Why Is Bunion Surgery Recovery So Long?

If you have severe bunions on your feet that cause a great deal of pain, then your podiatrist may indicate that bunion removal is wise. Before the surgery is completed, your doctor will provide you with a great deal of information. This includes the recovery period. Some individuals are surprised when they learn that recovery can take several months. Keep reading to learn why this is the case.

Bones Need To Heal

Most people think of bunions and growths that develop on the outsides of the toes. If this is the case, then it only makes sense that your foot would heal quickly once the growth is removed. However, bunions are not caused by growths. The bulge you see on the exterior of the toe is the result of the toe joint forcing its way outward. The bulge you see may is most likely comprised of the joint, scar tissue and inflammation around the joint, and the movement of the fluid sac that sits within the joint. This means that the bunion is a complicated formation that involves the misalignment of the bones. 

Joints that have shifted need to be realigned. Pins and other surgical instruments are often needed to assist with this. Some of these devices will remain in place and act as a support to keep the joint from shifting once again. Some pins are removed and stick out of the toe during the initial healing process. 

Since the bone is involved, it must heal. Bones take at least six weeks to heal, but this is usually a timeframe associated with fractures. More substantial healing can take 12 weeks or longer. Since the feet retain a great deal of weight, complete healing is necessary before you can place weight on your foot.

Scar Tissue Must Be Reduced

Healing periods can be lengthy with reduced weight on your foot because your physician wants to reduce inflammation, tissue damage, and the subsequent formation of scar tissue. Scar tissue will develop around the incision area, but it can overgrow or grow deep underneath the surface of the skin if the surgical area is stressed or irritated in some way. Using your feet to walk or stand before healing has completed creates a substantial stress on the feet. 

Scar tissue is problematic because it can build around the toe joint and the bones that have been repositioned. This can result in pain, reduced mobility, and pressure on the joint that can misalign it once again. You may end up with a surgical procedure that is ineffective if you are too quick to get back to your normal activities. Patience is definitely the key to success when it comes to bunion removal surgeries. Talk to a doctor, like Richard Moy DPY INC, for more help.