Bunion removal is surgery to treat deformed bones of the big toe and foot.
Bunionectomy; Hallux valgus correction
You may be awake during the procedure. You will be given anesthesia (numbing medicine) so that you will not feel pain and medicines to help you relax.
The surgeon makes a cut to around the toe joint and bones. The surgeon repairs the deformed joint and bones using pins, screws, plates, or a cast to keep the bones in place.
The surgeon may repair the bunion by:
Making certain tendons or ligaments shorter or longer
Arthrodesis, which involves taking out the damaged part of the joints and then using screws, wires, or a plate to hold the joint together
Shaving off the bump on the toe joint
Removing the damaged part of the joint
Cutting parts of the bones on each side of the toe joint, then putting them in their proper position. This is called an osteotomy.
Why the Procedure Is Performed
Your health care provider may recommend this surgery if you have a bunion that hasn't gotten better with other treatments, such as shoes with a wider toe box. A bunion is when your big toe points toward your second toe, forming a bump.
Bunion surgery corrects the deformity and relieves pain caused by the bump.
You should have less pain after your bunion is removed and your foot has healed. 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.
Wexler D. Grosser DM, Kile TA. Bunion and bunionette. In: Frontera, WR, Silver JK, Rizzo TD Jr, eds. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2008:chap 76.
C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.