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A bunionectomy is surgery to remove a bunion.


Before your surgery:

  • Informed consent is a legal document that explains the tests, treatments, or procedures that you may need. Informed consent means you understand what will be done and can make decisions about what you want. You give your permission when you sign the consent form. You can have someone sign this form for you if you are not able to sign it. You have the right to understand your medical care in words you know. Before you sign the consent form, understand the risks and benefits of what will be done. Make sure all your questions are answered.
  • An IV is a small tube placed in your vein that is used to give you medicine or liquids.
  • Anesthesia is medicine to make you comfortable during the surgery. Caregivers will work with you to decide which anesthesia is best for you.
    • General anesthesia will keep you asleep and free from pain during surgery. You may get anesthesia through your IV. You may breathe it in through a mask or a tube placed down your throat. The tube may cause you to have a sore throat when you wake up.
    • Saddle block or caudal anesthesia is medicine used to numb you below the waist. A shot of medicine is put into the lowest part of your spine. You will be awake during the surgery.
    • Local anesthesia is a shot of medicine to numb the foot that has the bunion. It is used to dull the pain. You may still feel pressure or pushing during surgery.

During surgery:

A tourniquet may be put on your leg just below your knee. The tourniquet will help decrease bleeding. An incision is made in your foot. The extra bone is removed. The ligament that has tightened and pulled the toe inward may be cut to help make the toe straight again. A ligament is a strong tissue that holds a joint together. A pin, screw, or rod may be placed in your toe joint. In some cases, you may need to have your toe joint rebuilt or repaired. The incision is then closed with stitches.

After surgery:

You will be taken to a room to rest until you are fully awake. Caregivers will monitor you closely for any problems. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is okay. When your caregiver sees that you are okay, you will be able to go home. If you are staying in the hospital, you will be taken to your hospital room.


You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. You could have trouble breathing or get blood clots. You may have stiffness in your toe joint and your big toe may not line up exactly with your other toes. You may still need to wear special shoes or inserts in your shoes after surgery. If you do not have surgery, your bunion may grow larger and the pain may get worse.


You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Bunionectomy (Inpatient Care)

Micromedex® Care Notes