Bunions are a painful condition in which a bony 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. While there are pain relievers and tools on the market that can be used for the short-term management of bunion pain, these do not treat bunions at the source. Untreated bunions can make walking, driving, and even wearing normal shoes difficult, leading most patients to require surgery.

Bunions can be a major hindrance to one’s everyday life; the last thing anyone wants is to undergo a lengthy surgery that will require time off school or work for the procedure itself and the post-operative recovery period. If you are looking into surgery for the treatment of a bunion, you might find yourself wondering “how long does bunion surgery take?” The answer to this question is determined by the type of surgery that one chooses to undergo. 

Bunion Surgery

There are two main types of bunion surgery: conventional surgery and minimally invasive surgery. While both of these procedures treat bunion pain at the source and typically offer permanent relief for many patients, they are both very different from one another. Patients looking to undergo surgery for the treatment of bunions should understand the many differences in each procedure and their pre-operative and post-operative recovery times. 

The first type of bunion surgery, conventional bunion surgery, is described by many patients and physicians as one of the most painful surgeries that one can undergo. In addition to the pain, this procedure requires a postoperative recovery time of about 6-8 weeks, in which patients are limited in the type of physical activities they can do. Patients typically cannot walk or drive on their own and are often required to wear a cast or boot for several weeks after surgery. Additionally, patients must care for stitches that must be left in place for weeks and 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 receive is minimally invasive surgery. This is a relatively newer procedure when it comes to the surgical treatment of bunions, and is widely considered to be a better option for patients wanting to treat bunion pain at the source. 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.  For the most common bunion procedure, the actual operating time is usually only 20-30 minutes. 

Minimally invasive bunion removal surgeries allow patients to return to their daily lives free from pain sooner, with a minimal recovery process. Patients are able to walk and drive immediately after surgery, and can wear normal shoes and resume all normal activities within about a week. 

If you have been wondering “how long does bunion surgery take?” and are looking for the quickest procedure available, minimally invasive bunion surgery might be your best option.

Contact Northwest Surgery Center

At Northwest Surgery Center, our expert team has years of experience in ambulatory surgical care and specializes in the treatment of bunions. Our minimally invasive surgery for bunions allows you to return to your daily routine almost immediately with minimal disruption, with the average procedure lasting a total of 90 minutes. Contact us today for more information!