What happens after a hallux valgus operation?

Are you looking for information on the best recommendations to adopt following hallux valgus surgery? You've come to the right place. To find the steps of the operation, go to the home page.

Hallux valgus recovery time

There is no period of immobility after hallux valgus surgery since walking is permitted straight away. If we consider the resumption of walking without shoes and without dressing, then the recovery time after hallux valgus is 1 month.

Pain after hallux valgus operation

Hallux valgus surgery is known to hurt. In fact, this reputation was built before the 2010s when hallux valgus foot surgeons used classic “open” techniques. They made wide incisions with a large bone fracture all along (SCARF technique). In recent years and with the advent of minimally invasive and percutaneous techniques for hallux valgus, postoperative pain has significantly decreased. The comfort for the patient is such that some do not take any medication after the operation. Some patients feel the pain but it is easily controlled with prescribed painkillers. Despite this, the surgeon recommends taking pain medication systematically for the 2 days following the operation. Good pain control helps reduce the risk of complications, especially algal neurodystrophy or complex regional pain syndrome.

Healing, dressing and nursing care

There is no dressing care. The dressing made in the operating room by the surgeon is an integral part of the treatment and must be kept for the first 3 weeks. You do not need to contact a nurse for dressing care. If you have a problem with the dressing, we recommend that you call the secretariat to undo and redo the dressing. Only the surgeon is authorized to perform this task. Scarring problems are rare.

Sport, high heels and hallux valgus

Sport and wearing high heels after surgery for hallux valgus is authorized after 2 months. If it is painful, it is advisable to wait 2 more weeks and then try again later.

Post-operative consultations

After surgery for hallux valgus, 2 consultations are necessary. The first consultation takes place at 3 weeks: the bandage is undone, the threads are removed and the walking shoes can be stopped and replaced with a classic shoe. Often, the swelling of the foot causes patients to extend the shoe 1 week longer. The second consultation takes place 2 months after the surgery.

If all goes well, it will not be necessary to see the surgeon again. You will be able to start all your activities again without restriction and while respecting the pain. A control X-ray is taken during these 2 consultations in order to check the work carried out in the operating room (position of the screws, secondary displacement of the fractures).

Stopping work

The sick leave for hallux valgus operation is 4 to 6 weeks on average. It varies a lot depending on the type of professional activity. People with a physical professional activity will have a break of 2 months on average. Conversely, if you can organize your teleworking activity, you will be able to resume quickly. We can remember that the work stoppage after hallux valgus is 4 weeks.

Rehabilitation after hallux valgus surgery

Physiotherapy is systematically prescribed for all patients. Rehabilitation begins as soon as the dressing is removed, that is to say after the 1st postoperative visit. During this visit, the surgeon will explain self-rehabilitation exercises to be performed at home in addition to physiotherapy. Rehabilitation of the foot after hallux valgus operation is not essential but allows gentle support for the resumption of normal support.

Walking after hallux valgus operation

Walking after hallux valgus operation is authorized upon leaving the clinic. Walking should always be done with the shoes prescribed by the surgeon. The shoes protect the work done during the operation and allow you to walk with fractures while reducing pain. These therapeutic shoes are designed to fit the foot as well as the dressing. When walking, patients tend to step on the outer edge of the foot and avoid putting pressure on the operated big toe. In reality, you have to make the effort to support the big toe and walk with the foot flat. The blood return will be better, and the risk of inflammation will be reduced.


Driving is prohibited for the first 3 weeks. In reality, the surgeon does not prohibit driving a vehicle, but in the event of an accident with serious bodily injury, you will not be covered by insurance. They will assume that you are not at full capacity, and you will have a lack of insurance. It is essential to respect this point. There is one exception to the rule: driving is possible if you have surgery on your left foot and drive an automatic vehicle.

Swelling after hallux valgus

Swelling after hallux valgus surgery is normal, not a complication. It reflects surgical aggression and bone consolidation of fractures. It takes about 2 months to lose 80% of the edema and 6 to 9 months to regain a fully thinned foot.

Stiffness after hallux valgus operation

Stiffness or reduced mobility is the main complication after surgery for hallux valgus. It is secondary to tissue scarring and deep fibrosis. To limit stiffness, it is necessary to move the toes regularly and perform the rehabilitation sessions correctly.