Ask Dr Sean Ng: How To Treat Bunions

Dr Sean Ng is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon with a special interest in Sports Surgery, Minimally Invasive Foot & Ankle Surgery. Besides being trained in general orthopaedic and trauma surgery, he has an active interest in foot and ankle surgery. He is also especially interested in percutaneous and minimally invasive surgery of the foot.

Bunions are a common condition that a lot of Singaporeans suffer from. The malaligned bone is not caused by wearing tight shoes, although that can worsen the condition. Bunions run in families, because foot type (shape and structure) is hereditary, and some types are just more prone to bunions than others.

Dr Sean answered questions from readers on:

  • Conservative treatment options for bunions
  • When is bunion surgery needed
  • Bunion surgery in Singapore
  • Cost of bunions surgery

Can bunions be reversed, and how can I prevent a bunion from getting worse?

Bunions get progressively worse with time. They do not reverse, and it really just depends when you want to get them corrected.

An example of a normal toes vs overlapping toes: 

bunion over riding big toe singapore

READ MORE >

How is bunion surgery performed in Singapore, and what is it like to undergo bunion removal surgery?

Bunion surgery is done via either the traditional open method or a keyhole/ MIS method. It depends on the severity of the bunion, and what technique the surgeon is competent and proficient in.

My first option would always be to offer a keyhole correction for a patient if I feel the bunion is suitable for such correction. The advantages for keyhole surgery are plenty.

READ MORE >

How safe is a bunion surgery, and what are the main risks of going for bunion removal in Singapore?

Bunion surgery is generally a very safe procedure. Risks will include surgical and anesthetic risks, and usually is between 1-2%.

Short term surgical risks include bleeding, infection, neurovascular damage and very rarely fracture; and anaesthetic risks include heart attacks and strokes/ brain damage. This is however very rare, and usually in the older folks with multiple medical problems.

READ MORE >

How painful is the bunion removal procedure?

Pain is very subjective. On a scale of 1-10, patient A’s pain score of 2 may be patient B’s score of 7. Nonetheless, there are ways to try reduce the discomfort and pain.

Pre-operatively, the surgical technique would be the most important. Why would someone opt for a wound that is 8-10cm long, compared to one which is 1-2cm long?

Example of a open scar: 

Open scar from bunion surgery singapore

READ MORE >

How much Medisave or subsidies can I claim for bunion surgery in Singapore?

Medisave can be used for a bunion correction, as it is a medical indication. It is not a cosmetic operation. It depends on how much work is needed, whether one foot or both feet are done.

It also depends on whether how many toes in total are done, or whether there are any other adjunct procedures.

READ MORE >

How can I best prepare for the bunion surgery to get optimal outcomes?

Pre-operative investigations and fitness for surgery are of utmost importance. This is to ensure that the patient is suitable for surgery, and that both the surgeon and the anesthetist are comfortable with proceeding with the surgery.

Investigations would include blood tests, ECG, chest X-ray and any other investigations deemed necessary by the surgeon and/or anaesthetist. 

READ MORE >

What precautions should one take after the bunion surgery to get the best results?

I would usually advice the patient to start ambulation slowly. Patients are able to weight bear immediately the same day after surgery, but of course there will be some discomfort.

As the pain improves with each passing day, patients will be able to walk more and more surely/ confidently. Always take care of the wound(s), and keep the dressings dry. When taking showers, I usually give my patients a cast protector.

READ MORE >

When should I have bunion surgery, and what will happen if my bunions are not removed?

Bunions are not life and death surgery. It really is a matter of how much discomfort and pain it is causing you, and how much deformity there is.

The deformity can be that of just the big toe, or sometimes it may affect the other toes as the bunion gets progressively worse.

READ MORE >

What are the best treatment options for bunion removal in Singapore?

As mentioned above, I personally would think that keyhole/ MIS surgical correction would be the optimal way of correction.

The advantages are plenty, compared to a traditional “open” method. This would include less pain, less risks of infection and bleeding and damage.

READ MORE > 

What is the recovery process like after bunion removal in Singapore?

If done properly, a patient would be able to weight bear the same day after surgery.

I give my post-op patients a special post-op surgical shoe, that allows the patient to fully weight bear and walk on, the same day of surgery. This is applicable to both open and keyhole technique correction. Skin stitches are usually removed at about 2 weeks post-op.

Internally, it takes about 3-4 months for the bones and soft tissues to heal.

Recovery from Bunion surgery in Singapore  Bunion Recovery in Singapore after surgery

READ MORE >

Are the results after a successful bunion surgery permanent?

Bunion correction usually gives good results and satisfaction rates. As one of the causes for bunions are usually about 90% genetic, we will always quote a risk of recurrence of about 5-10%.

This does not depend on what technique is done, whether it is open or keyhole. So again, the important point to note is: if the results are the same between an open or keyhole correction, why would one not choose a technique that has less pain, less risks of infection and bleeding, and is cosmetically much more pleasing.

READ MORE >

What are the main factors that cause bunions to recur after bunion surgery in Singapore?

90% of bunions are inherently genetic. 10% is due to footwear - tight, pointy shoes. High heels.

So after bunion surgery, we always quote patients a risk of recurrence of 5-10%. Of course surgical technique is important.

READ MORE >


Ever wanted to ask a health question to a specific renowned specialist in Singapore? DxD Sessions are when these expert doctors answer all your questions!

View the complete list of upcoming DxD Sessions here.

  • Written
  • Updated
  • Viewed4,986 times
Medically reviewed by Dr Sean Ng on 01/08/2018.
Read This Next
A Surgeon's Guide To Back Pain Treatments In Singapore That Work

What do TCM practitioners, orthopaedic surgeons, sport medicine doctors, physiotherapists, and chiropractors have in common? That's right, they all see Singaporeans with back pain.

Back pain treatment is a multi-million dollar industry in Singapore -- clearly, the problem afflicts many of us. It's no wonder that tons of marketing money is poured into targeting back pain sufferers.

The Ultimate Guide to Getting A Hair Transplant in Singapore (2020)

“Hair transplant Singapore” is one of the most Googled terms locally, with over 1,000 searches each month. It’s no coincidence that hair transplant-related queries is also one of the most popular treatments that Singaporeans send in a request for.  

This guide will address everything you need to know about getting a FUE hair transplant in Singapore.

Sorry, Bunions Don’t Just Disappear. Here’s The Best Solution, According To An Experienced Orthopaedic Surgeon

You may have experienced bunions at some point in your life. Also known as Hallux Valgus (not the name of some Harry Potter wizardly spell), these painful bony bumps that develop at the big toe joint can really be no fun at all.

You may wonder where the heck they come from, and whether any possible treatments exist.

Dr Sean Ng, an experienced Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon with a special interest in Sports Surgery, Minimally Invasive Foot & Ankle Surgery, hosted a DoctorxDentist Session and shed some light on these pesky nuisances.

First Aid in Singapore: Everything You Need to Know With A Certified Doctor

"Family Physician with special interest in Mental Health"

It does not matter where, when, or who. Emergencies can happen anywhere and at any time. It may also happen to anyone, regardless of age and condition.

It is always best to be prepared. How you react to an emergency could be a matter of life and death.

If someone's heart stopped beating and they have to wait for an ambulance to arrive, chances are, it is already too late. Permanent brain damage can occur only after 4 minutes without oxygen. Death can also occur within 4-6 minutes [1].

This is why learning First Aid and Basic Life Support is super important. Being trained would give you the skills to assist and provide care for emergency patients before an ambulance arrives.

Anyone can become a certified First Aider. In Singapore, you can find various basic First Aid courses as well as occupational and more advanced courses. Some schools, community centres and offices also provide free basic training.

You might know that it is a very important skill to have. However, what does First Aid actually mean? What are the things that you should know? Read on to find out more!

Your Comprehensive Guide To Choosing The Best Aesthetic Treatment (2020)

"Dedicated to the ethical practice of Aesthetic Medicine"

When seeking an aesthetic treatment, few questions may come to mind:

  • How can I be sure if this treatment is safe for me?
  • What qualities should I look out for in a doctor?
  • What are the benefits and risks of this treatment?

These are all valid and good questions that you should be asking before deciding which treatment to go and which doctor will be performing it. 

Read on to find out about how you can effectively choose your treatment!

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other answers tagged Orthopaedic Surgery, Sport Medicine or ask your own quesiton now FOR FREE.

Request Quotes From Doctors

Based on your requirements, we will recommend up to 5 expert medical doctors.

Get Treatment Quotes
Related Questions
Thank you for your question. It’s something I get asked very frequently. Unfortunately, the answer would be a big emphatic yes.   90% of bunions are genetic (do see your mother’s, grandma’s, sisters or female cousins feet)... Read Full Answer
Hi Jasmine Minimally invasive surgery (MIS) for mild to moderate cases of bunions. But it will depend on other factors as well. There is a higher recurrence rate for severe bunions if MIS correction is done for them. I would need to examine your... Read Full Answer
Bunion surgery is generally a very safe procedure. Risks will include surgical and anesthetic risks, and usually is between 1-2%. Short term surgical risks include bleeding, infection, neurovascular damage and very rarely fracture; and anaestheti... Read Full Answer
While I think that this a very subjective question, I believe that you can get an indication of from the doctor's experience and number of cases the he/she has done. You must also feel comfortable with the surgeon you pick, so that you will ... Read Full Answer
I would usually advice the patient to start ambulation slowly. Patients are able to weight bear immediately the same day after surgery, but of course there will be some discomfort. As the pain improves with each passing day, patients will be able... Read Full Answer
Pain is very subjective. On a scale of 1-10, patient A’s pain score of 2 may be patient B’s score of 7. Nonetheless, there are ways to try reduce the discomfort and pain. Pre-operatively, the surgical technique would be the most impor... Read Full Answer
Bunions get progressively worse with time. They do not reverse, and it really just depends when you want to get them corrected. An example of a normal toes vs overlapping toes:  It is an anatomical and genetic problem, and they will not b... Read Full Answer
Hi If your bunion is painful, there are several ways to try reduce the pain.  One way is medication: anti-inflammatories. You can take some to reduce the inflammation and pain. This may not be permanent, and you may have to continue taking ... Read Full Answer
Hi,The surgical indications for a bunion, whether it is a mild/moderate/severe one, is:1. Pain2. Progressive deformitySurgery is never indicated for cosmetic reasons. The type of surgical correction would be dependent on the severity of the b... Read Full Answer