Hey all! Happy 2K10!
I had bunion surgery the day after Thanksgiving! One pin and 2 screws were permanently inserted as well as bone shaved on both sides of my right foot. My OS described my case as "severe"! I saw him 2wks after to remove sutures and had x-rays taken. I was under the assumption that I would be able to start putting weight on foot after that appt. but was told NWB until the New Year! That also incl. no driving! No exercises or PT were suggested either so for the most part, the crutches became my life, as well as getting around on my knees! So now...I have the go ahead to start putting weight down and I CAN"T!! I'm afraid and it hurts It's not only my foot, but also my ankle, knee and hip! My daughter-in-law mentioned atrophy has set in and stretching exercises might help. I see my OS next week for x-rays and evaluation. As I read these blogs, it blows my mind how many people are up and around in such a short time! I want to get back to work but considering my immobility, it doesn't seem possible! Please help!
Last edited by Lucy Marie; 01-05-2010 at 02:02 PM.
Lucy - do you know what type of bunionectomy procedure you had? Some, like the lapidus, are more radical than others. I've had lapidus bunionectomies on both feet, the last was 4 weeks ago. The recovery is longer with this one because of the fusing of bones. I'm still non-weight bearing, and will probably be for another 2 weeks. I remember with my first one, I was also afraid to walk on it, especially barefoot. I slowly started walking, and within a month or two, it became more comfortable. I didn't do PT at all - my surgeon just wanted me to do ankle rolls and toe wiggles. He said the best thing was to walk, and to do it deliberately, meaning don't walk on the sides of my feet. It helps with the swelling and will get the muscles and tendons working again. Good luck!
Thanks Jane for replying! The exact surgery I had was...Right foot bunionectomy with Chevron osteotomy and great toe proximal phalanx Akin osteotomy...Whew! You had mentioned "lapidus bunionectomies"... what is that?? I'm still using the crutches while lightly putting pressure on foot as I walk because if I don't have something to hold on to, I feel I will fall! You mentioned to walk deliberate but what about the pain?? Also, I've been reading that quite a few people go in and have the pins & screws removed whereas mine are permanent...do you think that is holding up my recovery? Any thoughts...
Lucy - my screws, pins and plate are permanent, too, so I don't think that is holding up your recovery. Everybody heals differently, and some doctors are more conservative than others. It sounds like your doctor is very conservative and is being careful about getting you back on your feet. My doctor gave me more pain meds when I started walking - he said I would feel new pains as I walked because the muscles and tendons that were stabilized for so long are now being asked to move again. He was right - it hurt! I started out very slow and wore a surgical shoe for a few weeks. It helps to keep your foot from bending but you do use the muscles. As I moved into regular shoes, my foot started swelling again so I increased my Advil (this helps with swelling, while Tylenol helps with pain). I hope this helps!
You asked what lapidus bunionectomy is - it's where they cut the bone by the big toe joint like in other bunionectomies, and then the first metatarsal (the big toe bone) is screwed into the second metatarsal at the midpoint area of the foot. I have Morton's foot (genetic), so I had the conditions that warranted this radical procedure.
Jill ~ Again, thank you so much for the info and advice! It seems you are quite the expert being this is your 2nd time around! Hope your recovery goes well...I'll keep you posted on mine. One more thing...I DROVE today...Yeh! My husband's car was having work done so he needed a ride...It went well and felt good being in control. Another sign, it will only get easier... Lucy
Lucy - I did a lot of research and talked a long time with 2 doctors at my clinic, and made sure I got the best doctor. He's younger than me (I'm 54), has great bedside skills, up on the newest procedures, and reassures me with his confidence. If I had a daughter, I'd want them to get married! LOL! He is also concerned about getting me back to running. He said that would be our goal, but I needed to give him a year of healing in order to make that happen. That was a decent compromise because if I didn't do anything, I would never run again. So I had nothing to lose!
I'm hoping to get the approval to drive to work next week. The roads are snowy and slippery in MN right now, and I know it's a challenge for healthy drivers, so I may have to car pool with a friend for the first week or two. Or my parents said they would help me out, too.
I'm happy to share my wealth of knowledge, because you really don't know what you're going through until it happens. I have friends and family members that are rotating through to help me out with chores, grocery shopping, cooking, etc. I want to treat them to dinner at one of the finer restarants in the Twin Cities once I'm back on my feet and no longer need their assistance. That's the last thing they'd be expecting - but I owe them a lot. They made my life so much more bearable. I look at the whole process as an adventure and started to enjoy each small accomplishment.
I had a chevron procedure 12 weeks ago. I started walking on the foot about 2 weeks after wards (with crutches for support) I was in a boot for 5 weeks once I got the stitches out and dressing off. When I switched to normal shoes the muscles in my calve were atrophied so it was a bit painful (like having a charlie horse for a week) And the foot did hurt more too, but my doctor also said it would be uncomfortable, that if it hurt too much to pull back a little, but he encourages weight bearing as much as tolerated immediatly afterwards.
I havent had bunion surgery (although it is likely in my future). I have had other surgeries, and most recently, a gastroc recession (calf lengthening). Originally he said 2 weeks in a cast nwb, and then 2 weeks in a boot, but decided to have me see him after one week. He ended up removing the cast, and told me to start weight bearing. I thought he was absolutely crazy. I was scared at first because there was no way I could put any pressure down on it, let alone walk on it. I thought something must have been wrong if he thought I should be walking at that point, and I get really anxious. Starting that next day I had to force myself to put weight down on that foot (with the use of crutches still). It was just a little bit at a time, but I within a day or two I was full weight bearing without the crutches at all, and minimal pain. It was like my body just needed to get used to the idea, and wake up everything. I know its a completely different surgery, but sometimes you need to push through the pain a little. If it doesnt seem to get easier, then I'd be concerned. But you know your body best, and if it doesnt feel right, then dont hesitate to ask your doctor. Good Luck
I had bunion surgery about 4 1/2 years ago, I have 2 permanent screws in my left foot, I have only had that foot done, it was the worse out of the two and my pain was unbearable at times. My big bone in my foot was cut to correct the bow and then screwed back together, also the bunion was removed.
My pain was terrible after my surgery, for almost 3 weeks.(another reason why i have only had that one done) My doctor told me all i needed was a bootie and to walk on my foot, i still preceded to get crutches and at the 2 week follow up she was very upset that i was using them.
I went thru the same thing, being scared to walk on it and also it hurting so bad when i finally put weight down (my ankle knee and hip hurt) I think its because for almost 2-4 weeks i babied the left foot and used my right resulting in under-usage which cause those muscle to "awake" after putting pressure on them, like they weren't sure what to do.
Just slowly start to put pressure down and move your big toe, thats the best thing i could do.
If you have a cast on i hate to tell you that it will be worse after taking it off (unless you already know that)
You'll get thru it.
I still lean to my right when standing at the sink to wash my face.
The best thing you can do is not baby that foot.
Hope i was of some help.
I had right bunion surgery where the bone was shaved, a screw in my toe for hammertoes, and the small toe had too much bone in it. This was May 2008, well, I still feel pain in the joint of the big toe and now my left foot is going bad, I cannot have this surgery again, I was depressed and the nerve pain is so awful. I am going to see a podiatrist again but I want to know if others out there had a longer recovery time.
I had bunion surgery on my left big toe mid-June 2009. They cut the section out and one screw. At 2 weeks when I went to see the doctor wearing the black shoe (not camboot) they had given me post surgery, he told me this was a WB injury recovery and to stop using the crutches. I could stand without them, limped a little at first and basically didn't need them. However, if I overdid the walking, I felt it, so still needed maximum time with foot elevated. Finally asked for rehab. at around 6 -7weeks post surgery and PT told me that I should have been in sooner, but gave me mobility and strengthening exercizes to do. One is easy, but hard - throw a towel on the floor and try to grab it with your toes. Also, she wanted me to spread the toes and try to balance on the one foot with increasing times. She emphasized that you need to work on balance since that deteriorates as we get older. Made perfect sense, since my mom had bunion surgery (much worse than mine) but no PT and we have always called her the weeble since she wobbles - increasingly. Also, holding the bottom joint of the toe, gently barely lifting the toe in the joint area and holding it then to the extremes of the front and the back. PT could describe it so much better than I.
Unfortunely, right before the planned surgery for the second bunion, I fell off a ladder and smashed my heel bone on the left foot (calcaneus) and that reconstructive surgery is a plate and multiple screws and extended time with no WB. For me that was 10 weeks and I am now in a camboot and crutches and increasing WB 25% each week to be 100% next week. Didn't hurt the bunion surgery, but lost all the range of motion I had gotten and the big toe is very stiff again. Think the extended swelling in the foot didn't help at all since the bunion healing was so new. So....work on the flexibility and do WB as soon as the doctor tells you, but don't overdo it. Elevate as much as possible - all the time. And when you have to do work off a laddeer, please make sure someone holds it.
I had right foot bunion removed Jan. 11, 2010. Bone cut apart in a "Z" pattern and screwed back together with 2 permanent screws. NWB for 4 weeks. HOPING he will let me try and walk next appointment on Feb. 9, 2010. Already, in just 18 days, I can see some major atrophy in my right calf! I was VERY fit before surgery. Avid biker, hiker and walker all year around, 6 days a week. I can't believe how fast you can see the results of atrophy. It is very depressing. I am allowed to take a shower, now, and use only my right HEEL for balance--no weight. On a couple of occasions, I have accidentally put a little weight on the heel in the shower. It feels as if needles are being pushed into my heel when that happens. Kinda scares me. After 2 more weeks of NWB, I am afraid that my whole entire leg will be shot. I think I am pretty tough and have a high pain tolorance, but this is starting to make me a little nervous.
I have had absolutely no pain resulting from the surgery. But, I think I am in for my share during recovery and starting to walk again.