Bunions are one of the most common foot deformities, and they bring a lot of discomfort to those who have them. Surgical correction of this condition is usually the only way to fix it, which is why many people go for this option. But what about bunion surgery recovery? Before you pay a visit to your surgeon, you should inform yourself about the recovery period and what you can expect from it.
What Is the Bunion Surgery Recovery Time?
What Is the Bunion Surgery Recovery Week-by-Week Timeline?
Since bunion surgery is an outpatient procedure, you will be back home the same day after the surgery. Your doctor will provide you with a specially designed medical shoe or a cast to keep the big toe in the correct position while it heals – you will have to wear it for several weeks (in some cases, it could even be a few months). This means that you’ll be able to walk only with some assistive device – for example, crutches. You will have to rest, of course – it’s important to sleep after bunion surgery. Here’s a timeline of what will happen during the recovery period:
- The first week after the surgery – As your soft tissue starts to heal, you will experience some pain, swelling, and discomfort. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication if you need it. They will also recommend elevating your foot and putting ice packs for 15-20 minutes a few times a day.
- Weeks two and three – Two weeks after the surgery, your stitches will be removed. Pain and swelling will continue to decrease with each passing day, and you won’t have to elevate your foot as much. Still, a special medical shoe should still be on your foot.
- Weeks four to six – You will most likely be able to switch from a special shoe to a regular one (but something comfortable, of course). Pain and swelling should be almost non-existent by now, so you can slowly return to your regular activities.
- Weeks six to twelve – You should be able to get back to most activities, and there shouldn’t be any pain. Still, in some cases, pain can persist for up to six months after the surgery, so it isn’t impossible to experience it even after twelve weeks.
What Should You Expect During the Recovery?
It’s important to know that there could be some problems after bunion surgery – complications aren’t common, but you should still look out for them. Pay attention to ongoing pain, stiffness, or the signs of inflammation. Poor wound healing is something that can also occur.
Watch Out For The Signs Of Infection
While everything mentioned above can occur, what’s most common is the infection of the surgical site. You should be careful and look out for any signs that may point to infection – but what are they? Here are the most common occurrences that can mean your incision site is infected:
- Drainage or pus from the incision,
- Swelling or hardening of the incision,
- The incision is hot to the touch,
- The incision has a bad smell,
- Fever or chills.
What Is Long-Term Care After the Procedure?
Once you’re fully recovered, you might wonder – is there something I can do to prevent the bunion from reoccurring? While you can’t ensure 100% that the bunion won’t return, you can help your chances by implementing some lifestyle changes. This mostly refers to the type of shoes you wear. It would be best to avoid high heels, narrow shoes, and anything that feels uncomfortable.
Bunion Surgery Recovery Tips That Can Help You Speed Up the Process
One of the key tips we can give you is this – be sure to rest and take it easy during your recovery. Eat healthily and avoid smoking (it’s bad for wound healing, and it will prolong the process). It’s crucial to follow your doctor’s instructions if you want the quickest and most efficient recovery. If your doctor prescribes you pain medication, be sure to take it exactly as they directed you to. Also, remember not to soak your foot until the doctor says it’s okay. Wear the special shoe as long as your doctor says you have to wear it. Lastly, don’t underestimate the importance of elevating the foot and placing ice packs.
Consult With Your Surgeon About the Bunion Surgery Recovery Procedure
Before you schedule the surgery, be sure to talk to your doctor about all aspects of the procedure – including the recovery. Naturally, before you come in for the surgery, you will have to come for a consultation and physical examination. If you decide to entrust our Luxe Foot Surgery clinic with your health, you can rest assured that you will be in the hands of skilled and dedicated professionals. Contact us to schedule your appointment – you can do it via an inquiry form, or you can call our office.
How Long Does It Take to Walk After Bunion Surgery?
This depends on the type of procedure you had, but approximately, patients can walk six weeks after the surgery. However, we must note that it can take up to six months to fully recover after the surgery.
How Long Should You Stay Off Your Feet After Bunion Surgery?
For most foot surgeries, it’s recommended that you avoid standing and walking for the first two weeks and rest. After minimally invasive bunion surgery, you should expect to be back on your feet after two to four weeks.
How Long Does It Take For Bunion Surgery to Fully Heal?
You shouldn’t experience any significant pain and swelling after six weeks post-op, but it will take about six months to fully heal after bunion surgery.
Can I Walk 2 Weeks After Bunion Surgery?
This depends on the severity of your case and the type of surgery you had. In some cases, it is more than possible to walk two weeks after surgery.