Bunion surgery is performed to relieve pain and correct deformities caused by a bunion. A bunion also called as hallux valgus which is an enlargement of the bone or tissue around a joint at the base of the big or little toes. This is known as a bunionette or tailor's bunion. Bunions commonly form when the joint is stressed for an extended period of time. Women are more likely to develop bunions than men, owing to their propensity to wear tight, pointed, and confining shoes. Bunions may be passed down through families. Bunions can also be caused by arthritis. The big toe joint is frequently affected by this.
Before the procedure
- Your doctor will do a complete physical examination and assess your health to identify any problems that could interfere with your surgery.
- Several preoperative tests such as blood tests, urine sample, a electrocardiogram, and a chest x-ray may be required.
- Your doctor may order special foot x-rays to help plan your procedure. These x-rays should be taken while standing and in weight bearing position to ensure that your doctor can clearly see the foot deformity. These x-rays help your doctor decide where along the bone to perform an osteotomy to straighten the toe.
- Inform your doctor about any medications such as blood thinners which are being currently used.
- Several factors will be considered by your doctor when planning your surgery, including the severity of bunion, age, general health and any other underlying medical issues that may affect your recovery.
- Bunion surgery is done on an outpatient procedure. You will be asked to arrive at the hospital 1 or 2 hours before your surgery.
During the Procedure
- Most bunion surgery is performed under anaesthesia that numbs the area for surgery but does not put you to sleep. The anesthesiologist will stay throughout the procedure to Monitor your Condition And administer other medications, if necessary, to make sure you are comfortable.
- An intravenous line may be initiated and IV medication is given to your arm or hand, if general anaesthesia is used.
- An antiseptic solution can be used to clean the skin over the bunion.
- Depending on the severity of the bunion, the surgeon will cut, realign, and possibly remove portions of the bone, ligaments, and tendons of the affected foot.
- The surgeon will close the wound with stitches and apply a sterile bandage or dressing.
After the procedure
- You will be taken to the recovery room following post your surgery. Your recovery time will differ depending on the type of anaesthesia you where administered. Blood flow and sensation in the foot will be monitored. You will be taken to a hospital room once your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing are stable and you are alert.
- Your doctor will give specific instructions to take care of your feet at home. You will be discharged from the hospital wearing a special surgical shoe or cast to protect your foot.
- You'll need to rest once you get home. Keep your foot elevated on one or two pillows. This is done to help with pain and swelling. Your doctor may also advise you to apply ice and limit your walking. Post your surgery, you may be advised to use a cane or walker.
- It is critical that the dressing is kept clean and dry. When taking a shower, wrap the dressing in plastic and tape it using plastic tape.Take a sponge bath instead. During follow-up visit, the stitches will be removed. This is usually done two weeks after surgery.
- Take pain medication for soreness and antibiotics to prevent infection as directed by your doctor following surgery. Aspirin and other painkillers should be avoided as it may increase the risk of bleeding.
The following are the benefits after having bunion surgery:
- Corrected deformity
- Foot pain relief
- Pressure relief
- Toe alignment
- Ability to wear normal shoes after recovery
- Improvement of balance and foot strength
Complications are possible with any surgical procedure. Some potential complications include:
- Delayed healing
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Other complications include the recurrence of the bunion, nerve damage, and continuous pain. Overcorrection of the problem may lead to extension of the big toe away from the other toes.