Post Surgery Limitations

What are my limitations after bunion surgery?

Post operative instructions for Forefoot surgery


First 24 hours after surgery                                                                                   


  • Keep foot elevated as much as possible, rotate ankle 2x/hour for 10 seconds.
  • Keep your post op shoe on to protect your foot, even while sleeping.
  • Remove the shoe when placing the shower bag over your foot.  Use the shower bag for showers or baths.  Do not use for swimming as depicted on the package.
  • Do not walk more than 5 minutes/hour.
  • When walking, keep body weight to the heel and non-surgical side of foot but flat.
  • Ice 20 minutes/hour or best as you can.  Try it at least 3 times/day.
  • Do not remove the dressings.
  • It is normal for the patients not to experience any pain.  Your foot may feel numb for up to 72 hours.
  • Take the anti-inflammatory and antibiotic medication as prescribed.
  • Do not take Motrin or ibuprofen-like meds while taking the anti-inflammatory.
  • The most common reason for “pain” is that the bandages are on too tight.  Prior to going to bed, you will need to cut the brown bandage along the purple lines. You may need to cut the white gauze as well if it feels too tight.  Apply tape as necessary. Do not cut the bandage all the way off. Once you’re done cutting the dressing, you should be able to insert the tip of your index finger easily underneath the brown dressing at the V (where you just stopped cutting).  If not, you must continue to cut a little more.
  • Bruising and Swelling should be expected and is normal.
  • Call the office if you are having pain or a lot of itching.
  • Take Tylenol ES (Extra-strength) if you are having pain.  If pain is not alleviated, call the office.

Second, third and fourth days                                                                                   


  • Follow the above instructions (1st 24 hours) with changes below.
  • Try not to walk more than 5 minutes at a time and no more than 15 minutes maximum/hour.
  • Feeling to the tips of the toes will return to normal.
  • You may drive an automatic car.  It may help to sit a little closer to the gas pedal.
  • Mild ache or throbbing can occur and is usually associated with too much standing or walking or lack of elevation of the foot.
  • Most if not all of the doctor’s surgeries are virtually painless.
  • Itching sensation could be a sign that you are allergic to something on the foot.
  • Swelling will still be present and is normal.
  • Numbness may persist during this period.
  • Occasional “lightning flash” healing sensations may be felt for weeks to come.


CALL Dr. Moy or Dr. Lee @ (949) 837-3338 and PRESS 9 IF:

  1. You have extreme pain after cutting the bandage (as directed above)
  2. You have side effects such as nausea, vomiting or a rash.
  3. You have increased redness, swelling, bleeding or pus-like drainage coming from the wound.
  4. You have bluish toes or toe with no circulation and they feel cold..
  5. Your incision opens up.
  6. You have a temperature over 100 degrees F (37.8 degrees C).
  7. You get your dressing wet.



After your 1st return visit to the Office (usually 3 or 4 days after surgery)

  • Begin range of motion exercises (toe exercises) as instructed twice a day for 10 minutes each time.  It is very important you perform the exercises to restore full range of motion to the toe joint. (Refer to video on the website under After Surgery Instructions)
  • If given a pneumatic boot, wear the boot when walking and/or standing.
  • Do not drive with the boot, switch to the Velcro shoe in the car.
  • Place the boot back on when getting out of the car.
  • Walk normally in the boot only.  When the boot is not on, still keep weight off the surgical site.
  • 20 minutes/hour of standing or walking is permissible.
  • Swelling may still be present and is normal.


Two weeks after surgery

  • Stitches will be removed between 10-15 days after surgery.
  • You should continue wearing steri-strips for 30 days.
  • You may get foot wet in the shower only 2 days after stitches are out.
  • Ask the doctor when soaking your foot under water is ok for you.
  • Keep wearing the boot and Velcro shoe as instructed.  Remove the strapping

when bathing and sleeping if desired.  Replace the strapping when walking or standing during the day.

  • After 3 weeks, up 30 minutes of walking or standing is ok.
  • Swelling usually increases due to the increase of activity.
  • Ice daily until the foot stays the same temperature as the other foot.
  • There may be swelling and it is normal.


Four weeks after surgery

  • You may try a supportive athletic shoe or other shoe with good arch support with out the removable strap.
  • If any shoe is uncomfortable, do not wear it.
  • Return to the walking boot if desired.
  • Swimming or bathtubs etc is ok.
  • Short walks of ½ mile may be possible.
  • Any activity leading to discomfort must be avoided.
  • There may still be swelling and it is normal.


Six weeks after surgery

  • Some swelling may still be present and may last up to 3 months.
  • Wear any shoe as long as it fits comfortably.
  • Begin athletic activity at 10%.
  • Increase activity by 10% every other day.
  • Orthotics will help to maintain foot structure and reduce tired feet.
  • Discuss with the doctor about potential screw removal if you are having pain.


Shoes recommended after bunion surgery are:



            New Balance

However, any shoe that is comfortable and gives support to your forefoot is acceptable to wear.