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    Old 06-24-2004, 12:29 PM   #1
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    bunion surg--return to sports?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm trying to figure out some realistic expectations for returning to sports after a bunion osteotomy (which I may have done this summer). After a few knee surgeries, one with major complications, I often get the impression that doctors are way too idealistic in their projections for full recovery.

    I understand that everyone's case is different, but I'd appreciate any feedback. My basic questions are:

    *Is it unrealistic to expect to ever be as "good as new" after surgery (i.e. as good as before my bunion flared up)?
    *Is it unrealistic to expect to go on backpacking trips, ever, after bunion surgery (hiking with big loads on my back--obviously not easy on the feet)?
    *What about going on long day hikes after surgery?
    *Is it easier on the toe joints to swim with or without fins? Kicking normally bothers my bunion; I haven't tried fins--would they help keep the joint from bending, or would they put more pressure on the joint?

    I've seen posts where people have returned to running after bunion surgery, so I guess there's hope. I'm very skeptical, though, after what I've gone through with my knees--running and biking are out of the question for me, and I'm trying to retain the sports I have left!

    Thanks & best wishes to all,

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    Old 06-24-2004, 03:08 PM   #2
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    Re: bunion surg--return to sports?

    Hi Snowcat,
    I am now 10 days post-op so I can't comment personnally about getting back into sports, however, I can let you know about my best friend who had a bunionectomy on both feet several years ago. She said it took about a year for her feet to get completely back to normal. She is a very active person and went on a hiking trip last year in New Zealand. She also goes canoeing. I hope this helps. Take care.
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    Old 06-24-2004, 10:29 PM   #3
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    Re: bunion surg--return to sports?

    Hi there Snowcat - I am 14 weeks post op (right foot bunionectomy, big toe and little toe Chevron procedure with three permanent pins) and I can tell you that, being an active person myself and a total gym junkie, you have to think along the lines as if you have a broken foot for at least 8 weeks. Make sure that you do EVERYTHING that the doctor tells you in this time period and dont push yourself at all. I was given a full clearance at 12 weeks to go back and do what I was doing before the bunion became painful. I found that the first week after clearance, I had what felt like bruising under the toes but I think this was because I had 'babied' the foot for so long the tissue and muscles had to get used to being jumped on again. Now, I dont even notice any difference in my feet and I am back hard at it! Ooops, hang on I lied, the only thing I cant do properly yet is lunges as my toes are still a bit restricted in that way but I am sure in a years time it will be back to normal as I still do my 'toe exercises' every day. Good luck!!

    Cheers - Ally

    Old 06-25-2004, 01:21 PM   #4
    bridget 48
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    Re: bunion surg--return to sports?

    Hi: I'm 10 weeks post-op bilateral bunion surgery chevron procedure with permanent pins and tendon release of 2nd toes. I am feeling just about normal again. I am able to walk for about 1/2 hour before feeling discomfort. I can bike about as far as I like providing my seat doesn't get sore. I am able to get out and about now without limping at all.. I see no reason why I shouldn't be able to return to a full active lifestyle at about 4 months. Please make sure you have a qualified orthopedic surgeon do the procedure and you follow post-op instructions to the letter. I wish I had this surgery years ago.
    Good luck!

    Old 06-25-2004, 01:56 PM   #5
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    Swimming is great now!

    Hi there. My surgery was 2/12/04 and I am having trouble moving my toe upwards. This cases me to not be able to get into my hiking boots right now although I can walk without pain if I walk on the other side of my foot mostly. I am still in physical therapy and my therapist told me I would be able to have range of motion that will allow "normal activities." But, he said I will never run marathons. I wasn't doing that before, though.

    About the swimming. It's helping me a lot. My ankle got weak after the surgery and swimming has helped a lot. My toe also used to hurt when I would kick. Now, it's not bad at all. No pain when I kick under water. My scar is a little sensitive to the resistance of the water, but I am working on that with the PT (we "move" the scar).

    Good luck.

    Old 06-26-2004, 10:14 PM   #6
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    Re: bunion surg--return to sports?

    Hey everyone,

    Thanks for the good advice! I guess I'm just very scared after my last knee surgery, which has taken me almost three years to recover from. So, hearing your encouraging stories was exactly what I needed--the assurance that, at least for some people, it's possible to be active after bunion surgery. It's easy to lose that confidence after a bad experience.

    I'll keep you updated if I have the procedure done, and I'll be very careful during the recovery period!

    Best wishes for your complete recoveries,


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