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  • Partner Getting Bunion Surgery - HELP PLS!

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    Old 06-22-2009, 08:58 AM   #1
    rrrucker21
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    Question Partner Getting Bunion Surgery - HELP PLS!

    Hi everyone,

    My partner is getting bunion surgery on both feet and I wanted to know what I should expect and what will be needed of me and for how long.

    He had an appointment earlier today with the foot dr and was approved for the surgery (the kind that will need screws or pins in his feet and will have casts on both feet). He now needs to come up with a date for the surgery (has to check with work first), then he will go to a physical done by his PCP and then the surgery.

    All I know is that recovery takes 6 weeks or so, he will need physical therapy and will need someone to take him home from surgery (I will drop him off as well).

    In the little bit of research I have done thus far, no one talks about what to expect when having both feet done and how immboilizing, or not, this will be.

    So any advice on what to expect as a person supporting someone who has this surgery, done on both feet especially, would be greatly appreciated!

    Best regards,
    R21

     
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    Old 06-23-2009, 03:23 AM   #2
    earthworm88
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    Re: Partner Getting Bunion Surgery - HELP PLS!

    Hi, would you know specifically which procedure will be done to correct the bunions? Do you know the surgery will be inpatient or outpatient? You need to get a timeline from the surgeon as to when the casts will be removed, what are the steps and so forth so you know exactly what to expect. Each procedure will have slightly different followup care and schedule and recovery period.

    I was lucky to do as in inpatient and was able to stay in hospital for 3 days which helped me greatly as I was alone and after that I had access to wheelchair for 2 weeks which allowed me to stayed off my feet completely. The 2nd to 4th day are the toughest. I think you should expect to help your partner anyway you can which includes helping him to the bathroom, feed him, etc. You would pretty much be his third crutch and a "maid" :-)
    I have a few tips from personal experience with my Scarf osteotomies which does not require casts, just the bandages which were removed 2 wks later with the sutures:
    1) elevate feet above heart level as much as possible. This will reduce the swelling faster and hasten the healing process and less pain. I didn't have to take pain killers at all.

    What to elevate feet with? If you have a balance ball (the kind that you see at gyms), I find that to be the best way, light and malleable! Just deflate it a bit, depending on your height preference. It is absolutely easy for my feet and I could adjust the distance easily by moving it with my heels whereas pillows can slip. I put a pillow under my knees for better support. Then I will move my legs up and down while feet on ball to simulate walking just to get the legs moving. I also use it to do other exercises ie crunches, bum squeezes etc I would also sit up to do upper body stretches etc., he can do pretty much anything to keep him from losing his mind :-)

    2) cold packs if recommended by the surgeon. I honestly did not do cold packs at all as elevating my feet were good enough. I was really cautious and would not lower my feet unless I really have to, so I was on my back in bed all day long with all the things I need just next to me. TV and laptop kept me entertained and sane :-)

    3) Drink lots of water. This will help the lymphatic system to remove toxins etc which will enhance healing. Which means you will be helping him to the bathroom a lot :-)

    4) Patience - both of you will need it.

    Tomorrow will be the completion of my 3 weeks post op....for the past week I have been working on massages to remove internal scar tissues and doing some isometric exercises on my own. I have seen a lot of improvement with only one week.

    I hope it's helpful to you. If you have other questions, please feel free to ask!

    Good luck to you and your partner.

     
    Old 07-24-2009, 12:06 AM   #3
    leslietfj
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    Re: Partner Getting Bunion Surgery - HELP PLS!

    I know you will have already been living with this for a while, but I thought I'd respond for the benefit of others. I had a single bunionectomy/osteotomy with a bone spur removal. My husband has been a godsend through this process. However, we didn't really think about what was going to be involved or make some reasonable preparations.

    I had my surgery in Dubai and I think they are a bit more conservative here, but I was in the hospital over night. If you have the choice, definitely stay for at least one night. It's pretty scary getting to the bathroom the first couple times. And with the adjustable beds it's much easier getting yourself in a good position to sleep. Anyway, once home I spent a couple days in bed virtually all the time. My husband brought me food, drink and made sure I could get to the bathroom ok.

    I have horrible upper body strength and that's something I would have worked on in prep for the surgery because crutches suck if you can't hold yourself up. But a friend recommended I roll around on my office chair and that was a MASSIVE help.

    My husband is able to work from home and he's done that for the 11 days since my surgery. He bathes me per the doctor's instructions. He did NOT want me standing in the shower. It sounds like the amount of freedom you're given depends on your doctor. In my case I am substantially overweight and I think he doesn't want me putting any weight on my foot for a while. My understanding is that will change at 3 weeks when he takes out the stitches.

    After 5 days he said it was ok to stand with my foot down (only if the boot is on) but still don't put weight on it. That allowed me to be able to get into the kitchen on my own which helped my sense of independence and started to relieve my husband of his having to do EVERYTHING for me.

    My foot is up all the time unless I am going to the bathroom or in the kitchen. I have virtually no swelling although it's still more than the doctor would like. I also have no pain to speak of. Occasionally I have the sensation like a sunburn on the top of my foot (the skin sort of pulling and itching). And my doctor says there should be no pain. The only medication I'm taking is an anti-inflammatory and Nexxium to minimize stomach problems from the anti-inflammatory.

    As the non-surgery partner I would say if you can take time off from work or work from home, it's going to make the patient feel much more confident. You'll be doing a lot of little things like putting glasses and remotes and stuff within arm's reach. Also, for the first couple days I kept knocking over water glasses. It seemed he was constantly running for a towel to clean up after me. I think that was because I was sort of flinging myself into position. Thankfully that went away as my upper body strength and the ability to move my leg improved. Also, you will have to do ALL the cleaning for awhile. And you'll want to make sure the path is clear of shoes and stuff.

    Good luck to both of you!

     
    Old 07-24-2009, 05:09 AM   #4
    earthworm88
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    Re: Partner Getting Bunion Surgery - HELP PLS!

    Hi Leslie,

    How long ago was your surgery and which hospital did you have it done? I hope your feet are doing better now! Speedy recovery!

     
    Old 07-24-2009, 10:37 PM   #5
    leslietfj
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    Re: Partner Getting Bunion Surgery - HELP PLS!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by earthworm88 View Post
    Hi Leslie,

    How long ago was your surgery and which hospital did you have it done? I hope your feet are doing better now! Speedy recovery!
    I had it done at Emirates Hospital and I can't say enough about them. The surgery started a little later than scheduled but not bad. I think it took about an hour and a half (as planned) and I was in recovery for a couple hours. Then I stayed in the hospital until late afternoon the next day. The nurses were terrific and the food was actually quite good. I think that's a standard thing here. A friend of mine was recently at City Hospital for a different thing and raved about the food there too.

    The epidural procedure instead of general anesthesia is weird but minus a bunch of the side-effects (dizziness, nausea, etc.) Being "awake" during surgery is definitely weird. You're too drugged to respond to anything they're saying and can't even open your eyes, but you definitely hear more or less the whole thing. I can't guarantee I didn't fall asleep through part of it. But the doctor kept commenting about how I had hard bones. He was having trouble sawing or sanding or whatever it is they do. I asked him about that later and he said I'll never have to worry about osteoporosis! So that's something at least.

    I had the surgery on July 14th, and I go in to see him weekly to have the foot checked and rewrapped. I'm expecting to get the stitches out at 3 weeks so I'm about half way there now. I did just one foot. The other isn't critical right now but will probably get done some day.

    But here's a little description of how having these things done here is different. Using my Wii Fit I finally got where the pain on the top of my big toe was excruciating so one day I finally went to the hospital. It's really not much more than a big clinic. It only has 8 bedrooms! So I see the gp and was told I need to see the orthopedic surgeon, but now it's after 5; can I come back tomorrow. Of course! Get in to see an ortho in less than 24hours? Unheard of! So the next day I get in there, check in, wait and then meet with Dr. Kaissar (that's his first name... if you're Arab you go by your first name). He says he needs to see x-rays and sends me down there. I have them done and the radiologist actually let me see the x-rays right then which I thought was nice. So I go back to Dr. Kaissar's office and he pulls up the x-rays on his computer and shows me the bunion (which is even worse looking on the x-ray) and the bone spur which is actually the culprit for the pain. He needs to rule out any other problems (gout, diabetes, ...) so I need to see the internist. His nurse escorts me out to reception and they say, "how about 2:00 PM?" and I said, um, it's 2 right now. Yes, you'll be his first appointment, he's on his way in now. So I wait and when I get called back to the internist's office (Dr. ***** or something like that) he is talking with Dr. Kaissar. I'm glad to know I don't have to go over my whole foot history with him again. So we talk and he says he needs a blood test. So I go back to the lab and do that. I was getting ready to leave and the person at check out reminded me that I have a prescription. Oh, thanks! So I go back to pharmacy and have the prescriptions filled and off I go. This whole process, 2 specialists, x-rays, blood tests, pharmacy, plus dealing with the front desk over insurance, scheduling, etc., took 90 minutes in the front door to out again. You can't even calculate what that would be in an American Hospital. Weeks maybe?

    Anyway, I'm having no pain, and no swelling to speak of, but I absolutely follow doctor's orders. I'm going crazy from the boredom, but I think I'm recovering remarkably well. * Instructions for locating personal website, and off-board contact removed by hb-mod, moderator *

    Last edited by hb-mod; 07-25-2009 at 02:32 AM. Reason: Please don't post links or contact information regarding personal websites as per Posting Policy. Thanks.

     
    Old 07-24-2009, 11:05 PM   #6
    earthworm88
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    Re: Partner Getting Bunion Surgery - HELP PLS!

    Wow Leslie, that is quite impressive by Dubai standard Sounds like you are doing fantastic too! It is very interesting to hear about your "twilight zone" experience. Would love to chat some more. I will send you a private message. Thanks so much for the info.

    p/s: tried to send you a private message but either it was not set up or not allowed on your part.

    Last edited by earthworm88; 07-24-2009 at 11:14 PM.

     
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