It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board


Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index


This post is just a whole lot of information about my experience and I hope it helps anyone who finds it; I hope it helps you in your decision an helps you in your recovery. I'll add info from time to time. Feel free to comment or add anything if you wish. Everyone has a different experience but my only goal here is to share what I know. :cool:

On June 17, 2010, I had a bi-lateral (or both at once) Chevron Osteotomy w/Akin procedure on my two big toes (a.k.a bunion surgery). Since a picture is worth a 1,000 words, take a look at my feet 1-day post-op:

See my public profile Album for picture if you don't see it below or if you want to see an enlargement of the picture. [click on my name mybunions to the left then public profile, then album. Click on the picture until it comes in really big.] Also, at the end of this post I have another picture (updated 7-11) of my feet 3 weeks post-op w/o the pins. See public album for all pictures.

[IMG]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/picture.php?pictureid=34&albumid=14&dl=1278433444&thumb=1[/IMG]

That is what you are in for. Sorry for showing you that picture, does it change your mind? It did not for me, no matter how gruesome it looks because I had no choice.

• First tip: only do this if you have tried everything else and have no other option. You have to be able to answer the question "Do you have any regrets" with an unequivocal NO. This whole thing is going to be a process, think process and heal, process and heal. There will be pain, there will be ups and downs, there will be healing.

• Second tip: Don't be subjected to the negative influences of other people when deciding to have the surgery or not. People were telling me how aweful, terrible, how long the recovery was, how I would not walk for months, how this and how that....I knew a friend who, they said this...it goes on and on. Every surgery case and bunion operation can be different. My understanding is that there are over 100 different procedures that can be done. Also, people have different tolerences for pain and recovery rates for healing. You just can't go by what other people are saying. I had one of the most common - the Chevron Osteotomy with a very common complimentary procedure to further correct the big toes, the Akin procedure. However, this post is about much more than that, read on:

The rest of these items are in no particular order:

• At least a few months before your procedure, get to the gym and start doing push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups (abs), and triceps work. You will need the strength to haul yourself around for the first few days or week. Also, to take a bath, getting in and out of the tub (with your feet the tiles not in the water). You will also need to haul yourself in and out of your bed from the floor. Still don't believe me, give this a try. Crawl on your hands and knees from your bed to your bathroom and then haul yourself up on the toilet from all fours without much pressure on your feet. Go back to your bed or chair. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat...get the idea? No. Get in and out of the tub by yourself. Repeat.

• Get some knee pads for the first few days, you will be crawling around. Get a large water bottle to urinate in (easier for guys). Crawling to the bathroom gets old very quickly, and you will also need it for night-time.

• I got fed up with crawling around, and made it to my walker in 2-days, rolling walker, 1-day, cane 1-day after that, and unassisted 1-day after that. I was walking again in those surgical boot things 6 days after my procedure. Set goals every day for your recovery. I would do like 1 trip down the hall, and then add at least a trip for every day I was post op. Before I made it downstairs, I had done 6 trips down the hall and back.

• Go to your neighborhood senior center before your surgery. They will rent you for $5 all the medical walking equipment you could ever want. I actually had a wheelchair too ($50 deposit), but I did not need it. Check it out, the senior center was truly a great find.

• Also, I have been doing a Healing Meditation Sound Track every day since surgery for 19 days now. It is absolutely essential. The mind and body need this and I credit it with not hitting depression, and healing much faster, as well as having a better attitude. The mental aspect cannot be underestimated and it will not be good on its own, you will need help. Get the meditation soundtrack and use it (for 38 minutes a day, that’s all). The one I do is by Jan Berlin, Healing Light - A Sacred Lens Guided Imagery Journey. < edited >

• Also, try and eat as perfectly as you can. Fruits, vegetables, proteins all in the right combinations. For a treat, get your favorite ice cream. Everything, I mean everything, must be moving in the right direction for your healing – lock it in, do what you have to do. All your energy, planning, creativity, mental toughness, faith, mind, family, must be locked in and helping you in this process.

• Your back might start to hurt from sitting around and watching tv or laying in bed, mine did. I did some yoga back stretching exercises that I could manage like cat stretch, seated twists, bridge, etc. Research on the internet some back exercises and practice them ahead of time. Make sure you get some ankle weights before your surgery. As soon as you feel comfortable enough, use them to perform leg lifts and other leg exercises to keep you strong. Also, I did get a sore on my back in 1 particular spot. As soon as your healing and mobility permits, sit outside and get sun as soon as you can – it feels so good to get outside and sit on the deck. I found that just standing for as long as I could was a welcome relief from sitting too; that will help your back. Generally speaking, get out of the house and change your surroundings as soon as you can. Change your posture.

• Getting comfortable in bed is sometimes hard. I actually had a blue exercise ball in the bed, and for the first 2 nights put my feet on top of that. Really, and no they did not slip off, don’t ask me how. After that, pile up pillows under your knees and rest your feet over them – I really love that one and 2 weeks later still do that. Also, move down to the end of your bed and hang your feet off the bed, on your stomach, that works too.

• My wife was totally awesome to me and really took care of me. Make sure you have a support system in place! And, don’t take anything for granted. You will not be able to get your own food for a few days. I was so worried about not being taken care of when I needed it. Now, I have a whole new found respect for my wife and our relationship has NEVER been stronger. How odd, this experience has brought us closer together than ever before in our 14 years of marriage (we are both in our 40's).

• Get off of those meds, as soon as you can. I had Vicodin. Although, you will need as much as allowed for the first couple of days – and believe me, I was watching the clock for every 4 hours, max dose. Those pins in my feet were like throbbing, painful, oozing blood volcanoes. Those narcotics might make it hard to urinate. I’m on just some Tylenol from time to time now – 19 days later. Sometimes I take nothing all day. I now understand why people become addicted to pain meds, they are really good. If you see yourself changing your relationship to the meds, you have to wean yourself off of them right away. Watch out for this change. Also, you will need a multivitamin every morning with your laxative like (Metamucil). Yes. A laxative. You simply cannot take 10-15 pills a day and not need a laxative or after a few days you will need a crow-bar to move your bowels. Start taking a regular dose (3 tsps) a few days before your procedure. After your procedure, take a double dose every day split between morning and evening. You will need it.

• If you take the pain meds and start to feel nauseous or begin to sweat tremendously for no reason, or even if you feel slight twangs in your side, you have begun to take too much. You need to back off the meds. Split the dose between a 6-hour period.

• Stinky feet? I noticed that at about two weeks, my feet started to smell funny. Now I use cotton balls and witch hazel or diluted rubbing alcohol to clean them every other day. I go in-between each of the toes, over the top, the bottoms too. Then I sprinkle with Dr. scholls foot powder. It really took me a while before I could touch those toes. They ALL hurt. The toes were swollen and purple (even down to the last toe farthest from the surgery site). Don't even scratch an itch, that hurt too.

• Driving: not on meds of course. They say 6-weeks, but some people might be able to do it sooner. I have started @20 days to drive to the movies and Starbucks, but I did try too soon. The issue is stepping on that brake pedal and reaction time from when you can go from the gas to the brake - not to mention any pain you might feel. Also, the constant pressing of the gas pedal is right where you had your foot bones broken and you will feel something there for sure.

• I love my kids. Just wanted to say that first. I find my boys constantly almost knocking into my feet. So, take yourself out of any situations until your are really healing where you might have anyone knock into your feet. Seriously, no parties, family get together, that sort of thing for a while. You won't be able to control all the variables. Even dropping an accidental ice cube on my foot hurt. I even stubbed my big toe swatting a fly. Holy crap, I think I saw god when I did that. Finally picked myself up off the floor after 20 minutes of writhing in pain. The good news....the pain. My toes had been numb up until that moment. See how positive you have to be?

• Ice. For the first several days you are supposed to elevate your foot/feet (hence the blue exercise ball in my bed), and ice them. Get a few bags of frozen peas. They will stay on your feet better and mold in a way that ice cubes do not. Also, I really enjoyed eating those frozen peas a little more than I should have for some reason - after I did not need them any longer to ice my feet. I found that I really did not need to elevate or ice my feet after a few days, but some people might want to. There are a lot of sensations and throbbings that you will notice in your surgical area. Since I had both done, I found that I did need to elevate them if they were throbbing, since that was not pleasant. I also found that each foot might take a turn at giving me sensations and pain, sometimes they would sing together. Just get a little comfortable being a little uncomfortable - as the clichι goes.

• Misc. items: I've read a lot about using a Podiatrist or Orthopedic surgeon. All I can say is that I used an Orthopedic surgeon who specialized in the foot and ankle. I had the procedure done at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland (my insurance would not cover a surgery center). I really don't know what to tell you here from a technical standpoint, but my personal bias is Orthopedic Specialist like I had. Another point - Physical therapy. I've read lots about this too. I'm am going to ask for physical therapy at my next appointment - that is Friday, July 9, when the pins come out. I want to make sure that I understand all the exercises and rehabilitation that I need to do to make sure I have the best overall result. Those people specialize in getting people better and I want to take advantage of everyting I can.

• Before my last comment below, I want to say this: don't take this experience lightly. I'm not trying to scare anyone, just make sure you have all the information and tools necessary to be successful and to make it through this. You have to plan. You have to take your recovery as a job.

That's it. Best of luck to you.

Another picture 3-weeks post-op: [IMG]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/album.php?albumid=14&pictureid=42[/IMG]

and 3-weeks 4 days: [IMG]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/album.php?albumid=14&pictureid=44[/IMG]
[If you cannot see the pictures, go to my public profile album]
=======
Tags: bunion, surgery, help, recovery, recovery help, Chevron, Osteotomy, Akin, procedure, surgical procedure, foot, foot problems
=======





All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:41 PM.





Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.com™
© 1998-2018 HealthBoards.com™ All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!