It happens all the time in our practice. Frustrated patients present to our office upset about the results of a foot surgery performed by another surgeon. In the majority of cases the poor outcome is the result of improper procedure selection for the repair of their bunion deformity. The remaining cases are normal complications that can occur in bunion surgery, and the surgeon has just failed to discuss the options to their patient.
What is a bunion?
A bunion is an enlargement seen at the great toe joint, usually associated with a toe that angles towards the 2nd toe. This is caused by instability that is usually genetic in nature.
Not all bunions are painful, but when they are, pain is in the following areas:
- Along the bump - pain is from irritation to the nerve from shoe pressure
- Under the great toe joint – two small bones reside under the great toe joint inside the tendon that flexes your big toe, when a bunion develops they go out of alignment and pain develops
- To the great toe or second toe where toes can rub
- Under the second toe joint – the great toe joint is designed to bear the majority of weight when you walk, however when a bunion develops it results in making the bottom of the 2nd toe joint have to bear more weight than usual leading to joint pain or actual joint tears.
- Top of great toe joint – alignment issues with a bunion can lead to jamming of joint and arthritis spur at this level.