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An important factor in deciding whether to have bunion surgery is understanding what the procedure can and cant do. Therefore you need to have realistic expectations of your bunion surgery. Over 90% of patients who undergo bunion surgery experience a dramatic reduction or elimination of pain after surgery along with a significant improvement in the alignment of the big toe i.e. the overall appearance of the foot.

Although it is not common there is always the possibility that the deformity may return in later life (approximately a 5% risk)

As with any operation there is always a small risk of a complication.

However, less than 10% of patients experience complications from bunion surgery and of those most are treatable and temporary. Complications may include the following;

  • An infection after surgery, which may need antibiotics.
  • Unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic – usually nausea, headaches and temporary sleep disturbances.
  • The toe may not have healed in as straight a position as expected.
  • Persistent pain and swelling. In a very small number of patients it can take up to a year for the pain and swelling to disappear completely.
  • If bone has been removed the toe may appear slightly shorter than before.
  • Toe stiffness  due to scarring and underlying arthritis.
  • Mild numbness due to damage to small sensory nerves.
  • Some patients experience temporary pain in other parts of their foot during the healing process.

Remember all surgery carries risks and applies to a small percentage of patients. Ask your consultant if you are worried about the risks to you.

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