Re: how painful is bunion surgery
I'm sure it all depends, but really it hasn't been bad for me, and I'm a huge wimp. I think my bunion was moderate, and I had the Austin procedure. They gave me drugs that made me sleepy during the surgery (I actually slept through the whole thing), and they numbed my foot. I think when I was waking up I could feel them injecting the longer-lasting numbing medication. That was a little painful but really, it's just like getting a shot.
After the surgery, I was numb until I woke up the next day. It did hurt a little but not too bad. The drugs they gave me did a good job of killing the pain and keeping me too sleepy to try to get up and do stuff. I stayed home from work through the Thursday following the surgery (6 days later). I probably could have gone back sooner but I wanted to stay on the medicine and I was too drugged to accomplish anything--the pain itself wasn't keeping me home.
I also was able to walk immediately after the surgery, even though my foot was numb. They gave me a heavy, clunky, ugly, but wonderful walking boot. I actually walked out of the surgery center. I suspect if your doctor didn't say anything about crutches, there's a chance you don't need them. I didn't need them for one minute.
As far as pain down the line (I'm only three weeks post-op), I'd say that at its worst, it's about as painful as my bunion was after a long day of walking. It's not even a constant pain, just comes and goes. I am willing to undergo this temporary pain if it means that constant pain from before is gone.
I hope that helps! It's honestly gone much better than I expected. It's not nearly as bad as I imagined.