Bunion Surgery - GO.CARE Blog
Bunion Surgery
Author: Quỳnh Nguyễn
Review Date: August 6, 2018 | Last Modified: January 12, 2019
Bunion Surgery


1. What is Bunion Surgery?

Bunion Surgery is sometimes called a bunionectomy, or hallux valgus correction.

A bunion is a bony bump that forms at the base of your big toe, where it forms a union with a foot bone called the first metatarsal. Your big toe points excessively toward your second toe when you have a bunion. The bunion is a foot deformity that consists of both bone and soft tissue. This can be very painful. Bunion Surgery can correct this problem.

2. What is the purpose of Bunion Surgery?

The purpose of Bunion Surgery is to correct the deformed area of the foot near the big toe.


1. When is Bunion Surgery needed?

Bunion Surgery is necessary if nonsurgical treatment methods don’t relieve your pain.

2. Who are eligible for Bunion Surgery?

In general, if your bunion is not painful, you do not need surgery. Although bunions often get bigger over time, doctors do not recommend surgery to prevent bunions from worsening. Many people can slow the progression of a bunion with proper shoes and other preventive care, and the bunion never causes pain or other problems.

Moreover, it is also important to note that Bunion Surgery should not be done for cosmetic reasons. After surgery, it is possible for ongoing pain to develop in the affected toe — even though there was no bunion pain prior to surgery.

Commonly, good candidates for Bunion Surgery have:

  • Significant foot pain that limits their everyday activities, including walking and wearing reasonable shoes. They may find it hard to walk more than a few blocks (even in athletic shoes) without significant pain.
  • Chronic big toe inflammation and swelling that does not improve with rest or medications
  • Toe deformity—a drifting in of the big toe toward the smaller toes, creating the potential for the toes to cross over each other.
  • Toe stiffness—the inability to bend and straighten the big toe
  • Failure to obtain pain relief with changes in footwear
  • Failure to obtain pain relief from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen. The effectiveness of NSAIDs in controlling toe pain varies greatly from person to person.

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.


Typically in the U.S., for patients with health insurance, the out-of-pocket cost for bunion treatment consists of a copay or coinsurance of 10%-50%. Bunion treatment might not be covered by health insurance, depending on the plan.

For patients without health insurance, bunion treatment typically costs less than $1,000 for conservative treatment, and costs depends on which treatments you are going for. Or, treatment can cost about $2,000-$15,000 or more if surgery is required.

In some cases, bunion surgery fails and you may need additional treatment. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 85%-90% of surgery patients are happy with their results.


1. What should I do before Bunion Surgery?

Before scheduling Bunion Surgery, you’ll need to undergo a few medical tests to check your overall health. Your doctor will:

  • Take an x-ray of your lungs
  • Perform an electrocardiogram to check your heart function
  • Test your urine and blood for any underlying illnesses

Also, you may need to stop taking medications a few days before surgery, particularly if you take aspirin or other blood-thinning drugs.

Bunion removal surgery is usually an outpatient procedure. This means that you can go home a few hours after the operation and after the general anesthesia has worn off.

Afterwards, your doctor will determine how long you should fast, or not eat or drink anything, before the surgery based on your surgery time. Follow their directions carefully to avoid possible complications.

2. What should I do after Bunion Surgery?

While recovery after Bunion Surgery takes about six to eight weeks, full recovery from bunion removal surgery can take an average of four to six months.

For the first two weeks following your surgery, you’ll wear a surgical boot or cast to protect your foot. You should avoid getting your stitches wet.

After removing the cast or boot, you’ll wear a brace to support your foot while you heal. You won’t be able to bear weight on your foot at first, and you’ll need crutches for assistance. Gradually, you can start putting some weight on your foot, using a walker or crutches for support.

Keep off your feet as much as you can. Ice your foot and toe to speed healing and reduce inflammation. After a week or two, you can drive if necessary.

Expect your foot to remain swollen to some degree for several months after bunion removal. Wear shoes with ample room to minimize your pain. Women should try to avoid wearing high heels for at least six months after bunion removal.

Moreover, your doctor may send you to physical therapy, where you’ll learn exercises that can strengthen your foot and lower leg.

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.


1. How long does Bunion Surgery last?

Generally, the surgery takes 30-45 minutes to perform depending on how many portions of the deformity the surgeon will correct . The patient will usually be in the surgery center for about 90 minutes, from start to finish; which includes the preoperative preparations and postoperative recovery.

2. How is the procedure of Bunion Surgery?

Bunion Surgery may be done on an outpatient basis or rarely as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your healthcare provider’s practices.

Most Bunion Surgery is performed under ankle block anesthesia, in which your foot is numb, but you are awake. Occasionally, your surgeon will put you under general or spinal anesthesia.

Generally, Bunion Surgery follows this process:

  • You will be asked to remove clothing and will be given a gown to wear.
  • An intravenous (IV) line may be started in your arm or hand.
  • The skin over the bunion will be cleansed with an antiseptic solution.
  • If a local anesthetic is used, you will feel a needle stick when the anesthetic is injected. This may cause a brief stinging sensation. If general anesthesia is used, you will be put to sleep using intravenous medicine.
  • The healthcare provider will cut, realign, and possibly remove portions of bone, ligaments, and tendons of the affected foot based upon the severity of the bunion.
  • The healthcare provider will close the opening with stitches and apply a sterile bandage or dressing.

3. What happens after the procedure?

After your surgery, you will spend some time in the recovery room for observation. Your recovery process will vary depending on the given type of anesthesia. The medical team will also monitor the circulation and sensation of the foot.

Once your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing are stable and you are alert, you will be taken to your hospital room or discharged to your home.

Your healthcare provider will give you specific instructions for caring for your foot at home during the first few weeks after surgery. You may wear a special surgical shoe or cast to protect your foot as discharged.

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.

Complications & Side Effects

1. What complications could arise from Bunion Surgery?

As with any surgical procedure, complications can happen. Some possible complications may include:

  • Stiffness
  • Numbness
  • Swelling
  • Delayed healing
  • Infection

Other complications may include recurrence of the bunion, nerve damage, and continued pain. The surgery may also result in overcorrection of the problem, in which the big toe extends away from the other toes.

There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider before the procedure.

2. What are the possible side effects of Bunion Surgery?

Common side effects include:

  • Bruises
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Stiffness

Need further information? Contact GO.CARE manage team to get more details from expert doctors and medical specialists.

Please choose the best hospitals and clinics that provide bunion surgery in Asia to get the most suitable healthcare for your condition.

GO.CARE does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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3. Bunion Surgery. https://orthoinfo.aaos.org/en/treatment/bunion-surgery/. Accessed May 23, 2018.
4. 7 Things You Need To Know If You’re Considering Bunion Surgery. https://www.prevention.com/health/a20508680/bunion-surgery/. Accessed May 23, 2018.
5. Bunion Treatment Cost. http://health.costhelper.com/bunion.html. Accessed May 23, 2018.
6. Foot Surgery FAQ’s. https://northwestsurgerycenter.com/faqs/. Accessed May 23, 2018.