It usually takes at least a week for patients to return to driving after bunion surgery, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Recovery times vary depending on the type of procedure performed, with the average person returning to all of his normal activities within six to eight weeks.
After bunion surgery, patients must gradually increase the amount of weight they bear on the injured foot. Most individuals are fitted with a surgical shoe before leaving the surgery center and wear the shoe for four to six weeks to support the foot as it recovers. In some more severe cases, a below-the-knee cast may be used to prevent weight-bearing for six weeks, explains Downtown Skyway Foot Specialists.
Patients cannot drive immediately after bunion surgery, regardless of which foot is affected. Most patients can get behind the wheel within one to two weeks after the operation if driving is a necessity, says Healthline, but some doctors may recommend waiting five or six weeks. Certain types of bunion surgeries require a much longer recovery period with no weight-bearing or driving for up to eight weeks, states WebMD.com.
Patients often experience pain, swelling and weakness in the foot after bunion surgery, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. These symptoms increase the risk of an accident when individuals return to driving too early.