Bunion Surgery 101: A Guide Of Faqs

Sometimes painful, and oftentimes unsightly, bunions have an ugly reputation for being a real pain in the foot. Thankfully, there are multiple treatment options available, including surgery. If you have bunions on your feet, you are bound to be curious about the methods used to get rid of them. Take a look at some of the common questions people with bunions tend to have about bunion surgery. 

Do all bunions have to be surgically removed?

Not all bunions have to be surgically removed, and most doctors will not recommend bunion surgery unless it causes you a lot of pain or inhibits how you walk. Some people can have their bunions corrected or minimized by wearing specialized orthotics or doing certain bunion treatments. In general, bunion surgery will be recommended if: 

  • the bunion is chronically inflamed or causing inflammation in other parts of the foot 
  • the bunion is causing deformity in the shape of the foot 
  • the bunion is putting you at risk of infection in your feet 

How is a bunionectomy performed?

Bunions can be different and in different places according to the patient. Therefore, there are different surgical procedures performed depending on the situation. For the most part, a bunionectomy involves the removal of the deformed part of the bone from the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint at the side of the big toe. Any other bones that have been affected by the bunion will also be repositioned so they are in the corrected place as they heal. For example, having a bunion for a prolonged time can push some of the other bones at the end of the foot over, so these bones would be adjusted as needed. 

What is recovery from bunion surgery like?

The recovery process after you have had a bunion removed will vary depending on how bad the bunion was and what techniques had to be used to correct the bones in your foot. In general terms, you can expect to have to keep weight off of your foot for a while until the foot heals completely to prevent the bunion from returning or the bones from staying in a deformed position. You may be given a customized cast or boot that has to be worn for most or all of the day, and you may have to use crutches or other mobility devices to get around. Most people do take a little time off of work through their recovery, but this can also depend on the type of work they do.