Bunions in medicine are called Hallux (Great toe) Valgus (deviation outwards) deformity. There are many types of bunions and each person and each foot needs to be assessed.
Bunion surgery has changed significantly over the years. Most recently bunion and other foot surgery has become minimally invasive. That means that what used to be done through big incisions can now be done through little 3mm cuts in the skin.
In terms of who should have this done, that is actually unchanged. It is still surgery that involved breaking bones and putting in screws. It is just done in a less/minimally invasive way.
The technology has improved to the extent that the patient can weight bear on the foot the day after surgery.
Most patients will fit into sports shoes at 4-6 weeks. Return to activity starts at 6 weeks and is usually achieved by 12 weeks. Complete recovery can take 6 to 12 months.