Bunion surgery recovery time


There have been questions around bunion surgery recovery time but the simple answer is that it depends on the type of surgery involved.

Bunion is a foot deformity condition where the big toe of the foot is turning outwards known in latin as ‘hallux valgus’. In medical terms this is known as ‘Metatarsal Osteotomy’. The bone joining the big toe develops a bump on th joint – this is called the bunion.  This is made of the bone at the joint and additional soft tissue which develops due to the swelling in that area.

If allowed to grow, the bunions can be painful, often restricting free movement of the toe and the leg. However, this not all bunions are known to grow. For the ones that tend to grow, surgical correction is required to prevent future problems. For all other cases, the orthopedic surgeons may suggest preventive care.

There are different types of surgery for the bunion depending on the size, reason and area affected. At the broader level, it may involve correction of the tendons and the ligaments, removal of the damaged joints and surfaces, complete removal of the bump on the leg, or even the realignment of the joint through multiple surgeries. In some cases, the metatarsal is broken in two and then held in place with a screw. The nature and extent of the treatment varies per person and is best decided by the orthopedic surgeon. Similarly, bunion surgery recovery time also deends on the procedure followed and the complications involved.

Bunion surgery recovery time

Bunion surgery generally takes at least an hour but the real success depends on how well you follow instructions during the recovery period. The immediate bunion surgery recovery time is about three to four weeks but the follow-up with the surgeons need to be religiously taken up for the next several months.bunion surgery recovery time

One needs to be conscious of the four critical areas during the bunion surgery recovery time – these are medication, regular dressings, weight management, protective foot wear and  proper exercise.

For the first couple of weeks, doctors suggest complete bed rest so you avoid walking and if at all required , then you are advised to put the body weight on the heels rather  than the toes.

After about two weeks, depending on the healing conditions and nature of the wound, the dressings and the stitches will be removed. There will be a visible splint put on the toe for protection – this can be removed while bathing. In this condition, you are more mobile and can walk around with crutches. After about four weeks, another check up and x-ray should reveal if the bunion is treated and the splint may be removed from then on. 

 Bunion surgery recovery time – how long does it take

How fast you recover and can get back to your regular activities depends upon the nature of your work and how less it pressurizes your feet. So it really depends on what you do and how you commute to work. If it’s a desk-job, you could get back to work in 3 weeks time but your feel will still be covered with bandages and you need to be careful not to put pressure on it while walking. However, if you have a feet-intensive job, one that involves frequent movement of the feet, then you would be advised to get back to work only after compete recovery, which would be about 2-3 months. Recurrence of the bunion condition and further surgeries could be a complicated and long drawn out process so it is better to take preventive and precautionary measures and ensure compete recovery.   

Bunion surgery recovery time and recovery rates

It is important to make sure the bunion surgery recovery time is treated with due respect taking the necessary actions suggested by the orthopedic surgeon. While almost 85% patients have been satisfied with bunion surgeries, there have been problem cases as well. Some patients feel the toe is stiff and firm and not freely moveable, while some feel it is weaker and lighter and they are afraid of applying pressure on the toe.

Infections in the wound, plaster problems and minor damage to the nerves of the toe can occur in any foot surgery. Usually these are minor problems that get better quickly. Swelling, inflammation, infections and weight applied too early on the foot can cause interference and delay the bunion surgery recovery time and are things one needs to be careful about.

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