Arthritis After Bunion Surgery

Arthritis After Bunion Surgery

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Most people who struggle with bunions will eventually decide to undergo surgical treatment for this foot deformity. Even though this is a simple procedure, patients often wonder whether they can develop arthritis after bunion surgery. Is this something you should worry about? We’ve explained everything on this topic in our text, so be sure to keep reading. 

Can You Get Arthritis After Bunion Surgery?

A bunion is a common foot deformity – it’s a bony bump on the inside of the foot caused by the irregular alignment of the first metatarsal bone. Over time, this condition becomes more and more severe, often resulting in the need for bunion surgery

Even though it’s a minimally invasive procedure, there can still be some problems after bunion surgery. Pain is common, but how do you distinguish between normal pain levels and a complication? Will a person develop arthritis after bunion surgery? This is, sadly, a possibility – even though it’s not common, it can happen. If arthritis occurs, a patient will require a different treatment approach than the one for bunions. 

What Happens If the Bunion Surgery Doesn’t Work?

Bunion surgeries have a high success rate, but they can still fail from time to time. This can happen due to many reasons – patient-related or surgeon-related. A patient might have additional medical conditions that prevent proper healing after surgery, or they might not follow the doctor’s instructions for post-op recovery. 

When it comes to medical mistakes, there are two options – the surgeon doesn’t choose the proper technique to fix the bunion, or they make a surgical error during the procedure. Either way, when the surgery fails, there is no other option but to do a revision surgery and try to correct the deformity the second time around. It’s essential to figure out why the first surgery failed so that the issue can be addressed accordingly. 

A woman experiencing pain in her right bunion

 What Are the Symptoms of Failed Surgery?

Obviously, the first symptom to notice is the recurrence of the bunion. Pain after surgery is another important indicator of a failure to fix this deformity. However, we must make a difference between post-op pain and prolonged pain that points to a problem. If the pain lasts longer than the expected recovery time, you should talk to your doctor. Keep in mind the severity of the pain can be different than it was before the failed surgery. 

Failed bunion surgery syndrome can also mean that a patient has a different deformity now – hallux varus, which is an overcorrection of the bunion (the big toe now points outwards). Stiffness of the toe is another possibility, and arthritis can occur as well. When it affects the big toe, it’s called hallux rigidus – if it’s just limited arthritis, the name is hallux limitus

Is There a Treatment for Arthritis After Bunion Surgery?

Arthritis of the big toe means that the cartilage of the big toe joint is damaged. The continuous inflammation leads to a decrease in motion of the toe until it becomes rigid. When that happens, the surgery is inevitable. Arthritis surgery for the big toe can be done in two ways – joint-sparing procedures and joint-destructing procedures. The right choice depends on the severity of the case – your doctor will decide the best way to proceed once they examine you. 

How Long Would the Recovery Process Last?

Bunion Surgery Recovery Process

The recovery process depends on the technique that was used. With minor procedures, the patient will be back to regular shoes in about two weeks. If bone-cutting was involved, the patient would need to wear a special surgical shoe for about six weeks. 

Get Information About Arthritis From Your Surgeon in Miami

If you want to find out more about arthritis or bunions, you can schedule a consultation with our specialist at Luxe Foot Surgery clinic – we are here to help you in any way we can. The first consultation is free – contact us to book your appointment. You can do this by calling our office or filling out an inquiry form on our website. 


Why Does My Foot Hurt Years After Bunion Surgery?

There are many reasons for chronic foot pain, but one of the most important ones is nerve damage that can occur during surgery. Tissue damage and scar formation are also possible. 

Can Bunions Lead to Arthritis?

Yes, bunions can lead to arthritis – this happens because of the prolonged irregular position of the toe. Arthritis can also occur after bunion surgery if it isn’t entirely successful. 

What Are the Side Effects of Bunion Surgery?

Bunion surgery can lead to a few complications. The most common ones are infection, bunion recurrence, nerve damage, poor wound healing, and poor bone healing.


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