Recovering from Bunion Surgery: What to Expect
Bunions can be an uncomfortable problem that makes it difficult to walk well and wear all kinds of shoes. As freeing as it can be to have bunions removed, the idea of surgical recovery can also be daunting. Patients understandably want to know how long they may be off work and when they will be able to resume all of their normal activities. We’ll discuss that here.
Before we outline what can be expected during bunion surgery recovery, we should make it clear that there are no hard-and-fast rules in this situation. Several techniques may be considered for bunion removal, and each may incur a slightly different recovery period. Overall, techniques have improved over time and healing is generally pretty quick.
It is important to also keep in mind that every person is different. There is no “average” case for bunion surgery and recovery. Factors that can influence recovery include the type of bunion surgery that is performed, the severity of the bunions, the general health of the patient, and how well the patient follows their post-operative instructions.
In general, bunion recovery may look something like the following:
- No weight-bearing or very limited weight-bearing for 2 to 6 weeks.
- You may resume driving in 1 to 2 weeks if surgery treated the left foot.
- You may resume driving after about 6 weeks if surgery treated the right foot.
- You may wear tennis shoes after about 8 weeks of recovery.
- Full recovery (no more residual pain or swelling) takes 3 to 4 months. At that time, there should be no more activity restrictions.
Returning to Work after Bunion Surgery
With the above-mentioned timeline in mind, you might assume that it would be some time before you could return to work after bunion surgery. Your return to work depends not only on your recovery but also on your job. Now, with many people working from home, it is possible to return to work within a week of having bunion surgery. If you do not work from home and your job requires you to walk, stand, or lift, you may need two or more weeks off. This is different for everyone and is something we discuss during our consultation.