Preventing Bunion Surgery Complications

If you have bunions on your big toes, then you likely understand that the painful protrusions are the result of bone and soft tissue deformation. This often means that simple procedures and treatments are not enough to treat the issue. While this is true, surgical procedures can be used to repair the bunion permanently. The vast majority of bunion surgeries are successful, but there are a few complications that can occur as well. Keep reading to learn about a few complications and also how they can be prevented.

Delay In Bone Healing

Bunion surgery involves a long incision along the side or top of the big toe. Soft tissues and bony growths are removed and the fluid sac that sits along the deformed joint is either removed or slipped back into place. The bones are realigned and the area heals afterwards. The specifics of the surgery can vary greatly, and there are hundreds of variations on the procedure. The differences in technique depend on the severity of the problem, your anatomy, and the surgical professional who completes the procedure. 

If your operation involves the removal of bone, the reshaping of bone, or the fusion of bone, then bone healing will take place afterwards. This is also the case if there are any implants, screws, or pins that are inserted during the procedure. Specifically, bone remodeling will need to occur where new and strong bone tissues are formed. 

The healing period after the bunion surgery can last six weeks or longer, but this period can be extended if the bones in your treated toe do not heal properly. There are a variety of medications that can cause remodeling issues, so speak with your surgeon about any medicines you take. Also, a poor diet that is devoid of both essential nutrients and trace minerals can cause bone healing problems. Your surgeon can help you to come up with a nutritious eating plan to help you avoid healing issues.

Toe Stiffness

The development of scar tissue is to be expected after an invasive procedure like a bunion removal. However, if scar tissue overdevelops, then your toe may be extremely stiff. When scar tissue forms in abundance, then the bones in your toe can also shift and deform and a new bunion can develop. 

To reduce scar tissue problems, your surgical professional will ask you to complete a number of range of motion exercises. The exercises will begin around the two week mark. You will likely still be wearing your boot at this time, and you may be asked to keep weight off your toe for at least a few more weeks. 

Range of motion exercises must be completed properly to reduce pain, prevent damage to the toe, and reduce scar tissue formation. It is wise to meet with a physical therapist who can show you the proper way to complete the exercises. 

For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Richard Moy DPY INC.