Instructions for after your Bunion Surgery


In the First 24 Hours

Try and keep your leg elevated. The foot should be above the level of your hip as much as possible.

Take regular pain relief. Paracetamol and an anti-inflammatory (like Voltaren) are the best combination for pain relief. Occasionally stronger pain relief may be required but should be used only for a couple of days if possible.

The pain will increase when the local anaesthetic wears off (usually around 6-8 hours) so take the pain relief before it gets too sore.

If the dressings are too tight then these can be released. But the problem is usually a lack of elevation so try this first.

Footwear and Walking Aids

You will be provided with a post-surgical shoe. Leave this on in bed over the first few weeks as it protects the toe.

Walk on your heal in the shoe.

You may require crutches temporarily but you can wean off these as you feel more confident.

Discharge from Hospital

 Surgery may be performed as a day stay, or alternatively some patients may stay one night in hospital. If staying in hospital then the nurses will also help with instructions on mobility after surgery.


It is important to keep the dressings dry. Use a taped plastic bag around the foot to prevent water leaking onto the dressings.

The dressings will stay on untouched over the first two weeks as they are helping to support the toe.

Stitches or Sutures

The sutures are dissolvable and are all under the skin, so will not need to be removed.

The First Week

Continue with regular pain relief.

Elevation is still very important. Swelling from excessive standing or sitting puts pressure on the wounds causing pain and increasing the chance of a wound complication such as an infection etc.

Gradually increase your activity after the first week.

What to Watch Out For

If you have concerns in the first few days after discharge, you can call Manuka Street Hospital on (03) 548 8566 for advice. Staff are on the ward 24 hours of the day.

Make contact if you experience the following:-

• Wound discharge or bleeding that doesn’t settle after elevation for 30min

• Increasing pain that is not controlled with elevation for 30min and the pain relief provided.

If you develop calf pain, chest pain, shortness of breath then you need to either see your GP promptly or be seen in an Emergency Clinic/Hospital.

Follow-up Appointment

You should be provided with an appointment time for follow-up around 2 to 3 weeks following your surgery.

If you have any concerns or need to alter your appointment please contact Mr Peterson’s rooms on (03) 539 0988. Your follow-up will be at the Collingwood Centre, level 1, 105 Collingwood

 Click here to download the instructions as a pdf