What is Bunion (Hallux Abductovalgus)?
A bunion is a “bump” on the joint at the base of big toe known as first metatarsophalangeal joint (1st MPJ) – that occurs when the bone or tissue at the big toe joint moves out of place. It is a progressive structural deformity gradually changing the angle or the bones over the years and slowly producing prominent characteristic bump at the big toe joint (1st MPJ)
What causes Bunion?
It is still not clear what exactly bunion is caused by but possible causes are: Genetic, biomechanics of the foot, arthritis, poorly fitting shoes or sometimes other genetic diseases such as Down Syndrome or Marfan Syndrome where ligaments are generally loose.
- Putting padding over the painful area
- Wear shoes with the extra wide width
- Orthoses(OTC or Custom-made): it may help relieve pain associated with a bunion or may prevent it from becoming worse rapidly
These treatments will not help bunion correction but aim to provide pain relief.
Do I need bunion surgery?
Whether you have bunion surgery or not is purely your choice. However, a bunion is often progressive and it will not improve on its own, and if your bunion prevents normal daily activities/shoes no longer fit properly or excessive pain with a bunion, you may consider it.
What does the surgery involve?
There are more than 100 procedures for a bunion, but it typically involves;
- Removal of bony prominence / Releasing tight ligaments, capsule and tightening loose ligaments
- Cutting and realigning the first metatarsal with fixation
An additional procedure may be required to address big toe deviation
- Anaesthetics: Various anaesthetics are available (General or spinal block or local anaesthetics with sedation)
- The operation usually takes 45 – 90 minutes.
After the Bunion Surgery
- Keep your foot elevated as much as possible and apply an ice pack for the first week following surgery
- Your dressing will be changed between 3-7 days at the office after surgery
- Keep your dressing dry for the first 2 weeks after surgery
- Sutures will be removed between 2-3 weeks after surgery
- You are able to weight-bear on the heel or outside your foot in the postop surgical shoes
- You need expect to wear postop surgical shoes for 4-6 weeks