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Bunions or hallux valgus, are deformities in the big toe joint. They’re bony lumps that develop progressively, making the feet increasingly disfigured. Bunions can be painful, unsightly, and debilitating. They can make footwear uncomfortable and can restrict mobility. The London Clinic provides a comprehensive range of bunion treatments by world-renowned orthopaedic surgeons.

If you have bunions, The London Clinic provides expert assessment, thorough investigation, and the latest evidence-led treatments to soothe your symptoms and get you back on your feet.

The London Clinic’s specialist surgeons have access to high-tech imaging. They are assisted by an expert multidisciplinary team, including highly-skilled physiotherapists and podiatrists that will support your treatment and rehabilitation.  

Pain relief, padding, custom orthotics, and supportive footwear can help many people. However, if your bunions are restricting mobility and reducing your quality of life, the orthopaedic surgeons can perform surgery to treat the deformity, straighten your toe and restore your foot’s healthy function.

What are bunions?

Bunions are a common foot condition, affecting up to one in three people. They are bony deformities that develop in the big toe joint. The joint progressively angles away from the foot, making the great toe drift towards the other four toes. 

The alterations in the position and alignment of the joint and toe, together with changes to the bone structure, result in the bunion’s characteristic bony bump. Eventually, the bursa, a sac of fluid that surrounds the joint becomes inflamed, making the joint swollen, stiff and painful.

The symptoms and signs of bunions gradually increase over time. They typically include:

  • A lump in the big toe joint
  • The big toe becoming crooked and pointing towards the other toes
  • Crossing of the toes
  • The bunions can become painful and sore
  • The joint can appear red and inflamed.
  • Pain on walking
  • Discomfort from footwear rubbing or pressing on the bunion

Who can benefit from bunion treatment?

Bunions can be painful and distressing. If your ties are crossing, or if your bunions are affecting your mobility and ability to live a full, active life, the consultant orthopaedic surgeons at The London Clinic can help. 

The specialists can provide expert assessment, cutting-edge investigation, and treatment to restore your movement, function, and quality of life.

Treatment options

The symptoms of bunions can often be improved without surgery. Specialist podiatry, custom orthotics, well-fitted shoes, and regular anti-inflammatory medication can help ease symptoms and help you get on with normal activities.  

Your bunion consultation at The London Clinic

Our experienced surgeons will assess and advise you in The London Clinic’s comfortable and well-equipped consulting rooms. They will take a detailed medical history, examine your feet, and ask about the impact your symptoms have on your wellbeing and lifestyle.

Your consultant may arrange tests and investigations in the cutting-edge imaging suite. These may include:

  • X-ray
  • MRI scanning

In consultation with you, they will then plan a programme of treatment for your bunions. They will take the time to answer all your questions and address any concerns.  

Bunion treatment at The London Clinic

The best treatment for your bunions will depend on your feet, your general wellbeing, and your preferences. The consultant orthopaedic surgeons will design a bespoke programme of treatment and care. This may include:

  • Advice on footwear:  Narrow, restrictive, and high-heeled shoes can increase the risk of bunions and also increase symptoms. Wide, comfortable shoes, with adequate space for the toes, can reduce pain and discomfort. 
  • Pain killers: Long days on your feet can be painful. Applying ice packs, resting and taking, and regular over-the-counter pain relief can help you cope.
  • Podiatry: The London Clinic has experienced podiatrists that specialise in bunion care. Orthotic insoles, padding, and toe spacers can reduce symptoms and slow down the progression of the deformity

For severe bunions, if the toes are crossing, or if symptoms are impairing mobility and lifestyle, surgery may be necessary. There are different procedures available. The best technique for you will depend on your feet. Your surgeon will discuss the options, risks, and benefits and take time to answer your questions:

  • Minimally-invasive bunion surgery: The surgeons offer innovative keyhole surgery for many people with bunions.  In expert hands, minimally-invasive surgery offers smaller scars, quicker recovery, and fewer complications than traditional open operations. Depending on your bunions, the surgeons can tighten up loose ligaments and lengthen any that are tight and constricted to improve alignment. They can perform an osteotomy to remove segments of bone, making them straighter. They can also excise the bump and areas of arthritis.
  • Open bunion surgery: The surgeons can make an incision over the big toe joint and operate to correct the deformity, realign the joint, and relieve pain.

Recovery and aftercare

Many people can go home on the day of bunion surgery. However, some patients will need to stay overnight, so that the team can monitor their recovery. The London Clinic's team will provide support, arrange follow-up to assess your progress, and give you a bespoke rehabilitation plan.

Take time to rest and recover. For the first week, you should spend most of your time with your feet up to reduce swelling and help healing. Your feet will be swollen, sore, and stiff for a few weeks. The swelling takes up to six months to settle fully, and it may take over six weeks until you can comfortably wear a soft shoe.

Walking can be painful, but applying icepacks and taking regular over-the-counter painkillers can help relieve any discomfort. The London Clinic team will always be on hand if you have any problems or worries.

Why choose The London Clinic?

The London Clinic is dedicated to providing the best, personalised healthcare with over 600 world-renowned consultants available to offer informed health advice and treatment.

Spanning Harley Street and Devonshire Place, The London Clinic is situated in the heart of London’s internationally-known medical district. This central location, together with state-of-the art technologies and facilities that are not widely available in other hospitals, makes The London Clinic the hospital of choice for around 120,000 patients every year.

The London Clinic is an HTA licensed and JACIE accredited cancer centre with an ‘Excellent’ MacMillan Quality Environment Mark and with access to a Level 3 intensive care unit.

Offering affordable and competitive self-pay packages and expert support from Clinical Nurse Specialists and our specialised multidisciplinary team, over 98% of our patients said they would recommend The London Clinic to their friends and families.

Treatment cost

The London Clinic offers affordable, competitive self-pay packages for certain treatments. An All-Inclusive Package for this treatment is available from £7,500.

Patients have the option to spread the cost of treatment with Chrysalis Finance.

Please call +44 (0)20 3613 7502 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and to book an appointment.

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