Bunion surgery comes with risks

Recurrence of bunions reported after surgery

While most individuals get bunion surgery in an effort to relieve foot pain, the operation comes with many risks that may actually worsen discomfort and mobility, according to an article on Livestrong.com.

During bunion surgery, the doctor cuts the metatarsal bone below the big toe in an effort to eliminate the bone spur - a deformity that manifests itself as a red, calloused bump on the inner edge of the foot - which is supposed to realign the foot.

As with all surgeries, patients who undergo bunion removal operations risk infection. Causes of infection include unsterilized equipment, tissue damage or death or a weakened immune system.

The incision made by the surgeon may also lead to loss of feeling since a branch of nerves runs along the inner area of the big toe and the metatarsal joint.

There is no guarantee that painful bunion surgery will be a cure-all, since up to 11 percent of patients have reported a recurrence of bunions - even when the operation was performed correctly.

Stiffness and hindered movement are also known to occur and last beyond the point when the surgery should have healed.

Bunion surgery may also lead to a condition called hallux varus, which is a deformity similar to bunions except the toe angles the opposite direction.

Bunion splints help avoid bunion surgery

Individuals with bunions or hammer toe may be able to avoid bunion surgery as bunion splints or orthotics have been shown to prevent or relieve these conditions. 

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