That depends on what kind of job you have (how much time standing, any heavy lifting, etc), what bunion surgery you have, and possibly other factors particular to you. Has an orthopedist or podiatrist recommended the surgery? Did he or she give you any indication of how long the recovery would be, whether you would be on crutches for a while?
Jane is right; it's very dependent on all of those circumstances. However, I would say probably not for at least two weeks. IF your surgery is more simple, you have someone who could provide you with a door-to-door commute, and you can elevate and ice your foot while working, maybe you could go back in a week (at least part time). Most people are off for several weeks, even at desk jobs. I would have found it difficult to go back before a month-- In addition to the obvious difficulty in getting around and the need to continue to elevate and ice, etc., I was surprised by how fatigued I was. The experience really sapped my body of energy. I am on the older side, had both feet done at once, and had just had another minor surgery the day before my bunionectomies, but many other people on this board have said the same thing. A major factor is how soon you can be weight-bearing-- Some doctors encourage you to start walking within two weeks; other doctors/procedures require you to be NWB and/or in a cast or special boot for much longer. If getting back to work soon is urgent and your doctor recommends a procedure which involves a long period of NWB, you might want to get a second opinion. But I would wait until you can take the time off that you need because obviously a full, rather than fast, recovery is the most important goal. I put my surgery off for many years waiting for the "perfect storm" of circumstances-- Good insurance coverage, a flexible amount of time off (between jobs), and no little kids to care for-- in fact, young adult kids who could care for me . Best wishes to you in getting all the information and resources that you need for a successful experience.
I'm having a bilateral bunionectomy in 2 weeks. THe Dr. said I wouldn't need a wheelchair or crutches at all and I just find that hard to believe. I have a concern about getting up tp gp tp the bathroom by myself. I am also a self-proclaimed wuss and have NO pain tolerance and I was curious what type of pain meds they would give me, what if they don't work? I would really appreciate anyone who has had this done to give me some info- being in the dark is about the worst thing in the world! Thank you!!
I had a bilateral bunionectomy (Austin procedure) almost 5 weeks ago. I was able to walk out of the hospital after the surgery with a walker. I probably didn't even need the walker, but felt more sure using it than not. It is true that you will be able to walk afterwards, no matter how hard it is to believe! You probably won't even feel your feet for the first one or two days after surgery due to the strong meds. THe third day post-op was the worst for me in terms of pain, but after that it got better each day.
Until you get used to wearing the big boots, it might be handy to have something nearby your bed to help you go to the bathroom at night, like a walker or a chair with wheels. You can probably get or rent a walker from the hospital or your doctor. But it won't be that bad!!
As far as meds, I'm sure every doctor is different. I was given vicodin, which helped, but I thought Aleve helped me more than the viodin because it's an anti-inflammatory, not just a pain medication.
I was quite anxious beforehand also, but you will be OK. Good luck, and keep posting with questions.
I was also able to walk immediately after an Austin bilateral procedure. But of course, for at least a week, you want to keep it to a minimum-- In other words: to the bathroom & back. I didn't use any devices, but would often grab a chair, the door frame, the sink, etc. just to feel more secure. For the first couple of days my husband insisted on helping me even when I assured him that I could do it myself. I just shuffled very slowly and carefully, robot-like. I didn't have boots-- just inflexible surgical sandal-like shoes that fastened with velcro. They were very easy for me to get on and off. I took Acetamin 3 (with codeine). That worked well for several days until I got a sharper pain between my big & second toes-- evidently a nerve got pinched due to inner swelling; I took Vicodin for a day or two for that. (Unfortunately, it didn't work any miracles.) On the whole, however, the pain really wasn't bad; I would describe it more as discomfort-- BTW, I am no heroine with pain-- I hate it!
It's true, it does depend on the procedure. I was on crutches for six weeks, I was able to work at a desk from week two from home, because it's difficult to walk with crutches in the city, and not to mention all the stairs and the exhuasion, swelling and throbbing.
I returned to work after two months and it wasn't easy for the first two weeks, my ankle was so stiff and weak. I would be tired, completely exhausted after walking slowly for ten minutes. But I guess everybody is different.
hopefully you should be able to work by 2 weeks, but that depends if you stand all day. depending on what type of procedure, you should be fine in 6 weeks. i had vicodin, but found i didnt need it after the 1st day.
The pain I had after a more severe procedure (dislocated toes and shortened bones to go along with the bunionectomy) was easily managed, don't worry about it. You will actually feel pretty good the first day with the residual drugs from the surgery. Later in the day and the second day are actually the more difficult time. So even though you are feeling good stay ahead of the pain curve by taking your meds at the time it is recommended. If not you will have some significant discomfort while you wait for the medication to take effect.
My doctor always wanted me to take two of what I was taking, I started out with 2 Vicodin for the first day every 4-5 hours and then the second day I was decreasing the Vicodin (don't like the side effects) with two in the morning, a Vicodin and an extra strength Tylenol at noon and just 2 Tylenol the rest of that day and the third day.
Don't be surprised that your pain will come back a bit about 6 days after surgery as there will be an achy feeling as the bone heals. Simple pain meds should be enough to handle that though.
I had this surgery done on Jan. 24, I was amazed at how much improvement there was in one week, even more comfortable in two and gradual improvement since then. I will need to keep the pins in the toes because of the dislocations for 8 1/2 weeks. But stitches are out and I am rehabbing the great toe with flexion exercises adding 100 a day up to 1000.
Be prepared for a good deal of bruising to show up and I am in an awkward velcro boot that is only about 6 inches in length, slanted back so no pressure is on the front of the foot. I have gotten used to seeing the pins coming out of my toes but that took a while. I was able to crutch around and put some pressure on it within 5 days.
Let me know if you have any other questions or concerns, I just had a more standard bunionectomy done on the other foot so they will both heal at the same time. Therefore I have plenty of time to reply!
Left foot toes 2 and 3. I had severe bunions (although they didn't hurt much) and they put greater pressure on the base of my inner toes. I had had some discomfort for a few months on the ball of my foot with a swollen and bruised feeling. I was running through it, even had a cortisone shot which just provided temporary relief, but after a long run with some pain the whole time I discovered the the two toes were dislocated. 3 weeks after seeing my podiatrist I had surgery in which the two bones were shortened, the toes straightened and pinned, and the bunion corrected.
The first week was hard with being so inactive although the pain wasn't too bad after the first 3 days. Nobody else understands what you are going through or who frustrating being immobile is.
Second week went slowly because I wasn't hurting so much that just being on the couch was all I wanted to do. But by the end of it I could put pressure on it pretty well and able to heel walk.
I'm at week 4 right now and can put full pressure on it as needed. I still have 4 weeks to go though with the pins in the whole time to reduce the chance of further dislocation.
I try to exercise as much as I can to keep sane and I am doing flexion exercises and have my great toe flexing just over 75 degrees right now.
I will be so appreciative of all the little things when this is all over, just being able to walk normally and take care of routine chores is going to be terrific and being able to run again will be heaven.
Sorry to run on so much but as I read in another post, only people who are going through similar trials can really relate.
I've been doing the toe exercises myself after I was shown what motion to work on by the doctor and he is a stickler for me doing them. Plus I want to run again and I know that I need substantial toe flexion for that. This is for the rest of my life so I guess I can do something a little uncomfortable every day.
I just move the great toe back to the point it stretches and push it just a little bit. I'm up to 700 today and add a hundred each day.
I do upper body exercises such as crunches and torso twist with a medicine ball, I even do leg lifts and modified push-ups.
I knew that I had three weeks before my surgery so I worked out just as much as I could, I think being pretty fit going in was a big help especially as I use my upper body a lot now just to get around, lift myself into the wheelchair and so forth.