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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board

Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index

Do you know what type of bunion surgery your dr. is planning? There are literally dozens of different surgeries for bunions, and each one has it's own time-table for recuperation - depending on how extensive of a surgery is planned. For a "simple bunionectomy" (where all the dr. does is shave off the bony prominance), I've heard the recovery time is relatively quick, and pain comparatively mild. BUT, there can be a high rate of return bunions with that surgery, if the underlying causes aren't treated (usually a splayed 1st metatarsal).

When I was 19 and 20 and I had bunionectomies with chevron osteotomy (both feet, but 1 year apart), and those surgeries were really not too terribly bad (especially compared to what I had done recently! :eek: ) You are pretty young, and like W said, you will probably bounce back pretty quick. You'll definitely want to be able to have that time off work, and keep your foot elevated as much as possible, which will help minimize post-op swelling, and thus reduce pain. Definitely talk to your dr. about pain-management afterwards - make sure he is willing to Rx adequate pain meds - and if he's not, then see your family doc ASAP and let him know that you will need him to help with pain-management. (Most foot surgeons KNOW that you will NEED some pain meds for a while after surgery)

If you can find out more info about exactly what type of bunion surgery your doc is planning, we can probably give you more specific/helpful/applicable advice. No matter what type you have though, elevating the foot and keeping ice on it for the first few days will probably help as much as pain meds - maybe even more. I get some nice gel-type ice packs - reusable - at Wal-Mart for about $2-$3 each, and keep 3-4 of them in the freezer at all times. You can kind of "tie" one of those (loosely) onto your foot, over the dressings, using a scarf or dish-cloth (something like that), and it will help a lot.

I would say, that if you can possibly do it now, sooner is better, as it will just get worse, requiring more invasive surgery later if not fixed now.

Good luck! Please let us know if you find out more details.
Peggy, don't worry! I was in the same position as you! You are doing the right thing about doing your research and calming your fears. Everyone is different but it sounds like we have a lot in common.

I am also 26 and have inherited bunions on both feet. They are both on the moderate level and have to be shaved, cut, shifted, and held in place by a screw. As you read the posts, you will notice that most ppl who do this are quite a bit older and so we do have age on our side. We heal faster and we are doing it before it can get worst and worst. I already had the right one done in mid December (I'm 4 weeks post op) and I have my left foot scheduled for mid February. I am so glad to get this over with. The surgery was simple and straightforward.. the only complication I had was a bad reaction to a painkiller.

Perhaps if I tell you what I went through it might relieve some anxiety you have...

Yes, the operation sounds scary (saws, being grounded to the floor in case of electric shock?) but its not that bad... As soon as you hit that op table you are in la-la land. I woke up thinking I was Xmas shopping at Macy's. An hour after waking up, I felt I could go back to work. Hardly any pain at all... YAY! :) And then it kicks in the next day. :( Yes, day 2 and 3 is when the pain starts to really kick butt but if you take your meds you should be ok. Just make sure to eat while you are doing so! I had to stop taking mine cause of my stomache couldn't handle it. I had to go pain killer free after day 3 and the pain in my stomache was by far worst then my foot.

Week 1 - Longest of my life... I was so bored sitting there stuck in bed. The pain was ok and not really much when I had it iced. The goal of this week was to keep the swelling down but at the same time rotating and "stretching".
Week 2 - I wore a boot and was allowed to go to work (I have a desk job so I was able to keep my foot propped up all the time). I got around on crutches... the most annoying thing ever especially in NYC!
Week 3 - I had a peek at my foot then and it looked really good! A bit of swelling but healing beautifully.. and NO BUNION! I was so elated! I started walking a bit at this time.
Week 4 - Walking with the boot just fine. Quick as whip with a limp. I have an appt in 2 days to get into sneakers! YAY! Oh, I had absorbale stiches so no need for taking anything out.

The key things to recover: rest, elevation of the foot, and ice! If you do things as you are told, you won't have to worry about infection so your #1 enemy is swelling.

Here's some advice... since I am like you and never had surgery or had crutches before... prepare your home for being "1 footed and handless". Hop around the house with you hands at your side and that should help you get an idea of all the things you need to be put into a convenient place.

Better to do it sooner then later! You're be fine! Good luck! :)

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