Opposite of bunion surgery, how long until you could ride...with stirrups

Opposite of bunion surgery, how long until you could ride…with stirrups

So, I’m having foot surgery on 11/22. My initial complaint turns out to be kind of cosmetic in comparison to a structural issue in my big toe.

The minor issue is a bone spur. The structural issue is literally the opposite of a bunion. Essentially, my right big toe is sort of chronically displaced, heading to the left, and will need to be tacked back into proper alignment. This is not a fusion! I really didn’t expect all of this, I was just hoping for a cortisone shot! 🤣🤣🤣 Anywho, I’ll know more about the surgical technique, when I go for pre-opp stuff in November.

My question is…has anyone had anything similar…how long until you could ride WITH stirrups?!! I can walk and maybe trot a teeny bit without…they are definitely a bit of a security blanket…

Sidebar, I’ve been quite lax about riding for about a year…and not in my normal 2-3x weekly…and I’m a re-rider, and a bit of a weenie! I’m happy to putter, I just like to ride and stay on my fav lesson horse!

Clearly, I don’t want to jack up my foot! And I will chat with the surgeon more…I think he’s a bit clueless about riding…

Thank you!!!

Get more opinions before you go ahead with the surgery. Don’t hesitate to say no thanks, let’s just manage pain with a cortisone shot for now while I think about it.

Your surgeon doesn’t need to know about riding, and probably won’t be all that interested. :lol: Surgeons aren’t known for their whole-person focus–I guarantee that she/he’s going to say “no riding” because there’s zero upside to the surgeon for encourage you to take risks. And even on a schoolie, given you don’t have a secure seat, that’s probably the right call.

Me? I’d recommend taking the full recommended time off and focusing on getting fit. Channel all that “I wanna ride!!!” energy into improving your core strength, so when you can ride again, you’ll be able to be more secure without stirrups. Also try water jogging-- it’s a fantastic way to get your legs strong with zero impact. In 6-8 weeks you’ll see a huge difference, I promise.


Thank you! I think that I really needed to sit on my hands and process things a bit, and I shouldn’t have posted. I have RA, so joint issues shouldn’t be a surprise! I happened to be in with my fab rheumy and asked about a shot in my toe…not expecting a bone spur…or more! After seeing my xrays in the surgeon’s office, I definitely need the surgery, to get rid of that damn painful bone spur and more importantly, to prevent my big toe from becoming further dislocated and ultimately, hopefully preventing the need for a fusion in the future.

I had just scheduled the surgery that day, and then it hit me…my daughter will be home for the holidays, and we usually lesson together! So, it was just a bit of an “oh, crap” moment and thinking about how we could possibly still ride together. Our rides together, after years of following her around, are my favorite thing ever! I’ll always be so thankful that she “nudged” me to finally start lessoning, due to my RA, I really wasn’t sure that I could ride again!

It will all work out, and I will definitely take care of my foot as best as I can! Sigh! Maybe, I can at least walk on horseback, while watching her jump around!

Thank you!

I had 2.5 bunion surgeries 3-4 years ago (the half was screw removal of the second bunion surgery). I was actually back on my horse within a week of the surgeries, but in a walking cast. HIGHLY recommend asking the doc about a walking cast - mine didn’t outright recommend it, but wasn’t opposed once I brought it up. I was back in stirrups, albeit gingerly, within 6 weeks. They tell you to take it slow, but we’re horse people, ya know.

My understanding (I am not a doctor), is that the bone is stable enough with the screws they put in by 6 weeks that you’re fairly unlikely to do damage to it with normal activities. I consider stirrups “normal” activity because mine are more for mental stability than really using them for support generally. I also wouldn’t be trying to jump big or gallop right away but you get a good feel for what you’re comfortable with pretty quickly.

Within reason, I do recommend moving your foot as much as possible after surgery. My first one, I was quite terrified my toe would pop off if I moved anything down there, and it got stiff and took a LONG time to loosen up once the doctor got it through to me that I needed to be moving it. Second one was a breeze since I was wiggling the non-involved toes the moment I got home and everything stayed pretty loose.

Honestly, I didn’t realize how bad my feet hurt before the surgeries, but I woke up from the first one and even with all the swelling and horribleness of surgery, my foot felt like a weight had been lifted off it. YMMV.

I would consider getting another opinion. I have “bad feet” from psoriatic arthritis. Bunions and hammertoes and other things. I went to one podiatrist who immediately wanted to do all sorts surgical interventions and offered no other options. I went and got another opinion and the second doctor said I was better off living with what I had for feet than messing with them as surgery was not without risks and complications (which I according to him is very common in the type of surgery I need) He also said that surgery will not fix the underlying cause of the joint issues as the inflammation from the arthritis is ongoing and the damage will continue. Second doctor offered cortisone injections and I and scheduled for one on Thursday.


I think the bone spur is what is the most painful right now. But my big toe is not sitting correctly in the joint. If I don’t get that tacked back into place, it will begin to cause structural issues my other toes.

Thank you, and good luck with the cortisone!

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Thank you! I’m hoping it works.

Are you seeing a podiatrist or an orthopedist? I strongly recommend an ortho…I wasted 2 years and three surgeries on a podiatrist and his half-assed fixes. I have had 4 foot surgeries in 3 years, all on my left foot. Bunion related, with two big toe fusions, so I can tell you that you’ll need a full 8 weeks to bear any weight if that’s what they tell you. Will you be non-weight bearing? If so, a knee scooter will be a must. If in a boot, then maybe you will ride in 6 weeks. Do not push it. You don’t want to have to redo the surgery.

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I am having surgery in January after putting this off for about 20+ years. Got to the point where I have no other choice to fix a bunion and now a hammer toe caused by the bunion. I can’t wear most of my shoes now. My surgeon told me I’d be out for 4 months and my running would not come back before 6 months. Very depressed about this but I had no other options.