After Bunion Surgery-will I Ever Where Heels Again???

Updated on February 02, 2012
S.B. asks from Compton, CA
10 answers

I had a bunionectomy about four months ago, last November, and I'm really worried if or when I'll be able to wear heels again. I'm not a big tennis shoe fan and though it sounds silly, not being able to wear heels makes me regret getting the surgery...along with not being able to play basketball and do yoga comfortably. I can walk fine, no limp. But for any women who have had this surgery how soon were you able to get back into some heels?????

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone for your comments...I wanted to add that I didn't get bunions from wearing high heels, my wonderful mother graced me with them and I said I cant do yoga or play basketball comfortably because I cant bend my toe all the way yet and it swells very easily, it's not overly stiff but it's taking longer than what I was told to bend properly.

More Answers



answers from Dallas on

Well I can tell you that I am 29 and had a bunionectomy a year ago this last April or maybe two years ago, can't remember exactly. The cause of this what I was told by my doctor is NOT from wearing high heeled shoes, but that it is hereditary. Anyway I had the surgery done on my left foot and it hurt horribly for quite a while. And swelled for months after. But looking back I can tell you I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. I wear pointed toe heels and any kind of shoes I want. It did take a little while before I felt very comfortable in heels. I mostly would wear them if I had too, or would wear flip flops and then put on the heels at the last minute. But your foot will heal. And you will be glad you had the surgery. If you don't have your bunions removed it can cause you to be diabled later in life. I saw a lady at the foot doctor in fact that had to wear special shoes because she never had the surgery.
Hope this helps.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

I've had both of my bunions removed. I started developing them when I was 8 years-old (completely genetic from my mom's side of the family).

I had an Orthopedic surgeon remove the left when I was 19. A podiatrist removed the right bunion 6 years ago. The better of the 2 surgeries was the one with the podiatrist for whatever reason - haven't been able to put my finger on it.

I'm not 34 and have been wearing heels consistently since I was out of college (23 years-old). After my last surgery, I had to wear the boot for a few weeks, my running shoes for 8 weeks and then it was back to heels without any reservation.

I'd honestly recommend a podiatrist because of their specialty in feet. The key to getting back to your normal life is getting the scar tissue resolved as quickly as possible (which can involve physical therapy or diligence on your behalf).

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Portland on

Why did you have a bunion? The most common causes are wearing high heeled shoes and shoes that are too tight. Why can't you play basketball and do yoga comfortably? Perhaps I misunderstand and you had surgery so you could play basketball and yoga.

Bunions are common amongst the women in my family. My aunt had her bunions removed and my mother and another aunt did not. My mother and the other aunt that did not have their bunions removed had difficulty finding any shoes to wear after their 40's because the bunions kept getting larger.

I escaped that problem by being careful to wear only shoes that fit correctly. when I was in my 20's and 30's I wore 2" heels for work and was very comfortable and in fact more comfortable in heels than flatter shoes. My arch is better supported in heels. However sometime around my 30's the balls of my feet started to hurt and my big toe seemed to be slanting more towards the center. I quit wearing high heels and switched to medium heels. I still wear shoes that are an inch or so high as well as athletic shoes. I don't have bunions.

I don't remember how long after surgery that my aunt was completely healed. I do know from other surgeries that I've had that you don't want to put stress on incisions. For abdominal surgeries that's usually 6 weeks. However wearing high heels puts a whole lot of weight on your feet.

You do not have to stick with tennis shoes or flats but I suggest that you do not want to wear high heels again. As you know, bunions are painful. You can still get a bunion again. My aunt's bunion returned tho not as large as the first one she had.

I suggest that you talk with your surgeon. It's good that you don't want to return to heels too soon.



answers from Los Angeles on

I had the surgery over ten years ago. You will be able to wear everything and do everything, it just takes a little time. I think within 8 months to a year I was back to wearing whatever I wanted.



answers from Houston on

it depends on which kind of op you had - some fuse the IPJ - the joint between the two bones of the big toe - in which case that would be a no - if you can stand on your tiptoes then you have probably had the other kind where they leave movement in the IPJ cut the ends of the bones and put in an artificial joint then yes.

As another poster said - traditionally it was thought that bunions - or hallux abducto valgus was caused by shoes - and maybe 100 years ago when shoes were cripplingly tight then they could have been in some cases, but usually they are caused by an inherited valgus foot shape, which is a flat foot and a wide forefoot, and because we walk on mainly flat hard surfaces our whole life. our feet are meant to flex and walk on a variety of surfaces, and when we only walk on flat/hard our valgus shaped feet people have a problem because their feet start to hyperpronate, then the tendon between the MPJ and the IPJ starts to "bowstring" and pulls the big toe into a bunion.

I wouldn't go with too high of a heel, coz all the other deformities that go along with a bunion (hammer toes etc) are not usually corrected so you will get corns on the tops of your toes.


answers from San Diego on

What is needed here is some perspective. What is so important about high heels in the grand scheme of life, anyway? Over a period of many years, they contribute to spinal misalignment and low back pain. There are plenty of attractive flats designs available, and they are probably better for your overall health.

Bunions also tend to come back unless underlying issues are addressed. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, they are a sign of digestive and/or liver issues, which can be overcome. So what is "hereditary" is probably not the bunions themselves, but rather the digestive issues, and these can be worked on. The bunions are not "fated." Best to you!



answers from San Diego on

I would check out they have suggestions for EVERYTHING that might ail you...check look for your issue & check for shoes that you like that would not crimple you.



answers from Los Angeles on

I am 44 and I probably wore high heels 5 times in my life and guess what, I had a bunion. Totally hereditary. I had surgery at the beginning of February and even though it is still a bit swollen I feel it is healing great. I went back to sports this week (I am not running or jumping yet). I know other ladies who had the surgery and they all went back to heels, in due time. It will take some time to heal and for the swelling to go down. I still massage the scar and exercise my toe for flexibility every day. So keep it up.


answers from Norfolk on

I've know friends of my Mom who had to have foot surgery due to wearing the high heels. The bunions, twisted over lapping toes, hammer toes, the whole works. Not only that but since they were petite ladies who wore them ALL the time, they had shortened Achillies tendons and had to stretch them out again slowly by wear shorter heels in succession so they could finally stand bare foot without pain. Some people love the cute tiny shoes with no support and swear by them, but I can't stand pain and I'll stick with my Birkenstocks. My podiatrist told me people who wear shoes that fit the natural shape of their foot do not get bunions. Guess opinions vary within the industry. You will heal up and be able to wear what you want probably within a year. Give it time. Feet heal slowly because every time we stand or walk on them so much moves around and takes enormous pressure of putting our full weight on them.



answers from Toledo on

It may be a little while to wear them comfortably. Your surgery wasn't as bad as mine, I had bunionectomy and hammertoe surgery and will never be able to completely bend my toes again. I had to start off with wear wedge heels first and after almost 2 years since the last surgery I am attempting to wear 5 1/2" heels (first time ever that high) and it still is a bit uncomfortable on my right foot (the last on to get surgery on)...

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