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Foot & Ankle Pain? Learn about the causes and treatment for foot and ankle pain.

Dr. Daniel M. Dean shares the latest health information about advanced foot and ankle care, offering advanced treatment options to help you get back on your feet again.

How Long Does it Take to Recover from Bunion Surgery?
How Long Does it Take to Recover from Bunion Surgery?

Have you thought about or are you planning for bunion surgery and feeling unsure about the recovery process? Don’t worry, we are here to break it down for you so that you can maximize your recovery and get back on your feet in no time!

The type of bunion surgery performed is somewhat dependent on the characteristics of your specific bunion. The majority of bunions can be corrected in a minimally invasive fashion. This can be done as an outpatient procedure to ensure maximum benefits for our patients. This means that the patient will be able to return to the comfort of their home on the same day following surgery. While recovery can vary from patient to patient, a complete recovery often takes about 3-4 months.

Let’s break down the steps of this recovery to get a better idea of the process:

  • Immediately Post-Op: After your bunion surgery, you will want to avoid bearing any weight on your surgical foot by using an assistance device. This allows the incisions to heal appropriately. To manage pain, it is important to take any recommended pain medications and practice the RICE method (rest, ice, compression, and elevation) on your foot. During this time, you will likely be given a post-op shoe to wear throughout your recovery. Finally, you will need to regularly tend to your surgical site by cleaning and changing the dressing.
  • 2 Weeks Post-Op: After 2 weeks, you will get your stitches removed and replaced with thin adhesive bandages. A toe spacer will be inserted to separate your big toe and 2nd toe. You will continue wearing the post-op shoe and may begin bearing some weight on the heel of your foot. After 4 weeks you can put full weight on your foot in the special post-op shoe.
  • 8 Weeks Post-Op: At this point during your recovery, you can be transitioned back into a gym shoe. You may have to use a wider shoe or go up a half size on your normal shoe size to allow for swelling. Around this time, you would begin physical therapy to start some mobility exercises in your toe and foot if you are having any issues with walking.
  • 12 Weeks Post-Op: At the 12-week mark, your toe spacer will be taken out and low-impact exercise is recommended. Depending on your progress, your physician may recommend waiting a few more weeks before beginning high-intensity exercise. However, by this point, you should be returning to normal activities.

To ensure that your big toe is recovering properly, regular appointments with your surgeon and adherence to the recovery process are necessary. Before you know it, you will be back on your feet without the discomfort of your bunion. If you are considering bunion surgery or have further questions on the recovery process, reach out to Dr. Daniel Dean, an expert foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon, today!

Dr. Daniel Dean is a board-certified and fellowship-trained foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon. He treats all musculoskeletal pathologies of the foot and ankle in adolescent and adult patients. He has specialized training in total ankle arthroplasty, sports injuries, flatfoot, complex fractures, and minimally invasive techniques in bunion correction.

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