There has been a lot of publicity lately regarding bunion surgery and the pain related to this procedure. As a podiatrist for over 25 years, I can tell you that this does not have to be the case.
Pain, in all types of surgery, is due to the swelling post-operatively. The more swelling one has, the more pain you can expect. Some swelling is necessary as this brings in the blood cells the body needs to promote healing. However, since we are dealing with the feet and gravity, we can expect more swelling than with other surgeries.
The key is to be off your feet as much as possible and to keep your feet elevated above your heart. Being on your feet allows blood gravitate to the surgical area, thus you will have more swelling, and then more pain. At Family Foot & Ankle Specialists of Piscataway and Hillsborough, NJ, we tell our patients to stay home and relax for the first days after surgery. If you have a job that allows you to sit for most of the time, you can then go back to work. However, if you are a flight attendant or hairdresser, then you will probably need about four weeks off from work.
Most patients do pretty well after bunion surgery. Now, one must know that there are all types of bunions, so you should not compare your surgery with someone else’s. Some procedures are simple and others are complex. The more extensive procedures might require a cast and crutches while most others just require a walking boot. Either way, if you follow the doctor’s orders, and you rest, elevate and ice the area, you will be comfortable after bunion surgery.