Bunionectomy or repair of toe deformities

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More Information

What is correction of hallux valgus (bunion)?

Hallux valgus, also known as a bunion, is a deformity caused by a bony bump that forms on the joint at the base of your big toe. This deformity happens when some of the bones in the front part of your foot get out of alignment. This makes the tip of your big toe pulled toward the smaller toes. 

It happens gradually over time; standing for extended periods and wearing narrow shoes can worsen bunion pain, but they are not the root cause. 

The exact causes are not well-known. However, factors that may play a role include deformities present at birth, foot injuries, or inherited food type. 

Why would I get this procedure?

Bunions usually don’t require medical treatment. Nevertheless, it is better to see a doctor if:

  • You have a visible bump on your big toe
  • You suffer from the decreased movement of your big toe
  • Your shoes don’t fit properly because of a bunion
  • You are having immense pain

Your doctor will recommend conservative treatment options like medications, applying ice, and shoe inserts. However, if these conservative treatments don’t relieve your symptoms, you might require surgery

What happens during the procedure?  

Bunion surgery involves the following steps:

  • An intravenous (IV) line will be inserted in your arm or hands to get medications and fluids.
  • The skin area over the bunion will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution
  • Your surgeon will cut, realign, and remove portions of ligaments, tendons, and bones affected depending on the severity of your case.
  • Your big toe will be straightened by removing part of the bone

What happens after the procedure? 

After the surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room for monitoring. The sensation and circulation of the foot will be monitored. Once your pulse, breathing, and blood pressure are stable, you will be discharged to your home.

You will be given specific instructions for caring for your foot at home for the first few weeks. You will need to rest and keep your foot elevated on 2 pillows to reduce swelling and pain. Your doctor will prescribe some pain medications to relieve any soreness. 

Conclusion

It is important to keep the dressing dry and clean. It should be coerced with a plastic wrap or a plastic bag and tape with plastic tape during showering. 

You should immediately call your physician if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Swelling, bleeding, or redness at the incision site
  • Abnormal pain around the incision site

Your foot will require support from dressings or a brace up to 8 weeks after the surgery. Physical therapy is recommended to help the foot recover its range of motion. You should avoid high heels for at least 6 months following the surgery.

Citations

Mayo Clinic: Bunions

Johns Hopkins: Bunion Surgery


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