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Old 06-11-2007, 11:01 AM   #1
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Exclamation I am having bunion surgery on Wednesday, what should I expect?

Hi, I am 22 years old and will be having a lapidus bunion fusion on Wednesday. The podiatrist is also lengthening my calf tendon at the same time. I am scared because this is my first major surgery. I am going in for my pre-surgery appointment this afternoon so I'm sure the doctor will give me more details about the surgery. If anyone else has had bunion surgery, what should I expect during the procedure? Will I be in a lot of pain? How long will the healing process take? How soon will I be able to exercise (as in swimming, stationary bike, elliptical, etc.) I am in excellent shape now and am a runner so I want to get back into an exercise routine as soon as possible. I am getting one foot operated on at a time. I will have the second foot operated on three months from now. The doctor told me I will be in a cast for five days and a walking boot with crutches for seven weeks. Does this seem like an accurate prediction of the healing process, or was the doctor being overly optimistic? I just graduated from college and would like to find a job, so would it be possible to find a job between my surgeries or will the foot be too swollen to work? I am so nervous. If you have had bunion surgery, please let me know how it was! Thanks!

Last edited by luv2runn; 06-11-2007 at 07:16 PM. Reason: some details were inaccurate

 
Old 06-11-2007, 11:22 AM   #2
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Re: I am having bunion surgery on Wednesday, what should I expect?

All these questions need to be asked of your doctor during your pre-op exam. He is the best one to answer since he knows his own protocol.

Since you're having general anesthesia I can tell you for certain that you will experience nothing during surgery. You will be out cold. For you it will be as if you went to sleep and awoke a moment later. That's the beauty of general anesthesia.

Bunion surgery is painful so don't expect to be up and running for several weeks.

 
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Old 06-11-2007, 01:22 PM   #3
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Re: I am having bunion surgery on Wednesday, what should I expect?

I'm 23 and also having my bunion surgery on Wednesday, and like you, I am scared out of my mind. I can't tell you what to expect since I haven't had it either, but I thought I'd extend an offer to be bunionectomy buddies Good luck with it! I hope we're both too knocked out from pain meds to notice if there's any pain.

 
Old 06-11-2007, 05:56 PM   #4
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Re: I am having bunion surgery on Wednesday, what should I expect?

Hi! I know what you are feeling right now because I was in the same boat 2 weeks ago. I had bunion surgery 5/29 on one foot and had also had bone fusion. You will be fine! The pain medicines will keep you in good shape. The main thing to remember is to take them before you need them. And elevate your foot as much as possible. Ice helps too.

I am nonweight bearing for at least 6 weeks so it's crutches all the time. I know that the healing process is long so make sure to ask about your activities. All surgeries are different. Just ask!

If you have any more questions, I am here. You'll do great!

 
Old 06-11-2007, 06:47 PM   #5
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Re: I am having bunion surgery on Wednesday, what should I expect?

I had my exam today and it turns out I am getting a block anesthesia in my lower leg as well as twilight anesthesia. This means I will drift in and out of consciousness but I won't feel anything, hopefully.

 
Old 06-11-2007, 07:00 PM   #6
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Re: I am having bunion surgery on Wednesday, what should I expect?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rainabow View Post
I'm 23 and also having my bunion surgery on Wednesday, and like you, I am scared out of my mind. I can't tell you what to expect since I haven't had it either, but I thought I'd extend an offer to be bunionectomy buddies Good luck with it! I hope we're both too knocked out from pain meds to notice if there's any pain.
Hi! Yes we should be bunionectomy buddies, I'll let you know how it goes. I'm glad that someone else is getting this done around the same time. I hate that I can't do anything for so long, I hope I don't go crazy with boredom. They said most of the pain is in the first four days and then its not too bad, just swollen like its been run over by a car. Good luck with your surgery!

 
Old 06-11-2007, 08:04 PM   #7
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Re: I am having bunion surgery on Wednesday, what should I expect?

I had my surgery on April 4 so on Wednesday I will be 10 post-op. Everyone's body is different and, as such, everyone's surgery will be different. So while, we can tell you our experiences, yours may or may not be similar.

I'm 33 and have had bad bunions since at least 1984. I remember tracing my foot at 10 years old and quite the bump being there. I am a Kindergarten teacher, am very active and workout regularly. I would typically run 2-4 miles on the treadmill 4-5 times a week. I am very reliant on physical activity and exercise, too, as I want to keep off the 65 pounds I've lost. I was terrified of not being active enough and re-gaining.

So, I had surgery. I was in the walking/cam boot immediately after. I was supposed to use crutches for long jaunts but around the house I was fine to use only the boot. I think after about 3-4 weeks she said I could just use the boot, no crutches. I hobbled in the boot until 6 weeks, when she said I could start transitioning into the surgical shoe. Once I was comfortable in that, I could slowly start transitioning into a gym shoe. When I went last week for my 9 week appt, she was impressed that I was getting around so well in the gym shoe. After checking my xrays, she said my big toe bone is healed (had to break it to straighten it) but the lower part of the metatarsal still has a small crack from the osteotomy. Still, she said I could do a regular shoe now, without the velcro bunoin splint (which I'd been wearing since week 2, I think) as long as I was comfortable. With the bunion spint, the only pair of shoes I could get my foot in was a pair of Ryka gym shoes a half size bigger than my original size. Ryka makes women's shoes only and their shoes always have a wider toe box. I bought them before the surgery hoping they'd work and they did perfectly.

Well, as I said, I'm 10 weeks out and I JUST got permission to WALK on the treadmill. No incline, no fast. I can only start with 5-10 minutes at a time and slowly increase it. Something is better than nothing, I suppose. My doctor also said that I can go back to the gym and do the recumbant bike and weight machines but no elliptical or cardio type classes. Absolutely nothing high impact on my foot at all.

Also, I was only off work for two weeks before going back to teach. That is very fast in the scheme of things but I seemed to have some good luck with the whole thing and had no complications (knock on wood) and no bad pain. Not everyone is so fortunate. I had to rely on my family, friends, and kids in my class A LOT (which can be very difficult for me to do) but it's part of the drill. I only started driving again last weekend but, after 2+ months of relying on others, it is very freeing to be able to do again. Plus, my foot is healing beautifully (knock on wood again!). I'll have to deal with two different sized feet until next spring when the other foot is done. Thanks to the osteotomy the right is about a half size shorter than the still-bunioned foot but I can handle that.

I've rambled a lot here. It may or may not be helpful to you guys going in to it. But, you need to keep in mind- EveryBODY is different. Every DOCTOR is different. Every EXPERIENCE is different. Your process will not be like anyone else's. You will just need to hope for the best and follow the doctor's orders EXACTLY. While that does not guarantee a good experience but is the best thing you can do to help yourself and your foot. Please keep up posted and best of luck to you both!

 
Old 06-11-2007, 09:21 PM   #8
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Re: I am having bunion surgery on Wednesday, what should I expect?

Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2runn;303***3
I had my exam today and it turns out I am getting a block anesthesia in my lower leg as well as twilight anesthesia. This means I will drift in and out of consciousness but I won't feel anything, hopefully.
That's what I had and it was fine-- One benefit is that most people don't tend to feel as groggy and/or nauseated afterward as you might with general anesthesia. I was aware off and on and at one point I could hear the electric saw whining. I told the doctor that it sounded weird (It's surreal to know that they are sawing your bones, although I didn't feel a thing and I didn't really care) and he said, "I think I'll put you under a little deeper." I was mostly aware at the beginning and the end of the surgery. The drugs do help you relax so that even if you are awake, you probably won't feel anxious. (And they put you out before they do the block so you don't feel any needles except for the one they have to give you for your IV.) Best wishes!

 
Old 06-13-2007, 11:11 AM   #9
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Re: I am having bunion surgery on Wednesday, what should I expect?

I had bunionectomy/hammertoe repair on 5/3/07 (6 weeks ago). I also had the twilight anesthesia and did fine with it. I was off of work for two weeks, returned the 3rd/4th week only 1/2 days. Last week was my first full week back to work (was much harder than I thought it would be). I have to admit, this has been a difficult surgery for me (much worse than my hysterectomy several years ago). I was in the surgical boot for the first 4 weeks and am now in a very supportive sandal (approved by my doc).....I haven't been able to get into an athletic shoe but have not tried the Ryka or maybe going up a half size. I may try that. I am still having a considerable amount of swelling in my ankle and foot, but am able to walk with a lovely limp! Like others that have posted on this site, I am thankful I can at least walk and am hopeful I will be normal again soon.

 
Old 06-13-2007, 03:26 PM   #10
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Re: I am having bunion surgery on Wednesday, what should I expect?

twilight will be fine. just make sure you follow the drs orders after surgery and good luck!

 
Old 06-14-2007, 11:28 AM   #11
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Re: I am having bunion surgery on Wednesday, what should I expect?

I had my surgery yesterday and I am doing fine, not too much pain just swelling. He said that because I waited so long to correct the bunion there was some cartilage damage and my big toe might be stiff, so I'll have to work on it more. I am taking oxycontin as needed and ibuprofen to control the pain and swelling. On Monday I get my non-weight bearing cast removed and I will get a walking boot. I am getting good at using my crutches. I can't wait to see how my foot looks on Monday! Rainabow how did your surgery go?

 
Old 06-14-2007, 11:48 AM   #12
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Re: I am having bunion surgery on Wednesday, what should I expect?

luv2runn, glad you are doing so well.....keep it elevated and lots of ice. Also pain meds are great. Your foot will definitely look considerably different and the big toe will be stiff, but you will eventually be able to work on it to loosen it up. Good luck!

 
Old 06-14-2007, 01:01 PM   #13
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Re: I am having bunion surgery on Wednesday, what should I expect?

Glad to hear you are doing well. I am 3 weeks post-op Austin bunionectomy, and my big toe is still pretty stiff. I started some toe exercises my podiatrist showed me about a week ago, and the flexibility is slowly coming back. Best wishes!

Last edited by Mambito67; 06-14-2007 at 01:04 PM.

 
Old 06-15-2007, 09:12 AM   #14
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Re: I am having bunion surgery on Wednesday, what should I expect?

Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2runn View Post
I can't wait to see how my foot looks on Monday!
Don't get too excited. Your foot is going to look horrible that soon after surgery. Probably all bruised and swollen. I had ankle surgery a little over two weeks ago and my foot still looks nasty. All my toes are still blue. But it is getting better and the scar is healing up nicely.

 
Old 06-15-2007, 10:16 AM   #15
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Re: I am having bunion surgery on Wednesday, what should I expect?

Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2runn View Post
I had my surgery yesterday and I am doing fine, not too much pain just swelling. He said that because I waited so long to correct the bunion there was some cartilage damage and my big toe might be stiff, so I'll have to work on it more. I am taking oxycontin as needed and ibuprofen to control the pain and swelling. On Monday I get my non-weight bearing cast removed and I will get a walking boot. I am getting good at using my crutches. I can't wait to see how my foot looks on Monday! Rainabow how did your surgery go?
Wow yours sounds like it's going much better than mine. My foot itself isn't that bad, but I am having serious problems with nausea/vomiting and nothing seems to be helping. Yesterday was especially bad because I kept throwing up my painkillers so my foot hurt on top of everything else. I threw up once again today, but overall things are a bit better.

Getting around is also pretty hard. I was supposed to be able to walk on my heel, but it's too painful, so I have to be a bit more creative about how I walk.

I really wish I could take a shower. I think I might be able to by tomorrow. What I really want is for this stupid nausea to go away.

 
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