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Old 03-29-2008, 07:59 PM   #1
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physical therapy after bunionectomy

Well, I am 12 weeks postop and feel like my bone is healing. I had a setback at 8 weeks and pulled back on my PT? Any suggestions for PT at home? I've heard some people do 1000 reps of bending the surgical area and toe(s). Do you do 1000 reps at once? I have found hot water therapy, while I do the bending exercises helps. How long before your stiffness subsided? My doctor ( I sought a 2nd opinion) said if you don't aggressively bend your foot religiously, an arthritic ondition can set in.... "If you don't use it, you lose it." was his saying. The bending is painful, but since I was so immobile for 8 weeks, I imagine it takes that much time or more to regain motion.

 
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Old 03-29-2008, 08:32 PM   #2
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Re: physical therapy after bunionectomy

I don't do anything like 1000 reps, but about 3 or 4 times a day I take my shoe and put my foot through the range of motion exercises. I am guessing about 20 to 25 times or so. I start out by just pushing a little in each direction and as it loosens up a bit I push harder, until it is at the max it is going to move. Being the I have 2 osteomoties I have to support the joint and push lower on the toe. It will stay loose for a couple hours, but it eventually gets stiff again and I have to start all over. Dr. says it will probably do that til the swelling goes completely down and stays that way. I am trying very hard to keep the faith and be patient cuz I know this is gonna take a while, my other foot did, so I know this works.

 
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Old 03-30-2008, 12:13 AM   #3
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Re: physical therapy after bunionectomy

Thanks. I sometimes wonder if this surgery is harder on those who were so active prior to it. I ran daily. Like you, I'm doing the toe exercises; etc. regularly. Hot water therapy helps add to the better motion. I have these wide hiking boots that I wear that add great stability as I learn to walk on my left foot again. I'm amazed at how weak it became, in such a short period. I'm hoping I won't have to have the wire removed in the future. Every procedure is different.... I pray in the next 3 months, I'll regain my strength and confidence. I'll start PT again next week. One thing my new POD said is that it's important to also use heat, to achieve better ROM. I was icing it alot. Now, I do both equally. When I pulled back on PT, at 8-9 weeks, the pain increased....so, ROM, as challenging as it is, works through the pain....it's a different sort of pain.... mostly stiffness.... I'm 3 months out.... I pray I'll be posting more success 6 months from now, though I'm realistic in thinking I may not be running until the end of the summer. I guess it's the elliptical for awhile and swimming, besides these are better on my knees.

 
Old 03-30-2008, 06:13 AM   #4
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Re: physical therapy after bunionectomy

I am almost 7 weeks post op and I took the dog for fairly long walk the other day (around 2 miles) and my shin caused me more problems than my foot. Who would have thunk that? Not me. My wife and I went out again last night for a walk with the dog and same thing, limping not becuase of the foot but because my shin was starting to cramp up. Little frustating.

I am also finding I can't walk around barefoot at all, no shoe and walking on the foot = pain. I really don't like to have to wear shoes in the house, but what are you gonna do?

I have pretty much laid off the icing at this point, for me just elevating the foot and maybe massaging it will bring the swelling down. I do know that if it does get sore and swollen that ice does bring relief so I still have the frozen gel packs in the freezer and ready to go.

 
Old 03-30-2008, 10:58 AM   #5
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Re: physical therapy after bunionectomy

i never heard of hot water therapy, but it sounds good. i am going to ask my pt tommorrow about that. glad you are doing better. scott, why does your shin hurt and its best not to walk barefoot. i dont think it gives any support to the foot.

 
Old 03-30-2008, 01:40 PM   #6
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Re: physical therapy after bunionectomy

Debbie I think my shin hurts because the muscle got weak. And of course I haven't enough patience to go slow and build things back up, I have to go out and walk a couple miles after I have been laid up for 6 weeks :rolleyes Sometimes I do wonder about myself. But I really thought my foot would given me a signal that I was pushing too hard, before my shin would have.

 
Old 03-30-2008, 02:01 PM   #7
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Re: physical therapy after bunionectomy

I had a POD explain to me that surgery on joints and bones can cause a sort of chronic arthritic condition, if you don't do regular, intense physical therapy, once the bone is fairly healed. The PT hurts, to work through the ROM, but, using hot water therapy prior to each session helps. I did swim 32 laps today, 12 weeks out, and I got onto the elliptical for 10 minutes. YEAH!!!Then I got onto this rebounding ball, sort of 1/2 a ball, that is flat on the floor, and I, well, sort of bounced on it, for extra stretching. The area is stiff, but my arch pain has subsided. I did notice, as I was immobile for so long, that other parts of my body and my leg would have muscle stiffness. It's all interconnected. I can't push regular PT enough, even when it hurts. At least once an hour, for 5 minutes or more, plus one big session once or twice a day. The POD says fluctuate between heat and ice, and, always begin the PT with the heat therapy. Scott....do you have stiffness so soon out, as you are walking your dog? Two miles is great.

 
Old 03-30-2008, 08:24 PM   #8
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Re: physical therapy after bunionectomy

It was about the 1 1/2 mile point when it started to cramp up, so that last 1/2 mile was a little difficult. The last few days it still wants to cramp up after about 8 - 10 blocks so I have slowed things down a bit and stuck a little closer to home.

I am going to have to to try the 5 minutes per hour, maybe it will tend to stiffen up less that way.

 
Old 03-31-2008, 01:27 AM   #9
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Re: physical therapy after bunionectomy

12 weeks out, I walked about a mile today, for the first time. I had to just push past the stiffness, though now my foot feels a bit swollen and my arch aches again. Another poster, Dancergal, you might look her replies up, from past posts, did PT for a good 3 months and explains the pain the PT can bring on, in working through the stiffness and cramping. I have a Kwire in my foot, that I hope won't cause problems. My sister who broke her hand and little finger has permanent wire, though she said it took weeks to regain her ROM, after her 8 week cast was removed. Then, I have a sister, who fractured her ankle, and 6 months out, she still feels some aching, so, this does take time.

 
Old 03-31-2008, 04:29 PM   #10
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Re: physical therapy after bunionectomy

congratulations wm! it sounds like your making progress. good for you. scott, do you do any kind of stretching before and after your walk? i do calf exercises and stretches for the shin.

 
Old 04-01-2008, 08:50 AM   #11
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Re: physical therapy after bunionectomy

When I first started my PT, the first thing I did was walk barefoot because it does allows for more toe movement and flexibilty. Some do disagree, but I haven't had any problems, and I am- WOW just realised- 5 months post op tomorrow and I am walking barefoot at present.

 
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