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beckyn 07-22-2006 07:09 PM

Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
Hi Folks. I hope someone can help me with my concerns. I have a severe bunion of the big toe which is pushing on my second and then third toe. What I am most worried about is getting around after the surgery due to extra weight and some arthritis. I also get hives from pressure (such has cutting the grass and getting hives on my hands from pushing the mower). I can not imagine how I am going to move about on crutches with extra weight and no upper strength. I'm afraid I will be bedridden. I work full time at a desk job and told my employer I will be out for two weeks. Any and all suggestions and tips will be appreciated. Thanks.

kimann 07-22-2006 07:25 PM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
You came to the right place! There are a number of threads from bunionectomy survivors, and they have lots of advise. You can make sure someone adjusts the height of your crutches properly, and you can buy or make pads for the armrests and the handgrips. It helped a lot with the rubbing and callousing, and since they can be washed, it saves the rubber parts from disintigrating. They look cheap, but they're not! Rent a wheelchair, as well, so you're able to get around when you get too tired. Did your surgeon tell you how long you'd be nwb? Did he tell you you could be back to work at two weeks? That seems short, but it depends on your specific procedure, as well as on your doctor's preferences. Take care, and post soon, let us know. Kim

beckyn 07-22-2006 07:47 PM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
Thanks for responding Kim. First I need someone to tell me what nwb means. I'm a real newbie. My doctor told me that the minimum amount of time I will be out is two that is what I told my employer. I was hoping that would be the case since my job is at a desk and I could prop my leg up and don't require standing unless to go to the printer, bathroom, or lunchroom. I have had the bunion since adolescence but only until the last two years it has become very painful due to throwing the structure of my whole foot out-of-whack. I've had orthotics and three shots of cortisone over the past two years which helped temporarily. I'm tired of being in pain when walking and reached my limit so have planned the surgery. Just concered about the recovery and time needed. My bunion is severe and my second toe might need work too. I've planned the surgery for September as I'm a single mom and I need to get two sons off to college and my daughter settled into her senior year of H.S. Thanks for all suggestions. (Does nwb mean no weight bearing? Just a guess.)

mkl 07-23-2006 07:06 AM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
Yes, Beckyn, NWB means non-weight-bearing. Don't know what to suggest about the hives; perhaps there are some meds the doc can prescribe for that? I also put off my bunion and crossed over toes surgery for years and years until it got to the point I could hardly walk at all. Had the first foot done 7/5 and taking some action feels great. As for the crutches....that was one of my big apprehensions so I was just delighted when they sent me home with only a surgical boot and a cane. A nurse I know had predicted that, but I didn't believe her. She was right! Maybe they will do the same with you. It makes getting around so much easier. My doc scheduled the second foot for three weeks after the first, as he says three weeks is the time it takes to be able to bear weight on the first foot. But I have been walking around my apartment since Day 1 on the cane and the heel of the operated foot. If the distances involved at your job are short, you should be able to manage at your job after two weeks. You just want to avoid walking several blocks at a time, which I foolishly did 2 weeks after my surgery because I was feeling good. No damage done, but I was pretty sore for a day or two afterwards. Your foot will tell you when you have overdone it. Ask your co-workers to carry and fetch for you; they will probably be happy to help. Good luck!


beckyn 07-23-2006 12:40 PM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
Thanks Marianne for responding. Was yours a severe bunion deformity like mine? I’d love the idea of just having a surgical boot and cane. I keep thinking “why can’t I walk on my heel”? Luckily where my cubicle is in our office building, is located very close to the bathroom, lunchroom, and printer. I’m sure my co-worker would be helpful in retrieving things for me. Obviously, the bathroom will have to be done by myself. Have others on the board used a cane or walker to get around rather than crutches? I had a friend who had surgery on both feet at the same time a number of years ago. I don’t know how she did it with “little ones” running around the house. I’ve been trying to contact her but she must be out of town. The thought of laying around for a couple of weeks does not appeal to me. I’m trying to make a list of things I can do during that time. Luckily, I can still shop via QVC-ha!

RubyRedHead 07-23-2006 07:25 PM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
Hi Beck, I'm relatively new to foot surgery too. My first was 5/26. My pod did bunion surgery (even though I didn't have a bunion!) but my big toe joint was messed up from arthritis. Long story short...had to break the bone and ended up with 2 screws. While I read a lot of posts where folks are put in a hard cast and use crutches, I, like mkl, was put in a boot in the recovery room and was mobile from day 1. It was the kind of boot that allows your weight to be on your heel. If you "get the boot" :D lol, I recommend some sort of gel heel pad cause my heel got sore without it.

Also, I'll bet you've read lots of posts concerning foot elevation and pain medication. If not, may I be the first to recommend staying on a regular pain med schedule for the first couple of days after surgery and keeping your ankle iced (at intervals as suggested by your Dr.) and keep your foot elevated as much as possible.

If it wasn't for this board and the good advice given here, I probably wouldn't have done as well as I did with my surgery. Believe me, these folks know what they're talking about!! I'm glad I found this board and consider myself well blessed. :angel:

Good luck and keep us posted. :)

Prin 07-24-2006 05:14 AM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
I would advise you to have a very up front discussion with your Dr. regarding the length of time you will be laid up. I thought I was getting a surgical shoe after surgery, and woke up to find a half cast on my leg, and I was NWB in a plaster cast for eight weeks!! SURPRISE!! There is always the possibility that the Dr. will have to do more than he first thought, that's what happened to me! Also, if it's the right foot, find out about driving, too. Cindy

moondancer2 07-24-2006 02:15 PM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
Beck --

Let me add a "me too" to those who advise you to talk to the doc (whether it's a podiatrist, or OS)...I too had bunions since I was a teen (i'm now late 40s)...and in the last 10 years the pain has been gradually increasing, until it was bothering me even if I was sitting in a chair. I'd been told by a podiatrist tht I had arthritis, and had a couple of cortisone shots a few years ago, with very limited benefit. The bunion was causing my big toe to force toes two and three to the outside of my foot.

i had foot 1 done, april 12, and foot 2 done, 3 weeks later. i was only on crutches for 3 days, and even on crutches, i was told to start putting a little bit of weight on my heel, as soon as the nerve block wore off. by the time i had foot 2 done, foot 1 would bear all of my weight -- although still almost entirely on my heel. i was out of work 10 days with each foot..but the last few days were due to the driving issue (although in all first week or so of work, i was putting in shorter days -- 6-7 hours, instead of 8-9)

today is about 3 1/2 months after foot 1, about 3 months after foot 2...and i had my final appt with the doc. he's very pleased, answered all my questions, and everything boiled down to -- yeah, someone who didn't know i'd had surgery, wouldn't know -- i have no stride is back to the pre-op length, my speed is back to the pre-op speed..i can crouch down, and reach up on my toes. there are still some dance-related limitations, and shoe-related limitations -- and it will be about 6 mnths before i'm at 100%, and he reminded me that's what he'd told me pre-op, and reaffirmed that i'm on track.

so - my advice?? -- write your questions down, talk to your doc, be specific with your questions, and carefully consider his/her answers.

good luck....and keep coming back to this board for the 'voice of experience', but remember that most of those on this board, are having my opinion, the average person will do better than the average person on this board.

Just my $.02

beckyn 07-24-2006 05:46 PM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
Thank you all so very, very much for your information. I am going to print them out and hang onto them for future use. As a single mom, I need to get my two sons off to college before I have the surgery. Thankfully, my daughter will be a senior in H.S. and I'm sure will be a help to me. I told my co-workers today that I will be out a minimum of two weeks in September. I also informed them that I will work from home as much as possible and that I will be crocheting each person in our department a dishcloth-ha! I can't tell you how valuable your information is. Thank you all so much. I'm sure I will be checking in now and then and especially as my surgery draws closer and after. Take care y'all and keep those feet propped up. Becky

mkl 07-25-2006 05:26 AM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
Beckyn, as for how severe my bunions were, they were BAAAAAAD! On both feet they literally stuck out 2 inches and the only shoe I cold wear was a Men's size Classic Reebock that has mostly nylon uppers. Then I would have to stretch out the shoes with those wooden stretch things to the point the shoe would be almost pulling away from the sole. And the shoes still hurt because of the bunions and all the crossed over toes as the big toe by the bunion pushed them all into a jumble like a nest of snakes. My foot surgeon, who is one of the nicest doctors I have ever met, admitted that mine were the worst feet he had EVER seen. The next step would have been cutting slits in the shoes for the bunions. Indeed, I had stocked up on that particular style of shoe, fearing they would stop making them, and now have a stash of about unused 40 pairs that I hope I can say good-bye to when I am recovered and donate them to charity.

I know what you mean...I don't get QVC or whatever it is but I have been spending a LOT of time and money on Ebay...not buying pretty sandals yet but hopefully that day will come!

A friend of mine with less deformed feet had both done at the same time in Canada a number of years ago. She said her doctor had fashioned something like metal braces that she wore under her arches and the braces bore the weight but I haven't heard of anyone here in the U.S. who had metal braces. Must be a Canadian thing?


jules3 07-25-2006 06:40 AM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
MKL, im curious, if you're toes were really all crossed over. could the doc really have straigtened them all out to look normal? Thats amazing. i mean you did seee your new foot..besides all the bruising ..was it straight?

moondancer2 07-25-2006 02:02 PM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
my feet weren't as bad as mkl' bunions stuck out about an inch. big toes were pushing the others to the outside, and had started to 'crawl under' the next toe over. hubby and i were AMAZED at how quickly the non-big toes straightened out! LONG before the bruising was gone, toes 2-5 were sticking straight out...and none of them were touching against any of the others.
btw, just as a note of warning....sandals are just fine...but for tennis shoes, or any other closed shoe -- i'm still wearing a wide, and i've been told that it will take a full 6 mnths for all the swelling to go down. don't forget people --- at least for many of us, long after the bone has healed, the tendons and ligaments are still trying to heal.

kalalu 07-25-2006 08:34 PM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
hello there. i just joined after reading your posting because i felt that i could help out. i too am having bunion surgery. in fact, i am having it next wednesday, Aug. 2nd. i had it done 4 yrs. ago on my right foot and now i am having it done on my left foot. i was in a cast last time and will be in one again this go 'round. i'll be in it for 6 wks. and then in a boot for 2 wks. it's not as terrible as you might imagine. once you're on those crutches for a few days you will move around fast on them (i could even chase my youngest sister around on them). the worst pain i was in was the first few days. probably the worst pain that i have personally been in. but in the end it was worth it.

KathJack 07-31-2006 07:39 PM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
Kalalu, only two days until your surgery—Hope you are keeping cool, physically & emotionally! It is amazing how different our bunions, doctors, and recovery experiences are. I had a double bunionectomy in May—I didn’t have a lot of pain (nothing compared to childbirth or post-hysterectomy), didn’t get a cast or boot (I was issued velcro surgical sandals which I only had to wear for 1-2 weeks after which I graduated to wide gym shoes), and no crutches. I hope your pain is much less this time around—I really appreciated the advice I got on this board to keep ahead of it by taking the medication before I really needed it and continuing to take it regularly. I am 2 ½ months post-surgery now and agree that it was well worth it; whatever minor pain I have (mostly in my second toes, corrected for hammertoe) is much less than the pain I had from the bunions pre-surgery. Best wishes.

Pmowa 08-07-2006 09:34 AM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
Hello...I just had bunion surgery on my right foot 6/22/06. It is six weeks and they will not release to drive or be weight bearing for at least another week. I rented a roll about. It was great. Crutches did not work for me. The roll about is like a scooter. You rest your knee on the pad and push with you good leg. I went back to work after 2 weeks, but my foot swelled alot and still does. After 6 weeks, i can now put on a sandal. Hope it all goes well for you.

beckyn 08-14-2006 05:56 PM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
Thank you so much for the suggestion of the roll-about. What a great idea. That is just what I needed. Having these health boards is great to have all the feedback. Wishing everyone the best.

beckyn 08-30-2006 06:52 PM

Re: Advice requested on upcoming bunion surgery
Thank you Pmowa for the suggestion of a roll-about. I had never heard of that. I had a difficult time finding one to rent but eventually did and have it reserved for my surgery in two weeks. I just don't think crutches are going to work for upper body strenth. I appreciate and welcome any other suggestions. Wishing everyone the best. Becky

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