They occur when pressure is exerted on the big toe of the foot, often by footwear, causing the big toe to bend toward the other toes. As the toe bends, a bump can develop on the side of the metatarsal bone of the big toe. A simple bunion can be treated effectively with corrective footwear, but this is not always appropriate for a more severe deformity. To correct this problem, a chevron osteotomy can be performed to properly realign the toe. During the bunion operation the bone above the big toe joint is cut in such a way that the forefoot will be narrower and the toe straighter. The bunion is always removed and sometimes some of the toe tendons may be released.
You may have to attend a pre-admission appointment to assess your suitability for anaesthesia. At this appointment you will also be given a fasting instructions leaflet.
Before the operation you will be asked to wash your foot. This is a day case procedure. You will be in hospital between four and seven hours.
When you return from theatre your foot will be bandaged and elevated. Treatment after surgery is at the surgeon's discretion. Ask your surgeon. Before leaving the hospital most patients receive a stiff-soled shoe and you are allowed to walk, bearing weight on the heel. Some people will need crutches for a few days.
There may be some bleeding into the dressing. Small nerves to the skin may be damaged causing some (often temporary) numbness. Infection does occur and if pain increases or your temperature goes up, don't hesitate to contact the hospital or your GP. You may get a DVT (deep vein thrombosis) or even a pulmonary embolism.
After surgery the forefoot should be narrower and, hopefully, the big toe more straight. Often the toe does go back a little towards the original position.
70% of all patients who have had the Chevron procedure are happy with the result. The most common reasons for dissatisfaction are forefoot pain and continuous deviation of the big toe. But be aware that it often takes more than 6 months before the final outcome may be evaluated.
Depending on the symptoms, insoles might be helpful, toe separators may keep the toes apart and toe alignment splints could be worthwhile a trial. Wearing broad shoes with sufficient space for the forefoot is always recommended.