is almost always contemplated at some stage by almost all those
who have them - most reject the idea outright and others can't wait
to have it done. Most would benefit from a surgical consultation,
if only to get an opinion. The aim of surgery is to correct what
was the cause of the bunion and prevent it happening again.
management before bunion surgery:
Several studies have shown that
85-90% of those who have bunion surgery are satisfied with the results.
But, before bunion surgery is considered, non-surgical approaches
or conservative care of the bunion should be tried. Check the bunions
page for more information on conservative care. If this fails, bunion
surgery should be considered.
for bunion surgery:
Bunion surgery is indicated
If there is severe foot pain that limits
your activities, especially work and being able to walk when
wearing reasonable shoes.
Chronic inflammation of the big toe is present
and doesn't respond to conservative care.
A significant deformity of the toe (this
drifting of the big toe towards the small toes is usually called
hallux valgus or hallux abducto valgus).
The big toe joint is stiff and does not bend
so that it interferes with walking.
There is no pain relief with the use of nonsteroidal
There is a failure to respond to other conservative
treatments such as changes in padding, exercises, footwear,
of unrealistic claims that bunion surgery can give you a "perfect"
foot. The goal of surgery is to relieve as much pain, and correct
as much deformity as is realistically possible. Unrealistic claims
and expectations are are common cause of dissatisfaction with bunion
It has been
suggested that when it comes to bunion surgery that there are more
different surgical techniques for this than there is for any other
surgical condition. They range from the "simple" or "minimal"
surgical procedures to the major forefoot reconstructions. The choice
of procedure will depend on so many things, all of which will be
evaluated and taken into consideration by the surgeon.
Some of the procedures
a simple bunionectomy just, literally, cuts
off the lump of bone (it does not realign the big toe)
tendons and ligaments around the big toe
can be out of balance, so this may be surgically corrected (this
is often used in conjunction with other procedures)
an osteotomy is when a wedge of bone is taken
out of the big toe and or metatarsal to 'straighten' the big
toe (screws, plates or wires are used to hold the bones in place
while they heal)
the damaged joint surfaces can be removed
and the joint fused together (usually reserved for when there
is severe arthritis present; or other types of procedures have
failed). In less severe cases, a plastic joint spacer may be
used to replace the damaged joint.
of bunion surgery:
expectations can be a common cause of dissatisfaction with bunion
surgery. It is important that expectations are realistic. Bunion
surgery will help relieve pain and result in an improvement in the
alignment of the toe in the vast majority of cases. Bunion surgery
will not allow you to wear a narrower shoe or smaller shoes. Tight
fitting shoes are a major contributor to bunions in the first place,
so returning to this type of footwear is a risk for the bunion reoccurring.
It is important that you discuss your expectations with the surgeon.
are risks associated with any surgery and these should be discussed
by the surgeon. Less than 10 percent of patients experience complications
from bunion surgery. These can include infection, a recurrence of
the bunion, damage to the nerves, and continued long term pain.
Most of these are treatable.
|More on Bunion Surgery
relevance to bunion surgery:
resources on hallux valgus or hallux abducto valgus
a question in the foot health forum about bunion surgery
books on foot care:
Little Foot Care Book
Foot Care Tips for those with Diabetes
Foot Book - Relief for Overused, Abused and Ailing feet
Foot Care: Herbal Blends and Soothing Treatments to Pamper Your
products to help your bunions:
|USA & Canada:
|UK & Europe:
is purely a source of information on bunion surgery and should at
no time be considered as replacing the expertise of a health professional.
We recommend seeking professional advice for bunion surgery and
all foot problems before embarking on any form of self treatment
or management. Neither the content or any other service provided
through ePodiatry is intended to be relied on for medical diagnosis
or treatment. Do not delay in seeking health professional advice
for bunion surgery or any other problem because of something seen
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