Swelling after bunion surgery often lasts for nine to 12 months, according to MedlinePlus. To help reduce swelling, patients need to elevate the affected foot whenever seated or lying.
A bunion is the result of a foot deformity, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, where one of the big toe's bones protrudes toward the inside edge of the foot. The condition is sometimes caused by arthritis, polio or heredity. However, bunions most often occur when individuals wear poorly fitting shoes.
During a bunion operation, the surgeon opens the big toe and repairs the deformity using screws, wires or a plate on the toe joint, if necessary, MedlinePlus explains. A cast or surgical boot is often worn for up to eight weeks to maintain the foot's proper alignment.