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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Surgeries and Procedures > Bunion Repair: Home Care and Complications
      Category : Health Centers > Bones, Joints, and Muscles

Bunion Repair

Alternate Names : Hallux Valgus Correction, Bunionectomy

Bunion Repair | Home Care and Complications

What are the potential complications after the procedure?

As with any surgery, complications can occur. The most common complication is postoperative swelling and pain. Increased swelling usually causes increased pain. This can create a vicious cycle in which the pain leads to an inflammatory response, creating more swelling, and more pain. Controlling the swelling after the procedure is the key to avoiding this complication.

Another possible complication is shifting of the corrected bony parts. This is more likely if the bones have been cut and repositioned. The stainless steel fixation devices can come loose, and bones can become misaligned. When this happens, the surgeon usually needs to go back in and reposition the bony parts.

Infection is rare, but it can be a serious complication. Infections can make the condition worse after the procedure. An infection in the bone can result in amputation of the toes or part of the foot. The person can help prevent this complication by carefully keeping the dressing clean and dry and intact.

A very rare but important complication is sympathetically mediated pain syndrome. Very rarely, someone undergoing a surgical procedure will develop this pain syndrome. It is produced by the nerves that run with the blood vessels, called sympathetic nerves. The resulting pain will be out of proportion to the procedure, even if the surgery went perfectly. This pain syndrome can be very difficult to treat and can last for a lifetime.

The results are usually good, and recovery takes about 6 to 12 weeks. The person usually has improved function, and can find shoes that do not cause pain. To prevent recurrences of the bunion, people should learn about choosing proper footwear. They may also need to use arch supports or orthotics, which are special shoe inserts.

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Bunion Repair: Overview & Description


Author: Bill O'Halloran, DPM
Reviewer: Janet E. Simon, DPM
Date Reviewed: 09/04/01

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