Most patients who receive bunion surgery are released the same day of the surgery. After the procedure has been completed, the doctor probably will provide an anesthetic that will last several more hours. Patients will also probably receive a prescription for pain medication. The foot will be bandaged and enclosed in an orthopaedic shoe or cast. Patients should make sure that they have someone available to drive them home following the procedure.
Recovering at Home
It is recommended to stay completely off of the foot for at least a week following the surgery. Most doctors will have patients use crutches for a period of time while the foot is healing. They should try to keep the foot elevated as often as possible during that first week of recovery. The doctor will have patients return in about a week to have their bandages changed. Also, they should keep the foot dry for about two weeks. When showering, they should enclose the foot in a plastic bag to protect it from moisture. If the doctor has prescribed an antibiotic, patients should take their medicine as indicated by the doctor and pharmacist in order to prevent infection.
After about two weeks of recovery, patients will visit their doctor again to have the sutures removed. Most people can resume some activities after this two-week period--these activities include walking for very short distances and driving. Also, they should wear only very comfortable, supportive shoes for about six months following the procedure--athletic and orthopaedic shoes usually are best. A doctor also may refer patients to a physical therapist who will assist in exercise that will help regain strength in the foot.