A bunion is a progressive foot deformity that can cause serious pain and inflammation to the point that surgical correction becomes necessary. Podiatrists routinely perform two kinds of bunionectomy surgeries, including head procedures and base procedures. Head procedures focus on the big toe joint, while base procedures focus on bone that is near or behind that joint. In most cases, bunion surgery takes place as an outpatient procedure, allowing the patient to return home from the surgical center or hospital on the same day that their operation took place. A local anesthetic and/or sedation medication is often used to ensure that the patient remains relaxed and pain-free during the procedure. Following a bunionectomy, patients may require the use of crutches or a surgical shoe for a period of several weeks or more.