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Bunion surgery generally involves an incision in the top or side of the big toe joint and the removal or realignment of soft tissue and bone. This is done to relieve pain and restore normal alignment to the joint. Small wires, screws, or plates may be used to hold the bones in place. There are no guarantees that a bunion surgery will fully relieve your pain.
There are over 100 surgeries for bunions. Research does not show which type of surgery is best—surgery needs to be specific to your condition. More than one procedure may be done at the same time.
The usual recovery period after bunion surgery is 6 weeks to 6 months, depending on the amount of soft tissue and bone affected. Complete healing may take as long as 1 year.
You may want to consider surgery when:
After surgery, your ability to walk and do other activities is likely to improve. The big toe joint is generally less painful and, as a result, moves better. After the incision has healed and the swelling has gone down, the toe may look more normal than before.
Risks of surgery include:
Think about the following when deciding about bunion surgery:
Current as of: March 2, 2020
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & Anne C. Poinier MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Gavin W.G. Chalmers DPM - Podiatry and Podiatric Surgery
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