Surgical Options

Some bunions have progressed enough to require surgery. Thanks to the endless hours of research your doctors have dedicated to the advancement of surgical care and equipment, bunion procedures can be performed with minimal disability for the patient.
These surgical procedures fall into four general categories as listed below. To see before and after results of patients who have had these procedures, click on any one of the blue links below. (Warning: Some of the pictures are pretty graphic.)

 

Soft Tissue Procedures

These procedures re-align the soft tissue structures that surround the great toe joint in order to bring the great toe into better position and remove the enlargement that is known as the bunion. You can walk immediately after surgery using a surgical shoe, able to return to a running-type shoe within two weeks and return to all activities within one month.

 

Metatarsal Head Osteotmies

These procedures usually employ some form of soft tissue re-balancing along with cutting the metatarsal head in order to re-align the great toe joint. You can usually walk immediately after surgery using a special surgical boot and be able to return to a running-type shoe within three weeks. The bone cut does not heal for at least six weeks so certain activities will be restricted for several months following surgery.

 

Metatarsal Shaft & Base Osteotomies

These are the most complex bunion surgery procedures performed on the more advanced bunion deformities. It involves cutting the metatarsal shaft or base to bring it closer to the second metatarsal. Following the surgery, in many cases you will need to use crutches to ambulate in which no weight can be placed on the ball of your foot for approximately four to seven weeks. You can usually return to regular shoes in seven to eight weeks and to regular activities in two to three months.

 

Joint Destructive Procedures

These are procedures that are used when the great toe joint has become too arthritic for any of the above mentioned procedures. The great toe joint is either completely removed, replaced with an artificial joint or is fused so no motion can occur. These procedures allow you to walk on the foot immediately after surgery usually in a special shoe. If the great toe joint is fused then you would need to wear this special shoe for at least six weeks.