A man holding his toes after a bunion surgery

Toe Not Straight After Bunion Surgery

Table of Contents

Although most of the bunion removal procedures end successfully, there are some issues that may occur after they are completed, and one of them is a bent big toe. If your toe is not straight after bunion surgery, however, it can be considered a failed procedure – but what causes it? Take a look at why bent toes occur and how this condition can be fixed.

Undercorrection Can Be a Reason Why Surgery Fails

Based on previous evaluations, a surgeon should determine which type of bunion surgery fits the deformity in question. If the wrong procedure is chosen, the deformity may not be fully corrected, which leads to bunion recurrence. However, note that a bunion recurrence is usually a process that develops over a long period of time. 

With the right method, however, the chance of bunion recurrence is significantly lowered. At the same time, keep in mind that physical therapy and certain toe exercises can help prevent bunion reappearance.

Why Does Hallux Varus Occur?

Toe may not be straight after the surgery due to overcorrection – and that’s when hallux varus deformity occurs. It’s usually a result of a technical error made during the surgery (such as overcorrecting the intermetatarsal angle or removing a sesamoid bone) but is much less common than a bunion reappearance.

What Are Its Symptoms?

Symptoms of hallux varus include a big toe drifting inward (away from the smaller toes), as opposed to bunion deformity, where a big toe is pulled towards other toes. Additionally, hallux varus may cause an excessive space to appear between the big and second toe. The new position of a big toe usually causes discomfort and pain and makes wearing regular shoes after bunion surgery nearly impossible.


The cause of hallux varus needs to be identified first, after which the surgeon should choose the right treatment. However, more often than not, revision surgery is needed. It can imply simple procedures, such as revisioning bone cuts so the proper alignment can be attained. However, in some cases, a big toe joint must be fused in place.

Hallux varus on a barefoot female patient

How to Prevent Hallux Varus?

There isn’t much a patient can do to prevent the occurrence of this deformity since it’s a result of a failed surgery. However, patients should alert their surgeon if they notice the symptoms of hallux varus – and the surgeon will determine the next course of action. 

Can Hallux Varus Be Surgically Repaired?

As mentioned above, in most cases, revision surgery is usually the only option after hallux varus occurs. Still, keep in mind that it’s a deformity that most commonly develops over time. Therefore, even if some surgical errors were made during the bunion surgery, more often than not, you won’t be able to see it right away.

At the same time, know that this condition needs to be treated appropriately. When left untreated, it can potentially lead to severe big-toe joint contractures, an unpleasant-looking foot, arthritis, and pain. 

Contact a Surgeon in Miami if You Notice That the Toe Is Not Straight After Bunion Surgery

If you notice that your big toe is bent inward or outward after the bunion surgery, don’t hesitate to get in touch with specialists and ask for their opinion. Our team at Luxe Foot Surgery will help in any way we can. Don’t hesitate to contact us over the phone or by filling out our online inquiry – and schedule your free consultation.


How Do You Keep Your Big Toe Straight After Bunion Surgery?

During bunion surgery recovery, you’ll need to wear a special post-op shoe or cast for up to six weeks – that will help you keep your big toe in the right position. Additionally, it’s advisable to practice some toe and foot exercises to improve the range of motion.

How Do I Know if My Bunion Surgery Failed?

Bunion reappearance, as well as the appearance of hallux varus, are obvious signs of a failed bunion surgery. However, ongoing pain and swelling, and inability to bend your big toe are also signs of a bunion surgery gone wrong.


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