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Bunion surgery

What is a bunion?

Bunion (hallux valgus) is one of the most common deformities of the foot, a bony growth that forms on the joint at the base of the big toe.

Normally the big toe is parallel to the other toes. In case of a bunion, the big toe bends towards the toes and the joint becomes painful. As a result, the springs and supporting function of the big toe are deteriorated.

Rarely, smaller bunions could develop on the joint of the little toe too, which is called bunionette or tailor bunion.

How could a bunion form?

Bunions occur mostly because of incorrect foot structure. Some conditions, like flat feet, excessively flexible ligament or abnormal bone structure can contribute to the development of a bunion.

How bunion forms?
How bunion forms?

Due to the flattening of the transverse arch, the foot is widening. This indicates the muscles of the big toe to pull outwards the proximal phalange of the big toe. As a result, a bony anomaly appears on the metatarsophalangeal joint. Usually, inflammation and irritation accompany the deformity.

An inadequate shoe could contribute to the formation of a bunion. It could facilitate the collapse of the transverse arch, and like this, the formation of flat feet. High heels make the load center on the forefoot, changing the pressure on the sole. If the footwear is too narrow, it forces the toes together, that also indicates the bending of the big toe. This might be the reason, why bunion is more common among women.

Besides this, rheumatoid arthritis or genetic predisposition may also be behind the formation of a bunion. The occurrence is more often in elder age.

Bunions are often accompanied with hammer toe.

What are the symptoms of a bunion?

The following symptoms may refer to a bunion:

  • bony growth on the outside of the base of the big toe
  • swelling, redness around the base of the big toe
  • corns and calluses on the toes
  • persistent intermittent pain
  • restricted movement of the big toe

In case of a tailor bunion, the pain of the outsole and the widening of the forefoot are typical, which is accompanied with swell and redness.

How is a bunion treated?

The aim of all kind of bunion treatment is to restore the balance of the foot to slow the progression of the deformities. If a deformity appeared, it cannot be reversed, the normal anatomical conditions can be restored only surgically. Conservative treatments can be effective only in an early stage.

The most important thing, to slow down the progression of the deformity, is to wear the right shoes. It can ease the foot pain, relieve pressure and prevent deterioration. If possible, wear low-heeled (2-3 cm maximum) shoes with a deep toe box, made of flexible material, with a flexible sole. Make sure, your toes don’t reach the inside tip of the shoe.

As a conservative therapy, it is recommended to do exercises that strengthen the musculature of the arches of the foot. The pain and inflammation can be eased with antiphlogistics, as a symptomatic treatment.

Special medical equipment can also contribute to reduce the pain and improve the condition of the joints. Toe splint for the night and day use of silicone protectors or separators might be helpful for bunions to correct the angle of the big toe and ease the pain.

The normal anatomical condition of the foot can be restored only surgically.

When is bunion surgery recommended?

Bunion surgery is recommended, if the conservative therapy was not effective, the caused complaints worsen the patient’s quality of life significantly, or the deformity cannot be corrected in any other way.

Bunion surgery - Medicover Hospital
Bunion surgery

What happens during a bunion surgery?

During the first personal consultation, the orthopedic specialist provides detailed information about the necessary preoperative tests, the surgery and the risks of the operation.

The purpose of the surgery is to restore the angle of the toe and the metatarsal bone to their original extent. This can be achieved by various methods; the chosen process depends on the degree of the deformity and the condition of the small joints of the toes. In some cases, implant insertion is necessary (screw, wire or plate). It can be performed in anesthesia or in regional anesthesia. The inserted metallic implants can be removed after 6-12 weeks.

What are the risks of the operation?

Like every surgical intervention, the bunion surgery may have risks and complications. Very rarely the operational area may become inflamed, infected, and the adjacent anatomical structures – tendons, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, neighboring bones – may get injured. In some cases, pharmaceutical treatment may be needed, while in more severe cases the operation might have to be repeated.

What shall I do after the surgery?

The day after the operation the bandage is changed and the patient can leave the Hospital. The stitches will be removed 10 to 12 days after the bunion surgery.

After bunion surgery, it is recommended to get some rest, to spare and pillow up the operated limb in the first few days at home. Depending on the type of surgery, it may be essential to wear a special shoe which replaces the normal footwear for the 6th-8th week after the surgery. Full recovery from the surgery may take up to four-eight weeks. After this period the metallic implants can be removed by a minor surgery.

What happens if the bunion is not treated?

Without any treatment, foot deformities deteriorate, a bunion without treatment could inflame time to time with more pain.

It is recommended to treat the deformities as soon as possible because the wrong loading of the forefoot could damage the metatarsophalangeal joint and small joints. Bad foot statics affect the ankle, knee and hip joint, and could cause flank pain too.

How much does a bunion surgery cost?

The price of a bunion surgery composed of several elements. At our hospital, the listed bunion surgery cost includes the surgery and the check-up one week after surgery.

We offer a separate consultation package for the first consultation, where the orthopedic specialist decides if the surgery is recommended. The necessary pre-operative examinations can be taken at our hospital, which has an additional cost.

Our goal is to offer you the most reasonable bunion surgery price for the highest quality service and care.

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