Mercy's Foot and Ankle Surgeons Provide Bunion Removal (Bunionectomy)

At The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy in Baltimore, our surgeons have advanced expertise in performing bunionectomy, a surgical procedure to correct a bunion deformity.

Mercy was one of the first hospitals in the United States to offer an advanced minimally invasive bunion surgery option for patients who have persistent pain associated with a bunion.

What is a Bunionectomy?

A bunionectomy is a surgical procedure used to remove a bunion. A bunion occurs when the big toe turns toward the second toe and forms a bump on the foot. A bunionectomy can help relieve pain caused by the bunion.

NEXT: Types of Bunionectomy procedures ›
Types of Bunionectomy procedures

Mercy offers many different surgical procedures to correct bunion deformities including a minimally invasive bunion surgery option. The decision to perform one type of surgery or another is based upon the extent and magnitude of the bunion deformity, the presence of arthritis in the big toe joint, and the space between the first and second metatarsals, which is called the intermetatarsal angle.

It is very rare that a bunion can be treated by simply shaving down the bump of the bone. Invariably, the deformity will recur and both the bunion and the hallux valgus will return. Therefore, the shaving of the bunion, called an exostectomy, is performed in conjunction with a cut of the first metatarsal bone, which is called an osteotomy.

Depending on the severity of the deformity, this osteotomy can be done either at the end of the metatarsal (a distal osteotomy) or, if the deformity is more severe, the osteotomy is performed at the base of the first metatarsal (a proximal osteotomy).

One of the more common distal metatarsal osteotomies that is performed is called the chevron osteotomy. Typically a small screw is inserted into the bone to hold the metatarsal head in place and speed up bone healing. Following a chevron osteotomy, walking is permitted in a surgical shoe the next day after surgery and the shoe is worn for approximately three to four weeks before a more comfortable walking/running type shoe is worn.

Another procedure involves a proximal metatarsal osteotomy. This operation is performed for a more advanced deformity. Screws are inserted into the metatarsal to hold the bone cut secure and speed up bone healing. Walking is permitted in a surgical shoe following surgery. The shoe is worn approximately five weeks.

For very severe bunion deformities where there is considerable angulation between the first and second metatarsals, an osteotomy of the metatarsal may not be sufficient, and for these patients, the joint between the first metatarsal and the cuneiform bone is fused with screws, called the Lapidus procedure. This realigns the metatarsal completely and stabilizes the bone, preventing mobility and recurrent deformity.

An osteotomy is not performed for patients who have arthritis of the big toe joint associated with a bunion deformity. The deformity is corrected through the joint either with a fusion of the joint or by removing a portion of the joint (an arthroplasty). Fusion of the big toe joint is an excellent operation since it corrects the deformity, prevents the bunion from returning and eliminates the arthritis simultaneously.

NEXT: Who should receive a Bunionectomy? ›
Who should receive a Bunionectomy?

A bunionectomy may be a treatment option for some patients who have not found relief from bunion pain using conservative treatments.

NEXT: Patient Stories ›
Patient Stories
The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy


Laticia suffered from constant foot pain caused by bunions. Following the "excellent" outcome of a bunionectomy performed by Dr. Clifford Jeng on her right foot, Laticia returned to have the procedure on her left foot as well. 

Meet Our Doctors: Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction
The Institute for Foot and Ankle Reconstruction at Mercy - Baltimore, MD
John Campbell, M.D.

A 2020 TOP DOC
Dr. John Campbell treats routine and complex foot and ankle disorders, including osteoarthritis, sprained ankle and Achilles tendinitis, as well as total ankle replacement.

Patient Story:
Foot and Ankle Reconstruction

Nurses tend to know doctors and this nurse knew just the right doctor to call when she ran into serious trouble with her foot.

See All Stories Like This ›