A bunion is an unpleasant foot deformity that can only be permanently corrected with surgery – but what can you expect after that procedure? If you’re considering having this surgery, be sure to read our bunion surgery recovery week-by-week guide and learn all about the stages of healing after bunionectomy.
Week 1: Initial Postoperative Care
Bunion correction surgery is a quick, minimally invasive procedure. This means that your doctor will allow you to go home the same day after surgery. When the anesthesia wears off, you will start to feel pain – be ready for that. The pain is strongest in the first week, and then it starts to gradually decrease.
Follow the Instructions About Wound Care
Your foot doctor will tell you how to take care of your wound – the basics include keeping it clean and dry and changing the dressings as per instructions. It’s advised to rest and not put weight on the operated foot in the first week until it starts to heal a little bit.
Week 2: Gradual Progress and Healing
After the first week, things will start to look up – the pain will be less severe. That’s when you’ll notice progress. Still, make sure you still rest and keep the weight off the foot – standing or walking isn’t yet a good idea at this point.
Swelling Is Reduced, and Foot Exercises Are Introduced
Swelling is a normal part of the post-op period, and it’s nothing to worry about. It will start to reduce in the second week, and you can help with that by elevating your leg a few times a day and putting ice packs on the operated area. Keep in mind that ice should never go directly on the skin (use clean cloths or towels) and that you shouldn’t keep it on the foot for longer than 15-20 minutes at a time. You can also start doing some simple foot exercises at home.
Week 3: Regaining Mobility
In the third week of the bunion surgery recovery, you should continue with foot exercises. It’s now also possible to put weight on your foot. Don’t push yourself if you don’t feel ready. If it feels okay, you can try to take a few steps around the house.
Increase Weight Bearing Activities and Physical Therapy
It’s crucial to avoid excessive activities, but you should still try to increase the distance you can walk at your home. Walking will get easier the more you practice. Your doctor may incorporate physical therapy into your recovery plan – practicing with a medical professional can speed up your recovery.
Week 4: Signs of Improvement
At the 4-week mark, you will feel like the wound is almost healed. You will go for a follow-up visit with your doctor, who will give you the green light to start returning to your regular activities. If you had to wear the special surgical shoe, you would likely be able to take it off at this point.
Weeks 5-6: Moving Forward
Now it’s time to transition to normal footwear – preferably some comfortable sneakers. Keep up with physical therapy and foot exercises at home to strengthen the operated foot. The initial recovery time for bunion surgery is 6-8 weeks, which means that after six weeks, you will most likely be well recovered. In rare cases, swelling or pain can remain up to 6-9 months after surgery.
Consult Your Surgeon in Miami About Bunion Surgery Recovery Week-By-Week Process
The recovery period for bunion surgery is quick, and the results will be well worth the trouble. If you’re thinking of scheduling this procedure, you should talk it through with an experienced podiatrist – like one of our doctors at Luxe Foot Surgery clinic in Miami. Don’t hesitate to contact us to get an appointment – you’ll get answers to all of your questions at your free first consultation in our clinic.