Metatarsal Osteotomy

Indications for operation

Bunion (Hallux Valgus).


The operation will be performed while you're asleep under a general anaesthetic.

Operation type



An incision approximately 10cm long will be made over the inside of the foot along the first ray (metatarsal).


In order for the big toe to swing away from the second toe, some of the soft tissue on the outside of the big toe must first be released. The metatarsal bone is then cut in such a way as to allow part of it to move across towards the second toe, thereby reducing the angle between them. Once the bone has been moved, it is held in place with one or two screws.

It is also often necessary to take a thin wedge of bone out of the first bone of the big toe itself (proximal phalynx). When the bone is squeezed together and held with a small metal staple, this results in the toe straightening out. This is called an Akin osteotomy.

Other procedures such as Weils osteotomies or fusions of the small toe joints may also be necessary to solve all of the problems with the foot.

Wound closure

The wound is closed with absorbable stitches.


Dressings are placed over the stitches and a supportive dressing applied to the foot.

Immediate aftercare

You will be able to get out of bed as soon as you are comfortable and given a shoe that allows you to walk on the foot when you feel ready, putting weight on the heel. Then, once your surgeon and anaesthetist are happy you'll be given an outpatient's appointment and allowed to return home.

The dressing will be removed and the wound checked in the clinic, then another supportive dressing applied for a further four weeks. It is important to keep the foot elevated for the first few weeks to reduce the swelling. Swelling commonly continues for 3-6 months to some extent and is not a cause for concern.


All operations carry small risks of complications. Whilst these are very rare, they need to be balanced against the potential benefits and this is something that your surgeon will discuss with you in detail before the operation.

The specific risks for metatarsal osteotomy are wound infection, injury to a small nerve, prolonged swelling, recurrence of the deformity, stiffness of the joint, pain in other parts of the foot.

Our practice covers the following hospitals:

Parkside Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 971 8026

St Anthony's Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 335 4678

Ashtead Hospital
For appointments phone : 01372 221441

New Victoria Hospital
For appointments phone : 0208 9499000

Clock House Hospital
For appointments phone : 01372 840837