Becoming a Navy SEAL is something I'm very passionate about and have been working towards for several years now. With that said, I just have a medical question that I'd like to get squared away. I have a bunionette (tailor's bunion) on both my feet. I've had them for as long as I can remember. I like to think that I have a pretty high pain tolerance, and therefore it's been bearable over the years. I've been able to remain active whether it's running, swimming, lifting weights, doing martial arts with little to no pain. However, I can only imagine and fully anticipate that physically, BUD/s (SEAL training pipeline/selection to weed out candidates that don't have the mental and physical stamina necessary) will be on a different level entirely, possibly causing pain to surface weeks into the training and hindering me from completing my dream. After all, it is considered some of the most grueling and arduous military training in the world. Anyways, my questions are as follows:
1. Is it common to have full functionality with your feet after having surgery to remove bunions? Not only full funtionality, but be able to put the kind of pressure on them that's required at basic, BUD/s, SQT, and further training?
2. Generally speaking, what is the typical recovery time after the operation? By recovery time, I mean the amount of time until I am fully rehabilitated and able to complete tasks that athletes do on a daily basis. Not just being able to walk around.
3. Let's say I decide not to receive surgery because the chances of remaining active are very low, will MEPS disqualify me from entering the Navy? If they don't, is it realistic to think that one can go through BUD/s with such a foot deformity?
Any help is greatly appreciated. Really. Simply knowing if the surgery is even worth it would be great. Pros and cons, etc. This is my only concern and the only thing keeping me from signing up. Thanks in advance to anyone that can help me.
Yes, it's very worth it. And you should be able to jog, dance, etc about 8 weeks or so after surgery. Find a sports med ortho who is foot and ankle board certified. You'll be fine. I've had much more major surgery on my big toe joints and was jogging, dancing, working out (planks, lunges, push ups, etc) by 8 weeks out.
I have had bunionette and bunion on my right foot corrected in 2008 and will be having the same procedure done on my left foot in July. Because the bunionette is on the outside of your foot (fifth met), it requires more recovery time than a bunion on the first metatarsal due to less blood flow. The fifth met is also more fragile and you risk fracture if you are too active too soon. I was told that it is a four month waiting period before you can participate in vigorous athletic activity and it was true. I had the bunionettes on both feet for twenty years before the bunions joined the party! It is definitely worth getting the surgery. Please search my old threads from 2008 and you will see my recovery ups and downs.