Rogers Foot & Ankle Institute

When Bunions Require Surgery and What to Expect

Aug 09, 2023
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Struggling with bunions? Keep reading to discover the key to effective relief and what to expect during bunion surgery.

Bunions, the bony protrusions that commonly form at the base of the big toe, can cause pain and discomfort, impacting your mobility and overall quality of life. While nonsurgical treatments are often effective in managing mild bunions, there are instances when surgery becomes necessary to alleviate your symptoms and correct the underlying issue.

At Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute, Scott Rogers, DPM, FACFAS, and our dedicated team of experts in American Fork and Saratoga Springs, Utah, work hard to provide treatment options that prevent bunions from changing how you walk. We offer tailored solutions that boost your quality of life and improve your overall foot health.

In the meantime, we’ll explore when bunions require surgery, what to expect during the procedure, and the recovery process. Let’s get started.

When is bunion surgery necessary? 

Bunion surgery is typically considered when conservative treatments fail to provide relief or when your bunion becomes severe, affecting daily activities. Here are some indications that bunion surgery may be necessary:

Persistent pain 

If you experience chronic pain and inflammation despite using orthotics, padding, or wearing comfortable shoes, surgery may be a viable option.

Toe deformity 

When your bunion causes your big toe to deviate excessively towards the other toes, it creates a visible deformity.

Difficulty walking 

Severe bunions can lead to difficulty walking or impede normal foot movement, warranting surgical intervention.

Joint stiffness 

When your bunion restricts joint movement, it can lead to arthritis in your big toe joint.

What to expect during bunion surgery 

Bunion surgery, also known as a bunionectomy, involves correcting the bony protrusion and realigning your affected joint. While there are different surgical techniques, the goal remains the same — to alleviate pain and restore proper foot function. Here's what you can expect during the bunion surgery process:


Dr. Rogers conducts a thorough evaluation of your foot condition and overall health to determine the most suitable surgical approach.


Bunion surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia, ensuring you remain comfortable and pain-free during your procedure.


Dr. Rogers makes an incision at the site of your bunion, providing access to your affected bone and joint.

Bone realignment 

Depending on the severity of your bunion, Dr. Rogers removes the bony prominence and realigns your bones, restoring the correct position of your big toe.

Joint fusion 

In some cases, joint fusion may be necessary to stabilize your joint and prevent future bunion recurrence.

Closing the incision 

Once the necessary corrections are made, your incision is carefully closed, and sutures or surgical staples are used to secure your wound.

Recovering from bunion surgery 

After bunion surgery, a successful recovery is crucial for achieving your desired outcomes. Some essential aspects of the recovery process include:

  • Resting your foot and keeping it elevated to reduce swelling and promote healing
  • Managing discomfort with prescribed pain medications
  • Following weight-bearing restrictions as advised by Dr. Rogers
  • Engaging in physical therapy exercises
  • Attending regular follow-up appointments to monitor your healing progress

These steps play a significant role in ensuring a smooth and effective recovery. 

When bunions begin to impact your daily life and conservative treatments prove ineffective, bunion surgery can be a viable solution to alleviate pain and restore foot function. If you suspect that your bunions may require surgical intervention, book an appointment at Rogers Foot and Ankle Institute online or by phone today.