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When Is It Safe to Resume Exercise After Bunion Surgery?

Bunion surgery can help relieve foot pain, a deformed appearance, and discomfort when you walk or stand. After bunion surgery, you may be wondering how long you will have to put off exercise.

As with just about every surgery, bunion surgery requires a certain amount of recovery time. Given that your foot is the surgery site, you’ll be off your feet for a certain amount of time. Here’s what orthopedic doctors for your foot and ankle in The Woodlands, TX, have to say about how long you’ll likely have to wait after bunion surgery to resume your exercise routine.

About Bunion Surgery

Bunions are bony protrusions that appear on your foot near the base of the big toe. Wearing tight shoes, suffering from arthritis, applying too much stress on the big toe, and having a family history of foot deformities can eventually force your big toe out of place–usually toward your other, smaller toes. When this happens, the base of the big toe joint will appear as a large, red, and painful bump. Bunions can make it difficult to stand, walk, or wear shoes at all, much less exercise.

Thankfully, there are treatment options available for this common foot condition. Orthopedic foot and ankle doctors often recommend surgery to remove the bunion and correct the deformity.

Your Procedure

The time it takes to recover from bunion surgery and get back to your normal activities–including exercise–depends on the type of foot and ankle surgery you undergo. Bunion surgery methods vary based on the severity of the bunion and any other related health conditions like arthritis of the foot.

For mild bunions that are addressed early–if you visit a foot and ankle specialist at the first sign of a red, sore bump on your big toe–surgery will be quick and mild. A doctor will simply remove the protruding bone and then realign the muscles, tendons, and ligaments around the joint at the base of the big toe. For more serious cases, a doctor may need to cut the bone, fuse the joint tissue, or even replace the joint with an implant.

Recovery Times

Even after your surgery, there are factors that can influence how long you should recover off your feet. Immediately after surgery, you’ll be recovering from anesthesia. For more serious cases, you’ll likely be given general anesthesia and may need about a day to recover.

For all surgeries, it’s important to stay off your foot and keep it elevated. Rest is essential for healing the bone, joint tissues, muscles, and any incisions that were made in your foot. You’ll likely be given prescription medicines, including pain killers and antibiotics, to help you recover. However, some people may need physical therapy to rebuild foot strength. Overall, you can expect to wait at least four weeks on average to resume exercises like swimming and weightlifting. Runners, because they put the most stress on their feet, may have to wait up to ten weeks to fully recover while undergoing physical therapy to strengthen their feet.

The Importance of Waiting

But why wait at all? If you’re ready to walk, run, swim, or perform other healthy exercises, shouldn’t you get right to it? Actually, the majority of your bunion healing process occurs after surgery. And rest is essential for you to actually heal properly. Put stress on your foot again, and you could cause more foot trauma or severe pain.

In fact, it’s recommended that you stay off your foot altogether for the recommended recovery period because any amount of weight on the foot where surgery occurred can be uncomfortable or even painful. However, results vary from person to person. Visit Ankle & Foot Specialists of Conroe, The Woodlands, to learn more about bunion surgery, recovery times, and more. We have the best foot and ankle surgeons in The Woodlands, TX, and will work hard to treat your bunions, then get you back to your old routine again.