Procedure Is Performed

Your doctor may recommend this surgery if you have a bunion that has not gotten better with other treatments, such as shoes with a wider toe box. Bunion surgery corrects the deformity and relieves pain caused by the bump.

Risks

Risks of anesthesia and surgery in general include:

Risks of bunion surgery include:

Before the Procedure

Tell your health care provider what medicines you are taking, including drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.

During the week before your surgery:

On the day of your surgery:

After the Procedure

Most people go home the same day they have bunion removal surgery.

Your provider will tell you how to take care of yourself after surgery.

Outlook (Prognosis)

You should have less pain after your bunion is removed and your foot has healed. You should also be able to walk and wear shoes more easily. This surgery does repair some of the deformity of your foot, but it will not give you a perfect-looking foot.

Full recovery may take 3 to 5 months.

References

Greisberg JK, Vosseller JT. Hallux valgus. In: Greisberg JK, Vosseller JT, eds. Core Knowledge in Orthopaedics: Foot and Ankle. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:56-63.

Murphy GA. Disorders of the hallux. In: Azar FM, Beaty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 14th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 82.

Myerson MS, Kadakia AR. Correction of lesser toe deformity. In: Myerson MS, Kadakia AR, eds. Reconstructive Foot and Ankle Surgery: Management of Complications. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 7.


Review Date: 6/8/2022
Reviewed By: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, San Francisco, CA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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