It's been about 2 1/2 weeks since I've had bunionectomy surgery on both feet, and overall, I feel like I'm healing well. I'm walking a little bit, I've started PT, and my therapist says I'm doing well with everything.
The biggest problem I'm having now is that I am having the hardest time falling asleep/sleeping at night. I have been sleeping with a cushion under my legs/feet, but I feel slightly uncomfortable since I'm typically a "side-sleeper," and it is making my lower back very sore. I tried sleeping without the cushion one night, but it made my feet swell up and the next morning was not fun.
Does anyone have any suggestions? Is there a way to keep my feet up without my lower back hurting, or anything else I can do to fall asleep? (even an ambien last night didn't seem to help at all)
Have you tried side sleeping with the cushion elevating your feet? I'm a stomach sleeper, so I feel your pain. I had to sleep on my back for the first 2-3 weeks and then I transitioned to sleeping on my side/stomach, but kept the cushions up. As long as my foot was wrapped up, I didn't feel any danger with having the incision sites sideways or upside down.
I had flatfoot reconstruction and early in the recovery needed to have the foot elevated at night to help the pain. I like to sleep on the side or stomach or somewhere in between. I propped up 3 pillows at the bottom turned onto my stomach (carefully!) and then bent my knees at a nearly 90 degree angle and rested my shins on the pillows. It sounds odd but I was able to sleep with my lower legs elevated nearly 90 degrees and it helped the swelling and pain. I also watched a lot of old movies and tv shows on those nights I couldn't sleep!
FlatfootDiva - how long did you have to sleep with your feet up? I'll be 5 weeks tomorrow. I've noticed that the last 2 weeks I'm having a horrible time sleeping.. Can't get comfortable...it was 3 this morning and I was still away.
Also, how long were you during the day having to have your feet raised high?
hi...I am 5 weeks out and for the most part am not on pain meds. (I had to take them last night)...but I haven't been sleeping for a about 2 weeks. I was never a good sleeper before...but the first 2 weeks after surgery were nice...except that I slept day and night.
I too am having difficultly sleeping. I thought it is the pain meds. Are you still taking them?
I stopped taking pain meds after the first week- they were really messing up my stomach. It helped a lot after enough swelling went down that I didn't need the cushion holding up my feet. I also have to wear these bio-skin wraps for compression, and the velcro keeps getting stuck to the sheets, so now I am wearing huge socks over them to stop that.
Also, have you ever tried taking melatonin? It a natural chemical found in your body that helps you feel tired and go to sleep, and they offer it basically in pill/vitamin form. It doesn't have side effects like ambien, and you will find it in the vitamin section at CVS or Walgreens. 1 or 2 pills and I fall asleep in under 30 minutes now- its amazing :-)
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Thanks beccaqt7! I might try the melatonin. How long did you wait to not sleep with pillows under your foot? I'm having a hard time just getting comfortable enough to sleep.
I don't remember exactly, it was probably a couple weeks, it was actually my PT who suggested I don't need them anymore- he told me I have very little swelling. I guess as soon as you feel like your swelling has gone down.
For the melatonin, I think the pills come in various amounts, mine is 3mg. I started with one, then moved up to two. My doc said I could take probably up to 10mg with no problem.
As best I remember I slept with my foot on a pillow for 7-8 weeks or so. I was able to reduce the number of pillows I used. If you're up and around during the day without the feet elevated, that may be the reason you're so uncomfortable at night. Some days I didn't get up much because the day before I had over done it and had trouble sleeping at night. During the day, I kept my foot up whenever I was sitting down. At 8 months after surgery at the end of a long day, I still elevate the foot 90 degrees in the evening and put an ice pack on it when it has swelled.