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Bournemouth Hospital

67 Lansdowne Road, Bournemouth, BH1 1RW

01202 291866
Switchboard 01202 291 866
Enquiries, Treatments and Prices 01202 702830
MRI Appointments 01202 069566
Radiology 01202 702 810
Accounts Payable/Insurers 01202 901875

Why choose Nuffield Health Bournemouth Hospital for your bunion surgery?

At Nuffield Health Bournemouth Hospital our expert foot and ankle surgeons are experienced in the treatment of bunions. We take pride in our high standards of clinical care, thats why our consultants are fully supported by an attentive matron-led nursing team, who are dedicated to ensuring your wellbeing and comfort whilst admitted.

Did you know Nuffield Health Bournemouth Hospital was the first Nuffield establishment to open in the UK? It's legacy, customer service and exemplary patient satisfaction has set the bar high for other Nuffield Health Hospitals across the country to follow.

If you would like to learn more about bunion surgery and how the procedure can help you, feel free to attend one of our orthopaedic open events. Here, you will get the opportunity to meet one of our expert foot surgeons and ask any questions you may have.

What exactly is a bunion?

  • The bony growth on the joint sometimes causes your big toe to turn in towards your second toe
  • Symptoms include pain, swelling of your big toe and, as the bunion sticks out, it can often rub on the inside of your shoe
  • The cause is not always known - there may be a deformity of the joint, called hallux valgus (hallux means big toe, valgus means bent outwards)
  • It can also be caused by ill fitting footwear not allowing enough width to fit the toes in their natural position
  • Sometimes bunions are associated with arthritis in the joint at the base of your big toe. Left untreated bunions can continue to grow and become more painful
  • Treatment can help ease the pain. You can wear good supporting footwear - narrow, pointed shoes are best avoided
  • Painkillers can help, as can comfortable insoles and padding over the bunion
  • However, surgery is most effective cure if symptoms are not easing
  • The operation to remove bunions is called a 'bunionectomy'.

What happens during bunion surgery at Nuffield Health Bournemouth Hospital?

  • Bunion surgery can be performed under local or general anaesthetic
  • The operation usually takes between half an hour to an hour
  • There are several types of bunionectomies. Some involve removal and realignment of the bones in your foot
  • Mild bunion problems can sometimes be resolved using soft tissue release or tightening 
  • For some very severe cases bones of the big toe are fused or the bunion is cut out along with some of the bone at the base of the toe
  • With any type of bunionectomy your surgeon will make one or more incisions (cuts) near your big toe
  • They will use instruments to trim the bones and remove the bunion. Wire, screws or plates may also be used to hold the new joint in place.

After your bunion surgery

  • Depending on what procedure is used you should be able to go home the same day of the surgery
  • In some cases an overnight stay is required. Discuss your length of stay with your surgeon
  • You may need to wear plaster cast or dressing
  • You will be given a surgical shoe so you can walk on your heel
  • You will need crutches to move around
  • In the first few weeks following your operation your foot and ankle will be sore and swollen
  • You will need to spend most of your time with your leg raised so that the swelling settles
  • You will not be able to wear normal footwear for at least three to four months after surgery
  • When you transition to normal shoes it is recommended they wide fitting and have low heels
  • Avoid any narrow, high heeled shoes that might put pressure on the surgical area.

What are the complications of bunion surgery?

Any surgical procedure may result in complications. These could include:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Scarring
  • Blood clots (DVT - deep vein thrombosis).

Specific complications in bunionectomy may include:

  • Nerve damage
  • Continued swelling and pain
  • Problems with bone healing
  • Loss of movement in big toe
  • Pain in the ball of the foot
  • Bunion coming back
  • Complex regional pain syndrome - a condition that causes long-term (chronic) burning pain in one of the limbs.

Living with and getting rid of bunions

Bunions can be painful and their appearance embarrassing. Occasionally bunions can lead to more serious problems. Here's how to live with, and when to get rid of, your bunions.

Read full article