Bunion Correction

What are bunions?

A bunion is a bony bump on the side of the big toe joint. It forms when the big toe begins angling toward the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead. It can be caused by years of wearing pointy-toed shoes, having flat feet, or just bad genetic luck. Seventy percent of women will develop a bunion in their lifetime.

Over time, the alignment of the bones gradually worsens, and the bunion bump grows. Some women never feel pain but most will experience varying degrees of aching, friction from their shoes, swelling, redness, inflammation, and, eventually, arthritis. This happens because the big toe joint absorbs much of the pressure from your weight when you walk.

You may be a candidate for bunion correction surgery if the bunion is interfering with your daily activities or walking, is causing you pain, or if you are experiencing chronic swelling and inflammation in your big toe.

bunion removal

How does bunion correction work?

The surgical procedure to correct the bunion is called metatarsal osteotomy or bunionectomy. There are several approaches the surgeon can take. It can involve shaving off the bunion or making a few small incisions in the bones. The surgeon then uses screws or pins to realign your big toe joint. A local anesthetic and a light, monitored anesthesia is used during this procedure.

Is bunion correction covered by insurance?

If the bunion is causing you pain and interfering with your normal life, it will be considered a medical condition and is usually covered by health insurance. To find out if your insurance plan covers this procedure, please call us at 310.416.9700.

How quickly can I get back to my regular routine?

Most people are able to resume normal activities in 6 to 12 weeks after the procedure.

Are there any side effects to bunion correction?

Side effects are rare, and include infection, nerve injury, inability of the bone to heal, stiffness of the big toe joint and bunion recurrence.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact West Coast Orthopedics.

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