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Old 10-16-2007, 11:27 AM   #1
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Bunion Surgery Date! Nervous!

Hi,

I thought I'd start a new thread as my other one was regarding 'Bunion Advice and Orthopaedic Appointment ' Well, today I had my pre-op assessment, yup, was nervous as anything, but it was so straight forward and i was relieved! I had my blood pressure, temperature, height and weight taken and NO blood test! Pheew! Thereafter, I saw the surgeon, he said that my bunions don't look bad at all and I am not experiencing pain, and was so close to not giving me the go ahead for the surgery! I was like nooo. Well the very reason why I wasn't in pain was because I haven't been walking much at all, in fact I walk about 20mins a day (10mins each way), and I wear very very wide skate shoes. I also pointed out that while I'm still young I have a better chance of healing and I don't want to get to a point where they are serve and will have to have complicated surgery, plus my family suffer from Arthritis!

But, I did experience a great deal of pain when I was on holiday (in fact every holiday) wearing the flatest and most comfortable shoes, yet, not comfortable enough for me. I had blisters on my bunions and small toes. It was painful to walk barefoot. In fact it was painful to walk anywhere and I thought, 'enough is enough', I am going to have the surgery. I've put it off for years because I was so scared! I still am! All in all, I suffer in pain if I walk long distances and wear normal flat shoes and thought I can't put up with wearing skate shoes or trainers for the rest of my life, particularly considering my job.

In my previous thread 'Bunion Advice and Orthopaedic Appointment', I stated that I wanted and was going to have both feet done at the same time and the consultant said ok. But unfortunately the surgeon begged to differ, he said that I will be in a lot of pain and will have to stay in hospital for at least 3 nights, and not to mention the recovery time is longer. Also, I would have to wait longer for my surgery. So, sadly I will be having one at a time.

My surgeon also said that that I will be having the osteotomy procure where he will cut the bone (chevron) and realign it and shave/cut the bunion, also he said there will be no wires or screws, nor cast. Just those tubi-grip type stockings, a special shoe and crutches. I was surprised that there will be no screw and I will be weight earing but only on the heel.

As for the recovery time, he said that I won't be able to return to work between 6-8 weeks after the surgery, which isn't good. I can take between 4-6wks off but that is cutting it, cos it's very busy at work from November. I know I should listen to my surgeon and I did mention that at present I am working in an office and will be able t elevate my eg, so he said listen to your body but don't take my word for it! Of course I will listen to my body and my surgeon, but was wondering considering my surgery, do u reckon I'll be able to return to work by the forth week? (There will not be any screws, hardware or such in my foot)

Also what worried me was that he said I will have to do special excercises on my foot for the rest of my life, this is the first I've heard of this and I don't feel to happy about it. I do know that I have to do PT to prevent stiffness, but was anyone told they had to do this for the rest of their life?

Sorry for the long post but I'll add more when I remember! Surgery is on 2nd Nov!

Thank you for reading

:-)

 
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Old 10-16-2007, 04:31 PM   #2
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Re: Bunion Surgery Date! Nervous!

well i am glad you are going ahead with the surgery. wish he could do both, but you have to go back to work. my advice is to stay off the foot for as long as possible. you dont want to go through it again. i guess the best advice is to listen to your body.

 
Old 10-17-2007, 10:44 AM   #3
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Re: Bunion Surgery Date! Nervous!

Thank you for rpelying debbie and I agree with you. I wil certainly listen to my body, although I know that i will be physically ok, I am a bit worried because there will be no screw, but I will have a toe splint so i do not want to move the bone out of its place!

 
Old 10-17-2007, 02:44 PM   #4
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Re: Bunion Surgery Date! Nervous!

just be very careful.

 
Old 10-18-2007, 09:49 PM   #5
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Re: Bunion Surgery Date! Nervous!

RE: do u reckon I'll be able to return to work by the forth week? (There will not be any screws, hardware or such in my foot)

I think I could have returned to work at a desk job after the fourth week (after a double bunionectomy-- wish you could have gotten one), but I was glad I didn't have to because my energy level was still kind of low and it felt good to be able to comfortably elevate and ice as much as I needed. Try to find a good way to do that; maybe even bring in a foot stool! Is there any chance of starting out with short days (Try a half day; if you're comfortable with that, six hours, etc.)?

RE: Also what worried me was that he said I will have to do special excercises on my foot for the rest of my life, this is the first I've heard of this and I don't feel to happy about it.

I've never heard that either. I do still still bend my toes back and forth occasionally to keep them flexible, but I'm not sure that I really need to.

I've also never heard of anyone being in the hospital for three days; in fact, quite the opposite. Some people would like to stay because they're nervous about being on their own right away, but usually their doctors say it's not necessary and insurance won't allow it. I can't believe that the one person I know of who is told to stay for three days is the one who is the most unhappy/anxious about being in hospitals! Sorry!!! But you may be glad in the long run; you will be waited on and it should be ideal for pain management. Also, if you have any questions or problems, you can buzz for a nurse night or day rather than call and get a doctor's office answering service and hoping that someone calls you back within the next day or two.

I'm glad you have some answers to your questions and a date confirmed. I hope you can relax until then-- Maybe you can distract yourself by searching for some good books, videos, and/or computer games to read/watch/do while you're recovering. Think of your recovery as an opportunity to enjoy some guilt free vegging!

 
Old 10-20-2007, 04:38 PM   #6
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Re: Bunion Surgery Date! Nervous!

Hi Kathjack,


Thank you so much for the in depth reply, you are very helpful and honest and I think I’d be very lost without your help.

Right now, I am so worked up and it doesn’t help doing all this research because I keep reading about people’s bad experiences, I do know that the majority of the people who post on forums are those who experience problems. But I keep thinking what if I suffer from the side effects, such as toe stiffness, nerve pain or the bunion reoccurring, more so, since I will not be having a screw or pin to keep it in place while it fuses back together! I must have a go percentage of flexibility for my job, and more since I am still young and very active! I love travelling and walking very long distances! I love climbing hills!

I really hope the post-op recovery isn’t so painful and the stitches do not hurt to remove! I can’t even sleep tonight and don’t even want to go out tomorrow! I
forgot to ask my surgeon how many incisions he will do!

In response to your helpful replies, I will be able to elevate my foot and I work 7 hours a day, I might be able to work 3 days a week to start with. I only worry about the travel since the trains and buses get very packed!

Did your PT exercises hurt? I do dread that also! But, I will do it to promote a good percentage of flexibility!

Gosh to think I will have to go through all this for the second foot makes me want to forget about this all together and just wait until I am crippled with pain!!

Nevertheless, thank you!

 
Old 10-20-2007, 09:34 PM   #7
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Re: Bunion Surgery Date! Nervous!

Hi again~

I'm very glad to be able to be an encouragement. Amazing, isn't it, so easily chatting about a mutual problem with me in Chicago and you in London?

RE: I really hope the post-op recovery isn’t so painful and the stitches do not hurt to remove! I can’t even sleep tonight and don’t even want to go out tomorrow! I forgot to ask my surgeon how many incisions he will do!

I had one incision on each foot. I was fortunate that the doctor was able to do them on the side; sometimes they have to do it on the top. I had dissolvable stitches, so I didn't have to have them taken out. Check to see if that's an option for you. Most people who did have it done didn't have much discomfort.

RE: In response to your helpful replies, I will be able to elevate my foot and I work 7 hours a day, I might be able to work 3 days a week to start with. I only worry about the travel since the trains and buses get very packed!

Traveling on trains and buses will be a bit tricky. I used to take an elevated train to the city and the stop nearest my home didn't have an escalator, so you had to walk up at least 20 steps. I'd suggest trying to commute when it's not at peak level of crowdedness, and if you're struggling too much the first week or two, check to see if if a taxi wouldn't be too outrageously expensive.

I hope that you can be more at peace about your upcoming surgery. I will remember you in my prayers tonight. (It's probably better not to do any more reading about people's experiences unless they're positive stories! It reminds me of the horror stories about long labors and complicated deliveries that I heard when I was pregnant.) I can think offhand of four women I know personally who have had bunionectomies and they were all totally successful. One had it when she was in her early 20's, two in their 30's, and one in her 50's. You'll be fine!

 
Old 10-21-2007, 05:27 PM   #8
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Re: Bunion Surgery Date! Nervous!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dark_Light View Post
Did your PT exercises hurt? I do dread that also! But, I will do it to promote a good percentage of flexibility!
Forgot to comment on that question. I didn't have actual physical therapy; besides walking, the only thing my doctor had me do was frequently bend my big toe back and forth, and no, it didn't hurt. I was very chicken at first, but the doctor told me it was really important for flexibility in the future, so I sucked it up and did it.

 
Old 10-21-2007, 08:29 PM   #9
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Re: Bunion Surgery Date! Nervous!

Just one more person's experience, for what it's worth:
I had a double bunionectomy, with the chevron, but I had screws and a plate in each foot. I did stay in the hospital 1 1/2 days, but was supposed to go home before 24 hours. I just felt pretty dopy and out of it, and really didn't feel up to the effort of getting up and getting out the door. Most people go home within 24 hours, maybe I was just being lazy. I had almost no pain, as I switched over from hospital morphine to the pills right away, like they said, and never let the pain get ahead of me. I was able to ease off pain pills inside of a week, no problem. I was on crutches almost 8 weeks, with minimal weight bearing on heels only. I did not do physical therapy, although my big toes are a bit stiff even after 2 years--I walk just fine, but just can't really do some of the yoga poses I try to do. No problem. You can hardly see my scars (on the sides), and getting stitches out was almost nothing--a few tiny pulls, and that was it. I'm glad i did it, although I might do a bit of PT if I had to do it again, just to get the toes loosened up right away. I could have gone back to work at 6 weeks even with both feet in the shoes, and I kind of did, but was glad to be able to wait until 8 weeks, it was just easier. Then i was able to get out of the shoes and into "real" ones, which were nice big trainers that were very comfy. Took a while to find the right pair, though.

Good luck--there are good points to doing just one, like being able to use the other leg to hold you up!

 
Old 10-21-2007, 10:37 PM   #10
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Re: Bunion Surgery Date! Nervous!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clem52 View Post
Just one more person's experience, for what it's worth:
I had a double bunionectomy, with the chevron, but I had screws and a plate in each foot. I did stay in the hospital 1 1/2 days, but was supposed to go home before 24 hours. I just felt pretty dopy and out of it, and really didn't feel up to the effort of getting up and getting out the door. Most people go home within 24 hours, maybe I was just being lazy. I had almost no pain, as I switched over from hospital morphine to the pills right away, like they said, and never let the pain get ahead of me. I was able to ease off pain pills inside of a week, no problem. I was on crutches almost 8 weeks, with minimal weight bearing on heels only. I did not do physical therapy, although my big toes are a bit stiff even after 2 years--I walk just fine, but just can't really do some of the yoga poses I try to do. No problem. You can hardly see my scars (on the sides), and getting stitches out was almost nothing--a few tiny pulls, and that was it. I'm glad i did it, although I might do a bit of PT if I had to do it again, just to get the toes loosened up right away. I could have gone back to work at 6 weeks even with both feet in the shoes, and I kind of did, but was glad to be able to wait until 8 weeks, it was just easier. Then i was able to get out of the shoes and into "real" ones, which were nice big trainers that were very comfy. Took a while to find the right pair, though.

Good luck--there are good points to doing just one, like being able to use the other leg to hold you up!
Did you ever get your screws removed or had any problem with them?

 
Old 10-22-2007, 07:27 AM   #11
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Re: Bunion Surgery Date! Nervous!

Yes, on one foot. the head of one of the screws had broken and was starting to work its way up--there was a bump on top of the bone that was beginning to cause rubbing problems. It was a 30 minute procedure with an ankle block and sedation, and went just fine. I was weight-bearing right away--the site was pretty tender for a while, but is now fine (2 months after the removal). Hope the other one hangs in there!

 
Old 10-22-2007, 01:07 PM   #12
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Re: Bunion Surgery Date! Nervous!

Hi Kathjack,

It sure is amazing; I really don’t know what I’d be doing without this forum or you! It scares me to even think about it!

I will ask my surgeon where the incision will be; I do think it will only be one, considering my procedure and the fact that bunions are mild/moderate. As for stitching, he recommends to use the pullout ones! I did ask for dissolvable but he said that it was ideal!

I do believe travelling will be the main problem; there are lots of stairs and escalators to go up and down, although it’s not too busy when I travel but it does vary every now and then! I really want to go back to work because one-for financial support and two, it’s the sign of normality! But of course, I will follow the doctor’s orders because I want this surgery to be a success, that’s the most important thing!

It’s difficult to stop reading and researching but I am trying to stay positive. It’s nice to know people have had success. I was wondering if the bunions returned for the lady in her twenties.

Lol to the toe exercises, I’ll probably scream just by touching my toe! I just hope I don’t have to do these exercises for life!

Clem52, thank you for sharing your experience, it really helps to reads others and gives man idea of what to expect. Your story sounds positive too, and I was wondering if your toes are still in the correct position after two years and whether you experienced any complications! I believe I got mine from doing Ballet from a very young age (Have given up since then), so hopefully it shouldn’t come back, plus I do intend on wearing flat shoes!

As for pain, I am hoping, should I not feel sick on the after the surgery, to take the pain meds at least 3hrs after the surgery! Of course, providing the doctor allows me!!

Thank you

 
Old 10-23-2007, 08:57 PM   #13
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Re: Bunion Surgery Date! Nervous!

I'm glad I did it. I was going to Germany to live for a year, and didn't want to be hobbling around in pain, so I managed to schedule the surgery for 12 weeks before I went, and was healed enough to walk all over, even if it was in my big comfy trainers. ANother week later and I would have had to just deal with the bunions, so I lucked out (if you can call having bunions at all lucky).

My toes are still pretty straight. I have more of a bump on my joint than I had thought, but the surgeon said that it just can't be totally removed in everyone, and I'm OK with that. My big toes are somewhat stiff, but I think I'm noticing it now because of the different exercises I'm doing. They are getting better, but I may go visit the physical therapist once just to see if he has any advice for loosening them up a little faster. I probably should have been doing some specific exercise for the toes, but it didn't really bother me until I changed exercise programs. Don't get me wrong, it is MUCH better than before. I am careful to try and get good shoes, and I wear up to 2" heels at times, but never all day, and never 2 days in a row.

I was REALLY nervous too, but everything worked out fine. Keep ahead of the pain at first, and that will be a big help. Don't overdo it. And don't worry about the stitches--I had the silk/nylon ones on the outside that had to be pulled out, and it wasn't a big deal either time.

One thing to watch for is if an internal stitch doesn't dissolve and tries to come to the surface. It doesn't hurt, but looks a little like a pimple right at the scar. I had this just as I was going back to Germany at Christmas, 6 months after the surgery. Bad timing--it turned into a bump that rubbed my shoes, and I ended up having it removed in a German hospital. That was scary, mostly because my German isn't that good, but it was 5 minutes and out. It would have been easier in the US, but planes don't wait so I did what I had to. I think that's fairly rare, and it's a minor complication.

Good luck--let us know how things go. And remember everyone's different!

Sorry this got so long.

 
Old 10-28-2007, 03:49 PM   #14
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Re: Bunion Surgery Date! Nervous!

Hi Clem52,

Sorry for the late reply and thank you for answering my questions, they were very helpful! My surgery is this Friday, I am feeling quite calm right now, which is very weird, but come the night before and the day of the surgery I'll be living in the toilet!!!!

I am kind of hoping that I can fly eight weeks after the surgery-which is both work and pleasure related lol! Oh very innocent too! I also hope I can wear trainers/sneakers on the fourth week and everythng goes well-all wishful thinking!

Your post wasn't long so don't apoligise!

thank you
:-)

 
Old 10-29-2007, 06:53 PM   #15
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Re: Bunion Surgery Date! Nervous!

good luck!

 
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