A bunionectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove bunions — painful, bony bumps that develop on the inside of the foot at the big toe joint. Bunions develop when your big toe and the toe next to it push together causing the joint of your big toe to enlarge and stick out. This condition can cause discomfort and pain, making walking difficult. When non-surgical treatments fail to provide relief, a bunionectomy may be recommended.
The Bunionectomy Procedure
The type of bunionectomy procedure you undergo will depend on the severity of your bunion. There are many different surgical procedures for bunions, and your surgeon will choose the one that best suits your condition.
Most bunion surgeries involve the doctor making an incision on the side or on top of your toe joint. The doctor then removes or realigns the bone and soft tissue. This will help you with your pain and also restore the normal alignment of the toe joint. Depending on the procedure, the surgeon may also use small screws, plates, or wires during the procedure, which will hold your bones in place.
The bunionectomy procedure steps include:
- Anesthesia: The procedure usually involves local anesthesia, which means you will stay awake but will not feel any pain in your foot. Sometimes, sedation or general anesthesia may be used.
- Incision: The surgeon will make a small incision in the top or side of your big toe joint.
- Bone realignment or removal: Depending on the severity and location of the bunion, the surgeon may remove some bone and/or realign the bones of your toe and foot.
- Stabilization: After the bones are aligned properly, the surgeon will stabilize the bones using pins, screws, plates, or wires.
- Closure: The incision is then closed using stitches and your foot is bandaged.
The procedure usually lasts between one and two hours.
Recovery from a Bunionectomy
Recovery from a bunionectomy can take several weeks to months. Initially, you'll need to rest and avoid putting weight on your foot. You may be given a surgical shoe or boot to protect your foot and aid in mobility.
Your doctor will provide you with instructions on how to manage pain and swelling, which may include medications, icing, and elevating your foot. You may also need to attend physical therapy sessions to restore strength and range of motion in your foot and toe.
Always follow your surgeon's post-operative instructions and report any concerning symptoms immediately. If you need bunionectomy surgery, make an appointment with a medical clinic, such as MD Surgical Center.