On May 2, 2008 I had a bunionectomy and the first metatarsal bone fused on my left foot. I used this board to help prepare for what to expect, so now I am repaying the favor by posting my experience for others to read. I was in the hospital for 28 hours. The surgery was at 8 in the morning. They gave me a general anesthetic as well as a regional block. The surgeon met with me right before the surgery and drew marks on my foot as to where the incisions would be made. When I came out of surgery I was pretty sleepy but didn't feel anything, because of the regional block my leg was frozen. The only thing I really felt at first was hungar, I hadn't eaten in over 12 hours. I wasn't in pain at all the whole first day, the nurses didn't even give me any pain medicine. I got up on the crutches for the first time about two hours after surgery, it felt weird not using my foot. I had a removable walking cast on my foot, but because the first metatarsal bone was broken and has screws in it, I can not put any weight on my foot. At three in the morning the regional block wore off and then i took a lot of pain medicine. I am almost four weeks post op now. I got the stiches taken out three weeks after surgery. I don't have a lot of pain anymore, more just an uncomfortable feeling. This is my advice for anyone having this type of surgery or any surgery where you are non-weightbearing. Get a wheelchair, this will help you, when you need groceries, need to fill prescriptions, and just want to get out of the house for awhile. Get a backpack (a purse is hard to carry with crutches) Get light pyjamas that have wide legs or get shorts or a nightgown, it is already uncomfortable enough to sleep. Have at least 4 or 5 ice packs for the first couple of days, i like the soft gel packs that mold to your foot. Get a chair with wheels on it, to get around your kitchen - you cant carry a glass of milk with crutches. Save yourself and get some kind of cover for your crutches, I made some out of fleece and the save your skin. Get a sports bar, the crutches seem to rub right on the elastic on a regular bra and leave a rash. Get a shower chair. Last make sure your house is clean, things are in places your can reach easily, area rugs are put away and the bath mat in the bathroom is always hung up on the tub (i wiped out on the bath mat with my crutches) Good luck with your surgery and hope everything goes well. I will update in four weeks when I can walk on my foot again.
My Upcoming Procedure May or May Not Be This Bad...
I've just started seeing a new podiatrist, who says he'll not know for sure which part of the bone he'll work on until he gets in there. Sound okay so far? Is that how it was with you? For now, I have some infection, which happens a lot, taking antibiotic for that.
If he can operate on the second joint from the end of the toe, no cast will be required and I will be able to walk on it right away. (But I'm diabetic, in my 70's, and haven't told him I'm rather a slow healer.) If he has to go farther up on the foot, I'd have to wear the cast 8 wks. I don't think he said a removeable one, and I'd prefer to avoid all that, of course, but sometimes get infections, open sore called a diabetic ulcer on my bunion callus, and if that ever doesn't respond to antibiotics I risk amputation.
I'm afraid of general anesthetics. They once had a little trouble waking me up. Also I don't like the "Twilight Sleep" they used to use 50 yrs ago for childbirth. You're not supposed to remember anything but it doesn't help with the pain at all, and I did remember, with horror. With my last child I'm not sure I had anything for pain at all, and it was much much easier. There may have been something in an IV.
Were you told early on that you'd require the farthest from the end of the toe operation? Did you have an implant? I've just been looking up the various latest procedures, and there's a picture of the device that's implanted, has its own projections at each end, instead of screws being required. I had lens implants with cataract surgery a couple of years ago and still feel a little bad about losing my natural lenses, didn't know then that there's someone nearby who would have saved them. I have so much diabetic retina damage, my own lenses sure worked a lot better, seems to me. This is getting scary, not knowing definitely that my foot surgery will be the simpler kind. Some doctors, dentists, etc., like to give you a worst case scenario to cover them, when they go creative.
On the registration forms, I was asked if I'd ever been part of a lawsuit, odd question. I liked his enthusiasm, but guess I should look up the record if I can remember where you do that. It's probably against the rules here to post it, if anyone knows. I'll do a search.
Hope your recovery continues okay and thanks for posting about the experience.