Bunion Surgery

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Bunion Surgery is used to treat an abnormal bone growth known as a bunion. A bunion is found on the big toe and can form due to stress on the foot or other reasons. There are different methods that can be used to treat the bunion surgically. For instance, the doctor might perform surgery to straighten the big toe, remove tissue around the joint of the toe, realign bones within the toe, or fuse bones together. The method depends on the patient's condition


There is no single cause of hallux valgus. It may develop from muscle imbalance as in cerebral palsy or polio. It may develop from joint destruction as in arthritis. The most common problem is an imbalance of the forces of the toe,present from birth, which causes the hallux valgus to develop progressively with time.

High-heeled, pointed shoes are not the primary cause of the deformity, but they do cause it to be painful. They cause bunions, corns and calluses to develop where there is deformity.

Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, infection and gout may all cause pain in the first toe. Therefore, before treatment of a painful bunion can begin, medical evaluation is needed.


People with chronic big toe swelling or toe deformity are good candidates for bunion surgery. Bunion surgery might be the right option for you if you experience severe foot pain caused by bunion while walking or wearing flat and comfortable footwear.

Common Types of Bunion Removal Surgeries

  • Osteotomy: In this type, the surgeon will realign the damaged bone by making small incisions on the toe joint. The surgeon will now place tiny screws, pins, or plates between these cuts to hold the bone in a normal position.
  • Exostectomy: This type of bunion removal surgery is performed with soft-tissue procedures. Exostectomy involves removal of the bony bump from the toe joint without performing any alignment.
  • Arthrodesis: It is performed when previous surgery fails to eliminate pain and improve mobility. In this type, the surgeon removes the damaged surface of the joint and insert pins, plates, screws, or rods to hold the joint together until the bone heals.

The recovery is usually long, and it will take at least 8 to 12 weeks for a bone to heal completely. During this period, you need to follow specific instructions:

  • Take adequate rest
  • Keep the foot elevated to reduce pain and swelling
  • Apply ice pack
  • Use a cane or walker while walking
  • Do not put weight on the treated leg until advised by the doctor
  • Keep the wound clean and dry
  • Do not wear high heels
  • Take the prescribed medicines regularly