Bunion Surgery

What is bunion surgery?

A bunion is a bony lump on the side of the foot at the base of the big toe (see figure 1).

Bunion surgery

Bunion surgery is a surgical procedure to remove bunions. A successful bunion surgery can reduce the discomfort and pain bunions cause.

If you see a bony bump near the base of your big toe you may very well have a bunion. Anyone can develop a bunion but Interestingly bunions seem to be more common in women than in men(1), there is a suggestion this may be down to the footwear we wear.

The most common cause of bunions is footwear that does not have enough width to fit the toes in their natural position. They are occasionally associated with arthritis of the joint at the base of the big toe. Other potential causes are genetics (increased risk of developing bunions if someone in your family has them), conditions such as cerebral palsy or Marfan syndrome, gout.

What are the benefits of bunion surgery?

If the bunion doesn’t respond to other non-surgical treatments such as bunion pads , insoles, then surgery will be recommended.

Bunion surgery will correct the foot and remove bunions. The surgery is carried out in order to relieve you from pain and improve your quality of life.

Following bunion surgery your big toe should be straighter, so your foot should fit more comfortably in a normal shoe.

What will happen during my bunion surgery consultation?

When you meet with your consultant surgeon they'll ensure that you have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your bunion surgery. They'll discuss with you what'll happen before, during and after the procedure and any pain you might have. Take this time with your consultant surgeon to ensure your mind is put at rest. 

What does the operation involve?

A variety of anaesthetic techniques are possible. The operation usually takes between half an hour and an hour.

The bunion surgery may involve removing the bunion, releasing or tightening ligaments, cutting and realigning the bones of your big toe and straightening one or more of your smaller toes.

Your surgeon may fix the toes in place with wires or tiny screws.

What complications can happen?

Any surgery can develop complications such as bleeding, infection in the surgical wound, unsightly scarring, blood clots, difficulty passing urine, pain.

Specific complications of a bunion surgery are:

  • Damage to nerves around the big-toe joint
  • Problems with bone healing
  • Loss of movement in the big toe
  • Severe pain, stiffness and loss of use of the foot (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome)
  • Pain in the ball of the foot
  • Recurrent deformity

The consultant will discuss all risks in full ahead of the procedure.

How soon will I recover?

This is usually a day procedure so you can go home after, unless instructed otherwise. During the first week of recovery you will need to keep your leg raised in order to reduce swelling. In the first six weeks or more your foot and ankle will be swollen so you might need to wear special shoes.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, you should ask a member of the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

Paying for your operation

Bunion surgery costs are covered by most medical insurance policies, but please check with your insurer first. If you are paying for your own treatment the cost of the operation will be explained and confirmed in writing when you book the operation. Ask the hospital for a quote beforehand, and ensure that this includes the surgeon’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and the hospital charge for your procedure.

*Revised and updated November 2016.

 (1) http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/bunion/Pages/Introduction.aspx

Pricing

Bunion repair

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £4,101 Included £4,101
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £4,301
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Diagnostic investigations
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees N/A
Main treatment
Hospital fees £4,101
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £4,301

Bunion repair (with soft tissue release)

Patient pathway Initial consultation Diagnostic investigations Main treatment Post discharge care Total
Hospital fees N/A Included £4,194 Included £4,194
Consultants fees £200 N/A Included Included £200
Total £4,394
Initial consultation
Hospital fees N/A
Consultants fees £200
Diagnostic investigations
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees N/A
Main treatment
Hospital fees £4,194
Consultants fees Included
Post discharge care
Hospital fees Included
Consultants fees Included
Total £4,394

Terms & Conditions

Treatment prices displayed are a guide for initial consultation, and a guide price for our fixed price packages which include pre-assessment, procedure and aftercare. Your Consultant will be able to discuss costs in greater detail at your consultation, after which a quote of your fixed price package will be provided [which is subject to results of any pre-assessment tests]. Prices can be subject to change.

For more information please refer to our terms and conditions (large print version).

Bunion surgery Q&A with Mr Jason Alexander Nandlal

Bunion, also known as Hallux valgus

A bunion is a deformity of the base of the big toe. The cause is not always very clear, and the deformity may cause the foot to rub on shoes, which can cause inflammation and pain.

The cause of bunions is almost entirely hereditary. Shoes can make the condition more painful.

Mainly women but some men. 80%-20% split

Pain on walking, exercising and wearing shoes

Change what’s causing their pain. That usually means changing their exercise routine, activities or their footwear. If this isn’t possible, consult a podiatric surgeon.

The usual process is to take a full and detailed history of the complaint, and taking images such as X Ray

Conservative care or corrective day case surgery, that is, a change of footwear can make a difference, or corrective surgery, which can normally be done within the day.

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