What to Expect from Bunion Surgery

Ever hike it over to the shore on a sunny day, only to have a storm roll in unexpectedly? It not only ruins your plans, but it also soaks your towels and sandwiches, and just plain makes you mad! When you know what to expect, you know how to prepare and you make good decisions – like going to see a movie on a rainy day instead of going to the beach! That’s why it’s so important to know what to expect from bunion surgery, so you can be prepared and feel confident with your decision.

Before and after bunion surgeryFirst of all, you should know that there are different types of surgery, and which is best for you depends on the severity of your bunion, lifestyle, age, and other factors.

No matter the procedure, you can expect to have stitches which you will need to keep clean and dry. You will also need to wear a special boot, cast or splint for at least a month to help you protect and keep weight off your foot. You will likely experience pain and swelling and will need to schedule follow up visits to ensure proper healing. You can usually return to regular activities – gradually! – within 6 -8 weeks, again depending on your situation.

Your recovery period depends upon the type of bunion surgery you have, but typically it can last anywhere from 6 weeks to 6 months, with complete healing sometimes taking as much as a year. It’s a long haul, so know you’ll need to be patient!

As with any surgery, you should be aware of the risks, including possible infection, decreased sensation, restrictive movement, short or bent appearance of the big toe, medicinal side effects, and so on. We will discuss all of this with you prior to any procedure. One post-surgery risk especially important to note is possible recurrence, thus, there will be restrictions on your footwear and other suggested lifestyle changes so as not to encourage your bunion from making a return visit.

Lastly, you can expect physical therapy to be a part of the final stages of your recovery, with exercises to help restore strength, flexibility, and function.

Of course, we will go over everything with you and answer any questions you may have to ensure your bunion surgery expectations are accurate, realistic, and provide you with the peace of mind and understanding of knowing what’s in store. If you are considering bunion surgery, call our Austin, TX office at (512) 328-8900 to set up a consultation today.

Dr. Craig H. Thomajan, DPM, FACFAS, FAENS
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Founder and Managing Partner of Austin Foot and Ankle Specialists
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