(Hallux Valgus Repair, Bunionectomy)
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Reasons for Procedure
- Other attempts at therapy have failed, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, specially shaped shoes, or inserts to decrease pressure
- The pain of a bunion interferes with walking
- The foot deformity makes walking difficult
- Toe may be misaligned or too short
- The bunion may recur
- Smoking and alcohol abuse
- Poor nutrition
- Poor health
What to Expect
Prior to Procedure
- Physical exam, especially of your foot
- Foot x-rays
- Blood work
Talk to your doctor about your medicines. You may be asked to stop taking some medicines up to one week before the procedure, like:
- Anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin
- Blood thinners
- Arrange for a ride to and from the procedure.
- Arrange for help at home after the procedure.
- The night before, eat a light meal. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight.
- You may be asked to shower the morning of your procedure. You may be asked to use a special antibacterial soap.
- Local anesthesia—The area will be numbed.
- General anesthesia—You will be asleep.
Description of the Procedure
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Average Hospital Stay
- Your foot will be bandaged. You may need to wear a special postoperative shoe for several weeks.
- You will be given instructions about whether you may bear weight on your foot. You may need to wear a splint or cast. You may need to use crutches or a walker for a brief time.
- To keep the swelling down, you should ice your foot. Wrap ice in a towel. Do not apply it directly to your skin. Keep your foot elevated on pillows for several days.
- After your foot has healed, you may need to do specific exercises or physical therapy. They will help you regain strength, flexibility, and stamina in your feet.
- Talk with your doctor about the kind of footwear you should use. Make sure that it fits correctly.
- If pins were used in your feet, you may need to have these removed several weeks after your operation.
- Ask your doctor about when it is safe to shower, bathe, or soak in water.
- Be sure to follow your doctor's instructions.
Call Your Doctor
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the site
- Pain that you cannot control with the medicines you have been given
- Swelling or pain in the calf or leg
American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons http://orthoinfo.aaos.org
American Podiatric Medical Association http://www.apma.org
Canadian Orthopaedic Association http://www.coa-aco.org
Canadian Podiatry Education Foundation http://cpef.ca
Bunion surgery. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00140. Updated September 2012. Accessed April 4, 2013.
Ferrari J, Higgins JP, et al. Interventions for treating hallux valgus (abductovalgus) and bunions. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. (1):CD000964, 2004.
Foot care. National Institute on Aging website. Available at: http://www.nia.nih.gov/health/publication/foot-care. Updated April 18, 2012. Accessed April 4, 2013.
Wexler D, Kile TA. Frontera: Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 1st ed. Philadelphia; Hanley and Belfus; 2002.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 02/2014 -
- Update Date: 02/10/2014 -