The main benefit is to reduce the pain from your bunion. By straightening your toe and narrowing your foot, it will be easier to find comfortable footwear.
Are there any alternative treatments?
Before bunion surgery is considered, non-surgical approaches or conservative care should be tried. You could wear extra-wide special shoes or you can use a splint. Splints hold the big toe straighter but they do not fix the problem and the toe will not remain straight when you are not wearing the splint. Anti-inflammatory medications can be of help to reduce pain and swelling, and simple painkillers can relieve the pain. Physiotherapy will not help.
What if you do nothing?
Your big toe will bend further towards your second toe and may even overlap it.
Who should have it done?
Most people try bunion pads from the chemists or the chiropodists before considering surgery. If the pads do not help and your toe is still painful then you should have your big toe straightened.
Who should not have it done?
You should not have a general anaesthetic if you have major medical problems, such as high blood pressure or a bad heart. It is possible to do the operation under a regional anaesthetic.
You should not have the operation simply to make your feet look better.
Author: Mr Boyd Goldie MBBS FRCS BSC DHMSA. Consultant in orthopaedics & trauma.
© Dumas Ltd 2006