You may be having surgery to correct a hallux valgus. This consists of removing the bunion on the side of your foot and straightening the bone connecting your big toe with your foot. It involves cutting across the bone with a saw and re-setting it.

Afterwards you will be placed in a cast for 4 weeks and will need to stay off it on crutches.

If the deformity is very bad the correction will not be as good. In most cases the result is acceptable but not perfectly straight. It should get rid of the pain from the bunion but pain in the sole of the foot is difficult to predict afterwards.

The recovery time afterwards can be as long as 1 year. Swelling in the foot can last this long. Most people are walking around well 2 weeks after the cast is removed.

The operation is done under a general anaesthetic. This carries certain risks to the heart and the lungs.

These risks are very low and only 1 in 1000 patients will have any problem. The risks will be increased if you have a medical condition such as angina, high blood pressure, asthma, airways disease or diabetes or if you are overweight. It is important to discuss any medical condition prior to surgery. Please bring all tablets that you are on when you are coming in. Please ring the office if you have a cold or a flu illness.

You may have some numbness around the wound area which rarely is permanent but may last a few months.

There is a 1 in 100 chance of getting a wound infection. This can usually be treated with antibiotics and cleaning of the wound.

You will be in hospital 1 or 2 nights.

After the operation you will be supervised walking on crutches by the physiotherapist.

You will be seen again at the clinic after 4 weeks when your cast will be taken off.

Breandán Long