Depending on the amount of tissues, tendons, ligaments and bones involved during the surgery, the average bunion surgery recovery phase may last from weeks to months (usually 6 weeks-6 months). In some cases, complete healing and recovery of your normal gait pattern may take up to a year.
Care for your dressing is imperative to facilitate the healing of your toe during the bunion surgery recovery phase. Your dressing has to be kept intact and dry all the time. Redressing can be done in an outpatient basis but it may be much more convenient if the patients do it themselves or let a house companion do it for them. When bathing, cover your foot with a plastic bag. Use a dampened towel to clean the affected foot but dry it immediately afterwards.
Depending on the type of surgery, your toe may have pins, wires, screws, or plates in it and its usually removed 3-6 weeks post op (after the surgery). Stitches are most likely removed 7-14 days after when your incision has began to show initial signs of healing.
Rehabilitation Walking Equipments
Expect the use of casts, crutches, walkers, surgical shoes or splints after the surgery. You may have to continuously use surgical shoes for up to 3-4 months before you're allowed to use normal shoes. Wearing shoes is also limited to those that fit you perfectly. Your footwear must not be tight and stiff. High heels are blocked up to a year after your operation. Tight-fitting shoes and high heels are the main causes of bunions and these methods must be observed so you could prevent its recurrence.
Post-Op Weight Bearing
Weight bearing is increased gradually but a no-weight-bearing policy is strictly imposed on your foot for the first 6-8 weeks. As your bone slowly heals, gradual increase on foot activities and exercises may be advised by your doctor. Unless you're a foot specialist or a physical therapist yourself, you may want to get advise from your doctor first before increasing your weight-bearing activities. Some patients tend to decide by themselves due to impatience or frustration of their temporary “disability”. Although this is pretty much understandable, adding weights by yourself may also compromise your over-all recovery period and may add more complication to your condition. At worse, additional surgeries may be needed to re-correct your toe if the self-imposed increase in activity results to footraining.
Your over-all bunion surgery recovery is not just attained by the success of the surgery itself, but also by how you adhere to the rehabilitative instructions given by your orthopedic or physical therapists.