What Is the Chance That Bunions Will Return After Surgery?

Recurrence of bunions after surgery is unlikely, states Dr. Neil M. Blitz in the Huffington Post. However, people should wear orthotics to correct a hammertoe, avoid high heels and choose shoes that are large enough to accommodate the foot properly to prevent a new bunion from forming, notes Hartford HealthCare Medical Group. Arthritis, neuromuscular disease and genetics are other factors that increase the risk of bunion recurrence.

Surgery resolves bunion problems for most patients, states Johns Hopkins Medicine. During the procedure, a surgeon cuts out the bony outgrowth and, depending on the severity of the condition, may also realign the bone as well as the associated tendons and muscles. In more complicated cases, the surgeon may remove a severely damaged toe joint, often caused by arthritis, and replace it with an artificial joint. A successful surgery eliminates or reduces foot pain and fixes any toe deformity.

After bunion surgery, patients also risk nerve damage, numbness, stiffness and infection, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Patients should contact their doctor if they experience foot or leg swelling, fever, drainage from the incision or increased pain. Patients should expect a follow-up visit two weeks after surgery to remove any stitches. They should also expect to complete physical therapy to regain full range of motion in their foot. The doctor may also require that patients wear a dressing or a brace for six to eight weeks after the procedure.