What to Expect While Recovering from Bunion Surgery
For the patient, there is a lot of apprehension and unknowns when undergoing any type of surgery. “How long will I be out of work?” “When can I get back on my feet?” “What do I need to do to make my recovery process easier?” These are all common questions our patients have asked and are totally normal questions to have!
Here are some common questions and their answers to help prepare you for bunion surgery:
- When can I start walking on my surgery foot?
With proper care, you can be back on your feet within 6-12 weeks. But this largely depends on your individual health history and the type of surgery you had. Talk to your doctor to understand your recovery timeline.
- How long will I be out of work?
Your return-to-work date varies from patient to patient. If you have a desk job you may be able to return to work as soon as one to two weeks, while jobs that require you to be on your feet may keep you out of work a little longer. But this also based on your individual health history and the type of surgery you had. Talk to your doctor to understand your recovery and return to work timeline.
Should I arrange transportation for post-surgery?
While you’ll be able to head home within a few hours after surgery, you will not be able to operate a vehicle due to the lingering effects of anesthesia. Plus, it is illegal in North Carolina to drive with a boot or cast on your foot or feet. We require all patients to have someone with them on the day of surgery to drive them home.
- Do I need crutches or a knee scooter to help move around?
Most of the time, a boot is given to patients to wear on the foot that’s been operated on, but crutches or a knee scooter will likely also be suggested for mobility. Talk to your doctor about what would work best for you.
- Don’t forget to RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation).
The more care you take during the first few days or weeks after surgery, the easier your entire recovery period will be. The classic RICE remedy, along with over-the-counter pain relievers will help ease any discomfort experienced after bunion surgery.
- Take care of your stitches.
Make sure to keep your stitches dry while you shower or perform any other daily task that puts your foot at risk of getting wet. This can be done by tying a plastic bag around your boot and/or wound dressing.
Put your high heels away for a while.
If you’re a lover of a 6-inch stiletto, you might want to find a new go-to. The podiatrists at Triad Foot & Ankle Center do not recommend wearing high heels for 6-8 months after bunion surgery. Since every situation is different, you’ll want to consult with your doctor to learn when and if you’ll be able to slip on those heels again.
In the meantime, invest in a pair of shoes with a wide toe to prevent any future issues with bunions.
The specialists at Triad Foot & Ankle Center recommend calling your doctor if:
- The area surrounding the wound becomes hot to the touch, or if you experience fever or chills. This may be a sign of an infection.
- The wound dressing unravels
- Any liquid or discharge, including blood, seeps through onto the gauze
For more questions regarding bunion surgery recovery, consider chatting with the podiatrists at Triad Foot & Ankle Center. Request an appointment.
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