Scarf and akin osteotomy/Bunion surgery

Bunions are a deformation of the big toe joint.

Why do I need this surgery?

The bone at the base of the big toe sticks out to the side, while the toe itself will start to point inwards towards the other toes.

Bunions can potentially affect anybody and sometimes become very painful and severe. Wearing flat, well-fitting shoes along with pain relief methods can help, but for problematic bunions, surgery is the only solution.

The procedure

Scarf and akin osteotomy surgery involves carefully removing small sections of the bone and then realigning the big toe. This significantly improves the appearance of the bunion and alleviates associated foot pain. The procedure can often be performed using laparoscopic (keyhole) techniques, although sometimes a larger incision above the toe is required. It’s usually carried out under general anaesthetic, but you should be able to go home either a few hours later or the next day.


How long it takes your foot to heal can depend on the level of surgery needed. Sometimes a plaster cast or splint/brace might be required and you may need crutches for a few weeks. You’ll be advised to take it easy for a while and keep your foot elevated as much as possible, but it’s important to keep mobile too. Your surgeon and a physiotherapist will be able to advise on how best to approach this and any exercises that can help.

Bunion surgery is not always 100% successful but most people will see very significant, long-lasting improvements.

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