Bunion Surgery Recovery Time

Your feet is one of your most precious commodities. Therefore, it’s difficult to decide to have surgery on them. The long recovery time has people worried about having the procedure. Traditional foot surgery is no longer acceptable. Especially now there is a far better way to get rid of your bunions, hammer toe, and heel spurs.

A bunion is a common foot condition that affects up to 23% of 18-to 65-year-olds and 35% of people over the age of 65. Prior treatment involved invasive open foot surgery. This required a long recovery. But who can afford to have their foot propped up for six weeks? It’s not workable.

Today, outpatient foot procedures are available. Bunions no longer require a long recovery. Doctors have found amazing ways to keep people moving, even after foot surgery. Different surgeries require different recovery times.  Your procedure will depend on your specific case.

Do I Have a Bunion?

If you have an angular and bony bump on the inside of your foot at the main big toe joint (often covered by calluses) you may have a bunion. Bunions frequently go untreated until they become too severe because they can be more of an annoyance than painful. However, when left untreated, it may lead to more extensive surgery and further foot problems.

Bunions grow slowly. It surprises people when they feel discomfort. Swelling and tenderness at the base of the toe mean you need to get into a doctor before it becomes a major problem.

Bunions can range from mild to severe deformities. Several things can cause bunions. They can be inherited problem or a result of bad shoes. However, no over-the-counter remedy has ever “cured” them.

Bunions typically require surgery.  There are two main types of bunion surgery: Traditional Open surgery and Minimally Invasive Surgery.  Each includes different procedures.

Traditional Foot Surgery

The traditional removal of bunions is why people avoid surgery. Having your foot sliced open, then filled with pins and sutures, can make even the bravest fearful. There are hundreds of different surgeries to treat bunions. You will probably be disappointed with the results when they have traditional open bunion surgery.

In some studies, 25% to 33% of patients did not like the outcome. The authors of the Cochrane review also stated that the three-year post-operative check-up was not enough time to determine the total effectiveness of the procedure. Ultimately, the operation they give you could come down to what your doctor prefers. That’s a dangerous slippery slope in medicine. There are a variety of obstacles to overcome after a traditional bunion surgery, which can include the following.

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. It’s 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 to
    move 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.

Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery

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 wouldn’t 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.
  • Zero intubation: No patient ever has to have a breathing tube because
    they are conscious the entire time.
  • No fasting: Minimally invasive surgery does not require fasting. You can have a coffee
    and a donut right before you go in.
  • Zero absences: If you need to be on the job, there is no need to miss work. You can have
    your procedure in the morning and be at your desk by noon.
  • No crutches: No wheelchairs, no scooters, no extras needed.

Studies have shown that after minimally invasive corrective surgery on their bunions, 85% of patients report a “good” or “very good” outcome, while 10% report satisfactory results. Minimally invasive surgery is the key option for anyone on-the-go that needs to treat their feet.

Why get bunion surgery sooner rather than later

The longer you wait when you suspect a bunion, the longer the recovery time. After surgery, expect to wear a boot no matter what method you choose. Icing your foot and toe can reduce inflammation and you might remain slightly swollen for a few weeks.

While choosing surgery is always a risk, a minimally invasive technique is the least disruptive. There is no need to return for suture removal or elevate your foot for weeks. Not only are the risks reduced, but the recovery time also is quick, so you can get back to your life the same day.