Article by Dr. Misako McLeod, DPM

What are Bunions? Bunions, also known as Hallux Valgus, is a foot deformity with an enlarged big toe joint. Usually, the bunion has a prominent bump on the inside of the foot which can cause pain when walking and wearing shoes. Bunions can range from mild, non painful bunions to painful, large bunions with a collapsed arch.

When Dr. McLeod evaluates your bunion, she will examine the following:

Nonsurgical treatment consists of icing, anti-inflammatories, wearing wider and more supportive shoes, orthotics, and steroid injection therapy.

human foot ankel and leg xray picture


Surgical treatment is recommended only if non-surgical options fail. The type of procedure depends upon the severity  of the bunion, lifestyle of patient, and ability to maintain non-weight bearing status during the post-operative period.

The most common bunion procedure (Austin Bunionectomy) takes about one hour and is performed on an outpatient basis. At the end of the procedure, the patient is anesthetized with a local nerve block so the patient will awaken with minimal pain to no pain.

Over the next 24-48 hours, the local anesthetic block will gradually wear off and then the patient will start taking the oral pain medication.

Post-operatively, the patient may weightbear in a surgical shoe for 2 weeks and then will transition into a supportive shoe at 3 weeks. Serial X-rays are obtained about every 2 weeks to ensure the bone is healing properly. No athletic or high impact activities are allowed for 6-8 weeks or until the bone is properly healed.

Dr. McLeod uses a plastic surgery closure techniques which minimize scar and do not require suture removal.


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