About Hallux Valgus (bunion) Procedures
A bunion is a deformity that develops in the big toe joint; very often this is an inherited family trait although some diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis can cause bunion deformity due to weakening of the soft-tissue structures around the joint.
There is no evidence that bunions can be reversed or cured in the adult foot, other than by surgery. Fortunately more recent advances in bunion surgery gives predictably good outcomes, much quicker recovery rates and a quicker return to work.
There are actually more than 100 types of bunion surgery. This is because there are many different ways to amend the shape of your joint, to take out bone and to alter the tissue around the joints.
At your consultation your surgeon will decide which is the best procedure for you. This will usually depend upon the severity of the "hallux valgus" angle and the angle between the two long metatarsal bones. In our practice we generally use two evidence-based procedures for the majority of bunion corrections, which give predictably good outcomes. For further information see "types of bunion surgery".
Studies show that the techniques we use have a patient satisfaction rate of over 90%.
Further research shows that from a patient perspective it is important that we eliminate your bunion pain, aesthetically improve the look of the foot (and narrow it), which will in turn give you a greater range of footwear options. These are our aims for you.
Bunion surgery is generally safe and has predictable outcomes. With improved techniques in anaesthetics as well as better pain-relief, bunion surgery is now much less painful. For further information see "pain relief".
Simple guide to your procedure
The operation takes between 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the bunion deformity. The majority can be undertaken as a day-case procedure under sedation with local anaesthesia or a general anaesthetic, although generally we will keep you in for one night if you wish to have both bunions corrected in one sitting.
The main aim of the surgery is to realign the big toe joint into its natural position and eliminate the bone bump on the inside of the big toe joint. Your surgeon will make an incision on the side of the big toe joint so that the scar is less prominent. Then the prominent bone bump is shaved off and the bones either side of the big toe are cut and reset into the new position. The bones are then fixed with small screws and pins.
After closure of the wound and skin, most patients will simply have a large bandage for the first week and a post-op shoe. Rest, rest, rest is the key to reducing any post-operative complications such as infection and wound healing problems. Crutches are issued to use for at least the first week with weight-bearing on the heel only. After the first week you will be required to wear a special walker boot, which will enable a quicker return to work and allows you to put your full body weight through the foot whilst protecting it. You will need to wear this for around 3-weeks after which you can wear a roomy shoe, trainer or Ugg-type boot until the swelling reduces.
Has your hallux valgus operation gone wrong?
Our main Consultant has 20-years experience in performing primary corrective bunion surgery. He also has a wealth of experience in revising failed bunion operations. Many patients in this group can have a good result even after previous failed surgery. If we can't help you, we will refund your consultation costs.