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Bunion Surgery

Although there are many types of bunion surgery, The Bunion Surgeon offers the most effective surgery to correct a bunion.

The first step is to arrange a consultation and X-rays with our bunion specialist, Mr Kaser Nazir.

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What is a Bunion?

A bunion is a bony deformity that forms on the side of your foot below the big toe joint, they are also known as Hallux Valgus deformity.

When a bunion develops the big toe will typically start to point towards the other toes on the same foot, which may then result in the metatarsal bone attached to point outwards.

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, bunion surgery can be performed on both feet at the same time.

Some factors to take into account would involve home support in that you may not be too mobile for the first couple of weeks. If you have young children then I would sometimes recommend that only one foot at a time is operated on especially if you have very little help.

I also find that people who need to return to work after one week that involves commuting then I would recommend that they have one foot done at a time so that they can remain fairly mobile.

It would be advisable that you maintain the dressing for two weeks to reduce the risk of infection and keep the foot dry for that period. You will be advised to purchase a LimbO device to protect your foot from water which will allow you to shower and bathe normally.

Bunion surgery typically takes between 45 to 50 minutes per foot. You may spend much longer at the hospital as you will require pre-admission and post-operative monitoring including training to use physio aids and walking. Typically you will be admitted for half a day.

We believe that the appropriate anaesthesia requires a combination of patient choice and appropriate clinical indication.

Many of our patients choose to have the procedure done under local anaesthetic only and the clinic specialised in providing this service. Most patients however choose some sort of sedation option to reduce any anxiety involved being in a hospital setting.

The main difference in the procedure is that minimally invasive operation is performed through three to four small incisions all approximately 3 to 4 mm in length. The open surgery is a singular incision which measures approximately 8 to 10 cm on the inside of the big toe joint.

Not everyone is suitable for minimally invasive surgery and in some cases especially where there is soft bone or some arthritic changes within the big toe joint we may consider a more open technique.

The specific advantages of minimally invasive bunion surgery involves less soft tissue dissection and hence you are less likely to get joint stiffness. You can return back to shoes a little sooner, although in terms of return to full activity long-term outcomes the final results appear to be very similar with both surgeries.

The risk of bunion recurrence with almost all the procedures performed at the clinic are at approximately 2%. However, this does not always mean that the bunion will reoccur fully.

Revision rates in terms of performing the bunion surgery again are 1 in 50 which is 2%.

Correction of a bunion can only be performed with an operation. Evidence has shown that whilst splints may reduce some of the symptoms temporarily, they do not in the long-term reduce the risk of bunions developing or progressing.

We often advise on appropriate footwear and use of insoles that could help support the foot better and that has some evidence of reducing progression of bunion.

However, correction of the deformity once it has occurred is only possible with bunion surgery.

Bunion surgery costs are somewhat variable as there are a few different types of procedures that are performed and are tailored to individual needs.

You will note that there is pricing on our website that will give you an indicative price depending on the procedure and whether you have one foot or both feet operated on at the same time.

Price is varied depending on the number of screws and plates that may be used or type of anaesthesia.

Please do not hesitate to contact us for more formal quote.

We often find that there is a common myth that bunion surgery is extremely painful and this is based on experiences many years ago that previous generations of bunion surgery patients had suffered.

Recent advances have shown that 9 out of 10 patients do not experience significant pain. Some patients do not experience any pain whilst others have well managed pain for the first three to five days postoperatively.

You will get the occasional patient who has breakout pain that requires further management by their specialist.

Typically, patients are mobile on their feet from day one where they are allowed to walk on their foot in a specialised postoperative shoe for 10 minutes an hour for the first two weeks. However, it is highly recommended that you elevate the foot above your heart for 50 minutes an hour to reduce the swelling for the first one to two weeks. You must not walk barefoot during this period. You will be allowed to make some cup of tea or go to the toilet unaided.

You will be taking painkillers for three to five days in most cases. A nerve block is also used to provide pain relief and most patients do not experience any uncontrolled pain during the initial recovery period.

After two weeks you may be transitioned either into trainers or specialised boots so you can increase your activity levels to 15 to 20 minutes an hour for the next two weeks.

Typically, non-weight bearing exercises are allowed at this stage but at four weeks one may start to use a static bike or perform gentle weight training.

Bone healing will take six to eight weeks to allow for significant stress at which point impact activities will be allowed. However, long distance running, jumping and high impact activities may not be allowed for three months following the surgery.

You will find that swelling may take a number of months and typically between 12 to 16 weeks to resolve.

All surgeries carry risks, including bunion surgery, the incidence of the complications is relatively low compared to older techniques in the past.

Nevertheless, complications may arise which include but are not limited to infection, clots, delayed healing, joint stiffness, numbness, continued pain, joint stiffness, complex regional pain syndrome.

Your specialist will try to mitigate these risks as much as possible but a small number of patients will suffer from a complication. Please do discuss this with your bunion surgeon as to the relative risks as per your individual circumstance.

A Bunion can cause a variety of symptoms including pain in the big toe joint and poor footwear fitting. Patients often find that their foot becomes unstable with larger bunions and they develop other problems such as hammer toes on the second toe and pain in the ball of the foot.

Although there may be patients with cosmetic concern with bunion, the vast majority of patients do have intermittent pain and difficulty with finding comfortable footwear.

There are over 200 types of bunion operations that have been described over the years.

However, most recent advances in bunion surgery have allowed bunion surgeons to correct the deformities using keyhole surgery which involves a few small incisions to cut and reset the bones in accurate alignment to restore normal function and form of the big toe and the first metatarsal. The bones are then held together with specialised screws designed for allowing early weight bearing and immediate walking of the foot without losing any correction that may have been performed by the operation.

Bunion surgery is a procedure that is performed on the big toe joint bones, namely the first metatarsal and the proximal phalanx, to correct the deformity that is medically termed “hallux valgus”.

The big toe deviates towards the second toe and sometimes overlaps or underlaps the second toe.

You get widening of the forefoot and the metatarsal bone at the ball of the big toe protrudes towards the inner side.

Bunions occur both in men and women but seem to affect women more as it limits the choice of footwear that they can wear. The deformity is progressive and therefore bunion surgery corrects all aspects of the deformities with a low recurrence rate.

A Bunion can be very painful and can lead to a swollen big toe, the smaller toes can even start to overlap. They are progressive, meaning that they will not get better if left alone and will get worse over time. Poorly fitted narrow shoes or shoes with heels can exacerbate the symptoms and speed up the progression.

Bunions are very common, approximately ¼ of adults have a Bunion. Women experience bunion symptoms more than men. Bunions can affect any age group and are often seen to develop in early teens, but they are more common as people age.

There is no precise point when you should seek treatment for your bunion. Generally patients seek help once the condition becomes painful. It is important to bear in mind that bunions do get worse over time.

  • Soreness or pain

  • Redness

  • Swelling around the joint

  • Toe movement is restricted

  • Pain when moving the affected toe

  • Bump at the joint of the affected toe

  • Corns or calluses