A chevron osteotomy is surgery for bunion removal and the correction of any deformity at the base of the big toe, as well as the realignment of the toe itself.
A chevron osteotomy will help correct a moderate amount of deformity caused by the bunion, and alleviate the pain associated with the condition. Other treatments (such as a scarf osteotomy/Akin osteotomy) may be required when the deformity is more severe.
The operation may be carried out under a general anaesthetic (so you’ll be asleep) or a local anaesthetic (so you’ll stay awake but won’t feel anything). The operation usually takes around an hour and you’ll usually go home on the same day.
There are a number of different types of operation used to treat bunions; the type of surgery you undergo will be discussed with your specialist beforehand. It will depend on the exact condition you have, its severity, the shape of your foot and whether you have any wear and tear (osteoarthritis) in the joint.
In a chevron osteotomy operation, the bunion itself is removed first. Then a V-shaped cut is made in the bone of the big toe at the end closest to the tip. This allows the entire toe to be moved and straightened to correct the alignment. A small screw is used to fix the joint in position and to provide stability while it heals.
Immediately after surgery we’ll help you manage any pain or discomfort with painkillers. We’ll discuss your aftercare and arrange any follow-up appointments with you before you leave hospital.
In the next few days you’ll be able to walk with the aid of crutches but you’ll need plenty of rest with your foot raised. You will be given a special shoe to make sure you don’t put too much weight on the wrong part of your foot.
After three to four weeks you may be able to return to work and resume normal day to day activities. After eight to twelve weeks your foot should start to feel normal again and it may be possible to return to sport. After six months there should only be slight swelling (if any) and you should be feeling the full benefits of surgery.
As with any surgical procedure there can be some risks, including:
- blood clots (including deep vein thrombosis (DVT))
Specific risks of bunion surgery include:
- nerve damage, numbness
- bone not healing well
- inability to move big toe
- pain in other parts of the foot (particularly the ball or other toes)
- recurrence of bunions
- complex regional pain syndrome (can cause chronic burning pain in one of the limbs)
Scarf osteotomy/ Akin osteotomy