Bunion surgery (hallux valgus)
A "bunion" deformity of the great toe of the foot, or hallux valgus, is caused by several factors, amongst which genetic influences, high-heel shoes, ligamentous hyperlaxity. It is more common in women than in men.
In the majority of cases, only an operation can significantly et durably solve the problem. External correction can allievate some symptoms, but only temporarily. Insoles generally aggravate symptoms, as they take up more space in the shoes.
The scope of the surgery is to move the whole joint of the big toe more laterally. To achieve that, it is necessary to cut the first metatarsal bone as pictured below:
Above, left: the dotted line represents the line along which the bone willl be sawed (osteotomy); right, the osteotomy has been performed and fixed with two screws. These will stay in the bone and generally do not need removal.
Above: same process, viewed from above, before and after displacement.
Above: side view of the first metatarsal bone after correction, with the screws in place.
Radiographs before and after surgery.
20 mm- titanium screw
After suergy, the patient can begin to walk with full weight-bearing, under protection of a special shoe, which has to be worn at all times for 6 weeks.
Pain after surgery is nowadays much better controlled, as you can read here.