Hallux valgus is a condition that affects the joint at the base of the big toe. The condition is commonly called a bunion. The bunion actually refers to the bump that grows on the side of the first metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint. Surgery may only be required to remove the bump that makes up the bunion – bunionectomy.

  • Once the skin is opened the bump is removed using a special surgical saw or chisel
  • The bone is smoothed of all rough edges and the skin incision is closed with small stitches

The major decision that must be made is whether or not the metatarsal bone will need to be cut and realigned as well, a procedure called osteotomy. If so, there are two basic techniques: distal osteotomy and proximal osteotomy.

  • Distal Osteotomy: the far end of the bone is cut and moved laterally, effectively reduces the angle between the first and second metatarsal bones.
  • Proximal Osteotomy: first metatarsal is cut at the near end of the bone; the bone is then realigned and held in place with metal pins until it heals

A cheilectomy is a procedure to remove the bone spurs at the top of the joint so that they don’t bump together when the toe extends.

  • An incision is made along the top of the joint
  • The bone spurs that are blocking the joint from extending are identified and removed
  • The skin is closed and allowed to heal