Recovering from Bunion Surgery

Why does bunion surgery hurt?

Unfortunately, bunion surgery can cause pain.

The nature of the surgery involves cutting and reshaping bones to correct the malalignment of a bunion. Patients do report pain after bunion surgery, but it is easily controlled and resolves in a reasonable time frame. We use a multimodal pain protocol with different medications to help control pain after surgery.

 

When can I walk after bunion surgery?

As each patient may receive a different surgery, recovery varies from patient to patient.

If your bunion is mild to moderate, you might be able to walk right away, using a protective shoe or walking boot. Often, patients can only walk on their heel.

If your bunion is moderate to severe, you might be kept fully nonweightbearing (i.e., on crutches) for 2-6 weeks after surgery to maximize healing potential. Limiting walking also helps control pain and swelling.

 

When can I resume exercise after bunion surgery?

Again, this depends on the type of bunion surgery you have. Also, this depends on the specific activities you are trying to return to.

Patient can start some activities and exercises 4-6 weeks after surgery, and most patients can return to normal activities 6-10 weeks after surgery.

The following exercise modes are the easiest to return to:

More strenuous activities, such as running or dancing, may take 10-14 weeks to return fully. Clearly, there is a spectrum of return to activities that is different for each patient.

Physical therapy after bunion surgery

Some patients benefit from focused physical therapy after bunion surgery. Physical therapy focuses on gait training, range of motion, transition to normal shoes, strength, and endurance.

 

The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society (AOFAS) has more information about bunions at FootCareMD.

 

For more questions or to set up an evaluation, contact Dr. Stautberg’s office at 281-977-4870.

Author
Eugene Stautberg, MD

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