Bunion Surgery (Hallux Valgus)
Surgery to treat bunions is often used for more severe cases, or after conservative methods have failed. There are several different surgical options available, depending on the cause and symptoms of the bunion.
The most common surgical procedure for bunions is a bunionectomy, which includes:
- Removing the swollen tissue from the big toe joint
- Removing part of the bone to straighten the big toe
- Permanently joining the bones of the big toe joint
A bunionectomy may be performed alone or in conjunction with other procedures that may:
- Shave off the swollen bump
- Repair the tissue in the joint
- Fracturing and realigning the bones of the toe
- Removing part of the bone to decrease the angle of the toe
- Removing the bump on the toe joint
Some of these procedures will require the use of metal screws, wires or plates to hold the joint structures together, especially after pieces have been removed. Your doctor will help you decide which procedure will be most effective for your individual condition after evaluating your medical history and X-ray images.
Most bunion procedures are performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. General anesthesia may be used in certain situations depending on the complexity of the procedure and the preference of the patient. Complications from these procedures are rare but may include infection, recurring bunion or nerve damage.
Recovery from bunion surgery depends on the complexity of the procedure. Some people will be able to walk on their foot immediately after surgery, while others may need to use crutches or a cane and may not be able to walk for a few weeks or longer. It is important to keep your dressing clean and dry to ensure proper healing. Most patients require the use of orthotics after surgery in order to maintain stable and correctly-positioned feet.
While these procedures can be beneficial, there are usually only recommended for patients with bunions that cause severe pain. There is also a chance that a bunion may form again after surgery. Patients with realistic expectations are usually satisfied with the results of their surgery. Call us today to speak to a doctor about how bunion treatments can help you.