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    Old 02-15-2004, 05:21 PM   #1
    monpa04
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    Unhappy double bunionectomy 1/28

    I had a double bunionectomy on 1/28 so I'm at week 2.5. My doctor did not prepare me for the extent of the pain I am experiencing. He told me that I would be walking around after a week and could drive and go back to work after 2! Currently, I am unable to sit, walk or stand comfortably. If I lie down with my feet up then its fine, otherwise they swell and feel painful.

    Its been comforting to read other people's experiences and to know that this will eventually end! The consensus seems to be about 5 months to feel normal again. My question:

    Has anyone found a way to relieve the pain when sitting (without the feet up)? I'm supposed to go back to work next week and there is no way I can sit at a desk for 8 hours. Is there an antinflamatory or a wrap that helps?

    Has anyone been able to drive (45 minute commute) after 3 weeks?

    Thanks for any encouragement or suggestions!


     
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    Old 02-15-2004, 06:08 PM   #2
    HappyMama
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    Re: double bunionectomy 1/28

    I wish I had a bettter answer for you, but in all honesty I at 6 wks post op still can't sit down with my feet not elevated and feel fine. If I'm walking around, I'm ok. If I'm lying down, I'm fine. But just standing or sitting with feet down, it hurts after a few minutes. I can drive, but not that long b/c the feet will hurt. I would definitely suggest finding a way to sit with your feet elevated at your desk, maybe using a wheelchair with feet rests. Maybe take some kind of anti-inflammatory before driving???????? I find that the doctors do not prepare their patients for this!

     
    Old 02-15-2004, 09:10 PM   #3
    rileyroe
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    Re: double bunionectomy 1/28

    I too had a double bunionectomy 5 weeks ago, and I took 3 weeks off of work, and very easily could have taken a few more. I wish I had an answer for you about the pain and swelling, but unfortunately I don't think there is a magic fix. My feet still swell when I am at work. Some days the swelling is really bad, and other days it isn't. I have a foot stool at my desk that I use, but that of course dosen't get my feet high enough so they still swell. I don't know that i would be ready to drive for a long period...my feet get achy just running errands around town! Patience is the key..........and I don't have any!! Good Luck............I know wxactly what you are going through! Mandy

     
    Old 02-15-2004, 10:03 PM   #4
    carlos95
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    Re: double bunionectomy 1/28

    I had a bunion surgery on my left foot 10 days ago. It's also difficult for me to stand or sit with my foot down, since the pain starts right away. However, I found that if I move my leg around while standing, the pain isn't as bad. Also, if I'm walking with crutches, I swing my leg back and forth while bending my knee, as if I was walking on air. This also reduces the pain. My guess is that this increases blood flow and prevents it from collecting at the foot.

    I recently graduated, and I was hoping to get a job soon, but as you said, most people seem to feel normal again after 5 months... That's a long time without a job. ;-P

     
    Old 02-16-2004, 06:49 AM   #5
    Crazy43
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    Re: double bunionectomy 1/28

    On 1/23/04 I had bilateral bunionectomy also. I also still elevate the feet 50-75% of the time. I have been taking anti-inflamatories since day 2 and I do think it has helped as my pain and swelling are minimal. I had my stitches out at 2 weeks and my pins in my 2nd toes out at week 3 last Friday. I do have shooting and burning sensations at times for no reason and if I am on my feet more than 1 hour, I try to put my feet up. Are your still bandaged? Do you have external pins? How long are you on your feet each day? No one is driving at 2 weeks after having both feet done. At my 2 week post-op visit my orthopedist told me I would not be driving until atleast week 4 as they do not want any pressure on the front of the foot. I agree the doctor did not give you a realistic view of your recovery time. I am glad you found this board it is a tremendous support as you have read. Everyone is great to share their experiences and at this point that means a lot. Keep us up to date on your progression.

     
    Old 02-16-2004, 09:58 AM   #6
    monpa04
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    Re: double bunionectomy 1/28

    Thanks for the message. I do have pins in both big toes. My stitches came out at week 2. Pins are coming out at 3.5 weeks. I can't wait since one of them is infected!

    What anit-inflamatory did you use? I've been taking lots of ibuprofin and it helps a little. Is there a better one?

    I need to sit for long periods to do my job as I do computer programming. This is what worries me, I need to have my feet up to be comfortable. And I don't see how I can drive a long distance. I'll try to hitch a ride with someone. Luckily my company is very flexible and I will be able to work at home as much as I need to. I bought a laptop and will see if I can lie down and use that.

    I'm ready for this to be over! I love to run and play and lying around all day is a bummer! Thanks for your support and encouragement...

     
    Old 02-16-2004, 10:52 AM   #7
    twobadfeet
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    Re: double bunionectomy 1/28

    [QUOTE=monpa04]Thanks for the message. I do have pins in both big toes. My stitches came out at week 2. Pins are coming out at 3.5 weeks. I can't wait since one of them is infected!

    monpa04,

    You said one of your feet is infected. Does your doctor know? By my calculations, you still have a week to go before your pins come out. Depending on the extent of the infection, you could be in for some trouble if you just wait it out--a lot can happen in a week. If you haven't told your doctor it might be worth a quick phone call to make sure it's safe to wait. Just my opinion.

    twobadfeet

     
    Old 02-16-2004, 11:22 AM   #8
    twobadfeet
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    Re: double bunionectomy 1/28

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by carlos95
    I had a bunion surgery on my left foot 10 days ago. It's also difficult for me to stand or sit with my foot down, since the pain starts right away. However, I found that if I move my leg around while standing, the pain isn't as bad. Also, if I'm walking with crutches, I swing my leg back and forth while bending my knee, as if I was walking on air. This also reduces the pain. My guess is that this increases blood flow and prevents it from collecting at the foot.

    I recently graduated, and I was hoping to get a job soon, but as you said, most people seem to feel normal again after 5 months... That's a long time without a job. ;-P
    carlos95,

    When people on this board have said you start to feel "normal again" at 5-6 months, what they mean is they start to feel "symptom-free." That means no pain, very little, if any, swelling and a return of their full toe mobility. Please don't feel you have to wait 5 MONTHS to work again; most people would go under financially in that period of time and I'm afraid that might be a terribly long, costly and unnecessary delay.

    I'm now at 3 months post-op and waiting anxiously for my "normal again" phase. (Since my toe is still less mobile than before my surgery and it's still a little painful to walk normally.) But as it is, I'm very active--sometimes working a 16 hour day as I did recently to prepare our house for family visiting from out-of-town. At 3 months I have some swelling but it's much better than the first 2 months and I haven't had to take any medication since my second week post-op. Do check the other posts on this board to return-to-work stories to see when it's a viable possibility.

    twobadfeet

     
    Old 02-16-2004, 12:41 PM   #9
    carlos95
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    Re: double bunionectomy 1/28

    Oh ok, thanks! Yeah, I was really hoping to not have to wait several more months to get a job. I've already been without a job for 6 months! Upon graduation, I wanted to get my feet fixed first, but it took 6 months between the time I talked to a doctor and the time that I got my surgery (I lost a lot of time switching doctors because I didn't like my first one, then I ran into problems with my insurance company... A lot of time wasted!) Anyway, I've already started to job hunt and hopefully get an interview soon, but after I can walk without crutches.

    Carlos

     
    Old 02-17-2004, 02:51 PM   #10
    Crazy43
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    Re: double bunionectomy 1/28

    Regarding the antinflamatory drugs, I just got the doctor to write me a prescription for Lodine XL just because I have had good success with it in the past, however Friday in the office the discussion of over the counter anti-inflamatory drugs came up an I was told Orudis KT is just as good as the prescription ones( it originally required a prescription) If you have had a good experience in the past with a specific one, you could request it if not I would try the Orudis KT.

     
    Old 02-17-2004, 06:41 PM   #11
    monpa04
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    Re: double bunionectomy 1/28

    [QUOTE=twobadfeet]
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monpa04
    Thanks for the message. I do have pins in both big toes. My stitches came out at week 2. Pins are coming out at 3.5 weeks. I can't wait since one of them is infected!

    monpa04,

    You said one of your feet is infected. Does your doctor know? By my calculations, you still have a week to go before your pins come out. Depending on the extent of the infection, you could be in for some trouble if you just wait it out--a lot can happen in a week. If you haven't told your doctor it might be worth a quick phone call to make sure it's safe to wait. Just my opinion.

    twobadfeet
    Yes, I did tell the doctor and I have been on antibiotic for a week now. It is slowly clearing up.
    Regarding the 'back to normal' goal. My doctor told me that I could resume running at 3 months! That seems utterly absurd - I certainly will not do that if it hurts!

     
    Old 02-17-2004, 08:38 PM   #12
    Ann1955
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    Re: double bunionectomy 1/28

    The best I can suggest is that between now and the time you have to go back to work, lay on the couch with your foot elevated "above your heart". It needs to be above your heart to keep the blood from being forced down there. This will help reduce the swelling. Do this all day if you can. I did this for the first two days after surgery and iced it every two-three hours and I had absolutely no pain at all. I wouldn't have been so religious about it except that a friend's doctor father told me how important it was. If you do this enough between now and next week, maybe it will be better by the time you get back to work. Just be a couch potato and read and watch TV every day til you have to go back to work! Good luck.

     
    Old 02-18-2004, 05:25 AM   #13
    monpa04
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    Re: double bunionectomy 1/28

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ann1955
    The best I can suggest is that between now and the time you have to go back to work, lay on the couch with your foot elevated "above your heart". It needs to be above your heart to keep the blood from being forced down there. This will help reduce the swelling. Do this all day if you can. I did this for the first two days after surgery and iced it every two-three hours and I had absolutely no pain at all. I wouldn't have been so religious about it except that a friend's doctor father told me how important it was. If you do this enough between now and next week, maybe it will be better by the time you get back to work. Just be a couch potato and read and watch TV every day til you have to go back to work! Good luck.
    Thanks for the advice, I will try that. Although, getting my feet higher than the heart means I have to lie flat, which I have not been doing..
    Pam

     
    Old 02-18-2004, 07:52 AM   #14
    twobadfeet
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    Re: double bunionectomy 1/28

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by monpa04
    Thanks for the advice, I will try that. Although, getting my feet higher than the heart means I have to lie flat, which I have not been doing..
    Pam
    You don't necessarily have to lie flat to get your feet above your heart. As I mentioned in a previous post, I used a 9-inch high pillow and put 1-2 bed pillows on top of that during the day to elevate my feet. Then I was able to half-recline and watch TV while still keeping my feet high enough to keep the swelling down. Obviously, you'd want to remove the top 1-2 pillows and just use the 9-inch pillow at night.

    Also, at the risk of sounding like an alarmist, I'd warn you to please be careful not to become TOO inactive. As you may know, research as recent at last month showed that total inactivity (for even as short a time as 4 hours!--for example, during a long flight) can allow blood clots to form in even a healthy person. If a blood clot should travel to your heart or brain you could be looking at a heart attack or stroke. Getting up to go to the bathroom or get something to drink every couple of hours should be enough to keep the blood moving; just don't go totally inert. Take care.

    twobadfeet

     
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