A bunionectomy is performed to correct a deformity of the big toe joint. One of the most common and effective bunion removal procedures is an osteotomy, which removes a portion of bone from the big toe.
An incision is made along the top or side of the big toe joint. The bunion, or side of the big toe joint that sticks out, is removed with a surgical saw or chisel.
A wedge of bone is cut and removed from one or both of the toe bones to straighten the joint.
Tendons that attach to the big toe may have to be cut, or released, to relieve the inward pull of the toe.
Once the bones of the joint have been realigned, they are stabilized (fixated) with pins, screws, wires, or a combination. The incision is closed and stitched up.
Depending on the type of osteotomy and fixation, a walking cast, splint, or special shoes may be worn for several weeks. Normal activities can usually be resumed after the bones and soft tissues heal within six to eight weeks.