Bunions starting to grow back

by Dr. Neal Blitz

I currently live in New York City and have had a bunion shaved from my left foot several years ago. I have noticed what looks like the same bunion starting to grow back. Is this possible and what can I do so this does not happen again?

Bunions can come back, and this is more common if you only had the bunion shaved. In my Manhattan practice, we take specific care in preventing recurrence by developing a treatment plan for each patient and their foot.

Bunion shaving rarely works because a bunion is more than an overgrowth of bone. Actually, a bunion forms from a deviation of the big toe joint allowing a bone (called a metatarsal) to dislodge and push up against the skin. In order to properly correct a bunion, the maligned bones need to be repositioned.

Recurrent bunions, in my experience, are best treated with a procedure called the Lapidus Bunionectomy (also known as the Lapidus Arthrodesis). Here, I mend the deviated bone together in the arch in the proper position. The Lapidus Arthrodesis corrects recurrent bunions at the root of the problem, where the bunions form from in the first place. Recurrence after a Lapidus Bunionectomy is uncommon in my practice. In many case, I recommend the Lapidus Bunionplasty procedure as first line surgery, simply because the recurrence rate is so low. The good news, is that we can correct bunions that come back.

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