In my opinion, my recovery was longer than I expected. I have had both feet done (left foot in May of '03 and right foot in Jan of '04) . I'll try to explain my pain: it hurt pretty bad the first 3-4 days and I needed the prescription pain medication. After about the 5th day, I wasn't taking the prescription meds any more, just Aleve or Tylenol BUT the pain was terrible if my foot wasn't elevated. So, even if I was not in severe pain, I was pretty immmobile. I could hobble downstairs and fix breakfast for my children then I'd quickly have to go sit down and elevate and ice for hour to stop the throbbing. I remember going to the grocery store and in the checkout line telling the girl I had to throw my foot up on the counter or it would explode! That's what swelling feels like--like it's going to explode!
But, let me stress, IT WAS WORTH IT. I am so thrilled with the way my feet feel and look. They're not beautiful but oh my gosh, they are worlds better than the nasty bunions I had. I wore sandals for the first time in my life this summer!