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What Should I Expect From Bunion Recovery?

An ice pack, which can reduce pain and swelling after bunion surgery.
Patients may need to use crutches after bunion surgery.
It can take up to six months to recover from bunion surgery.
Article Details
  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 25 June 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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The majority of people use their feet everyday, which can make foot problems especially unfortunate. Those who find that they need to undergo surgery for these issues might be worried about how long recovery will take. Bunion surgery is just one procedure that some people might experience, and there is typically a healing period of anywhere from six weeks to six months. If you are worried about what to expect from bunion recovery, know that some discomfort or even pain is often typical, but there are some remedies available.

You usually cannot pinpoint exactly how long it will take you to heal, as everyone is different. The details that you can control include following your doctor's orders, and staying off the treated foot during the recovery period. This is especially important in the first week or so following surgery. In fact, many patients are encouraged to use crutches or a walking cast for up to about eight weeks in order to avoid putting any pressure on the affected foot.

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Stitches will be inserted after surgery, and will likely be removed within one to three weeks. One requirement that you can expect from bunion recovery during this time is that you should take baths instead of showers to avoid getting the stitches wet. If you must take a shower, placing a plastic bag or other barrier over the treated area can be a good idea. Other than stitches, you might have pins placed in the foot during the procedure, which can be left in for anywhere from three to six weeks.

Your surgeon will likely give you painkillers, which you are encouraged to take for the first few days at least. After that, you can take them only as needed. Another obstacle that you should expect from bunion recovery, is you will be put on bed rest for approximately two weeks following the procedure. Not only will this allow you to stay off your foot, but it is often difficult to function normally while on painkillers anyway. Instead, consider stocking up on reading material, a remote control for the television, and pillows.

Doctors often advise that patients keep their foot elevated for at least the first two days following surgery. An ice pack can reduce any bruising or swelling that you might experience, but it is typically only necessary for the first few days. One more thing to expect from bunion recovery is that you will need to take off at least six weeks from work, so be sure to schedule this time before you think about the other aspects of the healing period. Every case is different, however, so asking your own surgeon what to expect from bunion recovery will likely offer the moist accurate information available.

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