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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Bunion Surgery

Bunion Surgery Recovery Time Off Work: What To Expect

How long does it take to heal from Bunion surgery?

Time is a precious commodity. No one wants to spend weeks off their feet, restrained to their bed. And few individuals can afford to miss work for months at a time because of a surgical procedure. As such, its no wonder that many people delay or cancel plans to have traditional bunion surgery even if they really need it. After all, traditional bunion surgery can cause some extended recovery periods. Thankfully, there are other options available to people struggling with bunions. Here, well explain several different bunionectomy procedures, and outline common timelines for normal bunion surgery recovery time off work:

How Does Bunion Surgery Work

At The London Foot and Ankle Centre, we regularly use a procedure called the Scarf Osteotomy. This is a well-established procedure which allows correction of deformity and simultaneous preservation of the normal foot anatomy.

Scarf Osteotomy for bunion correction

Before and after bunion surgery performed at the London Foot and Ankle Centre

The bones are cut and then held in the correct position using screws without heads. This means the metalwork is buried and not palpable through the skin. Because the bones are held securely with the screws the bone ends do not move.

This means that the optimal position can be chosen and maintained but also the rigidity of the fixation helps considerably to minimise pain and swelling after surgery.

All bunion surgery is associated with the potential for stiffness of the big toe and if this is not addressed, the stiffness can persist. Modern techniques use rigid bone fixation, which allows for early mobilisation of the big toe joint.

Physiotherapy is a very important tool in the recovery of patients from bunion surgery. Physiotherapists are able to speed up the recovery process by instituting early mobilisation and working on techniques to reduce swelling.

Physiotherapists specialising in foot and ankle conditions are an integral part of the team at London Foot and Ankle Centre providing support and rehabilitation programmes for patients following surgery for bunions .

What To Expect The Day Of The Surgery

When you arrive for the procedure, youll check in with the nurse who will take you to the operating room. There, the doctor will give you an ankle block a local anesthetic procedure that numbs everything from the ankle down. The doctor will take a few minutes to let the general anesthesia take effect before starting the procedure.

The procedure duration will vary depending on the severity of your bunion, but typically the procedure lasts less than an hour. Since recovery can be long, doctors usually only treat one foot at a time. Once the procedure is complete, the doctor will apply a bandage to your foot.

Most bunion removals are performed as outpatient procedures, so you wont need to spend the night in the hospital. Bring someone who can drive you home after the procedure or make arrangements with a non-emergency medical transportation company.

After the procedure, youll be taken to a recovery room and will be allowed to go home once the anesthesia wears off. The nurse will monitor your blood pressure and other vitals before discharging you. Most patients spend an hour or two in the recovery room before heading home.

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Speeding Up Recovery With Lapiplasty 3d Bunion Correction

All those numbers we just gave you? If we determine youre a good candidate for the Lapiplasty procedure, you can forget them.

Lapiplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. We make a small incision on the top of the foot. Then, specialized tools are used to reposition the misaligned bonenot just in two dimensions, but also rotationallyand solidify the unstable joint that caused the bunion with a pair of anatomically designed, low-profile titanium plates.

What does this mean for recovery? In short, it means a much faster return to normal activities.

On average, people who undergo Lapiplasty can bear weight on their foot in only a few days are out of their surgical boot and back to regular shoes in about six weeks.

Faster recovery isnt the only benefit of Lapiplasty, either.

Because it fully realigns the metatarsal bone and fixes the unstable joint, recurrence rates are much lower. According to early research, your odds of having your bunion return are about 12 times higher with a traditional osteotomy versus Lapiplasty.

And because Lapiplasty is minimally invasive, theres less scarring, less post-surgical pain, and lower risk of infection or other complications than traditional surgery as well.

How Long Does The Recovery From Hammertoe Surgery Last

How to treat bunions

What should you expect in terms of recovery time from bunion and hammertoe surgery how long is recovery from bunion and hammertoe surgery? Lets start with hammertoe surgery this is an outpatient procedure, which means you wont have to spend any time in the hospital after the surgery. You will be back home the same day, but it will take a bit of time to recover fully.

The recovery period depends on the type of procedure you had traditional ones take longer to heal than minimally invasive hammertoe surgeries. If you had a minimally invasive procedure, expect recovery to last about 4-6 weeks. With traditional procedures, this can last a few months.

Lose the pain and get back to your life with Minimally Invasive Hammertoe Surgery

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How To Prepare For A Bunion Surgery

Consider the following when preparing for a bunion surgery:

  • Request time off from work: Discuss your recovery timeline with your surgeon in order to plan for your time off.
  • Recruit a driver: You will need a driver during your recovery period.
  • Follow instructions given to you by your surgeon: You will not be able to eat before the surgery for a certain amount of time. This is imperative because anesthesia administration could be affected if your body is digesting food. Your surgeon will instruct you about your diet.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to the hospital or surgery center: Almost all bunion surgeries are performed as an outpatient procedure. You will probably be asked to arrive at the hospital or surgical center 12 hours before the surgery.

Bunion Surgery Recovery: The Traditional Timeline

We want to start by walking you through a typical recovery timeframe for patients who use an older, more traditional type of open surgery for their bunion correction. If you qualify for Lapiplasty, your time to return to several key milestones may be much quicker.

But before we begin, there are a couple of important caveats to consider.

  • Everyone is different. The timetables we give in this blog are typical for the average case, but not every case is average. Some people heal faster. Some heal slower. It depends on a lot of factors, including your age and overall health status, severity of your bunion, procedure chosen, how well you follow post-surgical instructions, etc.
  • Which recovery milestone is most important to you? For example, some people are most concerned about how long theyll be out of work. For others, the big milestone is being able to wear normal shoes again, or drive their car, or restart their exercise program. And others want to know when things will be completely back to normal, when even mild, intermittent pain and swelling are gone for good.

With those caveats out of the way, lets throw out some numbers. If you get a conventional open bunion surgery for a moderate to severe bunion, you can expect a timeline roughly in line with the following:

Again, please understand that these are estimates and the timeline may be shorter, especially if you are healthy and your bunion is less severe.

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What Happens If A Bunion Is Left Untreated

When a bunion is left untreated, it can lead to more serious problems. These include:

Bursitis This can occur if the bunion rubs against the side of the shoe and becomes inflamed. The inflammation may cause pain, warmth and swelling in the joint closest to your big toe.

Hammertoe Hammertoes are toe deformities that cause curling of the toes toward the other toes or toward the sole of your foot. Hammertoes can develop as a result of having bunions or from wearing ill-fitting shoes.

Bunions are often a pain, but not a big deal. They can be managed with bunion splints and other treatments. But if you ignore them and let them worsen, they could lead to serious complications.

Bunions can be painful and cause problems with walking and wearing shoes. But left untreated, they can lead to ankle arthritis and even foot deformities that require surgery.

What happens if you dont treat a bunion?

If a bunion is not treated, it can lead to other problems.

The most common problem is pain in the big toe joint. This can be severe enough to make you limp or wear a special shoe or orthotic.

A bunion can also cause a painful corn on the side of your big toe. This is called a tailors bunion. The pain may become so severe that you have trouble walking or wearing shoes and may even need surgery to correct it.

Other serious problems include:

Injury to tendons and ligaments. Bunions put pressure on the tendons and ligaments that support your big toes, which can result in injury

Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery

How Long Does it Take to Recover from Bunion Surgery? | Savannah Podiatrist

During the 1990s, a new bunion procedure was developed minimally invasive surgery. Because of the major drawbacks of traditional methods, doctors were striving to come up with a procedure that wouldnt disrupt the lives of their patients. They knew if they could decrease healing time, they would simultaneously satisfy patients and mitigate risks. There is a multitude of benefits to modern, minimally invasive foot surgery. In fact, many patients find it almost unbelievable that they can walk out of the operating room. Especially compared to the alternative. Other advantages include the following:

  • Local, not general anesthesia: Patients never lose consciousness, nor do they need to have an IV.inserted into their arm.

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How Much Does Bunion Surgery Cost

The average cost of bunion surgery in the United States can range anywhere between $3,500 and $12,000 or more. But your actual out-of-pocket cost may be far less.

Bunion surgery costs depend on the type of surgery you have, where you have the procedure, your health insurance or Medicare coverage, and more. Generally, if your bunion pain is leading to physical limitations, and surgery is deemed medically necessary by your podiatrist, insurance will cover the procedure. But how much your insurance will cover depends on the plan you have.

Question 2 Of : How Long Does Bunion Surgery Take

  • Less than an hour for each foot. The surgery is usually done 1 foot at a time and the actual operation takes less than an hour.XResearch source The time can vary depending on how severe your bunion is. For a mild bunion, your doctor may start by removing the enlarged portion of bone. Then, theyll realign the muscles, tendons, and ligaments surrounding the joint. If your bunion is more severe, your doctor may cut the bone and move it to its proper position before repositioning the surrounding tendons and ligaments.XTrustworthy SourceJohns Hopkins MedicineOfficial resource database of the world-leading Johns Hopkins HospitalGo to source
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    The Day Of The Operation

    Bunion surgery is normally done as an out-patient, meaning you arrive at hospital a couple of hours before your surgery and are discharged later that day.

    Surgery usually takes up to an hour and afterwards, you will be taken to the recovery room and monitored until your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing as well as the sensation and circulation in your foot are back to normal. This takes slightly longer if you have a general anaesthetic rather than an ankle block.

    Your foot will be bandaged to hold the toes in the correct position with dressings in place to cover the wound and the stitches, or occasionally your foot may be in a cast. You will be given a special shoe to wear when you are walking for the first few weeks of bunion surgery recovery. These are nice and wide so there is no pressure through the foot, and often have a special wedge under the heel to help you not to put any weight through the front of your foot during the initial phase of bunion surgery recovery.

    You can find out more about what happens during the operation in the bunion surgery section.

    You may be givencrutches or a stick to help you get around your physical therapistwill teach you how to use these and how to safely get up and down thestairs before you are discharged.

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    Bunions and bunionettes

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    Complications Of Traditional Foot Surgery Include:

    • Poor Circulation:Since the foot is the furthest from the heart, it takes a long time for blood to reach it. This can increase the risk of poor circulation and infection.
    • Elevation Drawbacks:In traditional bunion surgery, patients must elevate their foot to heal. This decreases the blood flow to the foot even more
    • Higher Stress:The longer the healing process, the harder it becomes for your foot. Its the most used parts of your body and therefore has a lot of stress. Patients often break stitches and re-injure their foot from trying tomove around.
    • Slower Healing: The healing process for traditional bunion surgery can be painful. The recovery itself can take up to six weeks, but the entire healing process may last for up to six months. Patients are in a cast for two weeks and then must return to have their sutures removed.

    Wound healing issues occur often with conventional open foot surgery. The idea is to treat bunions with a procedure that takes the least amount of time to heal with minimal pain. One that is much less invasive.

    Getting Bunion Surgery Your Most Important Questions Answered

    This article was co-authored by wikiHow Staff. Our trained team of editors and researchers validate articles for accuracy and comprehensiveness. wikiHow’s Content Management Team carefully monitors the work from our editorial staff to ensure that each article is backed by trusted research and meets our high quality standards.There are 7 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

    If you have a bunion surgery coming up, you may be a little nervous or unsure about a few things. No worries. Its totally normal to have questions about the procedure. Like any surgery, bunion surgery does have potential risks. But by knowing what to expect, you can calm any pre-surgery jitters you may have.

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    Patient Perspective: Bunionectomy Recovery Is More Than Just Healing

    I cant recall exactly when the bunion on my left foot started causing discomfort, but it was probably when I was about 40. I waited some time to get a referral to a podiatrist, and when I finally saw one, life with two kids and a full-time job stalled my pursuit of treatment for another three and half years.

    The podiatrist diagnosed moderate hallux valgusnot the worst case scenario, but I was definitely a good candidate for surgery. He explained that, while the procedure would correct the problem, the decision to go that route was ultimately up to me, based on my willingness to tolerate the discomfort of doing nothing.

    I knew people who had gone through the procedure, and their accounts of severe pain in the immediate aftermath, as well as weeks of inconvenience scared me off, so I opted to first try managing my pain with new footwear. My shoe budget expanded, and I found salvation in several pairs of clogs and other more sensible, but expensive, styles. Even so, eventually the moderate discomfort I was experiencing turned to excruciating pain that often kept me awake at night and disrupted my workouts.

    On my next visit to the podiatrist, in June 2012, I was intent on scheduling a date for surgery. Anticipating about a month of major life disruption, I targeted January 2013 for the procedure, when the craziness of Thanksgiving and Christmas would be behind me, work would be reasonably slow, and family and travel commitments were minimal.

    How Long Does The Recovery From Bunion Surgery Last

    How long after bunion correction does it take to walk without pain?

    Similarly to hammertoe surgery, bunion surgery recovery time depends on the type of procedure. In most cases, you should expect recovery to last about six weeks after this period, pain and swelling should be gone. They rarely persist after the first six months post-surgery. Specially designed footwear will also have to be worn after bunion surgery, just like after correcting hammertoes. Your surgeon will remove stitches after two weeks, and if you have any pins, they will be removed 4-6 weeks after the procedure.

    Get a 10% Discount on Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery Today

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    Getting Back Into A Routine

    After four weeks, I returned to work, mainly sitting at a computer. Im fortunate to have great health benefits, so I was able to maximize disability leave. I arranged parking inside my building during the first two weeks of my return, and, with swelling still an issue, I brought a pillow to prop up my foot. I also had my podiatrist provide me with a medical certificate so I could apply for a disabled parking placard from the State of California.

    The walking boot I started using five days postsurgery was unattractive and clunky, but did the job and sure beat crutches. Because it didnt go far past my ankle, it allowed me to walk with a somewhat normal gait. Wearing a flat but elevated shoe on the other foot helped keep my hips aligned and minimized the limp. I found that Dansko clogs were almost the perfect height to match the boots elevation.

    Once out of the walking boot, a little less than six weeks after surgery, it was time to venture into real footwear. The podiatrist suggested soft tennis shoes as a first step, but I found the laces were too constricting, and I couldnt fit the sneaker onto my foot. The best postsurgery shoes, for me, were shearling Ugg boots. Assuming the boot is not too snug to begin with, theres generally enough room to accommodate some swelling. The soft, flexible material and internal padding were so comfortable I almost forgot I had just had foot surgery.

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