Bunion Surgery Recovery Time and Complications

Your feet are one of your most valuable possessions. As a result, deciding whether or not to undergo surgery on them is challenging. You may consider surgery if you are one of many people suffering from bunions. There have been many new advances in surgical technique to address bunions and hammertoes. Keeping abreast of these new methods for best results and easier recovery are the job of your surgeon, so if you want the best: Northern Ankle Foot Associates has highly accredited surgical staff specializing in Bunionectomy procedures.

What Exactly Is a Bunion?

A bunion is a foot deformity in which the big toe joint points outward and often becomes inflamed, enlarged, and painful. The condition can also cause the second toe to hammer, leading to further deformities.

Several factors, including genetics, tight shoes, and arthritis, cause bunions. Women are more likely to develop bunions than men, and the condition often runs in families.Treatment for bunions typically involves wearing comfortable, supportive shoes and taking pain relievers to reduce inflammation. In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the deformity.

What Is Bunion Surgery?

Bunion surgery, often known as a bunionectomy, is used to repair bunions. Bunion surgery removes the bunion and realigns the bones in your foot. The type of surgery will depend on how severe your bunion is.

Your doctor will make a cut in your skin over the joint that is being corrected. Then, they will remove any enlarged bump of bone. Next, the big toe joint will be straightened, either at the big toe joint or further back on the foot. The bones may be held together with surgical pins, screws or plates. The skin incisions will then be closed with stitches.

Bunion Surgery Recovery Time

Understanding what happens during surgery and what to anticipate in the days, weeks, and months that follow is extremely helpful for achieving the optimum results from bunion surgery. A well informed patient becomes a partner in better healing and best results. At Northern Ankle Foot Associates, a full explanation of the best procedure for you is discussed, with recovery period written instructions reviewed. We make sure that you are fully prepared before the surgery to ensure an easy recovery.

The Operation’s Day

After surgery, you will be sent to the recovery room and monitored until you are stable and ready to go home. This is usually within 1-2 hours after surgery is complete. All walking aides will be dispensed at the surgical center and all items needed for home use will be in place prior to surgery.

Initial 6 Weeks Following Bunion Surgery

The most critical aspects of bunion surgery recovery during the first several weeks are keeping your foot elevated, the incision and dressing dry, and limiting your movement. These are the actions you should assume to guarantee a successful bunion surgery recovery:


After bunion surgery, you should keep your foot elevated for at least two weeks. This aids in the reduction of edema and discomfort. It will start to throb, swell, and get more painful if you keep your foot down for a lengthy period. This does not mean that you can not get out of bed. Some movement such as going to the kitchen to eat with your foot on another chair, sitting on the couch with your foot up, are all activities that are encouraged to allow for circulation and prevent complications.


When recovering from bunion surgery, whether walking will be permitted, will depend on the severity of your bunion and the type of procedure that was performed in order to achieve the best results. During the first several weeks all patients should keep there foot elevated to reduce swelling and opening of the incision. If you are allowed to put weight on your foot with a surgical shoe, you should not be on your foot for more than 10 minutes at a time the first two weeks and then increasing that time over the next two weeks according to your surgeon’s recommendations as you are seen in post-operative course. If your procedure requires you to remain non-weight-bearing for a period of time, you will use a walker, knee scooter and or crutches to move around.

Normal Ice

Using ice packs several times a day after bunion surgery helps to minimize swelling and discomfort. However, the ice pack should be placed appropriately, so it does not impose pressure on the operated region.

Caring For Wounds And Dressings

It is critical that the bandages stay in place and are kept dry for the first few weeks following bunion surgery until the sutures are removed. Caring for wounds and proper bandages are all performed by your surgeon to allow the wound to heal correctly and the foot to recover properly.

Prescribed Medication

To aid with the recovery from your bunion surgery, your doctor will prescribe the proper drugs. To relieve pain, it is essential to take your pain medicines as directed by your doctor. You could also be given antibiotics to lower the chance of infection, if you are at risk.

Workouts And Physical Therapy

To ensure a successful bunion surgery recovery, you may be required to do physical therapy exercises.Once your surgeon deems that you are ready, the physical therapist will help p reduce any selling with massage, range of motion exercises and help you walk properly. As your foot heals, additional activities are given that will help strengthen your legs to get you back to all pre-surgical activities.

Getting Back To Work

When you may go back to work after a bunion procedure depends on your line of employment. For example, suppose your recovery after bunion surgery is progressing well. In that case, you can go back to work in about four to six weeks if you have a desk job where you can keep your foot elevated. If you can work from home, you may only take one week off.

Which Shoes Are the Best?

You can start wearing regular shoes once the dressings have been taken off. Pick broad and soft ones so there won’t be any pressure on the area that has been operated on, allowing the soft tissues and bones to recover properly. These are something you’ll want to wear for a while.

Getting Back Into Sports

Returning to sports after bunion surgery will depend on which sport you play. Light aerobic exercises and walking are introduced shortly after the operation. Still, you must check with your doctor when you might start playing more strenuous activities safely.

Bunion Surgery Complications

With about 15% of patients reporting complications following bunion surgery, the procedure is often without issue. However, following bunion surgery, potential side effects include:

Blood Clot

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism (PE) can happen after bunion surgery, which is a small risk with any surgery. However, your surgeon along with your primary doctor will have taken any risks you may have and treat you accordingly during and after surgery to reduce any risk, including blood clots. You should call your doctor immediately whenever you experience calf discomfort, redness, swelling, or shortness of breath. In addition, to lower the risk of a blood clot forming, not staying in bed after your operation and some movement are encouraged to keep circulation moving through your legs and feet.

Bunions’ Tendency To Recur

While bunion surgery helps reduce severe foot pain and improve foot function, the procedure does not prevent another bunion from developing. For this reason, choosing the procedure that will reduce recurrence according to your foot type and deformity is essentialwill discuss this prior to surgery. To help rec=duce risk of recurrence, recommendations for wearing supportive footwear, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding high heels are given.. Also, this is unlikely to happen if you adhere to every advice for recovering from bunion surgery.


Infection is a risk of any surgery, and bunion surgery is no exception. When you start feeling bunion pain accompanied by swelling, redness, and warmth on the operated foot, seek medical attention immediately, as you may develop an infection. At Northern Ankle Foot Associates, your surgeon will give you a phone number to reach the doctor with any serious concerns or medical emergency.


Following the operation, it is normal to have some swelling around the operated foot. This should improve in a few weeks. Sutures will be removed about 10-14 days post-surgery, after which you may notice scarring on the affected foot area. However, these scars will gradually fade as the body works on them.

It is normal to feel some discomfort and bruise after bunion surgery. Still, this discomfort should subside within a few days. However, it is essential not to overdo things when recovering from the procedure. This may delay healing and increase pain as well as increase your risk of infection or other complications.


If you don’t stick to your workout plan, stiffness might develop in your toe and foot. So, after surgery, you may be advised to do some gentle exercises to prevent your toe and foot stiffness. Physical therapy will help reduce stiffness and they will come up with a home exercise plan specifically for you.

Metal Smithing

Sometimes, issues might arise from the hardware, such as screws or plates that move slightly. If this happens, your doctor usually removes the hardware during the post-operative courset. If not removed on time, the hardware may become paianful.

Low Healing

Sometimes, the bones and tissue don’t heal as expected. Particularly if you smoke, the bones may not mend properly. Smoking should be avoided until the bones have fully recovered following bunion surgery since it may hinder your rehabilitation. In this case, you may need further immobilization or a bone stimulator to aid in healing.

Nerve Damage

Fortunately, nerve damage is rare after bunion removal surgery. However, you may feel numbness after being operated on due to pressure and swelling on the nerves. This usually resolves within the first few months after surgery.

Assisting You in Recovering Quickly From Bunion Surgery

Our Northern Ankle Foot Associates staff is fully dedicated to putting you on the best course for recovery while utilizing the least intrusive procedures most suited to your particular case. We’ll ensure you have access to all the necessary information to confirm your recovery is as successful and painless as possible, in addition to offering cutting-edge alternatives to conventional surgeries. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our practice, and we’ll be happy to assist you.