Bunion Surgery and Recovery Time

“Hi, this is Dr. Silvester and I’m going to talk to you a little bit today about correcting severe bunion deformities. If you are one of those unfortunate patients who have a deformity that’s been present for a long time and seems to be getting bigger and is a fairly good size on the inside of your big toe joint, very similar to what you see on the x-ray behind me, you’re in a different category than most patients who come with bunion deformities. There are different procedures that are necessary to correct those problems. I’m going to talk to you a little bit about that and how those can be properly addressed.

People with severe bunion deformities need different surgeries than people who have moderate or mild bunion deformities. There are different procedures that are done, I won’t go into that too much, but suffice it to say that those procedures generally require different equipment and different fixation devices and different recoveries for you.

One of the big concerns that we have with patients who have severe bunion deformities and I get asked this question all of the time: “Will my bunion come back?” They all have friends who have had a bunion deformity, had it fixed, and pretty soon they had a bunion again. You don’t want to go through a bunion surgery and have that happen. Rest assured that there are procedures that, if done correctly, you will not get a bunion back again. Your foot will be permanently corrected in 99.9% of cases, unless you have some unfortunate accident or something that can cause a problem.

I think that most bunion deformities that come back are because of the wrong procedure being selected for that patient. If the right procedure is picked, then the recurrence rate is very low. So, in brief, if you get the right procedure, you won’t get a bunion back.

The other thing that people always ask me is, “How long is the recovery?” Thanks to modern fixation techniques there are ways that you can have your bunion fixed, and in a relatively short period of time start bearing weight. That doesn’t mean that you can be back at full activity. Full activity usually takes 6-8 weeks, but walking around, like going to the bathroom and going to the grocery store, that can happen as soon as the day after the surgery. The grocery store, maybe not, but getting up and going to the bathroom, for sure.

Grocery store trips, as long as they’re short, will probably take you about a week and a half to two weeks to do that. As far as being on your feet, like if your children have a sporting event and you have to go to the sporting event, that can happen fairly quickly as well.  

So, just keep in mind that bunion surgery has to be done correctly and the procedure has to be done correctly, and if that’s done, then the combination of those can give you a very satisfactory result. Your foot can be nice and straight, it will fit better in a shoe, you’ll have less pain in your joint, and you’ll have happier life with your foot. If you have those problems, give us a call here at the Next Step Foot and Ankle Clinic, and we can give you a hand. Thank you!”