How to prepare for bunion surgery?

Having a bunion can cause pain and discomfort, and over time it may begin to restrict your day-to-day activities.

If you’re advised to undergo bunion surgery, it’s important you are as prepared as possible so that you have plenty of time to make any necessary arrangements.

Your surgeon or podiatrist will talk you through what to expect when you have bunion surgery and how long the recovery will be. However, there are steps you can take to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible.

Scheduling your surgery

Depending on the type of bunion surgery you need, you may need to take up to three months off work to fully recover. The kind of work you do will also influence how long you’ll need off work. For example, if your job requires you to be on your feet all day, then you may need to take more time.

It’s, therefore, a good idea to discuss this with your surgeon so you can give your employer plenty of notice to make alternative arrangements in your absence.

Organise support

You won’t be able to drive for the first few weeks following surgery, so you’ll need someone to drive you home after the operation and take you to any appointments or check-ups you may have.

You will also need to stay off your feet as much as possible for at least two weeks following surgery, so having someone assist with household chores, such as cleaning, laundry, shopping and preparing meals, will be a great help.

Make temporary changes to your home

As you’ll be using crutches to get around initially, you’ll need to ensure you have the space at home to accommodate this. Clearing pathways and removing rugs and other obstacles will allow you the freedom to mobilise and reduce potential tripping hazards.

If you have stairs at home, you may want to consider setting up a temporary sleeping and living space on one floor to limit the number of times you go up and down the stairs.

Ensure everything you need is within reach

Your surgeon will advise you to rest and put your feet up as much as possible during the first few weeks following surgery, so setting up a comfortable sitting area where everything is within reach is essential.

Make sure you have easy access to refreshments, snacks, the tv remote, chargers, your mobile phone and any books or magazines to help keep you entertained and reduce the amount of time on your feet.

How painful is bunion surgery recovery?

Different types of bunion surgery are available, and some may result in more pain and discomfort than others. For example, some surgeries involve fusing bones, while others remove part of the bone.

However, in most cases, you’ll experience some soreness, pain and swelling around the big toe joint in the first few days following surgery. You will be given pain-relieving medication to help manage this, and your doctor may recommend you keep your foot elevated above heart level as much as possible to help reduce the swelling.

The pain will start to subside in the first couple of weeks, and you should see noticeable improvement between six and twelve weeks. However, Some people may still experience minor pain and swelling for six months to a year while it continues to heal.

How long should you stay off your feet after bunion surgery?

You should stay off your feet as much as possible for at least two weeks following surgery to give your foot time to heal and the pain and swelling to reduce.

How long does it take to walk normally after bunion surgery?

For most people, it can take up to three months for normal functioning to return. After three months, you should be able to start wearing regular shoes again.

What is the fastest way to recover from bunion surgery?

There’s no quick way to recover from bunion surgery, and it may take up to three months for normal functioning to return. However, there are steps you can take to aid your recovery.

Follow your surgeon’s advice

Your surgeon will recommend staying off your feet as much as possible for at least two weeks and taking up to three months off work. This will help reduce pain and swelling and make your recovery as speedy as possible.

Wear a protective shoe

You will be given a protective shoe to wear after your operation as well as crutches or a brace. This will help protect your foot, promote healing, and assist with mobilisation.

Keep the wound site clean

You will have dressings on your foot immediately after surgery which you will need to keep clean and dry until they are removed to help promote healing and prevent infection.

Begin rehabilitation

You will be advised when it is safe to undertake rehab exercises. Your physiotherapist will provide you with gentle stretching and strengthening exercises to help reintroduce movement. Following the physio’s advice will help you get back to doing the things you love as quickly and safely as possible.

When you undergo private bunion surgery with Ramsay Health Care, you’ll be cared for by some of the UK’s highest qualified and experienced orthopaedic surgeons, neurosurgeons, pain management consultants and physiotherapists.

Register your interest to hear from us