How is the Bunion corrected surgically?

The operation performed is called the “Scarf & Akin osteotomies

Why do you need this operation?

Before being offered this operation, you should have tried other measures such as using wide-box shoe-wear, padding the swelling and maybe trying forefoot insoles.

This operation is offered to you if you continue to have symptoms despite trying the above measures and after you have been examined and counselled.

What does the operation involve?

The operation is done as a day case, but come prepared in case you need to stay overnight.

The operation is performed with general anaesthetic and nerve block (which means numbing the nerves of the foot).

The operation involves two incisions. One is in the first web space to do a soft-tissue release of the structures that pull the toe to the deformed position. The second is a medial incision that is used to trim the bunion and to perform a break in the foot bone called “The Scarf osteotomy”. Another break in the toe itself called “The Akin osteotomy” is usually also performed.

These two breaks (or osteotomies) are used to set the toe straight. A medial soft-tissue tightening is also performed.

You will use crutches if needed as well as a surgical shoe “the off-loading shoe”.

Your post-operative period

  • You must keep your foot raised for the first two weeks and if needed afterwards
  • You can put your full weight on your foot using the surgical shoe for the first 6 weeks
  • Use crutches if needed
  • Exercise big toe movements at two weeks
  • The swelling may last for up to six months.

Your follow-up

  • At two weeks, the dressing is reduced and the stitches are removed
  • At 6 weeks, you have a follow-up with x-rays
  • Off work for 2 to six weeks depending on your job
  • No driving for six weeks.

What are the possible complications?

  • Infection
  • Sensitive or painful scar
  • Big toe permanent numbness
  • Joint stiffness
  • Under-correction or Over-correction
  • Failure of bone healing (non-union)
  • Recurrence of the deformity
  • Avascular Necrosis of metatarsal head
  • Clots in the leg (DVT)
  • Clots in the lung (PE)
  • Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome

Smoking, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis or being on steroids or blood thinning medication increases possible risks significantly.

Different techniques for Hallux valgus correction include:

Lapidus Procedure:

1st Metatarsal Proximal Osteotomy

For information on the Minimally Invasive correction technique click here.

Patient Testimonies

Dear Mr Shalaby, Thank you for bringing my foot back to what it was, and for inspiring so many of my artworks. I wish you all the best in the future, and I hope you can continue to inspire hope in others, as you did in me.
Mr A J, 15 years old – Revision of EHL tendon repair
Dear Mr Shalaby Last year you operated on my ankle. It was badly broken and the joint was damaged. I was in doubt what the outcome of the Joint replacement would be. However I thought you would like to know that the operation was great success and I am walking now very well without a stick. I would like to thank you for all your professional care.  
Mr J G, 64 years old – Advanced post-traumatic Ankle Arthritis
Dear Mr Shalaby I cannot thank you enough for sorting out the severe deformities of my toes and the pain I was experiencing in the ball of the foot. The operation gave me my life back.  
Mrs E J, 55 years old – Rheumatoid Forefoot deformities
Dear Mr Shalaby My grateful thanks for your excellent professional care. My husband and I are very impressed with all the care and of course the results. Thank you.  
Mrs M M, 62 years old – Severe flat foot deformity
Dear Mr Shalaby Just a brief word to thank you for the excellent job you did on my ankle. After suffering years with my ankle pain, I can now say I have had no pain since the day of the operation and my overall walking ability has improved significantly.  
Mrs M G, 58 years old – Ankle fusion for congenital Dysplastic Ankle
Dear Mr Shalaby After the ankle ligament surgery, you performed I am back to all the sports I wanted to do and I can finally trust my ankle again. I am also writing to tell you that I have just manged to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. I greatly appreciate you help.  
Mr J A, 34 years old – Lateral ligament repair for Ankle Instability
Dear Mr Shalaby Just to let you know that last week I completed the 97-mile West Highland Way Walk with a group of friends. So again, many many thanks.
Mrs S M, 30 years old – Bilateral Bunion Correction