I had my op two weeks ago on left foot. I had two incisions a small one at the top and a very large on on the side where the bunion was.
I had morphine whilst in hospital then was prescribed Diflofenac, Tramadol and Paracetomol on discharge. I had to stop the Anti inflams as I reacted badly and I'm still getting tummy ache every time I eat. I take Tramadol at night and it keeps me awake!
Ive had alot of sharp throbbing pain which has subsided and the odd ache at the joint. I was due to have the cast off and stitches out tomorrow (14 days) but two days ago I noticed the site had bled through the cast etc so immediately went to see the surgeon, all was removed and the site wasnt infected but was so very sore . Im now bandaged back up for a further 5 more weeks and can only bare weight on my heel with crutches with a special shoe.
I had no idea what to expect and still dont. I've kept it elevated all day and night apart from getting up for a drink, toilet, wash etc. Ive also been icing alot for the swelling as it burns like mad. Ive got bruised toes and heel which is subsiding but the pain has now changed since the cast and stitches have been removed.. my joint is aching like mad and the incision sites are 'pinching' ten times worse
Has anyone had a bunionectomy? if so what was your recovery and pain like?
Im a keen exerciser too so worried about getting back into running. Although I've actually lost weight since the op because the walking with crutches is a work out in itself! I have no idea what type of shoe I'll be wearing once Im back in a normal shoe and will I EVER be able to wear a heel again?
Im starting to regret it now and there is NO WAY I am getting the other one done
your advice and experiences are greatly appreciated
The following user gives a hug of support to delightfuldior: profmia (07-28-2011)
Don't despair! I think most of us would agree that the first few weeks are the worst after bunion surgery. I'm now at 8 weeks (and four days!) post-op. Like you I had my stitches out at two weeks and then I was on crutches and only weight bearing on my heel for another month, after which I had the external pin removed and was referred for physio. I've been doing physio about 3 times a week for 3 weeks now and there's been a BIG improvement.
Everyone's body and healing process is different, but here's how things were for me:
- was off the crutches at 6 weeks and walking slowly with the velcro post-op sandal-shoe thingy
- I wore the post-op shoe for a couple of weeks because it was the only thing my poor foot would fit into
- I've really had very minimal pain this entire time - well, maybe I had it initially but I didn't feel it b/c I took the pain meds as prescribed!
- the swelling and the limited range of motion in my big toe joint are still keeping me from wearing most normal shoes
- I started walking to and from work wearing my winter boots (maybe 1.5 km round trip) at about week 7
- today (week 8.5) I still have trouble with what shoes to wear indoors and have to wear my widest, softest shoes; these happen to have a very small kitten type heel - maybe an inch high
- if I overdo it my foot really swells and then I can't fit it into a shoe
- on non-swollen days when I take it easy I can fit my foot into soft flats, boots and running shoes
- the improvement over the past 2 weeks or so has been really significant - now it's just frustrating b/c I don't feel any pain, but am still supposed to be restricting my movement - I don't yet have the ok to go back to the gym
I really think that keeping your foot moving - wiggling your toes as tolerated and doing lots of ankle rotations and leg extensions to keep the circulation up to your foot is really helpful. Oddly, I found when I finally started weight bearing that it was my heel that was sore - I guess it's b/c I'm walking slightly differently now, likely a subconsious effort to protect the surgery site.
I'm normally a very active person too, although not a runner, and I'm anxious to get back to the gym and resume exercising regularly. I'm pretty confident that I'll be wearing cute shoes in no time - even though it's still swollen my foot looks great. So much better than before!
Have patience - you're in the early stages. Take care of yourself, listen to your body and try to think positively - hopefully you'll be back on your feet in no time!
Thanks for your reply! Thankfully I don't have a removable pin, just the two screws and 'I think' and pin in my toe inside. Surgeon told me nothing and I wasn't in a fit state to ask!
Its been 14 days and the throbbing has now subsided although the pinching continues and my GP, who I saw yesterday for a sick note, says this is the wound fusing. I am able to walk about the house with my heal bearing sandal but its slow and shuffly. Today Ive got some aching in my joint so going to take it easy.
Im back at the hospital on 18th March for dressing off and xray and Im hoping to be back at work on the 22nd without the sandal!!!! Theres no way Im stepping out in public with that on, its embarrassing and clumpy and I dont have any heels to match up the height on the right foot for me to walk properly. Ive got some nice soft loose ugg boots that I am hoping my foot will fit in and I'll be able to live in these for a few week, do you reckon these would be ok?
It looks like a long road to recovery :-( ive attached a pic of my foot after the cast came off last friday, i no longer have the stitches.
thanks for the info its much appreciated :-)
Last edited by delightfuldior; 02-15-2011 at 03:59 AM.
I had both feet done at once this past November 29th. Bunionectomy on the great toes and Hammertoe surgery with pins in the second toes. I was in a wheelchair for two weeks even though the Dr said I 'could' walk on them in my surgical shoes.
The swelling did not ever go completely down until a week or so after I was able to leave the splints off.
The pain was a big hindrance to walking and I couldn't use crutches so ended up doing so much crawling (upstairs cause I couldn't take the wheelchair up and down) that I developed callouses on my knuckles and knees.
Now, 11 weeks after surgery I am walking pretty normally with only some stiffness. I bought some good walking shoes and the pain is much less than it was even before the surgery. There is some aching in the big knuckles of the great toes but only occasionally.
Take heart. It WILL get better and even though it may seem like it's taking forever, in another month or two it won't seem that long at all.
I used arnica ointment wherever I could get to my feet and the bruising went away so quickly that the Dr and nurse were surprised.
Getting the pins out was not bad at all. I was anxious about it because when I bumped the pins it made the toe ache but when they came out it did not feel like that at all. It felt like he was gently pulling on the toe itself and then there was a tiny ***** when it came out. It's kindof like getting ears pierced - once it's healed the earring comes out without much feeling at all.
They do look ugly for a while. Especially at the beginning. But only 11 weeks from surgery and my scars are pretty flat and pink. I imagine in a year they'll be much less visible.
well there seems hope!
It was aching like mad yesterday after my morning 'walk' so didnt do any more and when I put my heel down this morning it was agony, pins and needles through my heel. I'm wondering if it is that plantas faciitus? I continued to heel walk/shuffle though as I had to get my coffee to the table.. it ends up on the floor if I hop lol
Ive been hopping about quite alot as its easier to get about but noticed when the cast came off last friday my big toe is jolting so not going to do that anymore :-/
I too have been going up and down the stairs on hands and knees. Ive also falled over several times and got nasty black bruises on my arms and shins and carpet burns on my knees... but they're nothing compared to the foot!
I was rubbing voltarol gel on the visible flesh on my foot and it took the edge off a little but Ive stopped it now. Im still icing it when it burns and swells and taking paracetomol every 4 hours but trying to cut down on the tramadol as its a dependant opiate.
I think Ill be investing in some nice soft trainers and some size 4 ugg style boots (Im a 3).
Are any of you driving?
I need my car to work and I have told my employer I need a while to be able to get back into it after the x ray etc, Ive been put on a phased return to work for 4 weeks from 22nd march.
Last edited by delightfuldior; 02-16-2011 at 03:48 AM.
I was not allowed to drive until the pins were out of the hammertoes - that was 6 weeks. I snuck in a trip to the gas station around the corner twice though.
As for the pins and needles - I've had plantar faciitis and it's usually almost a cutting pain on the front side of the heal. I have had a lot of intermittant pins and needles feelings in my feet. This according to the Doc is just nerves healing up. Between the great toe and next toe is still slightly numb (11weeks post-op) but it's tingling now and then and feeling is coming back. Nerves take the longest to heal. It sounds like you are actually healing faster and getting around better than I was at the same time.
I didn't get back to work until 8 weeks after but that was because I cracked the still healing bone in my right great toe and had to wait longer to get rid of the splint on that foot. I don't know how I did it either as I was being AWEFUL careful. Take it easy to avoid that for sure.
how long did you all have a splint or cast on for? I had my half foot cast taken off at 12 days and I dont have any splint on just a bandage surely the broken foot/toe needs support?
Anyhow I was desperate to get the dogs out for some fresh air so shuffled my way around the block with the heel bearing sandal on and I had to stop and start but managed it. If anything my ok side of the foot ached more as I was putting more weight on this part of the foot to protect the surgical site.
It swelled up for an hour so I elevated it and its pinging a little but nothing unbearable, so I'll do this every day for a week then increase it more etc.
The worse thing about this op is losing my independance. I am stuck in the house for 7 weeks unless someone comes for me, alone, watching daytime tv and browsing the web.... its tedious boring and its getting me down. I suffer from anxiety and depression as it is so this is deffo putting me to the test!!!!
Here's how things went for me.
Bunionectomy with 2 v-cuts/3 screws in right great toe, 1 v-cut/2 screws in left great toe. Hammertoes/second toes were shorted slightly in order to straighten then. Second joint in second toes fused. Pins/k wires in both second toes.
Nov 29, walked out of outpatient surgery with HUGE bandages and surgical walking shoes on both toes.
December 3, bandages changed recieved wheelchair because standing let alone walking was too painful. Bleeding from site soaked through ALL of the bandages.
December 7, bandages changed again
December 14, Stitches out, bruising almost gone
December 16, Able to stand and walk very limited. Using cane because balance was poor.
January 11, Pins out. Able to walk without surgical shoe on left foot. Had to continue using shoe on right foot because of new crack in the location of one of the cuts on right great toe.
January 25, Able to walk without surgical shoe on right foot.
January 27, Back to work with less foot pain than before - even after a long day.
Now, my feet are still stiff but mobility is coming back quickly. I am not going for any physical therapy yet since my mobility is very good according to the Dr's opinion.
wow, so more or less 8 weeks you were back at work with normal shoes on. I commend you!
Im itching to take the dressing off my foot, its been on a week and getting scruffy and I'm dying to get some air to my foot BUT I'm worried about infection or knocking the toe. I think in a couple of weeks time I might go to my GP's surgery and see a nurse to reduce the dressing further, or ask the hospital if I can take it off. Ive been stood about in the heel sandal a bit more today and its ached a little but nothing major, so Im pleased.
Yeah the dressings were so gross and my feet started to smell like they were rotting. After the 3rd week I ended up taking off the dressings and giving my feet sponge baths every other day even though the Dr said not to take the dressings off. I figured that once the stitches were out and the cuts were sealed a gentle sponge bath on the rest of the foot wouldn't be too bad. I avoided getting the cut wet or the toes where the pins were. I used q-tips to clean between the toes so that I wasn't bending them or getting them too wet. It made me feel so much better when they were clean. I cheated and always shook the dressings out over the garbage bin and then put them back on so that they looked the way they had before my Dr's appointments every two weeks. As soon as the scabs were all fallen off I started putting cocoa butter on the cuts.
Yeah, the bandaging is to protect the wound. My Dr was very concerned that I not get the toe with the pin wet since that was an open wound. Once those pins were out they weren't concerned about the bandaging. In fact toward week 5 I just took the bandaging off and didn't even pretend that I hadn't removed it. He never complained about it. As long as the stitches have come out, he's not worried about getting the wound wet. In fact, he did tell me that if it hadn't been for the hammertoe pins, that I could have been showering normally as soon as the stitches were out. That was at only about 2 weeks, so in that case I could have ditched the bandages that early.
I was having checkups every 2 weeks (One was 5 days after surgery but then on to 2 weeks) but my last checkup (at 8 weeks) he said it would be a month till my next one.
I did find that the elastic ace bandages helped to keep some of the swelling down but the gauze and all wasn't really necessary after 2 weeks.
I think, with the bandaging, the docs tend to err on the side of careful. If it doesn't hurt to take it off and the stitches are out, personally, I would be taking it off. IMHO it seems to me that keeping it clean would keep infection from setting it more than letting the skin that you normally shed, stay in there and rot. I'm a clean freak though so I'm probably a little more paranoid about it.
Whats the bandaging for? to protect the wound? because it sure aint protecting the smashed toe is it?
So you are having check ups every two week? Im not seeing anyone for 5!!!
I took the bandages off and now cant get them back on properly!! I have a gaping gap at the bottom of my toes and dont think its supportive enough! Ive put a sock on to hold it all together but that makes it too tight.
Not sure what to do!!!
the incisions are scabbing over well though although I noticed a lumpy lump half way down the site, looked a bit fluidy. Although there was no inflammation.
I'm not sure how you're bandaging was done but my Dr and later when I rewrapped the bandaging I also, would wrap the foot twice, then pull the gauze between my great toe and my second toe. Then I would wrap again several times. The puts a little extra cushioning around my toe and seemed to help. Before I finished wrapping I would always go up and around my ankle. The Dr explained that doing that keeps the gauze from sliding off my foot. Do you have any ace bandages? They work better than some socks. Otherwise, I did use my husband's bigger tube socks and they didn't contrict my foot too much.
Later on I just used bandaids to cover the incisions and didn't worry about wrapping my foot at all.
Ive got ace bandages on already secured with elastoplast. Underneath is lint and blue gauze directly on the incisions. I called the hospital today and was hoping they would say I could take the dressing off and get a bath or shower but the head nurse said if I dont have any follow up for 5 week the consultant is assuming I keep it covered and dry.
It does need a re dressing but I cant go till next week, so I;ll have to put up with a floppy ace on my foot lol
I woke up in the night with a sharp pain running through the site.. I think I must have jerked hard or knocked it in my sleep as it was horrific.
Im so worried its not healing with me hopping about and moving, Ive not had any bad knocks to date but still worried
How often did you keep it elevated? take meds for? ice it? Im on 3 weeks and still swelling alot in the big toe area and incision site and icing just before bed, taking paracetamol morning and night only now or when required but Im elevating it as much as possible, only time its not elevated is when Im up doing something. I'm even elevating it in bed which is so uncomfortable as I can only sleep on my back and my hip is killing me
Do ya think its necessary to do this? I should have asked the nurse really.