A bunionectomy is surgery to remove a lump of bone from your foot. This lump is called a bunion. It forms on the joint where your big toe joins your foot. The surgery will also straighten your big toe. Your doctor will make one or more small cuts near your toe joint. These cuts are called incisions. The doctor will remove small pieces of bone and may straighten your toe. This is done by cutting the bone and setting it in a new position. Your toe may be held in place with pins, screws, wires, or staples. These may stay in your toe. Or they may be removed after a few weeks. The surgery will leave scars that fade with time.
The surgery may make walking easier. It may reduce stiffness, pain, or swelling in your toe joint. It may also improve the way your toe looks.
Your doctor will give you medicine to help you relax and to numb your foot. Or you may get medicine to put you to sleep.
You will probably go home on the day of your surgery. If your surgery is more complex, you may need to spend the night in the hospital.
How soon you can put weight on your toe depends on how complex your surgery is. It may take 6 weeks or longer before swelling goes down and you have healed enough to return to your normal routine. You may have some swelling and pain for as long as 6 months to a year.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Surgery can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for surgery.
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Current as of: March 21, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Gavin W. G. Chalmers, DPM, FACFAS - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery
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