Typical symptoms of bunions are redness around the big toe, inflammation of the small fluid-filled sac at the joint, pain, restrictions in the movement of the joint at the base of the big toe, and walking difficulties. Bunion is caused by damage to the joint (arthritis). Arthritis may be inherited, but usually it is caused by repeated trauma to the toe, for example by tight-fitting shoes.
In the surgery, the bony enlargement from the inner side of the foot (picture 1) is removed. Additionally, the head of the first metatarsal bone is cut and realigned to straighten the big toe.
The corrected position (picture 2) is secured by a screw or pin, absorbable Biofix rod, or compression sutures and dressings .Operation is usually performed under spinal anaesthesia.
Left foot above
Before the operation (picture 1) After the operation (picture 2)
After the procedure, walk by putting your weight on the whole of the foot (not only on the outside of the foot or the heel) for 4 weeks, as allowed by the pain. Beware of flexing the big toe for 3–4 weeks while walking. Use crutches for a few days or as instructed. Your shoes must have supportive soles, low heels, and be wide at the toe (they must have sufficient space for your toes). The operation restricts driving. You may drive your car only after when you are allowed to push with the ball of the foot.
The dressing around the big toe is important for your therapy after the surgery.
The function of the dressings is to keep the big toe straight. It prevents the toe from turning into the former incorrect position or to the opposite direction away from the other toes.
The dressing is used for 6 weeks. The padded dressing made in the procedure is kept until the sutures are removed. After that, the foot is dressed daily for 4 weeks according to the instructions below:
You may shower after 24 hours. Use a waterproof plastic bag to protect the foot, so that the dressings do not get wet.
The sutures are removed after 2 weeks at your health centre, occupational health centre, or health clinic (neuvola). You may shower the foot and go to sauna 24 hours after the removal of the sutures.
Treatment of pain
Regular pain relief medication, elevated position, and ice pack therapy efficiently reduce swelling and pain after the operation.
It is recommended that you take pain killers for 1–4 days and after that when necessary
If you experience inflammatory symptoms (increasing pain, heavy swelling, warmth, redness, or continuous wound discharge through the bandages) or other problems, contact your health centre or treating unit:
- Day Surgery Unit
- Emergency Department
- Your own health centre or occupational health centre