Bunion correction surgery

An operation to realign the joint of the big toe

If a bunion is causing you pain or problems walking, a simple surgical procedure could help

What is bunion correction surgery?

A bunion is a deformity of your big toe. If there is too much pressure on the inside of your foot at the base of your big toe, it can be pushed against your other toes. A painful, bony lump then forms on the joint. Bunion correction surgery can remove this bony lump, helping to realign your toes.

Need to know

  • What happens during bunion correction surgery? icon plus

    Your surgeon will usually take an X-ray to determine the extent of your bunion and decide on the best procedure for you. Surgery may be done under local or general anaesthetic, depending on the complexity of your procedure. Your surgeon will make sure you're as comfortable as possible for your operation.

    During the procedure, the bony lump is removed and any deformity of the big toe joint is corrected. Loose ligaments can be tightened to realign your toe. Pins or screws are used to hold the toe in the correct position as it heals. The entire operation usually takes 30 minutes to an hour.

  • How to prepare for surgery icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure and answer any questions you may have. If you're having general anaesthetic​, your consultant will tell you how long you should avoid eating and drinking before surgery. Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • After surgery icon plus

    You should be able to return home the same day as your surgery, although sometimes you may need to be cared for in hospital overnight. You may be in a plaster cast or just a bandage after your surgery.

    You should be able to walk immediately, wearing lightweight over-shoes (a type of rubber boot usually slipped on top of shoes). You'll need to wear these for two weeks, after which you can switch to loose sandals or trainers, getting back to normal shoes at around six weeks.

    Your consultant might recommend physiotherapy to help you recover. They will let you know when you can get back to your usual routine, including exercise.

What is causing my foot pain?

In this video, Mr Simon Moyes discusses common foot and ankle problems, including plantar fasciitis and bunions, and how they can be treated at The Foot and Ankle Unit, part of The Wellington Hospital.

Our foot and ankle surgeons

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic experts specialising in injuries of the foot and ankle, and whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

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From complex foot and ankle surgery to diagnostic scans and procedures, we provide exceptional orthopaedic care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

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020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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