Friday, April 12, 2024

Bunion Surgery Recovery Week By Week

Who Needs To Have Bunion Surgery

Bunion Surgery Recovery | Weeks 4-5

Usually, you only need surgery if your bunion is painful or causing functional problems. You may be a candidate for bunion removal if you have:

  • Big toe that drifts toward the smaller toes.
  • Hallux rigidus, or a stiff big toe.
  • Pain that interferes with your daily activities.
  • Swelling and inflammation in the big toe that doesnt go away.

What Is Bunion Surgery

Bunion surgery is done to restore the affected toe to its normal position with the goal of reducing pain and improving function.

Bunions form along the big toe. Outgrowths on the other side of the foot just below the pinky toe are called bunionettes. These growths can also be fixed with bunion surgery.

Usually, you can have bunion surgery as a same-day outpatient procedure and won’t need to be admitted to the hospital.

You might think that bunion surgery is just shaving off the bunion, but that usually does not work because the bunion can come back. Instead, bunion surgery involves removing the bony outgrowth and cutting and straightening the affected toe bone.

The surgeon will also reposition the tendons and ligaments in the foot. This can include tightening the ligaments on the outside of the toe and loosening the ligaments on the inside to create the tension needed to get the toe back in the right position.

If the toe position is moved, it can be stabilized and held in place with metal plates, screws, or wires while it heals.

Possible Future Bunion Surgeries

Future surgeries for a bunion might be needed if you have complications or if the hardware inserted In your foot becomes painful.

For example, you might need a second bunion surgery if the bones do not heal after an osteotomy and realignment. If a new problem develops because of the surgeryâfor example, if the deformity is overcorrected and the big toe points outwardâyou might need to have revision surgery.

The causes of bunions are not always things you can controlâfor example, the way your feet are shaped or developing joint conditions. You might be worried that a bunion will “grow back” after surgery or that you’ll develop more bunions.

Surgical correction of bunion recurrence can be challenging and require a lot of skill. Bunions can come back months or years after surgery, especially if the first attempt to fix it does not work wellâfor example, just shaving off the bunion without correcting the soft tissues of the foot.

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The Day Of The Operation

Bunion surgery is normally done as an out-patient, meaning you arrive at hospital a couple of hours before your surgery and are discharged later that day.

Surgery usually takes up to an hour and afterwards, you will be taken to the recovery room and monitored until your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing as well as the sensation and circulation in your foot are back to normal. This takes slightly longer if you have a general anaesthetic rather than an ankle block.

Your foot will be bandaged to hold the toes in the correct position with dressings in place to cover the wound and the stitches, or occasionally your foot may be in a cast. You will be given a special shoe to wear when you are walking for the first few weeks of bunion surgery recovery. These are nice and wide so there is no pressure through the foot, and often have a special wedge under the heel to help you not to put any weight through the front of your foot during the initial phase of bunion surgery recovery.

You can find out more about what happens during the operation in the bunion surgery section.

You may be givencrutches or a stick to help you get around your physical therapistwill teach you how to use these and how to safely get up and down thestairs before you are discharged.

Speeding Up Recovery With Lapiplasty 3d Bunion Correction

Bunions Be Gone: 8 Weeks Post Op

All those numbers we just gave you? If we determine youre a good candidate for the Lapiplasty procedure, you can forget them.

Lapiplasty is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. We make a small incision on the top of the foot. Then, specialized tools are used to reposition the misaligned bonenot just in two dimensions, but also rotationallyand solidify the unstable joint that caused the bunion with a pair of anatomically designed, low-profile titanium plates.

What does this mean for recovery? In short, it means a much faster return to normal activities.

On average, people who undergo Lapiplasty can bear weight on their foot in only a few days are out of their surgical boot and back to regular shoes in about six weeks.

Faster recovery isnt the only benefit of Lapiplasty, either.

Because it fully realigns the metatarsal bone and fixes the unstable joint, recurrence rates are much lower. According to early research, your odds of having your bunion return are about 12 times higher with a traditional osteotomy versus Lapiplasty.

And because Lapiplasty is minimally invasive, theres less scarring, less post-surgical pain, and lower risk of infection or other complications than traditional surgery as well.

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Whats Involved In A Bunionectomy

First, your provider evaluates your bunion and discusses the history of your condition. If you have pain thats persistent or hard to tolerate, your provider will likely recommend surgery.

We specialize in minimally invasive bunion surgery, which involves fewer and smaller incisions than traditional open surgery. This kind of surgery is associated with less pain, shorter recovery times, and less scarring. The type of surgery your provider will recommend will depend on your situation.

In general, your surgeon will make a small incision down the joint of your big toe. Then your surgeon will position your toe correctly with the help of certain devices, such as screws, wires, and metal plates. Once your toe is aligned correctly, your provider will close the incision.

How Is Painful Is Bunion Surgery

The bunion surgery I perform at Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City is not nearly as painful as traditional bunion surgery. All patients get a nerve block that numbs the foot for 24 hours after surgery. Patients are instructed to take ibuprofen and acetaminophen for two to three days after surgery as well. Less than half the patients need stronger medication, and those who do take less than five pills.

When bunion surgery is performed as part of a larger foot surgery, the pain may be worse.

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How Long Does Bunion Surgery Take

The amount of time bunion surgery takes depends on a few different factors, including the type of surgery youre having and whether multiple procedures are being done at the same time.

Typically, you can expect the surgery itself to take an hour or more, but youll be at the hospital or surgery center for a couple of hours before and after your procedure. Bunion surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure, which means youll go home to recover on the same day as your surgery.

How Are Bunions Surgically Corrected

Lapiplasty Bunion Surgery Recovery: 6 Week Update

Depending on the severity of your bunion, there are many surgical procedures available. With each procedure, the goal is to realign the joint, relieve the pain and discomfort, and correct the deformity.

While hundreds of bunion surgery operations have been described, surgeons generally correct bunions using one of two methods to realign the malaligned bones they are bone cut or bone mending .

Bone-cutting procedures involve creating a surgical break in the deviated metatarsal bone to realign only a portion of the bone. A variety of shaped cuts can be performed to treat varying sizes of bunions.

Bone-mending procedures realign the entire deviated bone at the root of the problem, where the deviation originates.

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What To Expect After Bunion Surgery

Week 1: The most important week: The first week after bunion surgery you should expect to spend most of the time resting with her foot elevated. Especially the first 3-4 days it is critical to keep her foot elevated to decrease swelling and pain. Often patients experience very little pain during this period if they keep the swelling to a minimum by elevation. Pain pills should be taken if necessary.


Week 2: This is probably the most difficult time after foot surgery. Usually the patient feels very good and wants to start doing things. This is not wise. The patient generally experiences swelling and pain when the foot is placed on the floor for any length of time. This is nature telling you to get off the foot and let it rest. Continued elevation is recommended during this time. Therapy such as ice, range of motion exercises, compression devices are all recommended during this time. We also used electrical stimulation in our office to help speed recovery. The dressing is often left on during this time as well. The incisions may not be entirely healed.

Week 5: More activity is tolerated and allowed

Week 6: Generally return to normal activities of daily living and light exercise. Full time on the foot is usually tolerated.

How Should I Keep My Wound Clean

Whilst your foot is covered with heavy bandaging in the first two weeks following surgery, you must keep your foot and the bandages dry. You can have a bath, whilst keeping your affected foot out of the water, or you can shower using a waterproof LimbO Bag covering your foot.

When you visit the hospital two weeks after surgery to have your dressings removed, your specialist nurse will give you full instructions on looking after your wound. They will also trim or remove any excess stitches.

You should keep the wound covered, and youll be given enough spare dressings to keep it clean and covered for the next 7-10 days.

It isnt necessary to clean and redress the wound each day, but you should aim to allow air to get to the wound for a short period every few days. Should you need to clean your wound during this time, do so with clean hands using a clean face cloth, soap and water. Its important not to disturb any scabbing on the wound, and instead allow it to flake off naturally on its own.

If youre concerned about scarring, you can massage the skin surrounding the wound with Bio-Oil once the wound has scabbed over.

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Do Bunions Grow Back After Surgery

The recurrence rate is about 20% over a patients lifetime. A mild bunion recurrence is well-tolerated by most patients. Significant bunion recurrences that cause problems and require further surgery are much less common. Recurrence may happen if the bunion isnt fully corrected at the time of surgery or if the wrong bunion procedure was used. It may also occur if patients dont follow the postoperative directions carefully. Overcorrection is also a risk, but much less common. Either recurrence or overcorrection may require a second operation .

Getting Back Into A Routine

26 Weeks and Occasionally Sore

After four weeks, I returned to work, mainly sitting at a computer. Im fortunate to have great health benefits, so I was able to maximize disability leave. I arranged parking inside my building during the first two weeks of my return, and, with swelling still an issue, I brought a pillow to prop up my foot. I also had my podiatrist provide me with a medical certificate so I could apply for a disabled parking placard from the State of California.

The walking boot I started using five days postsurgery was unattractive and clunky, but did the job and sure beat crutches. Because it didnt go far past my ankle, it allowed me to walk with a somewhat normal gait. Wearing a flat but elevated shoe on the other foot helped keep my hips aligned and minimized the limp. I found that Dansko clogs were almost the perfect height to match the boots elevation.

Once out of the walking boot, a little less than six weeks after surgery, it was time to venture into real footwear. The podiatrist suggested soft tennis shoes as a first step, but I found the laces were too constricting, and I couldnt fit the sneaker onto my foot. The best postsurgery shoes, for me, were shearling Ugg boots. Assuming the boot is not too snug to begin with, theres generally enough room to accommodate some swelling. The soft, flexible material and internal padding were so comfortable I almost forgot I had just had foot surgery.

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Minimally Invasive Foot Surgery

During the 1990s, a new bunion procedure was developed minimally invasive surgery. Because of the major drawbacks of traditional methods, doctors were striving to come up with a procedure that wouldnt disrupt the lives of their patients. They knew if they could decrease healing time, they would simultaneously satisfy patients and mitigate risks. There is a multitude of benefits to modern, minimally invasive foot surgery. In fact, many patients find it almost unbelievable that they can walk out of the operating room. Especially compared to the alternative. Other advantages include the following:

  • Local, not general anesthesia: Patients never lose consciousness, nor do they need to have an IV.inserted into their arm.

How Do I Prepare For Bunion Surgery

  • Your healthcare provider will explain the procedure to you and offer you the chance to ask any questions that you might have about the procedure.

  • You will be asked to sign a consent form that gives your permission to do the procedure. Read the form carefully and ask questions if something is not clear.

  • In addition to a complete medical history, your healthcare provider may perform a complete physical exam to make sure that you are in good health before undergoing the procedure. You may undergo blood tests or other diagnostic tests.

  • Tell your healthcare provider if you are sensitive to or are allergic to any medicines, latex, tape, and anesthetic agents .

  • Tell your healthcare provider of all medicines and herbal supplements that you are taking.

  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have a history of bleeding disorders or if you are taking any anticoagulant medicines, aspirin, or other medicines that affect blood clotting. It may be necessary for you to stop these medicines before the procedure.

  • If you are pregnant or suspect that you are pregnant, you should notify your healthcare provider.

  • You may be asked to fast for 8 hours before the procedure, generally after midnight.

  • You may receive a sedative before the procedure to help you relax. Because the sedative may make you drowsy, you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home.

  • Based on your medical condition, your healthcare provider may request other specific preparation.

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Bunion Surgery Recovery: What To Think About

Think of the following when deciding about bunion surgery:

  • Bunions might return after surgery, specifically if you remain to use narrow or high-heeled shoes.
  • The kind of surgery made use of depends on the seriousness of the bunion and the cosmetic surgeons experience. Search for a cosmetic surgeon who does many different types of bunion surgery on a regular basis. Each bunion is different, and surgery has to be tailored to each case.
  • Your expectations might affect your complete satisfaction with the surgery. For example, although surgery may enhance your foots appearance, those who make appearance their primary factor for surgery are normally disappointed in the outcomes. Discuss your expectations with your doctor.
  • Surgery may reduce the flexibility of the huge toe joint, which may be a concern for active individuals who require a full range of motion in the huge toe.
  • You will need to remain off your foot for a while after surgery.

What Else Can Help

Lapiplasty Bunion Surgery Recovery: 2 Week Update (stitches removed I can walk?)

Bunion surgery recovery will vary from person to person so listen to your doctor, rather than comparing yourself with anyone else. You can find out lots more about bunions including the causes, symptoms, treatment options and different types of operation in the following sections:

  • Bunion Guide: An overview of bunions including common causes
  • Symptoms: Includes both classic and less common symptoms
  • Treatment Options: Best treatments including orthotics and exercises
  • Surgery: Different surgical options available
  • Top Products: Things that can help with prevention or recovery from surgery

Page Last Updated: 10/05/22

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Immediately Walk After Your Bunionectomy

When it comes to discussing about a bunion surgery, the most frequently asked question is How long is the recovery time? Just like all other surgeries, cosmetic foot surgeries such as bunionectomy, the recovery time depend on each individuals body. Recovery can mean different things for different people. Some people consider themselves in a recovery state as they are able to walk, others may consider themselves recovered when they can run a whole marathon. But for most, recovering means that they are able to resume their regular daily activities. If you are considering a bunionectomy for foot pain but are not sure if you have the time to recover, consider these circumstances.

A Bunionectomy includes:

  • Removing the swollen tissue from the big toe joint
  • Removing part of the bone to straighten the big toe
  • Permanently joining the bones of the big toe joint

Watch Out For The Signs Of Infection

While everything mentioned above can occur, whats most common is the infection of the surgical site. You should be careful and look out for any signs that may point to infection but what are they? Here are the most common occurrences that can mean your incision site is infected:

  • Drainage or pus from the incision,
  • Swelling or hardening of the incision,
  • The incision is hot to the touch,
  • The incision has a bad smell,
  • Fever or chills.

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