What is Bunion Surgery?
Bunion surgery aims to eliminate the pain or discomfort associated with a bunion. A bunion is not simply a lump that needs to be cut off. It is a complex deformity involving malalignment of the underlying bones, tendons and ligaments. Bunion surgery aims to correct the underlying deformity, usually buy cutting and realigning bones and soft tissues which in turn improves or eliminates your symptoms and reduces the bunion itself. People with bunions often also have claw toes or pain under the ball of the foot (metatarsalgia). These issues are usually addressed at the same time.
What Does it Involve?
You may need to temporarily stop certain blood thinning or diabetic medications prior to surgery. You will be informed of this but if you are unsure of your requirements please ask.
The procedure is done under a general or regional anaesthetic. Following surgery you will stay overnight in hospital before going home in a velcro shoe which allows you to walk on the operated foot. You should keep your foot elevated as much as possible and minimise your activity.
How Long is Recovery?
You will see Dr Freihaut 1-2 weeks following surgery for either dressing change or suture removal. Once your wound has healed you may mobilise more freely but will need to use the velcro shoe whenever walking for 6 weeks in total. You will not be able to drive for 6 weeks if your right foot was operated on. You will be reviewed at the 6 week mark with an X-ray and start walking in normal shoes. You should not do anything too strenuous for another 6 weeks. Swelling will be present for 6-12 months.
Is Physiotherapy Required?
Generally not, but occasionally people find it beneficial once the bones have knitted together.
What are the Risks?
Risks include but are not limited to infection, blood clots, injury to nerves and blood vessels, wound breakdown, recurrence of the bunion, stiffness, pain in other areas of the foot, or big toe going in the opposite direction.