Bunion surgery is an operation to realign the bone that has been affected by a bunion on your big toe. A bone with a bunion on it can cause your big toe to push towards your other toes meaning that the joint above the ball of your foot sticks out far more than it should. The surgery is done to correct this deformity. The aim is to remove some of the bone and realign the rest of it to give your foot a straighter look.
The surgeon will do this by perhaps adding wires or screws to hold your big toe in its new position and they might also repair any ligaments or tendons in your foot that have been damaged as a result of the bunion. The doctors might perform this surgery by making a cut along the inner side of your foot over the affected joint, but they can also use keyhole surgery to get to the bone. Although these are both common ways of fixing the damage done by a bunion, your surgery may vary as it depends on your individual needs. The surgery can stop a lot of pain and discomfort because of the realignment.
Recovering from the surgery
You will likely be able to go home a few hours after your operation and your doctor will give you crutches and a splint or plaster cast to protect your foot and keep it in the realigned position. You might notice that you aren’t quite yourself after the operation, this is due to the general anaesthetic and should pass in about 24 hours.
When you get home you should keep your foot elevated for a few weeks to help with the swelling, you can use a stool or some pillows to do this. If you are still in pain from the bunion surgery, you can take over-the-counter medication to help with this.
The time it takes for the bone to completely heal from bunion surgery varies and is dependent on the type of operation you’ve had. Some people can walk right away, but may need crutches for a few days to support them. Other people may need crutches for a few weeks, you might also need to wear a brace or support shoe for about 6 to 12 weeks. As all cases vary a little bit, you should consult your doctor and ask them when you can begin putting pressure on your foot. If you put weight on it too soon, this can affect the results of the operation.
On average, people who have bunion surgery take about six weeks off of work. However, this depends on how much pressure and stress your foot is put under when at work. If your job involves a lot of walking or standing, you may need to take more time off.
If you would like to find out more about the surgery please consult the doctor in charge of your case as they can tell you how the operation may affect you directly. To find out more about bunions and other common foot problems, please explore our blog further.