During bunion surgery, an anesthetic is given to the patient, and a cut is made into the top or side of the big-toe joint, according to WebMD. The purpose of the surgery is for realigning or removing the bone and soft tissue in the patient's foot.
There are over 100 types of bunion surgeries, and sometimes multiple procedures are done simultaneously to repair the foot, says WebMD. A physician chooses which surgery is best for pain relief and for the condition of the patient's foot. Removal of the foot section that bulges is called an exostectomy or a bunionectomy. Resection arthroplasty is a surgical reshaping of the foot, while cutting segments of the bone is an osteotomy.
Fusion procedures include arthrodesis, which fuses the big-toe joint, and the Lapidus procedure, which fuses the bone between the metatarsal bone and the middle of the foot, states WebMD. Another procedure involves implanting artificial bone in the foot to make the necessary repair.
Bunion surgery is an outpatient procedure and takes about one hour to complete, notes WebMD. Recovery takes from six weeks to six months, depending on the type of bunion surgery and the amount of tissue affected by the repair. Total healing takes approximately one year.