Can Screws Move After Bunionectomy Surgery? 

Bunions can cause significant pain in the big toe. While there are over-the-counter treatments for the symptoms of a bunion, often, the best course of action is corrective bunion surgery.

Patients considering bunionectomy surgery often dislike the idea of having a retained screw in their foot..Over they years of performing bunion surgeries, most patients do not ask to have their screws remove because they simply do not cause pain or symptoms. Sometimes, screws placed in the bone to allow for healing of bunion correction can loosen and if that happens, they can become painful.In those cases, the screw can be removed.

If you are going through or planning a bunionectomy, visit a qualified foot and ankle surgeon today! They can help you understand everything related to your procedure so that you can make an informed decision that is right for you.

What Is Bunionectomy Surgery?

The bunionectomy procedure is a common foot surgery to correct structural issues of the big toe that have caused misalignment and painful bunions. This procedure involves making small incisions in the foot to allow a surgeon to access and remove bone, tissue, or both as necessary to reposition the joint properly. Before the procedure, blood pressure, heart rate, and blood tests are performed like in all other procedures. Once completed, bunionectomy surgery can provide much-needed relief from the pain associated with bunions and restore the foot’s range of motion and alignment..

However, depending on the severity of the misalignment, ongoing maintenance therapies may be recommended following a bunionectomy procedure to prevent bunion recurrence or progression of the deformity.

Different Types Of Bunion Surgery

There are over 150 kinds of surgeries for bunions. These are the most common bunion surgeries used today:


Bunionectomy is a surgical procedure designed to correct bunions and bony protrusions that form on the side of the big toe. It involves the removal of the bony protrusion and realignment of the tendons, ligaments, and muscles around the injured joint to relieve pain and enhance the foot’s function.


It is a surgical procedure that involves cutting the metatarsal and toebone and using pins or screws to straighten the involvedjoint. It is typically used in severe cases of bunions, requiring considerable skill and precision to ensure an effective outcome.

The osteotomy procedure begins with an incision over the bunion, removing the enlarged bone. The surgeon will then cut and realign and reposition the bones, using pins or screws to hold the joint in place while it heals.


Arthrodesis is a surgical procedure that involves fusing the bones around a malaligned joint by removing the opposing cartilage surfaces, fusion the bones by holing them together with screws, wires, or plates. This surgery method is used to realign the bones to improve the function and stability of the joint. This type of surgery is often recommended for those suffering from severe bunions, as it can provide more long-term relief than other bunion surgery.


Arthroplasty is a surgical procedure that involves removing the damaged portion of a joint and/or implanting a replacement joint. It is typically used to treat severe cases of arthritic bunions, as it offers more long-term relief than other bunionectomy surgeries. How To Choose The Best Surgery For You?

The type of bunion surgery best suited to your condition will depend on the severity of your bunion, any other underlying medical issues, such as arthritis in the toes, and the experience of the doctor performing the surgery.

When researching bunion surgeries, keep these points in mind to make sure you choose the right one:

  • Bunionectomies are typically recommended for mild to moderate bunions when there is minimal damage to the joint and no other underlying medical issues.
  • If you have a more severe bunion in the big toe joint, whether of the right or left foot, or if other medical conditions are present, you may be recommended to undergo osteotomy or arthrodesis surgery instead. These procedures are typically more complex but can provide long-term relief from bunion symptoms.
  • Soft tissue repair may also be performed in addition to any of these surgical procedures, depending on the nature and extent of your bunion. These are for Mild, moderate, and even severe bunions.

What Are The Benefits Of Bunionectomy Surgery?

You experience the following benefits after having bunion surgery:

  • Corrected deformity: Bunionectomy surgery can help to correct the deformity in your foot, due to which the bunions may be formed. It will relieve the pain.
  • Low chance of deformity returning: By having your bunion removed, you can reduce the risk of coming back of toe position deformity.
  • Foot pain relief: Bunion surgery can also help to reduce the inflammation and associated pain on your big toe.
  • Pressure relief: In addition to reducing pain and inflammation, bunionectomy surgery can help to relieve pressure from your bunion and tendon irritation and improve the overall comfort of your foot.
  • Improved mobility: Bunionectomy surgery can also help to restore mobility in your big toe, allowing you to walk, run, and perform other activities more easily.
  • Toe alignment: It can help to realign your toe, improving your foot’s overall look and function.
  • Back to normal life: Once you fully recover from your procedure, you may wear normal shoes without experiencing discomfort or pain. You can easily return to normal activities like walking, running, and exercising.
  • Improved balance and foot strength: If you suffer from balance issues, bunion surgery can help to improve your stability by correcting the problems in your foot. It can also help to strengthen the muscles in your feet, enhancing your toes’ overall function and strength.

Is Screw Movement A Potential Complication of Bunionectomy Surgery?

During bunionectomy surgery, screws or other types of hardware may hold the bones in place while they heal. If the screws move after surgery, it can cause the bones to shift out of their proper alignment, leading to additional pain and discomfort for the patient.

A few factors that can contribute to screw movement after bunionectomy are:

  • Improper placement of the screws during podiatric surgery. This may result in revision surgery for bunion correction.
  • Inadequate immobilization of the foot after surgery, for instance, not keeping the foot elevated or not complying with non-weightbearing instructions
  • Excessive weight bearing or activity that puts strain on the screws

What Other Screw-Related Problems Can You Experience?

There are a few complications screws can cause, but it is important to keep in mind not only does the severity vary for each person, but many of these issues are easily resolvable.

Other screw-related problems you may experience include:.

Foot Irritation

Irritation from the metal or screws that were left in place following bunion surgery is one of the most frequent side effects that might occur. Some shoe styles may impose pressure on your foot, resulting in pain at the top of your foot.

Prolonged Joint Stiffness

Rarely, bunion surgery can result in extreme joint stiffness (affecting only 2-3% of surgical patients), particularly when the patient has both bunions and hallux limitus. This type of complication is more likely to occur if the patient has had bunion surgery before or if the patient cannot adequately rest the foot after the surgery.


An infection may afflict approximately 1% of people. Treatment usually involves taking antibiotics orally for two to four days. However, medical professionals may advise up to a 10-day duration of the minimal recovery period.

Tips for Minimizing the Risk of Screw Movement After Bunionectomy

There are a few different tips that patients can follow to minimize the risk of screw movement after bunionectomy surgery:

Follow Post-Operative Care Instructions

Follow the instructions provided by your healthcare provider for post-operative care after bunionectomy. This may include rest, the elevation of the foot, and avoidance of certain activities or weight bearing. By following these instructions, you can help to ensure that the bone heals properly in time and that the screws remain in place.

Wear Proper Footwear

After bunionectomy surgery, it is important to wear shoes that provide proper support and cushioning for the foot. Avoid wearing high heels or shoes that are too tight, as these can put additional strain on the screws and increase the risk of movement.

Follow Up With Your Healthcare Provider

It is essential to follow up with your healthcare provider as directed after bunionectomy surgery. This will allow your provider to check the healing progress and ensure that the screws remain in place.

Report Any Pain Or Discomfort

If you experience any pain or discomfort after bunionectomy related to screw movement, report this to your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Early intervention may be necessary to address the issue, prevent further complications, and fast recovery from bunion surgery.

When Should You Consider Bunionectomy?

Bunionectomy, often known as bunion surgery, is typically only necessary when the bunion is painful or impairing foot function. Bunion surgery factors include:

  • Oversized toe that veers toward the smaller toes.
  • Big toe stiffness, or hallux rigidus.
  • Pain that keeps you from doing the things you normally do.
  • Persistent swelling and irritation in the big toe.

If you recognize any of these symptoms, we suggest you visit our skilled podiatric surgeon.

Learn More About Bunionectomy With Northern Ankle Foot!

At Northern Ankle Foot, our expert podiatric surgeons offer a range of bunionectomy procedures, including minimally invasive techniques. We also provide follow-up care, such as screw movements and recovery support, to help you get back on your feet quickly and comfortably. Schedule an appointment now and start feeling better soon!