I have had bunion surgery - right toe, also. Girl, it hurts. Bad. As bad as labor! That really surprised me. They say that bone pain is the worse pain. So, you will be on codeine for a few weeks. You will need someone to help you for at least one week. For me, every time that foot was not above my heart, it throbbed, so I was on the couch with my foot on the back for the first week.
I had surgery in April, and I have photos of the following August where I was still wearing a bandage on that foot. I think it ached a little then, but not bad.
So, yes, it's a serious thing - I had postponed it because of the kids. However, what compelled me to get the surgery was that I began to notice that my right knee ached. It seemed I was walking a little off balance - trying not to put weight on the toe. Well, a messed up knee is not a good thing, so I opted to get the surgery.
Since then, no pain in the toe, no pain in the knee - so it was worth it.
I study natural medicine and I have not found anything that would help that as of yet.
Well, that's my 411 on it!