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Old 02-10-2010, 09:32 PM   #1
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Austin Bunionectomy scarrings and Pain post op

Hi Everyone~

I was born with bunions. As a child, my mother consulted a podiatrist, who recommended leaving them alone until I was an adult and only treat if they became a problem. I'm thinking about having the Austin Bunionectomy. Doing the left foot first, then then the right.

I haven't seen anything posted that talks about the scars. Are they bad? How long before swelling stops occuring? Is swelling something that I'll live with forever, ie after long walks? I read stories that spoke of swelling 6-8 wk post op, when walking or after wearing shoes. At what point is there no swelling and the feet return to normal?

At work, I do a lot of standing and walking. The pain is bad after 8-10 hrs of working. I wear comfortable shoes, Ecco, Italian Comfort shoes, EasySpirit, Naturlizers, etc.

I can't wear cute shoes that are narrow and I'm self concious of the bunions so I don't wear open toes or flip flops...and I live in Florida on a beach...hahahaha Tight, pointy, or high heeled shoes are unbearable, in my 20's and 30's, I could do wear them with no problem, maybe a little redness at the bunions (i'm 43).

So, I want to have the surgery. Today, I had a consult with an "oldtimer" who is highly recommended by my dr and nurse friends. And I know people, who know people, (haha) that have been patients of this doctor. All I hear is positive and wonderful comments.

After, speaking with him today, I like him alot. He was patient, personable, took time to explain everything, gave me copies of my x-rays and jotted notes; he was really a nice guy. He said that post surgery, I'd leave in a boot, he could get me driving in a week, riding a bike in 1-2 weeks. He also said that I'd have strong pain meds for 2 weeks, but after week 1 that I'd probably need only 1 or 2 per day. It sounds like if I follow his intructions, elevate the foot, ice it, that I would have a great and speedy recovery.

He's performed over 1500 of these surgeries, so I am confident in him. I'm just not as confident in having the surgery after hearing these tales. It almost doesn't sound worth it; the pain, the swelling forever, odd sensations. Does any of this ever stop? I do not want to have swollen feet for the rest of my life, just from walking. My sister suffers from swollen ankles and feet (she retains fluids) all the time, and she is so uncomfortable when it happens. It sounds like this is something that people suffer from after having the surgery. Is this temporary or is it something that I'll have to deal with forever? If this is going to be my new problem, then Ill live with my bunions.

The problem could be, that a lot of people come to discuss problems or complications, so that may be why I'm hearing a lot of horror stories or negative posts, until someone responds letting them know otherwise.

Any insight would be awesome.

Thanks :-)

Last edited by Bonterra66; 02-14-2010 at 03:13 PM.

 
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Old 02-11-2010, 06:32 PM   #2
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Re: Austin Bunionectomy scarrings and Pain post op

Don't let those scary stories frighten you. Do lots of research, ask around for reccomend ations and then interview the docs. I'd ask for testimonials from former patients who are satisfied.
I have had both bunions repaired and am very glad I did it. Yes, the swelling took a while to subside but at the 5 month mark I was fine.

Hope this helps.

 
Old 02-12-2010, 06:15 AM   #3
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Re: Austin Bunionectomy scarrings and Pain post op

I have had four bunion surgeries so I can tell you it does subside!! Most of us heal and move on. I only had one surgery where I had complications. For some reason I had excessive scar tissue build-up and it was 9 months before I had full range of motion back in my big toe. My most recent surgery was on my right foot-big toe last January and right now I have NO residual swelling or pain from it. Swelling will be your biggest foe. It is often months of swelling but it won't be swelling all the time. Generally the farther out you go, it will swell say when you are on your feet for several hours, etc. I can tell you that the more you baby your foot in the beginning, the faster it will heal.
The scar really isn't that bad. It will look purple the first year, but after awhile it fades and unless someone is staring at your feet, most people will NOT notice it. You will actually want to keep it out of the sun for the first year anyways as it can discolor with too much sun. When I would go to the beach, I would just bury my feet in the sand so they didn't get too much sun =)

 
Old 02-12-2010, 06:42 AM   #4
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Re: Austin Bunionectomy scarrings and Pain post op

I had my big toe fused on Oct 28. Almost four months later, my foot does still swell somewhat, but not alarmingly. The scar is still somewhat red, but is fading. I anticipate that it will look nice when it is totally healed.

I was comparing foot surgery notes with a friend yesterday. We both were commenting that all the press about pain and trouble for foot surgery is hype. She had little pain, and apparently healed well. She was wearing fashionable boots that I would not even consider, so her feet apparently feel good.

I know my surgery was different, but since it is the same joint my experience might be useful. I had the surgery on a Wednesday. I took the last pain med on Sunday morning. I only did that as a preventative measure because I went out to church that day. I got dropped off in front of the building, and could put my foot up on the pew, and relax. I went back to work after two weeks and had a stool to put my foot up. Elevating it meant I did not need to take any medication. Another friend had bunion surgery on both feet, and was taking more meds, but she was also not elevating. To quote someone I know "elevate, elevate, elevate"....wise words indeed.

Don't rule out surgery. It might be something that you wish you had done sooner.
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Life is too short to wear tight shoes. ~ May you have happy feet in 2013.

 
Old 02-14-2010, 11:46 AM   #5
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Re: Austin Bunionectomy scarrings and Pain post op

Quote:
Originally Posted by francesca24 View Post
Don't let those scary stories frighten you. Do lots of research, ask around for reccomend ations and then interview the docs. I'd ask for testimonials from former patients who are satisfied.
I have had both bunions repaired and am very glad I did it. Yes, the swelling took a while to subside but at the 5 month mark I was fine.

Hope this helps.
Thank you for responding. I was hoping that you would Your info was very helpful. I've decided after reading the responses that I'm going to have the surgery. Thanks again...I appreciate that you took the time to help.

I'm from Boston too (Winchester) I moved to Fl 4 years ago for work. I miss "home" and the family so much. I travel back every 6-8 weeks to visit. I guess the screw that'll be placed in my foot is going to set off the airport metal detectors. Oh well...hahaha

 
Old 02-14-2010, 11:26 PM   #6
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Re: Austin Bunionectomy scarrings and Pain post op

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonterra66 View Post
I guess the screw that'll be placed in my foot is going to set off the airport metal detectors. Oh well...hahaha
haha....don't worry, I tried the detectors many times since and not once did they go off. It got annoying though to have to take your shoes off for the xray because I hated to walk "barefoot" the first few months, so I always made a fuss and refused

But I do have a question about your statement in the first post about your doctor promising you that you could get back to driving in a week post op? Hmmm........... Are you getting your left foot done and you drive an automatic?

Cool! I went to graduate school in Boston! I am sure you are not missing the crazy weather there though

 
Old 02-15-2010, 08:06 AM   #7
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Re: Austin Bunionectomy scarrings and Pain post op

Bonterra, glad I could help a tiny bit. Please do your research. I found a doctor that operates at the Winchester Hospital, your home town. Funny coincidence.

I'm now 4 wks post op on my L bunionectomy. No pain whatsoever for weeks now....yes, it still swells a bit if I'm walking around the mall all day. However, I do elevate almost all day and do my stretching exercises with the DynaSplint 3x day.
I work from home as I'm in Sales and can do most of my work right in my home office with the foot up.

At 4 wks post op I'm walking without the moon boot in my home without any pain. It's tender yes, but pain, no.

I honestly only took 1/2 pain med for the first 2 days and only at night and maybe once during the day if it got a bit uncomfortable. NEVER true pain only mild discomfort while elevated.

I must say one more thing about the surgery. I'm a nurse and I follow the doctor's reccomendations completely.
I iced the foot for 2 weeks continuously
I elevated it on an 18 inch wedge pillow at all times and during sleep
I remained on crutches and completely non-weight bearing for 6 days
I used the DynaSplint 3-4 times a day after week 1
I took anti-inflammatory meds throughout the day

Best of luck!!

 
Old 02-17-2010, 06:09 AM   #8
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Re: Austin Bunionectomy scarrings and Pain post op

I'm 11 weeks post-op with an Austin, and am kicking myself for waiting so long. I'm already having less pain than before the surgery. I followed the "elevate, ice" regimen religiously and really think that did help with swelling. I had surprisingly little pain. My doc said it seems that pain comes in two extremes -- a lot or none, but that most people are in the "none" category. I had a minor bunionectomy on both feet when I was 17 (didn't work, obviously) and do remember swelling for a long time afterwards. But I doubt I followed directions back then, either..... The surgeon did the butterfly stitch on closing the incision so it should disappear almost completely. Nothing to worry about.

Go for it, and good luck!

 
Old 02-19-2010, 03:10 PM   #9
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Re: Austin Bunionectomy scarrings and Pain post op

Wow....that's sounds great!!!!! I'm going to ask if he uses a butterfly stitch. Thanks for the info :-)

I have my surgery scheduled for March 19th for my left foot. Did you do both feet? My doctor is against doing both feet in one surgery cause of the rehab. He says it's harder to get around and finds patients are more compliant when doing one foot at a time.

At what point were you able to get up and about, outside of the house? A co-worker's mom was out of the house week 2. She was in her boots and shopping at Barnes and Noble. I certainly do not want to rush anything and I'm in no hurry. Just curious about your experience.

Ideally, I'd like to return to work, light duty sitting at a desk, by week 3 with the boot.

 
Old 02-19-2010, 03:16 PM   #10
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Re: Austin Bunionectomy scarrings and Pain post op

Hi :-)

Yes, I was planning on the left foot and I drive automatic. I can always have my husband drive me to work too:-) My co-workers mom saw this dr too. She is 1 week post-op and was out shopping the other day(in her boot). She feels great and says the first 3 days were the worst.

What anesthia did you opt for?

 
Old 02-19-2010, 04:50 PM   #11
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Re: Austin Bunionectomy scarrings and Pain post op

No, I haven't done the other foot yet, and probably won't until the same time next year.

I was able to get out of the house in week 2, but I also was pretty careful. I figured there was only one chance to do this right, and my husband was taking great care of me. He did all the shopping and let me tag along at about the two week mark.

Week 3 *shouldn't* be a problem, but be sure you have a way to elevate, and ice. The more you can keep the swelling down, the faster you will heal, and the less pain you will have. If you can take any extra time, it's worth thinking about. Or maybe do half days at first?

I may have been overly cautious, but it seems to have helped. I got my 12 week checkup yesterday and the doc said he can't even see the bone incision on the x-ray and I must be a good healer. I got the ok to start walking for exercise (I didn't tell him I've been doing that for a couple of weeks already!).

For whatever it may be worth, I started taking Cal-trate a month before the surgery. Not sure it actually helped with bone growth, but it made me feel like I was doing something! I continued with it after the surgery and started on vitamin C also. Nothing extreme, just a little extra boost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bonterra66 View Post
Wow....that's sounds great!!!!! I'm going to ask if he uses a butterfly stitch. Thanks for the info :-)

I have my surgery scheduled for March 19th for my left foot. Did you do both feet? My doctor is against doing both feet in one surgery cause of the rehab. He says it's harder to get around and finds patients are more compliant when doing one foot at a time.

At what point were you able to get up and about, outside of the house? A co-worker's mom was out of the house week 2. She was in her boots and shopping at Barnes and Noble. I certainly do not want to rush anything and I'm in no hurry. Just curious about your experience.

Ideally, I'd like to return to work, light duty sitting at a desk, by week 3 with the boot.

 
Old 02-21-2010, 06:25 AM   #12
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Re: Austin Bunionectomy scarrings and Pain post op

I did not take any time off from work other than the day of surgery. I worked from home (with foot elevated and iced) 3 days after surgery. I was non-weight bearing for 7 days with crutches and wheelchair around the house.
I went into the office for a quick check-in during week 3 but mostly work from home because of the elevation factor and my office is a huge one with a long trip from my car to my desk.....and I can work from home much more efficiently.

I wore a walking boot on Day 7 post-op and used that to get around the house but kept icing and elevating at all times when not walking.
I slept with my foot up on a large wedge pillow that I purchased at the Medical Supply store and it was soooo worth it. It was about18-20 inches high at the height and it was so comfy to keep my foot up higher than my heart.
I'm 5 weeks post-op today and still use the boot for walking around the stores, etc. Took my first fast/exercise walk to the Whole Foods yesterday! Despite the snow and ice, I did fine.
I still get swelling but use the elastic shrink sox at all times and wear the night velcro brace to bed (it keeps the toe straight).

Last edited by francesca24; 02-21-2010 at 06:28 AM.

 
Old 02-21-2010, 06:29 AM   #13
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Re: Austin Bunionectomy scarrings and Pain post op

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonicaB View Post
No, I haven't done the other foot yet, and probably won't until the same time next year.

I was able to get out of the house in week 2, but I also was pretty careful. I figured there was only one chance to do this right, and my husband was taking great care of me. He did all the shopping and let me tag along at about the two week mark.

Week 3 *shouldn't* be a problem, but be sure you have a way to elevate, and ice. The more you can keep the swelling down, the faster you will heal, and the less pain you will have. If you can take any extra time, it's worth thinking about. Or maybe do half days at first?

I may have been overly cautious, but it seems to have helped. I got my 12 week checkup yesterday and the doc said he can't even see the bone incision on the x-ray and I must be a good healer. I got the ok to start walking for exercise (I didn't tell him I've been doing that for a couple of weeks already!).

For whatever it may be worth, I started taking Cal-trate a month before the surgery. Not sure it actually helped with bone growth, but it made me feel like I was doing something! I continued with it after the surgery and started on vitamin C also. Nothing extreme, just a little extra boost.

 
Old 02-21-2010, 06:34 AM   #14
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Re: Austin Bunionectomy scarrings and Pain post op

I did my second foot at 6 months post-op mark. Reason for that was that I want both feet completed in one year. I've heard it takes one year before you can really wear even a short heel again and I don't want to stretch this process out to 2 years if I waited one year between feet.

Thus I had my R foot in July 2009 and my L foot in January of 2010, so I'm 7 months post-op on the R and 1 month post op in the L.

6 months was plenty of healing time for me.....tennis shoes always felt great after about 2 months post-op and a slight wedge slip on felt fine at the 3 month mark.

 
Old 04-01-2010, 10:15 PM   #15
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Re: Austin Bunionectomy scarrings and Pain post op

I appreciate the various comments and replies as I have been trying to figure out what I should do next. Because I had the austion bunionectomy and screw fix, I wondered how many of you also had the screw fix. I am in week 10 post op and have pain and swelling when I do walking. Even my great athletic shoes have caused some rubbing. As a result I limp, walking on the outside edge of my foot. I will try to do more walking and deliberately walk on the balls of my foot as I need to get back to my exercising, but the hobbling is now causing my knee to crunch on stairs. Oh oh.
From what many of you are saying, we should just proceed slowly, but continue to walk properly, albeit slowly. Correct?
I am surprised at the slowness of the recovery and am worried that my apparent weight gain is affecting recovery.
Suggestions? I just bought Noat shoes and will try them with new bamboo stretch socks since peds squish toes.

 
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