The first question everybody asks when discussing bunion surgery is, of course, “How long will I be off my feet?” That’s especially true here in Austin, where warm weather abounds and another great music, art, or food festival is always right around the corner.
We know you don’t want to be out of action for long, and we want to help you get back up and doing what you love as quickly as possible.
The first step: follow all your post-operative instructions. Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, many people are tempted to do too much too soon, especially once light activity and limited walking have been approved. But exercise discipline! Although recovery is slower than anyone would like, your feet need that time to rest and heal; restarting activities too soon or too vigorously will only increase the length of your healing time and may even lead to injury or complications.
Although every case is different, most people will have their foot immobilized via cast or surgical boot for about 10 days to 2 weeks. Keep the stitches and dressing clean and dry until they can be removed, and get as much rest, with your foot elevated above heart level, as you can.
Once the cast is removed, you’ll probably need at least a few more weeks with a foot brace and some kind of support, such as a walker or crutches. Eventually, you’ll be back in regular shoes and allowed to gradually resume normal activities, but even then you should exercise care—avoid tight shoes and high heels, choosing roomier and more comfortable footwear instead.
You can generally expect some swelling for a few months after the operation, with a full recovery coming after about 5 months (though sometimes longer, depending on your circumstances).
We know the journey is long, but the good news is that the vast majority of bunion surgery patients recover fully with no complications. A few months of healing is a relatively small price to pay in return for a fully functional, pain-free foot.
Don’t spend another day suffering from stubborn bunion pain. Not all cases need surgery—in fact we always pursue conservative options first—but even if it does, you can trust Keith McSpadden, DPM to provide the highest quality surgical and post-operative care.
Photo credit: Stock Photo via freedigitalphotos.net