The Relief Institute can find you a doctor specialized in osteotomy surgeries. Osteotomy is a generic surgical treatment for bunion deformities that involves a procedure in which a cut or several cuts are made in the affected bone or bones to restore their proper alignment.


You may need bunion surgery if you have severe foot pain that occurs when walking or wearing flat, comfortable shoes. Surgery may also be needed when chronic big toe inflammation and swelling isn’t relieved with rest or medicines.

Other reasons for surgery include toe deformity, a drifting of the big toe toward the small toe, and an inability to bend and straighten the big toe.


Bunionectomy surgery generally involves making an incision on the top or the side of the big toe joint area and removing or realigning soft tissue and bone.

The goals of surgery for bunions are to:

  • Relieve pain and restore normal alignment to the toe joint.
  • Restore, as much as possible, normal weight-bearing distribution to the foot.
  • Allow you to return to normal activities.

The type of surgical procedure performed depends on the severity of the bunion, your age, general health, activity level, and the condition of the bones and connective tissue.

Other factors may influence the choice of a procedure used:

  • Mild bunion. For this type of surgery, your doctor may remove the enlarged portion of bone and realign the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding your joint.
  • Moderate bunion. For a moderate bunion, your doctor may cut the bone and shift it to its proper position. Whether or not your bone is cut depends on the severity and location of the deformity. In addition, the surrounding tendons and ligaments may need to be repositioned.
  • Severe bunion. For a severe bunion, surgery may involve removing the enlarged portion of your bone, cutting and realigning the bone, and correcting the position of your tendons and ligaments.
  • Arthritic bunion or big toe joint. If the joint is damaged beyond repair, as is often seen in arthritis, it may need to be fused. This allows the bones to heal together and eliminate movement and pain. Occasionally, joint replacement implants may be used in the reconstruction of the big toe joint.



After your surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room for observation. Your recovery process will vary depending on the type of anesthesia that is given. The circulation and sensation of the foot will be monitored. Once your blood pressure, pulse, and breathing are stable and you are alert, you may be discharged to your home.

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