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Running After Bunion Surgery

Table of Contents

Minimally invasive bunion surgery can’t prevent you from running again, but it can stop you for a while. Since the procedure is done on a complex set of bones in the foot, appropriate recovery afterward is essential. Here’s more about running after bunion surgery and healing.

Is Exercising After the Bunion Surgery Recommended?

So that your hammertoe surgery doesn’t go wrong, it’s advisable not to do heavy and strenuous exercising for a while. Running after bunion and hammertoe surgery might not be advised for six to twelve weeks.

If you had surgery on your foot, you should give yourself time to rest and recover. This means taking it easy for a few weeks and not putting too much strain on the operated leg. Once the incisions have healed and the swelling has gone down, you can increase your activity levels. 

Walking is a great start; you can gradually add other exercises as your foot feels better. Most surgeons will recommend visits to a physical therapist who can teach you how to exercise your joints and muscles at home (toe flexes, motion range therapy, and alike).

Is Running After Bunion Surgery a Good Thing?

Doctors always recommend gradually resuming normal activities and exercise rather than going back in full force; that’s something to expect after bunion surgery.

As far as running, there’s no definitive answer, as some people believe running after bunion surgery is an excellent way to speed up the healing process. In contrast, others think that it can do more harm than good. Ultimately, it is best to speak with your doctor about that.

If you decide to run after the procedure, taking things slowly at first is essential. Start with short distances and gradually increase your mileage as your body adjusts to the new activity. Be sure to stop if you experience pain or discomfort. It’s also highly recommended to wear supportive shoes and to avoid running on hard surfaces.

A doctor touching a patient's feet while he's lying down
Your doctor can tell you when to resume your normal activities

What Things Should You Take Into Consideration Before Returning to Your Usual Activities?

While recovering from bunion surgery, staying patient is vital. Still, you can do some things to avoid being idle for a long time and prevent muscular atrophy. Some of them are:

  • Icing your foot for 20 minutes every two hours (within the first few days and while the swelling is present),
  • Elevating your foot above your heart often,
  • Taking ibuprofen to reduce swelling and pain,
  • Wearing a compression bandage to support the foot,
  • Doing toe exercises to keep the muscles around your toes solid and flexible,
  • Wearing shoes that fit well and support your foot (including finding the best running shoes after bunion surgery),
  • Avoiding putting weight on your foot until the swelling goes down,
  • Using crutches or a walking boot,
  • Following up with your doctor to make sure the injury is healing properly.

Should You Consult With Your Surgeon Before Running After Bunion Surgery?

Talk to your surgeon before starting any exercise after bunion surgery. They’ll give you specific instructions on what you can and cannot do. Make sure to follow their guidelines closely to ensure a successful recovery.

If you need a surgeon that can perform minimally invasive foot surgery on your feet and help you recover properly, look no further than Luxe Foot Surgery. We can help you get back on track with your foot health and give adequate care advice.

For any inquiries, you can contact us via a form on our website or call our medical center on weekdays between 9 am and 5 pm.

A man rubbing his toes while sitting down
Your surgeon and physical therapist will recommend exercises to do at home (that aren’t running)


For curious runners and active people, here are some commonly asked questions about post-op recovery and exercise.

How Do I Start Running After Bunion Surgery?

The best way to start running after bunion surgery is by gradually increasing your activity level. Start by walking and then add some light jogging or running. You should also wear comfortable shoes that do not rub against the stitches or the operated area.

Another thing to consider is the quality of your shoes. The best running shoes after surgery offer good support and cushioning. Hoka offers various pairs that fit this description, and Asics also has several good options, such as the Gel-Nimbus 20 and the Gel-Kayano 25.

Does Running Make Bunions Worse?

As mentioned, some people believe running can’t and won’t affect a bunion in the long run, but there’s a much louder majority out there saying it absolutely can and will. Some claims support that repetitive stress on the affected foot can aggravate it and the runner’s condition.

This is especially true with narrow shoes that don’t allow breathing room. Recovering from surgery can take twice as long if you make it worse with inadequate shoes.

Should Runners Get Bunion Surgery?

For runners who have relatively mild bunions, conservative treatments such as changing shoes, using pads or orthotics, and icing the area may be enough to provide relief. 

More severe cases may require surgery, which can either remove the bony bump or correct the underlying bone deformity. Recovery can take several weeks, but most people can return to running after fully healing.

Can You Run After Toe Surgery?

Yes, you can. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t, but it’ll come down to the advice of your surgeon and physical therapist. Their advice will include your specific type of injury, how the recovery is going, and sensitivity to certain treatments. However, most people who’ve had toe surgery have returned to running fully.


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