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Open Bunion Surgery

There are over 150 different options for correcting a bunion, but they all tend to involve moving the bone(s) to narrow the foot and realign the big toe as well as shaving off the bunion.

The traditional open technique involves an incision about 4-5cm long on the inside of the foot and another about 2cm long between the big and second toes.  This can be done under local anaesthetic (ankle block) with sedation if desired.

Keyhole bunion surgery is a minimally invasive alternative to open bunion surgery.

  • Most patients stay in hospital one night.
  • Walking unaided the next day is allowed in a special sandal.
  • The foot remains bandaged or splinted and the sandal is used for walking for the next 6 weeks.
  • Rest and elevation are required especially in the first 2-3 weeks.
  • Sensible shoes are worn from six weeks onwards.
  • It takes 3-6 months for most of the swelling to go down.
  • It takes 12 months before everything really settles.

Bunion surgery usually reduces pain, especially related to footwear, increasing comfort and shoe selection. Most bunion surgery is very successful, but as with any surgery, issues can occur, and this will be explained by your surgeon.

Specific issues that may sometimes occur include:

·         Under correction

·         Over correction (big toe too straight)

·         Arthritis leading to pain and stiffness of big toe

·         Prominence of implant and/or bone requiring removal

Very occasionally a patient may have issues that make them feel worse than prior to surgery, and further surgery may be needed, sometimes even a fusion of the big toe.

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