How long does a bunion procedure take?
Typical bunion surgeries take about 30-45 minutes to perform. Some larger bunions may take up to 90 minutes. The procedure is usually performed at a surgical center under twilight sedation, so no overnight stay is required.
Will my surgery need screws or plates?
Almost all bunion surgeries will need some screws, wires, staples, and/ or plates. Normally with an Austin/Chevron bunionectomy one small screw is needed.
Can I walk after bunion surgery?
For mild to moderate bunion surgeries the patient is able to bear some weight on the surgically corrected foot on the same day. For the first week, limited walking in a surgical CAM boot is allowed. For severe bunions that need more extensive correction, there is no weight-bearing for 4-6 weeks.
Can I drive after bunion surgery?
After the procedure, due to the twilight sedation, driving is prohibited for 48 hours. After the initial 48 hours, if the surgery is performed on the left foot, no problem! Go ahead and drive! If it is on the right foot, things are a little more complicated. Driving in a walking boot is not allowed by law. We usually tell patients if their pain level is ok, they can transfer to a post-operative shoe to drive and then put the walking boot back on before walking. This is usually allowed after a couple of days.
How long do I wear the Walking boot after surgery?
For the typical bunion surgery, the boot is required for 2-3 weeks after the surgery. Then you can transition into a wider accommodating shoe.
When can I get back into normal shoes after bunion surgery?
The biggest issue after bunion surgery is swelling. You can usually get back into a gym shoe after 2-3 weeks as long as it accommodates the swelling and the post-operative splint. Swelling in the feet can last up to 6 months after surgery, so those high heels might have to wait a bit!
Is the surgery really painful?
After surgery, you should rest, elevate, and ice your foot. Most patients need some form of pain medication for 3-4 days. These days are the most painful due to post-surgical inflammation. After that time, pain medication is usually not needed.
Can I have both of my bunions done at the same time?
No, is the short answer. It sounds appealing to just get it over with, but it is a bad idea. You really need a good foot to walk on during the recovery process. I witnessed many complications in my residency when doing both bunions at the same time and very few when doing just one. This is not a coincidence. One at a time is the best option and at least 2 weeks apart if you want to get them done ASAP.