Bunions are painful, uncomfortable, and can even interfere with your everyday life. Luckily, there are several surgical options available that can remove bunions for good. If you are interested in some kind of bunion surgery, then you have likely wondered “how long after bunion surgery can I drive?” This is a great question, but the answer depends on the type of bunion surgery you receive. With traditional bunion surgery, it can take at least six weeks before you are able to drive. With minimally invasive bunion surgeries, it is possible to drive immediately after the operation! This is due to the different levels of trauma caused in each surgery type. For more information, here is a closer look at the recovery times for different bunion surgeries and a general timeline for when you can drive safely again:
Recovery Times for Different Bunion Surgeries
Recovery times differ depending on the type of bunion surgery you received. Traditional bunion surgery involves making a large incision made along the side of the foot, rearranging the joint or bone back to its proper position, and holding the bone in place with pins, screws, or wires. After this type of surgery, you cannot be on your feet for 2 weeks at least. It takes 3-6 months to achieve a full recovery free of any swelling or pain, and most people must use crutches or a boot for either some or all of this time.
Minimally invasive bunion surgery uses a very small incision to remove the bunion and realign the toe. This surgery method causes much less trauma and has a much shorter recovery time than traditional bunion surgery. Patients can often walk out of the operating room and drive home that same day.
How Long After Bunion Surgery Can I Drive?
After traditional bunion surgery, you should not drive until six weeks post-operation. However, most patients do not feel comfortable driving again until 8 to 9 weeks after surgery. This time also depends on which foot you received surgery on. If you had the operation on your left foot, you can probably return to driving earlier as long as you feel comfortable.
For minimally invasive surgery, patients can often drive immediately after surgery. However, if you do not feel comfortable driving that soon, then waiting a few days or a week can help. Wearing a small postoperative shoe for at least one week after surgery can also make you feel more comfortable while driving, as this shoe protects your toe from any damage. You can drive normally with this shoe, but keep in mind that it is typically thicker than a regular shoe, so some adjustments may be necessary.
If you are interested in minimally invasive bunion surgery, then contacting the experts at Northwest Surgery Center is a great first step. Our team has years of experience in ambulatory surgical care and we offer services for diagnosing and treating foot conditions like bunions, hammertoes, and heel spurs. We offer free consultations to examine your foot and provide a diagnosis and treatment options. Our minimally invasive surgery for bunions allows you to return to your daily routine almost immediately with minimal disruption. You can even drive yourself home the same day! Contact us today for more information.