Mount Elizabeth Novena Specialist Centre
(65) 6684 5828
(65) 6684 5829
Parkway East Medical Centre
(65) 6348 2605
(65) 6348 2606
Connexion Farrer Park Medical Centre (Opens on 1 March 2020)
(65) 6738 2628
(65) 6738 2629

A bunion is a common condition when the big toe leans toward the second toe, rather than pointing straight ahead. Thus causing the big toe to have an abnormal protrusion which looks as a bump. People with a flatfoot or over-pronated foot are prone to bunions. Family history is also an important factor of incidence. Inappropriate footwear may make the condition worse but they are not the cause of it. Bunions worsen with advancing age and can eventually cause pain and deformity.

Recognizing the Symptoms

Symptoms, which occur at the site of the bunion, may include:

  • Pain or soreness
  • Inflammation and redness
  • A burning sensation
  • Possible numbness
  • Painful callosities on the toes & sole

Symptoms are most evident when wearing ill-fitting shoes especially around the toes or high heels. This is why women are more likely to have symptoms of bunions than men. In addition, spending long periods of time on your feet can aggravate the symptoms.

Can I leave it alone?

If left untreated, it can lead to painful swelling, cracked skin, overlapping second toe and eventually painful arthritis (wear & tear) and stiffness at the big toe joint. Sometimes, a patient’s walking pattern may also be affected as the weight on the foot is shifted to the outer side.

Right side has been operated in a patient with bilateral deformity
Do I Need to Consult a Specialist?

The bunions may not be bothering you. However, to fully evaluate the condition, it is advisable to consult a specialist to determine the degree of the deformity and to assess the predisposing cause for your bunion. If left neglected, it may cause more problems in the future.

Can I Manage Without Surgery?

Bunions can be managed without surgery with the aid of silicone toe spacers, night splints, footwear modification, toe stretching or some custom insoles to offload the painful joint.  These external supports do not reverse the bunion shape but help to provide comfort to the feet and prevent any skin callosities from developing.

What is a Bunion Surgery?

Surgery is usually done as a day surgery procedure. The procedures are mainly to remove the “bump” of bone, correct the toe shape, and most importantly to ensure the reduction of pain from the symptoms. The aims of the surgery are to restore foot shape, allow for excellent joint motion, immediate weight bearing and most importantly, have very low recurrence rate.

In selecting the procedure or combination of procedures for you, the foot and ankle specialist surgeon will take into consideration the extent of your deformity based on the findings, your age, your lifestyle, and other factors. The length of the recovery period will vary, depending on the procedure or procedures performed. There are minimally invasive deformity correction techniques to treat the bunion.

Xray of a patient with right foot bunion
X-ray of the right foot post surgery
Patient before and after correction of the right foot bunion
Recovery After Surgery

You can have immediate mobility after surgery with the aid of a soft sandal. Special foot bandaging is necessary to assist in holding the big toe in place, with the sandal to protect the toe whenever you walk. This is required for about 4-6 weeks.

What Is The Success And Risks Involved?

Bunion surgery is a very safe procedure. General attention needs to be paid to wound healing, bone healing and swelling control. With cutting edge technologies nowadays, the recurrence rate is extremely low. Your surgeon will assess the risks and complications individually with you and customize the best treatment plan according to your condition, age and lifestyle amongst other factors.

what will be my recovery time?
Hospital stay 1 night
Rest & elevation 10-14 days
Crutches/frame 1-2 weeks
Time off work
- Seated 3-4 weeks
- Standing 6-8 weeks
Foot swelling 12 weeks
- Sandals < 6 weeks
- Sports shoes 6-12 weeks
- Normal 12 weeks
ask our orthopaedic surgeon

If you would like to find out more details about bunion, please use the enquiry form below to ask our orthopaedic surgeon, Dr K Kannan. You may attach medical reports on the enquiry form as well.

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