Type of Surgery

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Last updated: 11/24/2009

Definition

A bunionectomy is a surgical procedure to excise, or remove, a bunion. A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe and is comprised of bone and soft tissue. It is usually a result of inflammation and irritation from poorly fitting...

(narrow and tight) shoes in conjunction with an overly mobile first metatarsal joint and over-pronation of the foot. Over time, a painful lump appears at the side of the joint, while the big toe appears to buckle and move sideway towards the second toe. New bone growth can occur in response to the inflammatory process, and a bone spur may develop. Therefore, the development of a bunion may involve soft tissue as well as a hard bone spur. The intense pain makes walking and other activities extremely difficult. Since the involved joint is a significant structure in providing weight-bearing stability, walking on the foot while trying to avoid putting pressure on the painful area can create an unstable gait.



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This animation describes what a bunion is and the one of the possible surgeries used to correct it, namely a metatarsal osteotomy.

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A bunion results in a bony overgrowth in the foot, causing the big toe to curve outward. To repair this, an incision is made in the top of the foot (A). The overgrowth and fluid-filled sac called a bursa are removed (B). The phalanx bone of the big toe is shortened to straighten it (C). The foot is realigned, and the incision is closed (D). (Illustration by GGS Inc.) A bunion results in a bony overgrowth in the foot, causing the big toe to curve outward. To repair this, an incision is made in the top of the foot (A). The overgrowth and fluid-filled sac called a bursa are removed (B). The phalanx bone of the big toe is shortened to straighten it (C). The foot is realigned, and the incision is closed (D). (Illustration by GGS Inc.)




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Other Information

A bunionectomy is a surgical procedure to excise, or remove, a bunion. A bunion is an enlargement of the joint at the base of the big toe and is comprised of bone and soft tissue. It is usually a result of inflammation and irritation from poorly fitting (narrow and tight) shoes inconjunction with an overly mobile first metatarsal joint and over-pronation of the foot. Over time, a painful lump appears at the side of the joint, while the big toe appears to buckle and move sideway towards the second toe. New bone growth can occur in response to the inflammatory process, and a bone spur may develop. Therefore, the development of a bunion may involve soft tissue as well as a hard bone spur. The intense pain makes walking and other activities extremely difficult. Since the involved joint is a significant structure in providing weight-bearing stability, walking on the foot while trying to avoid putting pressure on the painful area can create an unstable gait.


From http://www.answers.com/topic/bunionectomy

Other Information

In 2006 a study showed that the cost of foot surgery to correct foot problems from tight-fitting shoes is $2 billion a year. If time off from work for the surgery and recovery is included, the cost is $3.5 billion.


From: AAOS

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