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What is bunion correction?

Bunion correction is a surgical procedure that involves the repair of a foot that has become deformed as a result of a bunion. A bunion is a bony lump that occurs at the base of the big toe. The bump forces the toe to point towards the second toe, causing pain and discomfort. Some other symptoms of bunions include inflammation on the big toe, difficulty moving the big toe, calloused skin and persistent pain in the affected area. In cases where a bunion cannot be treated with nonsurgical techniques, Dr Narramore may recommend surgical removal.

How does it work?

The procedure is typically performed under general anaesthetic or regional anaesthetic. Bunion correction may be performed in a number of ways, the most common of which are osteotomy, exostectomy and rarely arthrodesis. A bunionectomy (exostectomy) involves the removal of swollen tissue from the affected joint, as well as the removal of some bone. During an osteotomy, Dr Narramore will cut the bone and carefully move it back into its normal position. If Dr Narramore opts to perform an exostectomy, he will remove the bunion from the joint. During an arthrodesis, Dr Narramore will use metal plates or screws to correct any deformity caused by the bunion and fuse the joint in a normal position. This is only done for very severe deformities with a damaged joint.

Post-operative care (one night in hospital)

After the surgery, it will take some time to fully recovery. It is important that not too much weight is placed on the foot while it heals. Dr Narramore may recommend physiotherapy, which will help to strengthen the foot and relieve some pain.

You will need:

  • One night in hospital.
  • Minimal pain immediately post-operative because of nerve blocks (popliteal and ankle blocks).

Your physiotherapist will mobilise you the next day in a special shoe (post-op wedge shoe).

Your foot would have been bandaged in theatre.

You will need to keep the foot elevated at home for 14 days.

Your dressing will need to be changed after one week.

The special shoe will be worn for 6 - 8 weeks.

Bunion surgery is successful in 95% of patients if the correct operation is done for certain deformities.


Dr Chris Narramore consults and operates from the following locations: Constantiaberg Mediclinic or Sport Science Institute. Please contact his office directly to make an appointment and specify where you would like to be seen.


Room 207
Mediclinic Constantiaberg
Burnham Road
Cape Town 7800

Tel: +27 21 762 5228


Orthopaedic Sports Clinic
Sports Science Institute
Boundary Road
Cape Town 7700

Tel: +27 21 762 5228