Bunion surgery is an operation to correct a deformity of the joint at the bottom of your big toe. A bunion (clinical name Hallux Valgus) causes a bony lump to form on the side of your foot which can become painful.
Bunions don’t always initially cause painful symptoms but they can get worse over time, becoming sore or inflamed and they may make it harder for you to find shoes that fit comfortably without pain.
Bunion surgery may be recommended by a Consultant or doctor if your bunion has limited you to wearing specific footwear or you're unable to do the things you want to do without pain.
What happens after bunion surgery?
The surgery is performed as day surgery and you have the ability to walk on the foot immediately after the operation. We normally give you a local anaesthetic block around the ankle, so you will experience no pain as the foot will be completely numb. Weight-bearing on the heel can commence using the special forefoot relief shoe on the first day.
Any bandaging and dressings are removed at two weeks to assess the wounds, to ensure that there is no infection or any problems with wound healing and thereafter, you will require the shoe alone with a padded dressing over the wounds. At six weeks following bunion surgery, if X-rays are satisfactory, you will be asked to remove the shoe and you can wear a comfortable and wide fitting shoe. It can be normal to experience some persistent swelling that will last around three but sometimes up to six months following surgery. However, in our experience, after around three to six months the foot can resume a normal function without any limitations and you can return to wearing your favourite shoes and participating in sporting activities.
How long does it take to heal after bunion surgery?
Generally, the time taken for the bone to heal after bunion surgery is around six weeks. Fortunately with modern techniques like minimially invasive bunion surgery, you will not need a plaster cast and you can walk on your foot from day one. In this time, you will use a special forefoot relief shoe, where the weight is taken on the heel rather than the forefoot.