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Old 03-01-2011, 04:44 PM   #1
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rosal HB User
Question 3 weeks post bunion surgery questions

Hi all,

I am 3 weeks post op bunion surgery in my right foot and tailor bunion on same foot. I have 2 screws in my pinky area and a pin that my podiatrist says will dissolve in my big toe. I have a hard cast almost up to my knee. I cant put any weight on it and I have been basically bedridden except to go to the bathroom. I am in constant pain in my big toe area and where the big toe bunion was. My toe feels stiff and numb. If I touch the big toe I can't feel it at all. I can't move my big toe whatsoever as hard as I try it doesn't move at all. It feels like its not my toe (if that makes sense!)I am worried and scared. If anyone has experienced this please reply. I also have lots of tingling and pins and needles. Also, my leg and calf are visibly half the size of my left leg. I know this is atrophy and I am curious if anyone else has had this and the outcome.

Thanks

 
Old 03-02-2011, 04:43 AM   #2
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Re: 3 weeks post bunion surgery questions

Hi Rosal,
Yesterday was 3 weeks post-op for me. I had a moderate bunion and a tailor bunion removed on one foot, and small bunion and tailor bunion removed from the other. I have a pin in each foot where the tailor bunion was and a pin in my left foot where the larger bunion was. I don't have a cast on either foot/leg...but plaster wedges on the top and bottom of each foot and lots of bandages and gauze. I've been walking since the day of surgery...just the mininum though...bathroom and kitchen breaks. I have to wear a velcro sandal when walking and I use either a walker or wheelchair to get around. I keep both feet elevated every minute of the day except when going to the bathroom/kitchen.

Recovery has gone well thus far. The first two weeks I had a bit of soreness...especially in the foot that had the larger bunion. It also felt as though my toes were numb. In the past week, the numbness in the toes has disappeared and I am having more tingling and burning sensations....not often though....just every now and then. I've also had a lot of itching in the area of the incisions in the past week.

At my two week post-op, the original bandages were removed and replaced. The right foot had no swelling or bruising....the left foot was black and blue around the incision. I was very pleased that my feet were not badly swollen.

Both of my calves are so skinny and thin but I've read this is normal because the muscles are not being used. Hopefully, it won't take long to get the muscle tone back once we start using our legs 100% again.

I'm sure everyone's recovery is a bit different depending on the type of procedures and severity and number of bunions. I hope it helps to read how my recovery is going. It looks like we had our surgery the same week.

Stay in touch and let me know how you are doing. Hope you are feeling better today!!!

Hang in there....

 
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Old 03-02-2011, 05:17 AM   #3
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Re: 3 weeks post bunion surgery questions

Hi Dancqueen,

Thank you for replying. It sounds like we are having different recoveries but it is nice to talk to someone who had the surgery the same time I did. I can't even imagine having both feet done at the same time. Do your big toes feel stiff? Are you able to move them?

Thanks,

Rosal

 
Old 03-02-2011, 06:15 AM   #4
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Re: 3 weeks post bunion surgery questions

Yes...my big toes are stiff...I attribute most of the stiffness to having the pins in/near them. They're not as stiff as they were at week 2. I can wiggle my toes but my doctor said not to exercise them...he said that walking will provide enough exercise for them.

LOL...right before surgery, my doctor walked in and asked me if I was sure I wanted to do both. I just couldn't imagine going through the surgery and recovery twice. I asked my doctor for two or three names and telephone numbers of his patients that had had both feet done at the same time and called a couple of the patients. Each had very positive experiences so I figured if they survived, I could too.

When I had my bandages changed at week 2, my big toes were so stiff...they didn't look real. Also the large gap between the big and other toe was huge but my doctor assured me this was normal. The toes are overcorrected so they don't resume the close, pre-surgery position.

Last edited by dancqueen; 03-02-2011 at 06:16 AM.

 
Old 03-02-2011, 12:47 PM   #5
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Re: 3 weeks post bunion surgery questions

I had the same bunions removed on my right foot almost three years ago.
My surgery was different in that I had a temporary pin on either side.
I had no permanent hardware ( like Dancequeen) My tailor's bunion was quite severe, and it took many months for the foot to be completely healed. I have since learned through this forum that fifth met. breaks take a long time to heal. My big toe was numb for a long time. I understand when you say it doesn't feel like it belongs to you. When I did get some feeling, it felt like it was wet, but it wasn't. Don't hesitate to return to the doctor if you feel something isn't right.
It wasn't until I was in regular shoes (six weeks) and walking, that my foot started to feel more normal. Did your doctor give you exercises for the toe or suggest PT? There are many threads here that give great advice.
Regarding the atrophy, Yes! My leg looked drastically different after only two weeks. I was amazed. A friend of mine said she was in line at the bank, and was behind a man wearing shorts, and his legs were very different in size and she thought "Ah, foot surgery". My leg still looks slightly different, but the legs probably weren't identical to begin with, I just never looked at them with such scrutiny before the surgery. I need to have the other foot done, and wish my doctor had agreed to both at the same time. He said I wouldn't be a "happy camper".
My healing seemed to go better when I could be total weight bearing.
Take care, and I hope you have a good recovery.
Also, think of the sandals you will be able to wear this summer that had been off limits in the past!

 
Old 03-02-2011, 01:30 PM   #6
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Re: 3 weeks post bunion surgery questions

Hi janesfoot,

Thank you for your reply. I am glad to hear that you also fealt like your toe was foreign and numb. Today is actually much better than yesturday so I am hoping I finally turned the corner. My doctor didn't give me any exercises to do. I get my cast off in 12 days so I'll ask him then.

 
Old 03-03-2011, 11:09 AM   #7
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Re: 3 weeks post bunion surgery questions

Just for clarification....my pins are temporary, not permanent as Janefoot stated.

 
Old 03-03-2011, 12:09 PM   #8
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Re: 3 weeks post bunion surgery questions

Sorry, what I meant to say that like dancequeen, my pins were not permanent,
sorry if the meaning got lost in my writing.
My doctor also said that walking will give me the exercise the foot needed.

 
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:22 AM   #9
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Re: 3 weeks post bunion surgery questions

Well, I just got back from the Doctors office. I am 4 weeks 4 days post surgery. My hard cast was removed and the Doc said just wear a sock and the black post surgical velcro shoe. He wants me to start bearing weight and hopes that in a week I won't need crutches anymore. He does not want me to move my toes yet. My foot is swollen on top and bottom. It is also black and blue in some areas. It looks foreign to me- like its not my own. I have a lot of numbness in my big toe which he said will take 6 months to come back. My big toe is also very stiff and if I wiggle my toes it doesn't move. He told me not to move my toes for 2 weeks. The pain has subsided and now I just have some weird feelings around the incision areas, but not pain.I can barely move my ankle which he said was from being in a hard cast and he said that will take 2 weeks to get back to normal.

I still haven't been able to take a step and I feel as if it is too soon. If anyone can tell me about starting to take steps I would appreciate it and I would also like to know about your recovery.

Thank you

 
Old 03-14-2011, 12:23 PM   #10
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Re: 3 weeks post bunion surgery questions

Rosal - I can sympathisize with your feeling that it's too soon to take a step, but my experience was that the healing curve is really steep! I'm at 12 weeks post-bunion surgery now and have already scheduled my other foot for 4 weeks from today! For me the huge change came at about the 6 week mark - I went from limping along in my surgical shoe to pretty much normal walking in regular shoes over about a 2 week period. Now I'm able to even go up on my tip toes, which I couldn't have imagined doing even a month ago.

I think that I was also so afraid of doing something that would sabotage my recovery that I was unnecessarily cautious earlier in my healing process. I'm hoping my second foot goes more smoothly now that I have an idea of what to expect. It's been so wonderful to have my full mobility back that I really dread giving it all up again in 27 days (yes, I'm doing a count down!). I hate that stupid surgical shoe and I really, really hated being on crutches. BUT - I hated my ugly, painful buniony feet even more so I'm going to suck it up and get it over with!

My experience was that a significant amount of the lack of range of motion in my big toe was the result of the swelling, and that as that reduced the movement range increased dramatically. My physiotherapist had me doing lots of ankle and lower leg/calf activity, so even if you can't move your toes yet, I found that just moving that ankle around and doing frequent leg extensions really helped with the circulation and reduced the swelling.

As for walking, I'm sure your doctor wouldn't have you walking unless he/she was satisfied that the bones were sufficiently fused. The shoe gives you lots of stability, so just take it slowly. It's better to have proper form than to be fast. I found that my gait was off - I was walking on the outside of my foot and I was really sore, but not in the places I expected. For example, my heel was KILLING me. I bought some gel heel cushions and wore them in the surgical shoe at first and then in regular shoes once I progressed to those. They were life savers during the 8-10 week period. I don't need them anymore, but they were well worth the $6!

Hang in there!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosal View Post
Well, I just got back from the Doctors office. I am 4 weeks 4 days post surgery. My hard cast was removed and the Doc said just wear a sock and the black post surgical velcro shoe. He wants me to start bearing weight and hopes that in a week I won't need crutches anymore. He does not want me to move my toes yet. My foot is swollen on top and bottom. It is also black and blue in some areas. It looks foreign to me- like its not my own. I have a lot of numbness in my big toe which he said will take 6 months to come back. My big toe is also very stiff and if I wiggle my toes it doesn't move. He told me not to move my toes for 2 weeks. The pain has subsided and now I just have some weird feelings around the incision areas, but not pain.I can barely move my ankle which he said was from being in a hard cast and he said that will take 2 weeks to get back to normal.

I still haven't been able to take a step and I feel as if it is too soon. If anyone can tell me about starting to take steps I would appreciate it and I would also like to know about your recovery.

Thank you

 
Old 03-14-2011, 01:12 PM   #11
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Re: 3 weeks post bunion surgery questions

jd20,

Thank you so much for the advice and your experience. I hope that I also have that big change at the 6 week mark. Good luck with your next surgery.

My Doc said that I won't need any physical therapy which I find so puzzling since so many people write on here that pt is so helpful. In the meantime, I'm in bed with my foot up.

 
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