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What Kind of Recovery Can I Expect After Bunion Surgery?

Updated: Jul 29, 2020

As with any elective procedure, the length and nature of the recovery phase is one of the first questions people have about bunion surgery. After all, life is busy. You might be desperate to get rid of the constant pain, but it isn’t always easy to take time from work or away from your favorite activities, either.


Of course, recovery and rehab won’t be exactly the same for each person. A lot depends on what type of bunion procedure was performed, your age, your health, and other factors. What takes one person only a few weeks may take another a few months.

However, here are the basic guidelines for what most people can expect:

  1. You should avoid putting weight on your foot entirely for most of the first week—usually three to five days. Keep it elevated and iced in order to keep pain and swelling at a minimum. A post-op shoe can be worn after this initial recovery period.

  2. One week after the surgery, you’ll return to us for a follow-up. At this time, we’ll perform another X-ray to make sure everything is healing nicely, take out your stitches, and rebandage your foot.

  3. Most people can switch to a more comfortable shoe, such as an athletic shoe, about two weeks after the procedure. However, you may not be ready for full weight bearing and may require the assistance of braces or crutches.

  4. Over time, you’ll be able to gradually increase the amount and intensity of weight-bearing activity, along with incorporating some rehabilitation stretches and exercises. Your surgeon will be able to give you a rough timeline based on the procedure selected.

  5. It typically takes around 6 weeks for the bones to fully heal. However, your foot may remain a little swollen to some extent for several months, and we generally recommend you avoid certain activities or wearing certain styles of shoes for up to six months.

While full recovery does take time, the permanent pain relief—and the ability to return to activities you love—is more than worth it. With an experienced surgeon and proper preparation, we know you can get through it with the minimum amount of fuss!


Schedule your appointment with Gulf South Foot & Ankle today. Dial (504) 708-4810 for our office in Metairie, or (985) 809-1464 for Covington.


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