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    Old 03-13-2005, 12:21 AM   #1
    kworker
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    Help, post bunion surgery questions

    Hey all, I am a new poster here and responded to two other threads, but I wanted to start a new thread to ask some questions. I had my bunion surgery for severe bunion on Feb 15. I am almost at post op week 4, non-weight baring, on crutches. I got much needed support and validation by reading other threads - Thank you.

    Okay, my questions...

    1. Why does the skin on the foot get so dry after this? This is normal, right?

    2. Is there any other purpose for this removable walking cast other than protecting the foot?

    3. I cannot help but look at my foot and see my toe angling inward. Although the bunion is gone, this inward angling gives me an illusion that I still have a bunion. Nurses at my doc's say that when the swelling fully subsides, the toe will eventually rest in its intended place. Can anyone comment? I am really obssessing over this one.

    4. Are you doing anything to reduce appearance of your surgical scars?

    5. Is anyone wearing a splint or a toe separater to hold their toe in place?

    I see my doctor on Tuesday and plan to ask more questions. It's strange however, b/c I ask my questions and get answers, but later on I feel like I didn't get clear answers and I am still left feeling curious. Thanks, Karen

     
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    Old 03-13-2005, 06:13 AM   #2
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    Re: Help, post bunion surgery questions

    Karen,

    I had my bunion surgery January 25th. Here are the answers to your questions:

    1- Yes, the disgusting dry skin is very normal and you can buy this great stuff Lisa (joll43) recommended called Egyptian Magic sold at health food stores. That really helps but its normal so don't panic. My foot has no more dry skin on it anymore.

    2- The removable cast in my opinion is for protection of foot only. My surgeon thought it also might help me to be weight bearing because of the way your foot is positioned in it but otherwise I think its just for safety. I didn't wear it much at all frankly, it was super uncomfortable.

    3- The toe angling is normal also. But, you should have been advised to wear toe seperators. I was told to wear 2 toe seperators all day and night for 8 weeks then after 8 weeks go down to one only at bedtime. Were you given some? They are spongy, shape of a comma, looking things. You will also be surprised how different your foot will look when the swelling subsides which takes a while! Maybe not all docs recommend toe seperators but mine insisted!

    4- My doc and PT recommended cocoa butter. Other people on these boards are using mederma or surgiscar care, there are lots to choose from at the drug store. I didn't start using anything until week 6 becuase my incisions took a while to heal up.

    5- Toe seperator works just as well as splint.

    I know exactly what you mean about getting vague answers from doc!!! Keep asking until you feel satisfied he/she has answered your questions but you will find these boards much more helpful!!!!!!

    Sharon

    1.

     
    Old 03-13-2005, 12:00 PM   #3
    kworker
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    Re: Help, post bunion surgery questions

    Thank you so much for your answers. I have toe separaters that I bought from Foostsmart about a year ago. I tried using it, but then I stopped b/c I didn't know if I was causing any damage to what was done in surgery. When I see my doctor on Tuesday, I will definitely ask about this because I want to make sure that I do everything I can to assure that the big toe finally relaxes in the position that it's supposed to be in.

     
    Old 03-13-2005, 06:06 PM   #4
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    Re: Help, post bunion surgery questions

    OMG, the dry skin is really the worst - there is SO much skin everywhere in my apartment!! This weekend was the first time I've showered with my foot getting wet (7 weeks), because I had some incision problems and my skin took longer to heal - I'm still a bit scabby - yeah, nice - but I was able to exfoliate a bit with a facial cleansing cloth (not a rough scrubby kind), then Egyptian Magic (Whole Foods) or something with shea butter - use something really rich. Then I let it sit - for me it was my dressing & ace bandage that really made it dry, so I kept the dressing off until my skin looked semi-normal. I think it's going to get better each time.

    Okay - hang in there - it'll be over soon!

     
    Old 03-13-2005, 10:11 PM   #5
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    Re: Help, post bunion surgery questions

    The deal with the dry skin is, because the foot is not able to exfoliate through showering and being exposed to air, the dead skin builds up over the time until you are finally able to get it wet and the dead skin starts to fall off again. It is hard to believe that the skin exfoliates that much over such a short period of time, but it does! When I took my first shower, I used a pumice stone on the bottom of the foot to get as much dead skin off as possible (leaving the wound area alone), then I slathered on a heavy whipped skin cream. My doctor recommended Vitamin AD ointment for the scar, when I was finally able to get the tape off the wound.

    Katie

     
    Old 03-14-2005, 01:53 AM   #6
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    Re: Help, post bunion surgery questions

    Thanks Katie for the info about the skin. That is interesting and I was very curious about that. How well is that ointment working for your scar?

    My sleep is all screwed up and it's 5 am now. I will probably sleep all day - o well, one of the many disruptions in my life since the surgery - LOL

    Karen

     
    Old 03-14-2005, 10:56 AM   #7
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    Re: Help, post bunion surgery questions

    I'm going to gross everyone out now........................I was about to put cream on my wound and I saw this small piece of dead skin (kind of like when you are peeling from a sunburn) so I proceeded to pull it and the tiny piece kept getting bigger and bigger and bigger by the time I was finished I had pretty much peeled my entire foot with that one piece!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Its the grossest thing I've ever seen. It was so bizaar. I have no earthly idea why it did that. I've been putting cream on my foot everyday!!!!!
    Sharon

     
    Old 03-14-2005, 12:36 PM   #8
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    Re: Help, post bunion surgery questions

    OK.....thats gross! I did the same thing, I lost all the skin on the entire bottom of my foot too...on the top around the wound I actually had black dead tissue & stuff...wish I could send a pic, I couldnt even look at it at first. The good news is that it heals and looks normal after awhile... I hate dry feet more than anything.

     
    Old 03-14-2005, 06:05 PM   #9
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    Re: Help, post bunion surgery questions

    Wow, you all are giving me a lot to look forward to!

    I go to the doctor tomorrow for my post op week 4 appointment. I am going to be switching to partial weight bearing with a modified crutch use and I am a little anxious about how easy or difficult it may be to get around.

    My friend is coming to take me to Walmart on Thursday and I may very well be scooting around in one of those motorized wheelchair carts. We plan to take a photo - just for fun. Wish I could post it here, a picture of me driving around Walmart madly with a pair of crutches in the cart and a big bulky black chevron boot on. Whew! Stylin! Hope everone is doing well out there!

     
    Old 03-15-2005, 08:27 AM   #10
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    Re: Help, post bunion surgery questions

    the carts are a blast!! I did it at Target. Be careful though, I nearly ran over a small child. hahahhahahah

    SHaron

     
    Old 03-15-2005, 04:39 PM   #11
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    Re: Help, post bunion surgery questions

    I have pics of me in the cart at Whole Foods and Target!

    So....the update: I'm 7.5 weeks post op and partial weightbearing w/crutches - went to my first PT today - at this point, it's just about regaining foot/ankle strength and range of motion in my toes. I'm doing some exercises, but we are not weight bearing yet - even the PT won't do it until 8 weeks! However, my PT sessions are 2x/week and we should be re-learning to walk next week.

     
    Old 03-15-2005, 04:49 PM   #12
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    Re: Help, post bunion surgery questions

    Gosh, I am really excited for you! It must feel good to be getting somewhat back to normal.

    Listen to my concern. I am post op week 4 today and had my appointment. The doctor has me "full" weight bearing with the chevron boot on using both crutches. Somehow, I feel like this is only partial weight bearing, but that he calls it full. I put both crutches out in front of me and then I step up to the crutches with my left (bad) foot in the chevron boot and then I step up to the crutches using my right (good) foot. Does this really constitute as full weight bearing? And if it does, isn't it too soon for me to be bearing that much weight at week 4?

    Also, my doctor does not indicate having any plans for PT and I am left wondering, what the heck is going on here?

    I guess I should call and ask these questions. I literally had a list of questions written down on paper today that I asked him and somehow, I always miss one or two of them- darn it!

     
    Old 03-15-2005, 07:47 PM   #13
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    Re: Help, post bunion surgery questions

    NONONONONO!!!!

    With crutches on stairs, "UP WITH THE GOOD, DOWN WITH THE BAD"

    What that means is, when you go up stairs, being partial weight-bearing, you keep the bad foot and both crutches on the floor, and step up with good foot alone, then you bring up both crutches and your bad foot. The foot takes 30% of the weight, and each crutch also gets a third.

    Going down steps (down with the bad) keep the good foot on the top step, and step down with both crutches and the bad foot, bring the good foot down to meet them.

    If there's a railing, I use that instead of one of my crutches. You have to use your ARMS as your LEGS!

    Too much weightbearing too soon wil send you back to surgery.

    I know it's frustrating when you finally get to the doc's office and all the questions fly around your head!

    Just listen to your foot, keep it up and when you walk, put three things forward: (from left to right) crutch, bad foot, crutch - then use your arms to get your good foot forward. That is different than stairs ("up with the good, down with the bad")

    Good Luck!!!
    Lisa

     
    Old 03-15-2005, 07:57 PM   #14
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    Re: Help, post bunion surgery questions

    Thank you thank you thank you! This inforamtion is very helpful. Thank you for taking the time to write this information out! This makes much more sense to me, Karen.

     
    Old 03-16-2005, 12:20 PM   #15
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    Re: Help, post bunion surgery questions

    My ortho didn't prescribe PT until I demanded it. You need to be firm with him and tell him you want a prescription for PT. I know for sure I would not have doon as well with my recovery without it!!!! Physical Therapists know how to manipulate the foot exactly to help insure ROM recovery. Even if you just go a couple of times, that is better than nothing at all.

    As for me, its all over with. I go to PT 2 more times and I'm done. I'm pretty much walking normally. Still can;t get into my shoes yet but bought a pair one size larger to get me thru. My foot and toe are stiff in the mornings but as soon as I take a step of two I am fine.

    I know that a big part of my recovery was venting on these boards. I've enjoyed talking to everyone and hope the best for you all. I feel kind of silly stickin around on here since I am about 90% recuperated so I'll say goodbye to everyone.

    Lisa, I hope you do well with your next surgery but I'm sure you will. I've enjoyed conversing you. Good luck to you!
    Sharon

     
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