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numbness to toe after having bunion removed

by david
(england)

i had a bunion removed 10 years ago but the problem hasn't been solved the toe still bendes under the next toe and it is still numb after all this time but no one will help me


RESPONSE

Hi David,
I guess I am stating the obvious when I observe that you had a failed bunion surgery performed. I do not know how much pain you originally had for you to decide to have surgery, but hopefully it was painful enough to take on the risk of surgery with one of the potential complications being surgical failure, whereby you are no better off and in some cases actually worse.
This is why I tell my patients and visitors to my web site to only consider bunion surgery if the joint really hurts, not just because you may not like the way the bump looks.
Anyway, the reason why you have numbness in the toe is because a nerve was apparently severed during the procedure or one of the nerves is caught up in scar tissue. In either event it will cause numbness in the surgical area. At this point there is not too much that can be done about that.
As far as the bunion deformity goes you can either live with it or live without it. What I mean by that is if the bunion does not actually hurt, I would suggest you just live with it. (you saw what happened when you had it fixed the first time).
However, if you have legitimate pain that is not relieved by wearing comfortable shoes that are wide enough and made of soft material to allow the bunion to protrude through the shoe, then your only option is surgical intervention.
Keep in mind that that surgery in a site that has already been subject to previous surgery is more difficult as there will be scar tissue to deal with which is harder to dissect than is normal tissue.
I do not know what kind of procedure you originally had, but if it was a procedure that required the metatarsal bone to be cut and reset then that is another issue that will have to be addressed as we like to avoid going into bone that has already been surgically broken.
Now I realize you are not a doctor but apparently if you have been to a number of doctors and no one wants to operate on you, there may be other issues with the foot that is preventing everyone you have seen to not want to re-operate.
The usual answer is that the angle between the first and second metatarsal bone is too wide and in order to reduce that angle would require a procedure that has a lot of potential pitfalls. The other reason may be that you have some medical issues that need to be addressed (diabetes, as an example).
So, if the foot is actually painful and not just "ugly" to look at, then you will have to keep seeing different doctors until you find one who is willing to operate on the foot.
Outside of wearing shoes that accommodate the bunion deformity, there just is no other way to fix the problem.

Marc Mitnick DPM
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