Bunion Surgery

Bunions are bony prominences that may become painful over time. If you find that your pain persists, despite conservative treatments, our specialists at Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center in Greater Columbus can help by means of bunion correction.

Schedule an appointment with us today!

Do I Need Surgery?

Visiting an orthopedic surgeon doesn’t mean that surgery is necessary. Our orthopedic doctors always prefer to use non-surgical procedures to treat injuries.

What Our Patients Say

You were prepared regarding my foot issues before you stepped in the room! I appreciated your knowledge, explanations and graphics to show me what we can do. You gave me hope today! Thank you.” — Heidi C.

What Is a Bunion?

A bunion (also referred to as hallux valgus) is a visible bony bump or bony prominence that can form on the outside edge of your big toe joint. Bunions can be very painful since they can change your big toe alignment, causing your big toe to move towards your smaller toes. The bony enlargement or bump can cause rubbing in shoes and lead to irritation. Bunions may form due to prolonged periods of stress on your joint, arthritis, and more.

What Is Bunion Surgery?

Bunion surgery (also known as a bunionectomy) is an outpatient procedure used to correct bunions. Bunion reconstructive surgery is necessary when your bunion is causing pain or functional problems, reducing your quality of life and limiting ones activities.

There are different surgical techniques that can be used to correct this toe deformity, relieve pain, and improve function.

A patient requiring a bunion surgery in Columbus, OH.

Surgical Procedures Available for Bunion Removal

An orthopedic doctor examining a patient before a bunionectomy surgery.

The type of surgical procedure you receive will depend on the severity of your bunion. After an examination, your surgeon may choose to use the following techniques during your foot surgery:

  • Osteotomy — During this procedure, your surgeon will make a few small incisions into your bones. They will then use pins or screws to realign your toe to a normal position. This is the most common form of bunion surgery.
  • Exostectomy — This form of surgery involves your surgeon shaving off your bunion without realigning your joint. This technique is typically combined with an osteotomy to reposition your toe to its proper position.
  • Great Toe Arthrodesis — This procedure is only performed to treat the most severe bunion cases. During this procedure, your surgeon will remove parts of your big toe that have arthritis. Then screws, plates, or compressive hardware will be placed into your toe to hold the bones together as they heal.
  • Lapidus Bunionectomy: This procedure is only performed to treat the most severe bunion cases. The bunion is corrected as the base of the 1st metatarsal and fused together in a corrected position

Would I Be an Eligible Candidate for Bunion Surgery?

You may be an eligible candidate and your surgeon may recommend bunion surgery if you have the following:

  • Chronic big toe inflammation and swelling that does not resolve with rest or pain medicines
  • A big toe that drifts towards your other toes
  • Stiffness in your big toe joint or an inability to bend or straighten your toe
  • Ongoing pain that hinders your ability to carry out your daily activities (including walking and wearing comfortable shoes)
  • Arthritis
  • Previous injury leading to post-traumatic arthritis

How Can I Prepare for Bunion Surgery?

You can prepare for bunion surgery by taking the following steps:

  • Asking your foot doctor to answer any questions you may have regarding your procedure.
  • Completing a physical examination, or having blood tests or other diagnostic tests, if requested.
  • Providing your podiatrist with a detailed breakdown of your medical history.
  • Informing your podiatrists of any allergies you may have and all the medications you are currently taking. You may be required to stop taking medications before your procedure.


You can also take other practical steps to prepare, such as:

  • Planning and preparing your meals prior to surgery
  • Arranging a support system to provide you with assistance as you recover
  • Carefully scheduling your surgery for a time when you can allow yourself enough time to heal and keep the affected foot elevated

Bunion Surgery Procedure

Most bunion surgeries are performed in an outpatient setting and done under anesthesia with a numbing block to the foot or leg. Typically, the procedure for this type of surgery is as follows:

  1. The incision site will be cleaned.
  2. Anesthesia will be administered.
  3. Your surgeon will make an incision or incisions along your big toe joint.
  4. Then, they will realign or remove portions of your bone, ligament, or tendons depending on the severity of your condition. 
  5. Finally, the surgical site will be closed, and stitches and a bandage will be applied.

Bunion Surgery Recovery Process

Since you will not be able to put weight on your foot, you may be given a protective boot or shoe. About two to three weeks after surgery, your stitches will be removed. To ensure that your foot heals properly, you will have to see your podiatrist for post-operative visits. Most bunion surgeries require at least 6 to 12 weeks to heal.

To avoid complications, it is imperative that you carefully follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions, especially during the first few weeks after surgery. Physical therapy may be recommended to help you regain strength and range of motion. Additionally, your surgeon may prescribe pain medications to relieve your discomfort.

Possible Risks Associated with Bunion Surgery

The possible risks of bunion surgery complications include the following:

  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Bunion recurrence (when your bunion returns)
  • Wound healing problems
  • Continuous stiffness or pain
  • Nerve damage


Complications are rare and easy to treat.

If you have a bunion causing significant pain and reside in the Columbus, OH area, contact us today to schedule an appointment with our Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center experts! Together we can create a plan to help you relieve your pain.

Medically Reviewed by: Roberto A. Brandão, DPM, FACFAS

Our Bunion Surgery Specialist​s​

CHRISTOPHER F. HYER, DPM

Board Certified, Fellowship Trained Foot & Ankle Surgeon

COREY J. GRIFFITH, DPM

Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon

GREGORY C. BERLET, MD

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon

MARK A. PRISSEL, DPM

Board Certified, Fellowship Trained Foot & Ankle Surgeon

PATRICK E. BULL, DO

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon

RANDALL C. THOMAS JR., DPM

Board Certified Foot & Ankle Surgeon

ROBERTO A. BRANDÃO, DPM

Board Certified, Fellowship Trained Foot & Ankle Surgeon

TERRENCE M. PHILBIN, DO

Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon
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