Consultants who perform this procedure
Why would I need a bunionectomy?
Bunions are caused when your big toe begins to bend inwards and the bone begins to protrude.
Some people don’t experience any symptoms related to their bunions, whereas others experience pain and problems with walking.
What symptoms does a bunionectomy address?
Bunions can be painful and make it difficult to walk. After surgery, patients generally find that they have an easier time walking and experience less pain.
When should you speak to your specialist about a bunionectomy?
If you have bunions that are painful and are interfering with your day-to-day activities and other treatments have not worked, it could be time to consider speaking to your specialist about undergoing a bunionectomy.
How is a bunionectomy performed?
The operation aims to remove the bunion and realign the joint so that it can function normally.
A cut is made between the big toe and the second toe, and the tight tissues are freed. A cut is then made over the bunion.
The big toe joint is opened and the bony lump is removed. The first metatarsal is cut through at the base, repositioned and fixed with screws.
What is the recovery for a bunionectomy?
The recovery from a bunionectomy is relatively long and will depend upon many factors. It is generally recommended that you stay off your feet for two weeks after the procedure. It may be up to six months before you can engage in sports or high intensity activities.
You and your surgeon will discuss your plan for recovery prior to your bunionectomy.
Are there any risks/complications associated a bunionectomy?
As with any medical procedure, it is possible for risks or complications to arise. It is best that you speak with your specialist or surgeon about how best to avoid any adverse reactions.
Some complications that have been associated with the procedure are:
- Nerve damage in your toe
- Tendon damage, which might make your toe stiff
- A bent toe
- An infection
- Slow healing
- Pain in the ball of your foot
- Resurgence of the bunion, necessitating another surgery
- Prominent metal work
- Blood clots
Where can I learn more about a bunionectomy?
It is best to talk to your specialist about a bunionectomy, but there are also online resources including the NHS website that can provide you with additional information.
How can I prepare for a bunionectomy?
Prior to your bunionectomy, you should discuss the preparations you should make with your surgeon, as they can vary depending on the person.
As you will likely be on crutches after your surgery, you might find it beneficial to re-arrange some of your household furniture, so you have an easier time moving around your home.
Are there alternatives for a bunionectomy?
Before undergoing surgery to remove your bunions, there are options that you can try, including:
- Over-the-counter pain medications, like paracetamol or ibuprofen
- Putting insoles in your shoes
- Stretching your shoes so your toes have more room
- Using bunion pads
- Wearing splints that hold your toes straight