Saturday, April 13, 2024

What To Expect 3 Weeks After Bunion Surgery

What Is A Bunion

What Happens 3 Weeks After Bunion Surgery?

The bone of the big toe gradually moves, creating whats known as a hallux valgus. This results in a bony prominence called a bunion. When the skin rubs against the bunion, it causes pain and inflammation called bursitis.

Wearing wider fitting or softer shoes can help to relieve the discomfort of bunions, but there may come a time when this no longer helps. If this is the case for you, speaking to an orthopaedic foot and ankle specialist is advisable.

What Is Bunion Surgery

Bunion surgery involves the removal or realignment of your toe joints soft tissue and bone. Usually, your foot and ankle surgeon will make an incision in the top or side of the toe joint. Then, depending on the type of surgery youre having, surgeons may work to remove bone lumps, realign bones or fuse joints together, using screws or plates to hold bones in place.

What Is Hammertoe Surgery Like

Hammertoe surgery is a minimally invasive surgery that can be done in less than an hour. It isnt a very risky procedure, and with the right treatment, you should heal from it in about six weeks. Considering the fact that this is still a surgery, there are some possible complications, but those are really rare, especially if your general health is in good condition.

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Complications From Bunion Surgery

Complications are rare with 85% of people reporting successful bunion surgery recovery. Possible complications after bunion surgery include:

  • Blood Clot: With any surgery, there is a small risk of ablood clot developing, such as a DVT or PE after bunion surgery. Always contact your doctor immediately if youdevelop pain, redness or swelling in your calf or shortness of breath
  • Recurrence of Bunions: This is extremely rare if you follow all of the post-op bunion surgery recovery advice
  • Infections: Occasionally the area may become infected requiring antibiotics or in rare cases further surgery
  • Scarring: Occasionally the scar can cause irritation
  • Stiffness: Stiffness can develop in the toe and foot if you do not follow your exercise programme. If you have had a fusion, the joint will be permanently stiff
  • Metalwork: Occasionally, problems can develop from the metalwork such as screws or wires moving slightly. If this happens, they may need to be removed
  • Numbness or Tingling: Occasionally there may be some damage to some of the small nerves in the foot during bunion surgery which causes numbness or pins and needles. This usually settles in a few months into bunion surgery recovery but in some cases may be permanent
  • Poor Healing: The bones may fail to heal properly especially if you are a smoker. You should refrain from smoking until the bones are fully healed or else your bunion surgery recovery may be affected

Recovering From Bunion Surgery

Bunion Surgery: Part 3  Mornings with Mackenzie

Why does bunion surgery hurt?

Unfortunately, bunion surgery can cause pain.

The nature of the surgery involves cutting and reshaping bones to correct the malalignment of a bunion. Patients do report pain after bunion surgery, but it is easily controlled and resolves in a reasonable time frame. We use a multimodal pain protocol with different medications to help control pain after surgery.

When can I walk after bunion surgery?

As each patient may receive a different surgery, recovery varies from patient to patient.

If your bunion is mild to moderate, you might be able to walk right away, using a protective shoe or walking boot. Often, patients can only walk on their heel.

If your bunion is moderate to severe, you might be kept fully nonweightbearing for 2-6 weeks after surgery to maximize healing potential. Limiting walking also helps control pain and swelling.

When can I resume exercise after bunion surgery?

Again, this depends on the type of bunion surgery you have. Also, this depends on the specific activities you are trying to return to.

Patient can start some activities and exercises 4-6 weeks after surgery, and most patients can return to normal activities 6-10 weeks after surgery.

The following exercise modes are the easiest to return to:

  • Low impact exercise

More strenuous activities, such as running or dancing, may take 10-14 weeks to return fully. Clearly, there is a spectrum of return to activities that is different for each patient.

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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Bunion Surgery

Bunion surgery recovery time depends on the type of surgery you have, your overall health and other factors. Typically, the initial recovery period is anywhere from six weeks to six months, but complete healing can take up to a year.

As part of your recovery, your surgeon may recommend physical therapy to strengthen foot muscles and improve mobility. But what else can you expect in the first days and weeks after bunion surgery? Heres a high-level look:

  • Day one of bunion surgery One of the biggest questions on your mind may be: Can you walk after bunion surgery? And the answer is: Yes, but not without assistive devices like crutches or a scooter. When you leave the hospital or surgery center to begin your recovery, youll be wearing a removeable boot cast or special shoe to protect your foot and keep your toe in the right position.
  • How long do you wear a boot after bunion surgery? This protective footwear will be part of your wardrobe for at least three to six weeks after surgery but could be used for several months. Depending on the type of surgery you had, youll be instructed to keep some or all the weight off the affected foot which is why youll need assistive devices to help you get around.
  • Four to six weeks after bunion surgery If youve been wearing a boot or cast, you may be able to switch to comfortable shoes that have enough room for remaining swelling. And your activity levels can increase as you feel better.
  • What Happens During Bunion Surgery

    For most bunion surgeries, your surgeon makes a small incision along your big toe joint. Then your surgeon repositions your big toe. Your surgeon may also realign the tendons or ligaments around your toe joint.

    Usually, your surgeon sets your toe in place using:

    Your surgeon places stitches and bandages on your toe to help the area heal properly. The whole process can take anywhere from 45 min to 3 hours depending on the severity of the bunion and what needs to be performed to correct it.

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    Getting Back Into A Routine

    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.

    What Is Bunion Surgery Like

    Removing Fixation Wires 3 Weeks After Bunion Surgery

    This procedure is also a minimally invasive surgery, so there is no need to worry much about potential complications. In most cases, your surgeon will make a small incision alongside your big toe joint. After the toe is realigned properly, the surgery is done. Your surgeon might need to use metal screws, plates, or wires in order to properly reposition the bones.

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    Establish A Support Network

    Unless you have a partner or an adult son or daughter living with you, youll need to reach out to one or two dependable family members and friends to ensure you have reliable assistance as you recover.

    On top of checking on your day-to-day needs, the people in your support network can help you get to and from your doctor appointments and deal with unavoidable errands or chores.

    Remember to add Arizona Foot and Ankle Medical Center to your list of contacts, and dont hesitate to call us any time you have a question or concern were always ready to help.

    To learn other ways you can set yourself for optimal recovery following bunion surgery, .

    When Should I Speak To My Doctor

    Medical problems such as infection in the wound or your foot following bunion surgery can take a couple of weeks to emerge. By then, you wouldve been seen back in the hospital to have your dressings removed. If any infection is present, your surgeon will take the appropriate action.

    If you notice that your wound begins to discharge fluid or it gapes open or if the surrounding skin becomes red and warm, you should contact the clinic or consultant as these could be signs of an infection.

    Some complications can arise sooner, such as deep vein thrombosis . Any kind of lower limb surgery carries with it a small risk of developing DVT, but its rare after bunion surgery.

    Signs of DVT include swelling, warmth and pain in the calf. Contact the hospital if youre concerned.

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    How Long Does Foot Stay Swollen After Bunion Surgery

    Usually, the pain and swelling will last for about six weeks after the surgery, but it should slowly improve over time. Minor pain and swelling are sometimes noticed even six months or a year after the surgery. This is why you should be extra careful during the recovery process and strictly follow your doctors recommendations.

    Benefits Of Immediate Walking After Bunion Surgery

    When To Have Bunion Surgery

    Technological advances have allowed for walking after bunion surgery despite bunion size, although some patients may be advised to wait a little while before walking.

    Without the anchor of a cast and crutches, patients are able to resume their routines much quicker. In many cases, walking after bunion surgery means patients can get around but not run around. Patients are generally walking in a surgical shoe and usually keep weight on the heel or outer edge of the foot. Some are able to get back to work soon after surgery, especially when their jobs are more sedentary. Nonetheless, being mobile earlier leads to more rapid return to overall function.

    Cast and crutch use is associated with lower limb muscular atrophy and upper extremity fatigue. Being immobile and sedentary after surgery and can lend itself to swelling and serious blood clots. Obviously avoiding these issues is advantageous.

    Walking after bunion surgery might take some getting used to since you might experience initial toe numbness, one of many possible bunion surgery complications. Follow all of your surgeons recommendations especially try to keep your foot elevated for the first 3-5 days to keep the swelling under control. In order to avoid most of the bunion surgery complications, make sure you do not put your weight on the healing toe or walk without a special stiff-soled shoe to avoid re-injuring your foot.

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    How Long Does It Take To Recover From Hammertoe And Bunion Surgery

    This depends on many factors, and one of the most important ones is your general health. If your general health is alright and you dont suffer from some chronic diseases, you should be able to recover from bunion and hammertoe surgery in 6 to 8 weeks. This period might get prolonged if you dont follow recovery instructions, pressure your feet too much or experience infection and some other potential complication that might disrupt the healing process.

    Can Bunions Be Corrected Without Surgery

    Conservative, nonsurgical treatment for bunions include wearing only wide-toed and/or soft shoes, using bunion pads or toe spacers, and taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen. Toe spacers and devices to hold the big toe apart from the second toe may help with pain, but they will not make the bunion go away. The alignment of the toe will not get better over time without surgical intervention.

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    Does Bunion Surgery Actually Work

    How well bunion removal surgery works for you will depend on a variety of factors such as the type of surgery you have and how bad your bunion is. But many people find that bunion surgery reduces joint pain, improves toe mobility, and makes it easier to walk and resume normal daily activities. And once post-surgery swelling has gone down, toes often look more normal than they did before.

    Resuming Normal Activities After Bunion Surgery

    2 weeks after bunion surgery! Recovery video

    If your left foot was operated on, then you can expect to drive an automatic car within two weeks. However, if the right foot was operated on, then you will have to wait between six and eight weeks. You can usually drive once youre able to perform an emergency stop safely. Its advisable you check with your insurance company first.

    Before returning to exercise, you will work with a physiotherapist to build up strength and stability. Depending on how youre progressing, you may be able to return to limited weight-bearing exercise, such as cycling or swimming, at about four to six weeks. Running is not usually recommended for two to three months and you should always be careful about overloading your foot as it is recovering.

    Returning to work depends on the nature of work that you do. If you have a sedentary job and are able to work with your foot elevated regularly, then you can return to work typically after two weeks. However, if you do manual work then you may need up to three months off work.

    Your bunion surgery recovery will depend on many factors, including your age, general health and wellbeing and the severity of your bunion. For more advice, please call us on or email us at .

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    Find Out What To Expect

    Bunion surgery is an intensive procedure that requires a significant amount of healing and downtime. To set yourself up for a successful outcome and a speedy recovery, its important to familiarize yourself with your specific post-surgery care needs at least a week before your operation.

    Its a good idea to read your post-surgery instructions at least a couple of times. Write down any questions you may have the first time through the second time, make a list of everything you should have on hand at home following your procedure.

    Sleeping After Bunion Surgery: Traditional Vs Minimal

    A critical point to consider in regard to sleeping after bunion surgery is the type of surgery performed. In traditional bunion surgery, its true that you wont want to put a lot of pressure on the toe and stay off your feet for the immediate future. This is also where youll want to implement sleeping with your foot elevated and wearing boots for your toe.

    However, if you received minimally invasive surgery, theres a good chance that you wont experience much pain at all. This technique uses very precise surgical incisions to make the whole process as noninvasive as possible, while also allowing for the quickest recovery time and inflicting the least amount of pain. In fact, you might even be able to sleep normally on your first night!

    While both methods of surgery can be effective in the long-term treatment of bunions, there is no denying that minimally invasive surgery is likely the most convenient option for many patients, particularly those who are concerned about pain or difficulty during the recovery process post-operation. From walking normally to sleeping soundly, minimally invasive bunion surgery makes it possible for patients to return to their daily lives and normal activities as usual, free from pain.

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    How Likely Is It That Ill Need Further Surgery

    Reasons for further bunion surgery vary. Surgery to remove a prominent screw or to correct non-healing bone cuts is rare, affecting only 2-3% of cases.

    However surgery to correct a recurrent deformity of the bone after initial bunion surgery is more common, affecting 10-15% of people who have bunion correction surgery.

    Whether or not you need further surgery will depend on how well you recovered, the type of surgery you had and the experience level of your surgeon.

    If youre concerned about your bunions returning, speak to your surgeon who can arrange a consultation to assess your needs.

    The Day Of The Operation

    When To Have Bunion Surgery

    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.

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