Bunions are a painful condition in which a pony lump forms on the side of your foot, causing extreme pain and discomfort, and preventing you from completing daily activities if the pain is left untreated. Walking, standing, driving, and even wearing your favorite shoes can all be difficult while dealing with bunion pain, requiring most patients to undergo surgery. 

If you are looking into surgery for bunion pain, you might be wondering things like “how long after bunion surgery can I return to work?” or “how long after bunion surgery can I drive?” The answer to both questions depends on the type of surgical procedure you receive. 

Bunion Surgery

There are two types of bunion surgery: conventional surgery and minimally invasive surgery, both of which correct bunions at the source and ease pain permanently. 

Conventional bunion surgery is often described as one of the most painful surgeries one can undergo. This painful procedure requires a postoperative recovery time of about 6-8 weeks, in which patients are limited in the type of physical activity (such as walking, driving, etc.) they can do. Patients are often required to wear a cast or boot for several weeks after surgery and must care for stitches that are unable to get wet.  Patients who undergo conventional surgery for the treatment of bunions are at a higher risk for a variety of complications, including long-term or permanent scarring, limited mobility after surgery, infection, and complications with the healing of bones. Invasive surgeries such as conventional bunion removal procedures put patients at high risk for pain and difficulty healing and resuming normal activities long after a procedure is complete. After undergoing traditional bunion surgery, patients should not drive until six weeks post-operation, however, for many patients, it takes a little longer to feel comfortable operating a vehicle, especially if surgery was done on their dominant foot. 

The second type of surgery patients can recieve is minimally invasive surgery, which is widely considered to be a better option for the treatment of bunions. During a minimally invasive surgical procedure, patients are put under local anesthesia and a small incision is made in the foot. The entire procedure is performed through this tiny opening with a specially designed surgical tool, and at the surgery’s conclusion, a small bandage is used to protect the micro surgery area. The entire procedure – including pre-op preparative care and post-operative recovery – takes less than 90 minutes. 

Minimally invasive bunion removal surgeries allow patients to return to their daily lives free from pain sooner, with a minimal recovery process. Patients can even often drive themselves home immediately after surgery. Patients should wear a comfortable post-operative shoe for about 3-4 weeks post-operation, which can ease any pain or discomfort experienced behind the wheel while protecting their toes from damage.

Contact Northwest Surgery Center

If you are experiencing foot pain that you believe could be the result of a bunion, minimally invasive surgery might be your best option for treatment. At Northwest Surgery Center, our expert team has years of experience in ambulatory surgical care and specializes in diagnosing and treating foot conditions like bunions, hammertoes, and heel spurs. 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 on our treatment process and get back to living your life pain-free today.