Bunion Surgery Recovery Tips

Last updated: 06-14-2020

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Bunion Surgery Recovery Tips

A bunion is a bone and soft tissue growth on the outside of the base of your big toe. A bunion can form when the bone turns outwards, called hallux valgus, forcing the big toe into the second toe. 

A bunion can cause pain and cause the skin to become red and sore. Surgery can be performed to remove a bunion and below are some bunion surgery recovery tips. 

About 90% of the time, bunions are caused from overly tight shoes. Bunions are much more common in women than men. Bunions can also be caused by an inherited structural deficit. 

Stress on your foot or a medical condition (such as arthritis) can also cause a bunion. Experts also argue over whether or not high heels can cause a bunion.

To learn more about medical conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, go to: https://www.joionline.net/trending/content/rheumatoid-arthritis

If you want to learn more about plantar fasciitis, go to: https://www.joionline.net/trending/content/preventing-plantar-fasciitis

You should elevate and ice your foot as indicated by your doctor to prevent excessive swelling. You should plan to stay off of your feet for 3 to 5 days after your surgery. An assistive device such as a walker or crutches should be used to get around at first. 

The stitches will need to be removed approximately 2 weeks after the surgery. You should expect your foot to be bandaged and possibly with a postoperative shoe or cast for protection. 

The bandage will need to be replaced to ensure there is no infection and the bones are properly aligned. Another bunion surgery recovery tip includes wearing a plastic bag over your foot during showering to prevent moisture and infection. 

Depending on your surgeon, you may have a walking boot to protect the incision and you should be able to return to normal walking within 2 to 6 weeks.

About 60% of people will be able to wear shoes normally after 6 weeks.

90% of people will be able to wear shoes after 8 weeks. 

Bunion surgery recovery tips for returning to function include beginning to weight bear gradually and increasing your walking distance gradually as the incision heals. You should avoid wearing high heels and wait 1-2 months before driving.

Physical therapy after the surgery can assist with improving your toe mobility to ensure you are walking normally after surgery. Talk to your surgeon about possibly being referred to physical therapy after your bunion surgery. 

Physical therapy will likely begin 3-4 weeks after bunion surgery. The goal of physical therapy would be to: 

All JOI Physicians, Physical Therapists and Occupational Therapists now offer Telemedicine services for virtual visits from the convenience of your home.

If you feel that it is best to stay in your own home during this time, we can still provide orthopaedic Telehealth services for you. Through the download of the free Zoom app on your phone, tablet or laptop. Our physicians and Telehealth for Physical Therapy can evaluate you and provide the care you need.

JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP Fracture care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care.

If you are interested in scheduling an ASAP appointment with an MD who treats bunions, please call JOI-2000


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