After the anesthesia has taken effect, a tourniquet or blood pressure cuff, will be used to temporarily stop the blood flow to the foot. This may be a cuff around the thigh or a tight band around the ankle. This allows the doctor to see the surgical area clearly.
To help reduce the chance of infection, the area will be scrubbed with a special soap, and will be covered with sterile sheets.
For a moderately deformed bunion, the doctor will begin the procedure by making a 2-3 inch incision on the inside of the foot over the bunion. Once the bone is exposed, the bump on the inside of the metatarsal which forms the bunion is removed with a saw.
Since the bunion is caused by both a deformity of the MTP joint and the bump, it is important to correct the soft tissues as well.
The tight tissues on the outside of the MTP joint are released through the initial incision, or by making a second incision on the top of the foot between the first and second toes.
This allows the big toe to be moved to the straight position. The stretched out tissue on the inside of the joint is then tightened to hold the toe in the correct position.
The skin incisions are then closed with stitches and a sterile bandage is applied to the foot.