Hallux Valgus (Bunion Surgery)
What is a bunion?
Hallux valgus or bunion is a deformity of the big toe joint where the big toe moves towards the little toe and the long bone (1st metatarsal) moves away from the little toe. This forms an abnormal angle in the joint causing stress and pain to the joint and soft-tissue around the joint, frequently with periods of joint inflammation. It is very often an inherited problem, but can also be the result of injury or conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis.
Bunions are more common in women and increase with age. They are exacerbated by poor fitting shoes particularly if they are narrow and tight as this puts pressure on the big toe joint. Therefore shoe choice is essentially when trying to manage bunion pain.
The symptoms of bunions
- Large bump on the side of the big toe joint
- Swelling around the joint
- Redness around the joint
- Stiffness in the joint
- Difficulty in walking
- Difficulty in finding shoes which fit comfortably
Unfortunately, there is no medical evidence to show that bunions can be corrected other than by corrective bunion surgery. Fortunately bunion surgery is much more successful now; with predictably good results and a much quicker recovery.
The operation takes about 30 minutes to perform depending upon the severity of the deformity.
The operation can be performed either as a day-case procedure under sedation and local anaesthesia so the patient can recover at home or under a general anaesthetic where the patient spends the night in hospital. 90% of our patients now prefer a local anaesthetic as this avoids the drowsiness and possible nausea associated with general anaesthetic.
At your consultation your surgeon will decide which is the best surgical procedure for you. This is usually dependent on the type and severity of the bunion. Although there are reportedly over 100 different procedures used in bunion surgery we have found there are 2 procedures which are most effective and enable the quickest recovery.
The main purpose of bunion surgery is to realign the big toe into its natural position and eliminate the bump on the side of the joint. Your surgeon will make an incision on the side of the big toe joint and cut into the big toe bone (metatarsal) setting it into a better position .This will then be effectively fixed in place by either a very fine pin or screw whilst the bone heals.
Your surgeon will shave off the bone on the side of the big toe joint so that your foot will appear narrower and your toe straighter. At this point the ligaments and tendons in the foot may be repositioned.
The skin is then stitches and the foot bandaged .Occassionally a cast is used to protect the foot further.
For further information on the surgical procedures we use please press Bunion Surgery.
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