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Old 09-21-2011, 05:27 PM   #1
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Normal Gait after Bunion surgery...WHEN??

Hi,

Just wanted to hear from other people who have had bunion surgery and ask "when did you start to walk normally again without a limp?"

I am 6 and 1/2 wks post op bi-lateral bunion surgery and I use a walker and crutches to get around. I am wearing the stiff velcro bunion shoe and I find I favour my left foot and also walk on the outer edges of my foot and use my heels at the front portion of the right foot hurts with fwb.

My feet ache afterwards as do my heels and ankle area because I am not as you call "rolling through on the foot" from ankle to toe.

OS has not given much info to me with respect to walking...he gives me a one word answer to any questions I email him and I'm one for details.

 
Old 09-21-2011, 06:53 PM   #2
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Re: Normal Gait after Bunion surgery...WHEN??

There are a lot of variations of bunion surgery. These care vary from walking the day off surgery to not walking for 8 weeks. I will assume you had a typical head procedure with a screw. If that is the case, most people get back to normal activities around 3 months, but you may have variable swelling for 6 months or more.

That being said, if you have bilateral bunion surgery your recovery time will be longer since you do not have a good foot to take most of the weight. Bilateral bunion surgeries have a much greater risk of complications so I hope all goes well with you.

Did your surgeon only give quick answers to your questions prior to surgery? If so that may give reason to the quick answers afterwards. Did the surgeon suggest bilateral surgery?

 
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Old 09-22-2011, 06:23 AM   #3
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Re: Normal Gait after Bunion surgery...WHEN??

Quote:
Originally Posted by j9879 View Post
There are a lot of variations of bunion surgery. These care vary from walking the day off surgery to not walking for 8 weeks. I will assume you had a typical head procedure with a screw. If that is the case, most people get back to normal activities around 3 months, but you may have variable swelling for 6 months or more.

That being said, if you have bilateral bunion surgery your recovery time will be longer since you do not have a good foot to take most of the weight. Bilateral bunion surgeries have a much greater risk of complications so I hope all goes well with you.

Did your surgeon only give quick answers to your questions prior to surgery? If so that may give reason to the quick answers afterwards. Did the surgeon suggest bilateral surgery?
I really appreciate the reply! Thank you!
I had a Lapidus Bunionectomy on both feet at the same time (bilateral) and it was suggested by my OS to do it this way (bilateral and a Lapidus). I waited over a year to get this procedure done and currently he has a 2 yr wait list.

He told me based on my past history (a failed osteotomy (sp?) ) done on both feet 21 yrs ago by a top podiatrist with minimal incision technique and the fact that bunions and foot problems which I told him about run on my mom's side of the family. I started developing bunions at the age of 12 or so if you can believe it. I also have a wide foot that flattens and becomes wider when I stand.

My OS said I have too much mobility in the feet and hence the return of the bunions after the first surgery 21 yrs ago. Another podiatrist that I had consulted with before going through this surgery had said the same thing and that the weight of two pregnancies along the way could contribute to my bones shifting. I consulted with 3 podiatrists (including the original) before being referred to my OS.

He (OS) told me what type of surgery he was going to do, asked if I had any questions ( stupid me was more concerned about how much time I would be off my feet and the help I would need around the house and help with the kids that I did not ask alot about the surgery), he told me about the risks (non-union, infection, and I can't remember the third), he repeated the risks twice to me, and told me I could look up the Lapidus procedure to find out more info. on it.

He is a super busy guy, very friendly and a good sense of humour and I know my emails tend to be a bit long winded (like this post ), so I know he can't give me all the details I want on his BB when he responds, which he does so in a timely manner.

WHEW! I guess I can't expect that much considering all things when I am only 7 wks post-op tomorrow. I am trying not to limp. One Dr. online even suggested walking backwards to prevent a limp when walking forwards...it trains you to walk properly.

Also, I was non-weight bearing for 6 wks in thick bandages (no cast, no cam walker) just the velcro hard-soled shoe. He allowed me during this time to put weight on the heels to go to the washroom, get something to eat, etc. most of the time I sat on a walker and moved around with my heels or on my bum and heels to go to the washroom in the middle of the night

My feet feel good except that the right has also been the problem foot in that it has always hurt more even during healing ( I think it was worse pre-surgery) as he told me on surgery day that he thought he might have to do a second osteotomy on one of the feet as well as the Lapidus. Turned out he didn't have to do it afterall, which he said he was happy about.

The feet look great, toes are completely straight, no bunions, and I am currently wearing toe spacers unitl I see him next wk.
I just find with the right foot, I am angling a bit towards the middle/outer edge of the foot and the big toe doesn't quite touch the ground (the left foot does and more mobility in the big toe). I'm afraid to put pressure on that part of the foot (big toe and padding under that area), as there is some pain still, so again, this causes an imbalance, improper gait and then pain in other parts of the foot like the heal and outer area as well as ankle.....

 
Old 09-22-2011, 06:39 AM   #4
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Re: Normal Gait after Bunion surgery...WHEN??

So sorry for the long-winded reply but I was trying to provide as much detail and background info. as possible.

I'm a worrier and reading some of the older posts on this type of surgery truthfully, scares me a bit.

Maybe I'm just expecting too much too soon? I have been doing a lot around the house because it's so nice to be off the couch and on my feet, and maybe, I just need to rest up a bit more. My leg muscles have definitely atrophied somewhat. The muscles ache and I am getting 'charlie horses' in my calves.

 
Old 09-22-2011, 11:37 AM   #5
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Re: Normal Gait after Bunion surgery...WHEN??

Sounds like a lapidus procedure was the correct procedure. So don't worry about that.

Whatever you do, don't walk backwards. In no way shape or form is that going to train you to walk properly. It prevents a limp because it isn't a normal gait pattern. You just had surgery. You are supposed to be limping! If you walk backwards, all you can do is fall and re-injury the surgical site. There is a reason an online physician told you to do that and not your own.

 
Old 09-22-2011, 01:50 PM   #6
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Re: Normal Gait after Bunion surgery...WHEN??

Ok, I won't!!

It was actually a post-operative care site for Lapidus patients that a Dr. had posted. So I thought I might try it....guess not.

 
Old 09-02-2012, 04:46 PM   #7
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Re: Normal Gait after Bunion surgery...WHEN??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nicole K View Post
Hi,

Just wanted to hear from other people who have had bunion surgery and ask "when did you start to walk normally again without a limp?"

I am 6 and 1/2 wks post op bi-lateral bunion surgery and I use a walker and crutches to get around. I am wearing the stiff velcro bunion shoe and I find I favour my left foot and also walk on the outer edges of my foot and use my heels at the front portion of the right foot hurts with fwb.

My feet ache afterwards as do my heels and ankle area because I am not as you call "rolling through on the foot" from ankle to toe.

OS has not given much info to me with respect to walking...he gives me a one word answer to any questions I email him and I'm one for details.
I am in the same situation at 6 weeks now. I was told that i could start walking with surgical boot around 5th week using heels, but held off till now. Still not quite understanding heel walk method. I just tried standing completely still with entire foot(boot on) planted on floor to test and the other side of my foot(bone close to back of my foot) feels some pain though bunion side feels fine. I'm concerned now. My doctor had told me that i should be able to take my vacation by mid October, but now i'm not sure.

Last edited by inquisitiveman; 09-02-2012 at 04:47 PM.

 
Old 09-03-2012, 03:59 AM   #8
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Re: Normal Gait after Bunion surgery...WHEN??

Nicole K -
As J9879 said, you just had surgery, bi-lateral no less, so you should be limping. The hard sole surgery shoe acts as a splint, and essentially prevents your foot from moving and bending to help your bones heal. You aren't at a point in your healing when you are expected to have a normal gait.

When will you be allowed to wear sneakers? When you are allowed to wear a sneaker, then you will be able to attempt a normal gait, and trust me, it will be uncomfortable for the first few weeks. I am 7 wks post op bunion and Tailor bunionectomies on my left foot. Hurt like crazy to walk at times, but the foot needs to learn to work again (Don't over do it!). Every week brings improvement, but pain in new spots come and go as I progress. I had a great healing experience, and was in a sneaker at 4 weeks, but I'm still far from recovered, and must elevate and ice. I had the same surgery four years ago on the right foot, and this recovery is different, better in healing speed, but definitely more discomfort. Different feet, different issues.

Hang in there! Once you are in sneakers you will be on your way to improved mobility, but don't risk your current good results by rushing the process.

 
Old 02-02-2013, 04:29 PM   #9
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Smile Re: Normal Gait after Bunion surgery...WHEN??

Quote:
Originally Posted by inquisitiveman View Post
I am in the same situation at 6 weeks now. I was told that i could start walking with surgical boot around 5th week using heels, but held off till now. Still not quite understanding heel walk method. I just tried standing completely still with entire foot(boot on) planted on floor to test and the other side of my foot(bone close to back of my foot) feels some pain though bunion side feels fine. I'm concerned now. My doctor had told me that i should be able to take my vacation by mid October, but now i'm not sure.
Wow...seems like forever since I've had my surgery!! My advice to you now a yr and half since my bi-lateral lapidus, is it takes TIME. My Dr. told me 6 wks, it was more like 12 wks before I could walk SLOWLY. I did my own toe and ankle exercises at home and practiced walking and learning to walk again...heel to toe, very ,very, slowly. I was never in a boot or cast, only thick, thick bandages. I used crutches to help me walk slowly around the house and even a cane after that until I regained full strength. Even up to 6 months after, I'd get the odd twinge. Now, I couldn't be happier. I can run, walk, do everything. Good luck to you.

 
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