A bunionectomy is a surgical procedure that removes a bunion.

What is it?

A bunionectomy is the removal of a bunion, an enlarged area of bone and tissue in the inner region of the big toe. Bunions form due to a combination of pronation, overly used metatarsal joint and ill-fitting shoes. Patients with bunions do not have serious health needs, but instead, experience pain and discomfort that can limit lifestyle choices.

What should I do to prepare?

Before receiving surgery, the patient should consult with a physician or surgeon to determine if this surgery is the proper course of action. X-rays and other diagnostic imaging techniques are used to develop a treatment plan. Medication plans and fasting routines may be necessary depending on the surgeon’s guidelines. A bunionectomy is typically an outpatient procedure, but the patient should be prepared to remain at the hospital for post-surgical evaluation. Additionally, the patient should arrange travel accommodations in advance.

What happens during the process?

After anesthesia is administered to the patient, the surgeon makes an incision over the bunion. The enlarged area can then be carefully cut and removed. If the bone needs to be cut, the surgeon will repair the bone with a series of screws or plates. Depending on the method of reinforcing the adjacent bones, the patient might need to have screws or pins removed after the recovery period. The incision is finally closed through a series of sutures.

What are the risks and potential complications?

A bunionectomy is performed at relatively low risk. However, risks that accompany surgical procedures include, but are not limited to improper anesthesia, infections, nerve damage, excessive bleeding, an inability of the wound to heal, and bone fractures.


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