How much does bunion surgery cost?
The average total cost of bunion surgery is $5,560. Get a cost estimate based on your location, insurance, and doctor below.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a painful bunion (a deformity of the big toe joint) your doctor may recommend bunion surgery. Although bunion surgery is covered by most insurance providers, it’s a big-ticket item—so you should know how much it costs.
Amino found that the median network rate for bunion surgery is $5,560. Keep in mind—this is an estimate for what you and your health insurance company might pay together (combined) for the procedure, not the amount you’ll pay out-of-pocket.
You can use Amino to find an experienced surgeon and estimate your out-of-pocket cost below. Then, read on to learn more about what bunion surgery is and what affects the overall cost.
Find a doctor and calculate what you'll pay
Use Amino (below) to find an orthopedic surgeon with experience doing bunion surgery. After entering your information, select a doctor and click “calculate what you’ll pay” to see a cost estimate customized to your insurance.
What is bunion surgery?
A bunion is a noticeable bump that sticks out from the joint of your big toe. It may look like a growth—but bunions are usually caused by your big toe pushing up against your other toes, which deforms the joint itself. This can be caused by wearing shoes that are too narrow or tight, arthritis, or even genetic predisposition.
Bunion surgery (sometimes called a “bunionectomy”) is used to treat bunions that are painful and interfere with daily life. It’s usually done by a podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon, and although it’s an outpatient procedure (meaning you can go home the same day), it does involve general or local anesthesia.
The surgery varies depending on the severity of your bunion. Your surgeon may need to cut out the bunion, realign your big toe joint, or replace the joint with a metal plate and screws. Recovery usually takes at least six weeks.
Alternative treatments to bunion surgery
Bunions are extremely common—more than 35% of people over age 65 have one—but not everyone needs surgery.
Surgery is generally a last resort for treating bunions. Your doctor may recommend nonsurgical treatments first, including:
Wearing different shoes with more space for your toes
Using padded shoe inserts or arch supports, which can help relieve the pressure on your foot
Taking over-the-counter pain relievers, like ibuprofen (Advil) or acetaminophen (Tylenol)
If your pain persists, talk to your doctor. They may recommend surgery.
What determines the price of bunion surgery?
We found that the median network rate for bunion surgery is $5,560. The price ranges from $3,521 to $12,082 across the US—a difference of more than $8,000. Here are some factors that could impact your price:
Where you live often affects how much surgery costs, especially since it determines which hospitals and doctors are available to you. For example, if you live in an urban area, you may have more options to choose from.
The network rate, which is what our estimates are based on, is negotiated between your health insurance company and doctor or hospital—so your insurance company and whatever provider you choose will play a large role in determining cost.
Your health insurance plan affects the cost of your surgery for a few reasons. Whether your surgeon is in or out-of-network can impact the overall cost. Your co-insurance and co-pay, as well as how much of your deductible you have left, can also make a difference in how much you pay out-of-pocket.
What happens during the procedure—such as what kind of anesthesia you get and whether your anesthesiologist is in or out-of-network—can affect the cost. If an emergency arises during your surgery, you might have additional unexpected costs.
Your personal health also plays a role in how much your surgery costs. If you have preexisting health problems, there could be additional expenses.
Now that you know how much bunion surgery could cost, let’s explore insurance coverage and how to get the most care for your money.
Does health insurance cover bunion surgery?
Most insurers cover bunion surgery as long as it’s medically necessary, which may require proof of pain or discomfort. Medicare and Medicaid usually cover necessary podiatry care, too.
If you don’t have insurance, you may have to pay out-of-pocket. We found the breakdown of costs are as follows:
- Estimated cost for the facility charges: $3,497
- Estimated cost for the procedure: $1,601
- Estimated cost for anaesthesia: $450
Most of the cost ($3,497) comes from facility charges, so where you get care (which doctor and facility you go to) can have a big impact on your total cost.
For an out-of-pocket estimate, visit Amino’s regional cost estimates for bunion surgery, click on a city, and then click “calculate what you’ll pay.”
How to get the most for your money
Even if your insurance does cover some or most of your bunion surgery, you’ll likely still pay some of the cost out-of-pocket. To make sure you’re getting the most (and best) care for your money:
Ask your insurance company about your costs, like your co-insurance, co-pay, and deductible
Utilize your Health Savings Account (HSA), Flexible Spending Account (FSA), and Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) to cover out-of-pocket expenses
Do your research and compare different orthopedic surgeons in your area
Have a conversation with your doctor. This is especially important if you don’t have insurance and are paying for your bunion surgery yourself. Some doctors will offer a discount or an interest-free payment plan if they know that you’re shouldering the cost on your own
The cost of bunion surgery in the US
Using Amino’s health insurance claims database, we found that the cost of bunion surgery ranges from $3,521 to $12,082 across the US. Here’s how the largest metro areas (the ones with more than 1 million residents) compare.
The 10 least expensive metro areas for bunion surgery
- Oklahoma City, OK — $4,110
- Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN — $4,298
- Jacksonville, FL — $4,365
- Memphis, TN-MS-AR — $4,444
- Rochester, NY — $4,543
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL — $4,557
- Birmingham-Hoover, AL — $4,653
- Columbus, OH — $4,694
- New Orleans-Metairie, LA — $4,746
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL — $4,866
The 10 most expensive metro areas for bunion surgery
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA — $7,167
- Richmond, VA — $7,136
- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV — $7,040
- Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI — $7,027
- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI — $6,922
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA — $6,588
- Salt Lake City, UT — $6,484
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA — $6,326
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA — $6,277
- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA — $6,277
Ultimately, the cost of your bunion surgery is determined by many factors. You can use Amino’s cost estimates for bunion surgery as a guide to help you understand how much it costs in your area, what factors into the total cost, and how much you might pay out-of-pocket—but you should always check with your doctor and insurance company.