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Old 03-26-2006, 02:45 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2
manderma HB User
Amputation vs. Bunionectomy

The second toe on my right foot overlaps the big toe considerably because of a large bunion. I saw an orthopedic surgeon last week and he recommended that, instead of correcting the bunion, he should remove the second toe completely.

Has anyone else had this done or heard of it being done? He says he does it often and it has several advantages like - less pain, less recovery time, local instead of general anesthesia, no need to go off some medications, etc.

However, I'd still have the bunion and the top of the great toe has rotated somewhat.

I am 68 years old, have two artificial knees (and want to protect them with a good gait) and had a bunionectomy about 15 years ago on the other foot with fairly decent results. However, I'm not eager to have all that pain, etc. again and I'm equally not eager to deal with an amputation that may have other problems.

He is a reputable surgeon in a reputable practice but I admit the recommendation took my breath away. I have an appointment tomorrow with another orthopedic surgeon as well.

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Old 03-27-2006, 03:36 PM   #2
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,209
wakkochic17 HB User
Re: Amputation vs. Bunionectomy

I'm not sure how often the amputation option is looked at, but I do know that often when the toe gets that bad with overlapping it is very hard to correct. Maybe because you are of an older age he thought it would be a better option because it would give better results with less healing. Can't be sure though. Good luck! I'm 27 and have had a hard enough time with my bunionectomy healing.. ugh!

Old 03-27-2006, 08:25 PM   #3
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creative2 HB User
Re: Amputation vs. Bunionectomy

If I were you, I would definitely get more opinions. Sounds like a drastic measure to me. the 2nd toe has an important purpose in weight-bearing.

Old 03-28-2006, 09:13 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12
stewstorm HB User
Re: Amputation vs. Bunionectomy

Hi Manderma

I had a relative who had this operation done a number of years ago, the 2nd toe right foot was so hammered the surgeon recommended removal instead of correction. It very much depends on the severity of the deformities on your toes, if they are deformed in a big way the correction is big operation and (no offence) at your age the results are not as good and you may end up in more pain than before.

My relative was happy with the removal as the pain went with it, her big toes had large angle inwards and pronation so any operation to straighten all her toes would have been big risk. I am not aware of any risk on the amputation and if your surgeon is reputable then he should be ok. My friend talked about it alot after the operation as I think it was big decision for her to lose a toe. She was 71 when she had the opaertion and lived till she was 84 without any further foot operations.

Hope this helps you in some way and do let us know how you get on?


Old 03-29-2006, 03:26 AM   #5
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2
manderma HB User
Re: Amputation vs. Bunionectomy

Thank you, all. Stew, that's what I've been looking for. Was wondering if anyone else had actual experience with this. I suspected that if I were younger, he would have suggested going the whole route. He is willing to do the bunionectomy too if I choose that.

I'd still love to hear from others who have heard of this route.

Old 03-29-2006, 11:41 PM   #6
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: United Kingdom
Posts: 12
stewstorm HB User
Re: Amputation vs. Bunionectomy

Hi Manderma

The decision has to be your own based on the information the surgeon gives you and hopefully people here will give you advice on how their operation has turned out. The severity of the bunion makes a difference to the outcome and also if you have pain in the bunion it will make you want to have the operation. My mother had the bunion operation in her 50's and has been in pain ever since, the big toes were shortened and are now totally stiff but the 2nd toes became hammered and weak after the operation.

I think you have to decide if the bunion hurts and causing you shoe problems then it may be better to have them removed. If not is it better to have the 2nd toes removed and live with the bunions.

Hope this helps

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