Bunion surgery takes many forms, but one thing they all have in common is that the recovery can take a comparatively long time. Many surgeries have, over time, been refined to make recovery easier and faster. However, because bunion surgery involves your feet, recovery can be tougher because you have to put pressure on the very things that were operated on. That can make recovery a bit tough. However, full recovery is very possible.
Three Main Stages
Your recovery will likely follow three main stages. For the first few days after the operation, your recovery will look like many other recoveries: pain medication, dressing changes, keeping the wound dry until your doctor gives you the OK to get it wet, and other basic surgical recovery techniques. You'll get a full list from your doctor. Within a couple of weeks or so, you'll get your stitches out.
For the next few weeks after that, you'll have to be extremely careful about mobility. The speed with which you can start walking again varies from surgery type to surgery type. And even if you have a surgery type that allows you to walk soon afterward, you still need to wear a brace or boot and be very, very careful not to put too much weight on the affected foot.
After those few weeks are up, and through, likely, the next year or so, you're going to need follow-up appointments with your doctor. Throughout this entire process, you'll be monitored closely so that your bones set properly and your walking ability comes back in full, or at least as much as possible given other health issues you might have.
Rearrange Your Life
With such a long-term recovery, you'll have to make adjustments to parts of your life. If you really like hiking, of course, that's going to have to wait a while. But if you like to walk around your block in the evening, just a nice stroll, you need to coordinate with your doctor about when and for how long you can walk after your stitches are out. You should also take a look at possibly telecommuting instead of going into work each day. If you have to go to an office or worksite, look at ways to make your day there easier on your feet.
At home, try to have a repertoire of fast meals ready to go that do not require you to stand for a long time. Enlist the help of a maid service to keep your house clean so that you don't have to do as much moving around.
You will need to work on range of motion to ensure your foot doesn't become bound up with scar tissue. Your doctor will give you exercises or send you to physical therapy; follow these instructions religiously. If you have more questions about the surgery and bunionectomy treatment and recovery, ask your doctor to give you all the details.