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What is a Bunionectomy?

This is surgery performed to remove bunions and realign the joint of your toe.

Why is it Done?

In many cases, conservative treatment-such as using pain relievers and changing shoes-will help with bunions. But if those efforts do not provide relief, having surgery could be the answer. You may need to get a bunionectomy under these conditions:

  • Conservative treatment has not worked
  • You are in pain
  • Your bunion is affecting the way you walk

How to Prepare

You will meet with your doctor to discuss what surgery you are having. The type of surgery depends on your health and the severity of the bunion. Be sure to voice any concerns you have and ask questions. Give your doctor a list of medications you are taking, as you may need to stop taking them until after the surgery.

What to Expect

In most cases, you will receive a local anesthesia that numbs your entire foot. However, under certain circumstances, you may require a spinal or general anesthesia.

The surgeon will make an incision above the swollen area of your toe. Then the lump with be removed and the bones will be realigned. If the big toe joint has been damaged, your surgeon may have to make the bones more stable by using wires, screws, or metal plates. After the repair, the surgeon will close the incision with stitches and apply a compression dressing.

After the surgery, it may take six to eight weeks for you to fully recovery. During this period, you may wear a special cast or boot to protect the area and give it support. Even after this recovery time, your foot may be at risk for swelling, so it is important to monitor your foot for any changes.

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