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Health Encylopedia

 
Bunion removal
 
SubjectContents
Definition Surgical treatment of a deformity of the bones of the big toe and foot (bunion).
Alternative Names Bunionectomy
Description A bunion is a painful deformity of the bones and joint between the foot and the big toe. Long-term irritation ( chronic inflammation) from poorly fitting shoes, arthritis , or heredity causes the joint to thicken and enlarge. This causes the big toe to angle in toward and over the second toe, the foot bone (metatarsal) to angle out toward the other foot, and the skin to thicken (callus formation). The initial treatment for a bunion is changing shoe wear from narrow and high-heeled shoes to wide shoes with a small heal. When this does not work, surgery may be recommended. Removal of a bunion is usually done while the patient is deep asleep and pain-free (general anesthesia) and rarely requires a hospital stay. An incision is made along the bones of the big toe into the foot. The deformed joint and bones are repaired and the bones are stabilized with a pin or cast.
Indications Surgery is recommended to correct the deformity, reconstruct the bones and joint, and restore normal, pain-free function.
Risks Risks for any anesthesia are:
  • reactions to medications
  • problems breathing
  • Risks for any surgery are:
  • bleeding
  • infection
  • Expectations after surgery Most people recover completely from the surgery.
    Convalescence The patient is advised to keep the foot propped up and protected from pressure, weight, and injury while it heals. Complete recovery may require 3 to 5 weeks.