What To Expect After Bunion Surgery

A bunion forms due to the misalignment of a toe joint, and in some cases extra bone growth can be present. Bunions are typically found at the base of the big toe joint, but people can also form bunions on the outside of their foot, adjacent to the little toe joint. Living with bunions can be very painful, and in some cases surgery is required to repair the foot. If you need to have bunion surgery, continue reading to learn what to expect.

Have Someone Available to Drive You Home

In most cases, bunion surgery is done on an out-patient basis at a surgery center or hospital. This means that you will be discharged the same day, so you won't have to worry about an overnight stay. Since bunion surgery requires the use of general anesthesia, you may feel groggy or nauseous as the medication wears off. Thus, it is important to arrange to have someone available to drive you home after surgery. It is also a good idea to have someone available to help you at home immediately after surgery.

Pain Management

Bunion surgery requires your surgeon to physically move the bone in your toe, so you can expect some pain and discomfort as the bone heals. Prior to surgery, doctors typically use a numbing agent on the foot, which can help prevent pain for several hours after surgery. You will also be given a prescription for narcotic pain relievers. Make sure you take this medication exactly as prescribed in order to manage pain and discomfort. 


Bunions can vary in severity, and the surgical techniques used will depend on how large the bunion is. If you have a mild or moderate bunion that is being surgically repaired, you may be able to walk shortly after surgery using a bunion shoe. But if your bunion is severe and requires extensive bone work, you will most likely have to have a cast put on your foot and to use crutches for several weeks after surgery. In order to recover properly, it is essential to follow your surgeon's instruction about bearing weight on your surgically repaired foot.

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is often prescribed after a bunion surgery to help prevent the stiffening of the toe joint. It is important to attend all scheduled physical therapy sessions and to do the exercises recommended by your therapist at home. Putting effort into physical therapy can help increase range of motion and help with your foot's recovery.

To learn more about bunion surgery, contact a podiatrist at an office like Collier Podiatry PA.