The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine

The Best Time of Year to Get Bunion Surgery According to NYC Foot Specialists

Posted by on Friday, November 24th, 2017

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The only way to get rid of bunions is to have them surgically removed. That’s the bad news. But the good news is that minimally invasive bunion surgery and fast bunion surgery recovery is possible. In the past, patients could expect a 2-inch scar and at least six weeks of immobilization. Last spring, though, a new type of bunion microsurgery came to Mount Sinai Hospital that involves a tiny 2-3 millimeter incision combined with live X-ray and a burr tool to shave down the bone into a removable paste.

As gruesome as it may sound, most patients experience no pain with proper management and get back on their feet within three weeks. So the question many people have for our NYC foot specialists is not so much if they should have the surgery, but when. Three weeks is still nothing to sneeze at when we’re talking about immobility, so let’s consider the best time of year to get bunion surgery, based on the pros and cons of each season.

bunion surgery
Is there an ideal season to get bunion surgery? Image Source: Wikimedia user Pagemaker787.

Winter

Pros:

  • Painful bunions tend to worsen with cold weather, so surgery this time of year would prevent a world of pain.
  • Winter is a good time for professionals such as real estate agents and teachers to have their surgeries since they already have time off from work.
  • Bunion surgery just after January 1st fits with the “New Year, New You” mentality.
  • You have the best chance of showing off your feet for the summer, as there is time not just for recovery but true healing.
  • Aside from the holidays, winter offers weeks where it’s natural to hunker down and “hibernate” out of the public eye.

Cons:

  • If you do need to venture out, it can be difficult to find warm, non-restrictive footwear.
  • Winter can be a difficult time for workers in certain industries (like retail) to take additional vacation time.
  • Navigating snow and ice with assistive devices can be hazardous.
  • You may be extra busy preparing for the holidays during the early part of the season.

Spring

Pros:

  • You can get your feet sandal-ready for the summer without missing out on any enjoyable warm weather activities.
  • Many patients say spring is one of their “least busy” seasons in terms of birthdays and holidays.

Cons:

  • Depending on when you schedule your surgery and whether there are complications, your recovery may linger on into summer, possibly clashing with vacations or simply the ability to enjoy the nicer weather.

Summer

Pros:

  • It’s easier to slip into a flip-flop or sandal during recovery, without worry that your shoe will rub against your wound.
  • If you plan on running the NYC Marathon or other popular races in the fall, early summer surgery allows for sufficient recovery time.
  • The summer is a good time for teachers, as school is closed and they are able to take time to rest.

Cons:

  • Enjoyable summer pastimes like swimming, biking, and waterskiing will all be put on hold during recovery.
  • You may have to turn down a lot of party invitations and other obligations while you recover.
  • Your foot can feel hot, sweaty, and stinky in the protective footwear.

Fall

Pros:

  • Many people put off a bunion-related office visit until fall to avoid spoiling their summer fun with thoughts of surgery.
  • Switching from open to closed-toe shoes can be very painful this time of year if you have bunions, but surgery would alleviate this problem.
  • You’ll be feeling better by the time the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday season rolls around.
  • If you’re already close to meeting your insurance deductible for the year, you can add bunions surgery at no extra cost.

Cons:

  • If you have elementary aged children or busy teenagers, there can be a lot of adjusting at the start of the school season.
  • It is difficult to find boots to fit your feet with a bunion, or while recovering from bunion surgery—and it’s too cold for sandals!

Getting Bunion Surgery in NYC

Ultimately, the decision of when to schedule your bunion surgery is up to you, but it is important to carefully consider the pros and cons so you can set yourself up for success. Remember, it’s critical that you have sufficient time to rest up and recover properly. That being said, there’s no point in putting off an operation you truly need. You should seek bunion surgery when the pain becomes severe, the bunion grows large enough to interfere with footwear choice, or the condition interferes with everyday life.

At the Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine, we perform thousands of bunion surgeries all year round. Whenever possible, we offer non-invasive methods that prevent worsening of bunion development and alleviate minor symptoms. Our state-of-the-art office is fully equipped to handle everything from X-rays and diagnosis through surgery and your active recovery. For more information or to book an appointment, contact us today.

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If you have any foot problems or pain, contact The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports MedicineDr. Josef J. GeldwertDr. Katherine Lai, Dr. Ryan Minara and Dr. Mariola Rivera have helped thousands of people get back on their feet. Unfortunately, we cannot give diagnoses or treatment advice online. Please make an appointment to see us if you live in the NY metropolitan area or seek out a podiatrist in your area.