How Long is the Recovery from Bunion Surgery?

The weather is hot, hot, hot here in NYC, and my NYC podiatry patients are thinking about… their bunions.  And specifically, they are thinking that now is the time to consider bunion surgery to remove that which Grandma or Mom so lovingly passed on through the old family genetic tree.  Yes kids, it’s your mom more than your high heels that are in fact the root cause of your bunion deformity.  Just another thing to blame on our parents.  Anyway, one of the first questions I am asked by my NYC podiatry patients who are considering bunion surgery is, “How long will I be off my feet?”  To which I answer, “Usually not at all.”

As has been discussed previously in this blog, the typical bunion surgery is performed through a side incision, and a screw is used to hold the bones in place.  Because the procedure is so stable, and the hardware so strong, patients can actually walk on the operated foot immediately after surgery.  Patients walk in a surgical shoe for 2 weeks, after which time a comfortable shoe is used for about 4 weeks.  Most patients are able to use most of their regular shoes and resume most normal activities 6 weeks after surgery.  The surgical site may remain slightly swollen for up to six months.  If the deformity is severe, there may be a period of 2-6 weeks of postoperative non-weightbearing.  However, the advent of stronger and more stable fixation systems such as internal screws and plates has dramatically decreased the need for long periods of time in a cast and crutches even after more extensive procedures.  And the vast majority of bunion deformities are corrected via procedures that allow immediate postoperative walking.

So, if you’ve been considering bunion surgery but were concerned about not being able to walk soon after, make an appointment to speak with your friendly local NYC podiatrist.  Your feet will thank you.

See you in the office.

Ernest L. Isaacson