A doctor examining a person's toes

How Bad Is Bunion Surgery?

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How bad is bunion surgery? While we can’t give a universal answer, minimally invasive bunion surgery is generally minor and safe. It’s a routine procedure that can relieve pain and discomfort associated with bunions. Recovery time is short, and most people can return to normal activities within weeks.

What Does the Bunion Surgery Entail?

The procedure is typically done under local anesthesia, which numbs the affected area. You may also be given a sedative to help you relax. 

During bunion surgery, an incision is made along the inside of the foot, over the bunion. The bones of the big toe are cut and realigned and then held in place with screws or pins. Sometimes, a piece of bone may be removed to create more space. The incision is then closed with stitches.

Is the Procedure Painful?

The surgical procedure on your bunions isn’t painful because of local anesthesia. While the process isn’t painful, you might feel discomfort and pressure on your toes, and you surely will experience some moderate pain after the anesthesia wears off.

A person holding their right big toe

How Bad Is Bunion Surgery Recovery?

After the procedure, your foot will be in a splint or cast to protect it as it heals. You will likely need to wear this for four to six weeks. You may also need crutches until you can walk without pain.

Bunion surgery is generally considered safe, but there are some associated risks that most surgical procedures have. They include infection, bleeding, and nerve damage which can be treated successfully and quickly in most cases. 

Your doctor will prescribe antibiotics and pain medication to relieve post-op symptoms and avoid infection and inflammation.

How Long Does the Recovery Take?

Recovery from bunion surgery usually takes four to six weeks. During this time, you’ll need to wear a special boot to protect your foot and help it heal properly. You may also need crutches.

You’ll be able to walk after several days, and your doctor will teach you how to change the dressing on your wound. Here’s what you can use after bunion surgery:

  • Cold compresses,
  • Ice packs,
  • A special boot,
  • Crutches,
  • OTC painkillers,
  • Antibiotics.

Also, here are the best ways to recover at home:

  • Rest and elevate your leg above your heart level 80% of the time during the first week and 50% during the second week,
  • Don’t try to walk too much or go long distances,
  • After two weeks, you’ll visit the doctor to remove the dressing and sutures,
  • You’ll wear the special boot for about four weeks, after which you can transition to comfortable shoes,
  • After six to eight weeks, you can go to physical therapy or take longer walks; high-intensity activities aren’t recommended.

What Is a Bunion Surgery?

Bunion surgery is a common procedure for correcting a foot deformity in which the big toe points inward – a bunion. It involves cutting and realigning the bones of the toe and then stitching them into place. 

It is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, which means that patients can go home on the day of the surgery. Recovery time depends on the individual, but most people return to regular activities within several weeks.

When Is It Recommended?

If a bunion is causing you pain or difficulty walking, you may be a candidate for surgery. Your doctor will likely recommend conservative treatments first, such as wearing wider shoes or using toe pads or orthotics. Surgery is typically only recommended if these treatments are ineffective in relieving symptoms.

Does the Surgery Actually Work?

The surgery works like a charm and can relieve pain for a long time afterward; it’s a recommended solution for painful foot problems, as most minimally invasive foot surgeries are. This procedure is mostly permanent, but if you’re prone to bunions (genetically,) they may return after some time.

A woman experiencing pain in her right bunion

Consult Your Surgeon in Miami About Bunion Surgery

For anyone worried about bunions, you can consult our foot surgery practice in Miami – Luxe Foot Surgery. Our facilities are modern, with state-of-the-art tools for the best possible results with any procedure.

We have a professional doctor and a kind and supportive staff that can explain every process in detail. Contact us via phone every weekday from 9 AM to 5 PM, or send us an online form via our website, where you can also request a free consultation.


Whatever you wish to know about bunion surgery, we’ve got you covered in this FAQ section.

How Painful Is Bunion Surgery Recovery?

While most people report tolerable pain during recovery, this will primarily depend on the patient. Treating your wound and injury from the start will define how much pain you’ll be in and, more importantly, how long. Just remember that pain is easily managed with pain medications.

Is Having Bunion Surgery Worth It?

If you’re experiencing pain and discomfort while walking and wearing shoes, surgery is ideal for getting rid of that. While bunions can sometimes come back (depending on genetics,) treating them for at least some time will make life easier and more comfortable.

Is Bunion Surgery Serious?

As any surgery is serious, so is the one for treating bunions. However, it’s not a heavily complex or long-lasting procedure; it just requires a lot of care and attention post-op.

Bunion surgery is reconsidered if the patient suffers from diabetes or heart conditions. This can significantly impact the surgical procedure, but your doctor can explain it in more detail after examining your medical records.

How Long Should You Stay Off Your Feet After Bunion Surgery?

Doctors say patients should stay off their feet for about two weeks after bunion surgery. Keeping your feet elevated above heart level for two weeks and wearing a special boot for four are highly recommended (mandatory even).


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