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Returning to Work After Bunion Surgery: How Long Should I Take Off?

Recovering from Bunion Surgery: How Long Should I Take Off Work?


Bunion surgery, also known as a bunionectomy with osteotomy, is a common procedure performed to correct the deformity of the big toe joint. While this surgery can bring relief from pain and discomfort caused by bunions, it also requires a significant recovery period. One of the concerns many people have when planning for bunion surgery is how much time they should take off work. In this article, we will delve deeper into this topic and provide valuable insights to help you make an informed decision.

Understanding the Recovery Process:

Before we discuss the duration of time off work, it's important to understand the recovery process after bunion surgery. The initial healing phase usually takes around 6-8 weeks, during which the bones and soft tissues in the foot need time to heal and regain strength. It's common to experience swelling, pain, and limited mobility during this period.

Returning to Work:

The decision of when to return to work after bunion surgery depends on several factors, including the nature of your work, the progress of your recovery, and your doctor's recommendations. While some individuals may be able to resume desk jobs sooner, others with more physically demanding jobs may require a longer time off.

1. Desk Jobs:

If you have a sedentary job that primarily involves sitting at a desk, you may be able to return to work after approximately 6-8 weeks. However, it's important to listen to your body and take breaks to elevate your feet to minimize swelling.

2. Physically Demanding Jobs:

If your job involves standing, walking, or lifting heavy objects, you may need to take off work for a longer period, typically around 8-12 weeks. It's crucial to give your foot enough time to heal and regain strength before putting it under stress.

Managing Swelling:

Swelling is a common side effect of bunion surgery, and it can persist for several weeks or even months. To minimize swelling, it's essential to elevate your feet whenever possible, especially after a few hours of sitting. Elevating your feet above heart level helps reduce fluid buildup and promotes better circulation.

Wearing Appropriate Footwear:

During the recovery period, it's crucial to wear comfortable and supportive footwear. Many individuals find relief and comfort in specially designed post-operative shoes or sneakers. Skechers, known for their cushioning and support, can be a good choice once you are out of air casts. However, it's important to consult with your doctor or a professional shoe fitter to ensure you are wearing the right shoes for your specific needs.


Returning to work after bunion surgery requires careful consideration and consultation with your doctor. While desk job employees may be able to resume work after 6-8 weeks, those with physically demanding jobs may need to take off work for 8-12 weeks. It's crucial to prioritize your recovery and listen to your body's needs during this healing period. Remember to elevate your feet regularly and wear appropriate footwear to manage swelling and promote a healthy recovery.

Do you have any personal experiences or tips to share regarding returning to work after bunion surgery? We would love to hear from you in the comments section below!

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