Walking After Bunion Surgery

Walking After Bunion Surgery

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You may think walking after bunion surgery will be difficult, but with patience, your feet can recover fully. Any

Walking after bunion surgery can be a challenge, as the foot may be swollen and sore for several weeks. The timeline for when a patient can begin walking after bunion surgery will depend on the type of surgery performed, the patient’s individual healing process, and the post-operative care.

In general, patients who have minimally invasive bunion surgery may be able to bear weight on the affected foot immediately after surgery, with the use of a special shoe or boot. This can allow patients to start walking with crutches as soon as the day after surgery.

However, patients who have traditional bunion surgery may need to keep the foot non-weight bearing for several weeks, and then progress to using crutches or a walker before being able to walk without any assistance.

The use of crutches or a walker, as well as physical therapy, can help to strengthen the foot and leg muscles and improve the patient’s ability to walk. Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on when it is safe to begin weight-bearing and walking after your surgery.

Can You Have a Bunion Surgery and Still Be Able to Walk?

Bunion surgery can be performed and still allow patients to walk. However, there may be some post-op restrictions on weight bearing and activity to follow and ensure a successful healing process.

As with any surgery, patients must follow specific doctors’ instructions to recover their range of motion and start walking again. This includes getting plenty of rest, wearing protective footwear, and engaging in light activity.

Walking After Bunion Surgery Will Depend on the Severity of Operation

Recovery from bunion surgery takes two to four weeks. Still, that time can’t be clearly defined, primarily because it depends on the individual, their lifestyle, and the severity of their operation. There are three types of surgeries and their recovery times.

Mild Bunion Operation

Mild bunion surgery is a relatively minor procedure; the surgeon makes a small incision and trims or removes the bony bump on the side of the foot. Patients can walk within a day but must wear a walking boot for two weeks.

After that, most can transition into wearing sneakers and sandals. There may be some stiffness in the toe, which can be worked on with physical therapy.

Moderate Bunion

Compared to the mild version, moderate bunion surgery is more invasive. The bone is cut and moved back into place, requiring a longer recovery process. That includes wearing the protective boot for around four weeks and implementing a care routine as instructed by the surgeon.

Severe Bunion

Severe bunion surgery is the most invasive and requires the longest recovery time. The doctor may add screws and fuse the joints while also needing to remove tissue from the toe joint.

In this scenario, the patients must wear a cast for several weeks, after which they’ll transition to a walking boot for about two weeks. Recovery includes physical therapy and following care instructions.

What Are the Benefits of Walking After the Surgery?

Running after bunion surgery isn’t recommended until about three months have passed, but walking can bring many benefits. Of course, it must be done patiently and gently, according to a doctor’s or a physical therapist’s instructions.

The benefits include:

  • Reduced swelling and inflammation,
  • Improved circulation,
  • Increased range of motion,
  • Strengthened muscles and ligaments around the joint,
  • Faster healing time,
  • Improved balance and coordination,
  • Reduced pain and discomfort.

How Can You Speed up the Recovery Process?

Physical therapy helps reduce swelling and improves the toe’s health following the procedure. Following the doctor’s instructions and engaging in physical therapy can ensure not just a successful but a speedy recovery.

A physical therapist helping a patient walk

Ask Your Surgeon About Walking After Bunion Surgery

If you want the best minimally invasive surgery in Miami, contact us at Luxe Foot Surgery and get informed on the types of procedures we do.

You can book a free consultation via the website or call our office Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 6 PM. For more information, contact Luxe Foot Surgery and learn about the best foot surgeon in Miami.


Here are some more FAQs that could help you opt for minimally invasive bunion surgery.

What Happens if I Walk Too Soon After Bunion Surgery?

If you walk too soon after bunion surgery, you could experience complications like swelling, pain, and infection. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to recover properly and avoid potential problems.

Can I Walk Barefoot After Bunion Surgery?

Doctors recommend avoiding walking barefoot for up to six weeks after bunion surgery. This will allow the surgical site sufficient time to heal. Walking barefoot before this time can increase the risk of accidentally stepping on your toes or developing an infection.


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