If surgery is recommended to fix a bunion problem, there are many different types of bunion surgeries that can be done. The type of surgery done depends on how much deformity and/or arthritis is in the joint. X-rays will be taken of the foot. These x-rays allow the doctor to look closely at the joints and the angle between your big toe and the bone leading to it.
In general, if there is little or no arthritis in the MTP joint and the angles measured on the x-ray are close to normal, a simple removal of the bunion can be performed. If there is a more severe deformity of the bunion, the doctor can perform a soft tissue release and repair. This allows some movement of the big toe without moving other bones too much.
For moderate and severe bunion deformities, a bunionectomy with osteotomy can be done. An osteotomy simply means a cut through the bone. This allows your bone to be moved into a more normal position. Several different types of osteotomies can be done depending on how severe the deformity is and what kind of surgery your doctor thinks is best.
If there is significant arthritis in the MTP joint, a fusion can be done. In general, a fusion causes the bones on both sides of your joint to grow together forming one bone. When this is done, the toe is placed in a more normal position and allowed to heal. In most cases, this gets rid of the pain in the joint and in the bunion.