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Bunion removal

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Bunion removal  - series
Bunion removal - series

Alternative Names    Return to top

Bunionectomy; Hallux valgus correction

Definition    Return to top

Bunion removal is surgery to treat deformed bones of the big toe and foot. This deformity is called a bunion.

A bunion makes your big toe point toward your second toe. This causes a bump to form on the inside edge of your foot, next to the joint of your big toe. This bump is made up of bone and soft tissue.

Description    Return to top

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

First, you will receive anesthesia (numbing medicine) so that you will not feel pain during surgery. You will be awake but also receive medicines to make you relax. After that, your surgeon will make an incision (cut) in your skin to expose your toe joint and bones. Next, your surgeon will repair the deformed joint and bones. The surgeon will use pins, screws, plates, or a cast to keep the bones in place.

Procedures that the surgeon may use to repair a bunion are:

Why the Procedure is Performed    Return to top

Bunion removal surgery may be recommended when non-surgical treatments do not work. An example of a non-surgical treatment is switching to shoes with a wide toe box to make room for the bump caused by the bunion.

Surgery is recommended to correct the deformity and restore normal, pain-free use of the foot.

Risks    Return to top

Risks for any anesthesia are:

Risks for any type of surgery are:

Risks for bunion surgery are:

Before the Procedure    Return to top

Always tell your doctor or nurse what drugs you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.

During the 2 weeks before your surgery:

On the day of your surgery:

After the Procedure    Return to top

You should keep your foot propped up and protected from injury while it heals. Your doctor will tell you how much weight you can put on your foot. Full recovery may take 3 to 5 weeks.

Outlook (Prognosis)    Return to top

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

References    Return to top

Richardson EG. Disorders of the hallux. In: Canale ST, Beatty JH, eds. Campbell's Operative Orthopaedics. 11th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2007:chap 78.

Update Date: 2/3/2009

Updated by: C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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