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Scarf Bunionectomy - post op pain etc


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Old 03-27-2011, 09:53 PM   #31
Hotdog girl
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Re: Scarf Bunionectomy - post op pain etc

Hi Polly (hope you don't mind me addressing you as Polly, more personable)

My 2nd visit to my foot doctor (who is the also the one who performs on my surgery) is tomorrow late afternoon. My hubby will come home a bit earlier and drives me to see her. Her clinic is about 20 minutes by highway from my home at the other end of the town. Which is not too bad for distance-wise.

Hubby has been wonderful and loving to me. He took some days off to care for me right after the surgery. My 15 years old daughter has also been at home the past week as her mid term break, so I was lucky to time my surgery this way. Starting tomorrow, I'll be on my own at home during the week as hubby is at work and my daughter will be back to school after mid-term break. I'll have lots of time reading, resting, writing emails, chatting on this newly joined forum, and researching on many other things I have never had time to do 'sitting down'. I have always work full time since I moved to Canada from Hong Kong 20 years ago as a young lady, so apart frommy maternity leave for my daugther's birth back in 1995 for 6 months, I have always work my butt off hard

It is so nice you can hoovering! Woo! I long to get back on my feet soon. My home is a bit messy now as I have been 'ingoring' the mess due to my 1st week post-op. I have hoping this is into my 2nd week, things can be healing more as the days progress. I long to be able to do my own laundry, hoovering, cook my own little meals and able to just to be 'moblie' enough to eventually walk a little outside by a cane or so and sit at the courtyard outside of our apartment. The Spring has really sets in for Vancouver and the weather can be sunny and nice some days, with occasional rain. The past few days have been beautiful with the early Spring feel. I really wish I could be well enough to sit outdoors even just for a little bit.

The swelling at my foot is going down a lot, I could tell, compares to last week post-op. I have trying to move my foot in a front and back motion and draw circles in the air with it when lying in bed for sitting with my foot up. I hope tomorrow the doc can give me good news as to the removal of stitches and if miracle happens, she can also remove the pin. Otherwise, everything should be able to be removed by 3rd week (early April).

I only had 1 penny size bleeding post op, but otherwise everything looks good to my doc during my last visit 5 days post-op.

You know Polly, I have been trying to keep very positive, staying sociable to talk to friends over the phone, and let them come to my home for visits so to keep my spirit up and to avoid depression. I had a mild post-patrum depression for about 3 weeks after I gave birth to my daughter. I was a bit worried that this operation my trigger this kind of depression again.

For the last week, I did have my 'blue' days on and off, and slowly I am getting better. I guessed this blue is very normal from reading off the forum.

I only used my velco 'moon boot' when I have to go out for doc visits or go to church (yes I am a faithful Christian and going to church really helps me during this recovery time. My pastor said a little prayer for my foot for speedy healing).... as my foot is bundled up with thicker bandage - it is a bit tight to fit into the boot. I can velco it loosely but still love to let my foot breath at home when I am taking it easy.

My job is 'watching' me tightly for my sick leave - as my company's insurance is covering my sick leave so far. They approved 4 weeks so far. Any further sick leave my doc will have to fill out more medical forms, which I know my doc will push for me. She knows well that it is best to try for more than 4 weeks if it works. She is trying to push to 6 weeks off for me. That is why I really pray that my healing can be speedy!

From yesterday, my foot started to itch at the bottom. May be due to the bundled up for the past 10 days. I hope this is also a sign of recovery. I no longer need to ice the foot that much nowadays compares to the 1st post op week. Just very occasionally if I had my foot down for longer down than expected.

I love the description of where you live - a livery yard! This is the kind of life of my dream. You must live at the country side of the town? I live at North Vancouver which is the other side of downtown Vancouver.

I remember you also lives near Yorkshire?? I went to a Boarding School in West Yorkshire, near Leeds area. I was there as a Boarder for almost 9 years. Those were to good innocent years, I was only a teenager studying my O & A levels !! I still love some of the photos I kept from my school days there. I really missed England that way. I always tell my family and friends about the Yorkshire & my lovely boarding school days.

Take care. Hubby is putting on a simple late dinner - it is 8:30pm our time in Vancouver. As tomorrow is a work day for him (and a school day for my daughter), we will be going to bed prior to 10:00pm.

Chat to you after the doc visit tomorrow to see how things go

Thanks for all the support on-line

Hotdog girl.


Quote:
Originally Posted by polly54 View Post
Hi Hotdog girl, what a tremendous suprise to get a reply from you- and all the way from Canada too. I'm afraid I had to have a day more or less in bed after doing far too much the day before. I felt that I had really cracked this recovery business and was practically skipping about in my snazzy (not) velcro sandals; painting, sewing, hoovering, cooking and on more than one occasion forgetting about my feet- which was rather nice. I even went with my husband, who drove, to our livery yard where I tottered about amongst the horses and filled the odd hay net. Yesterday however I felt exhausted and realised that I had been pushing it so I spent the day mostly sleeping and sitting with feet up. Feel better for it today and again having to resist the temptation to rush at everything.
I really have had very little pain or swelling in either foot (with minimal medication) and I put this down to the minimally invasive technique that is being trial'd here and apparently has been given NICE approval as the procedure of choice. I recall the consultant said that there have only been a total of 600 cases to have the procedure-not sure if that was in UK only so I suppose I have been a bit of a guinea pig.It was done on the NHS. It involved a general anaesthetic, 2x 2 cm cuts above and below the bunion, a metal pin attached by 3 screws to the bone, chevron cut in 2 places to allow for the straightening and no stitching. A tournacay (realise that's wrong spelling)had been used to stem blood flow during the op. Then my feet were thickly and quite tightly bandaged and i'm pleased to say didn't bleed post-op and I was given the velcrO sandal which i soon got the hang of. The op took about an hour and I came home about 5 hours later.
The recovery period so far has really been fine and as I said I have had to keep reminding myself what I have had done and the need to take it steadily.
Tomorrow I am due back at the clinic to have the dressings off and hopefully to move into thick padded socks and soft shoes or to have another dressing on. i presume i will have feet x-rayed to look at progress.
In some respects I feel i will be more vulnerable to damaging myself when back in normal shoes (I have a couple of pairs of washable Ugg type boots in the washer as we speak) and inclined to fly around again. Can't risk stubbing my foot/feet and will need to ask tomorrow about how much i can do and what would be the (worst) consequences of bumping feet. Suppose most of it will be guided by the amount of pain. I am hoping that I am ok by the 6 weeks mark -as far as driving, dog walking and riding are concerned but expect to be signed off sick leave in a weeks time. My work is office based and sedentary so I should be ok and have warned colleagues that I might need to adopt the feet on desk position for a few weeks. I think I will feel better when i am back in routine and 'out there'.
I inherited my bunions from my Mother; all her sibs and my maternal cousins have strange feet, but not necessarily bunions. My Mother had hers done40 years ago- big cuts/ scars and done separately so legs in pots for well over a year. The pain was described as worse than childbirth, so I was well put off. Then over the last few years, despite always wearing flat, wide shoes (EEE) and keeping fit I have been beset by painful swollen and very limiting feet, especially in summer. I had gone to see GP about something else but when asked about why i was limping, ended up in tears and so came to realise the extent to which i had been putting on a brave face. The process from referral to being seen took about 4 months which i feel is excellent. After seeing the nurse tomorrow i am booked in to see the surgeon on 12/5 when i hope i will be fit for discharge.

So I am very pleased with it all so far but might be less clever tomorrow pm after seeing my new feet for the first time. I will take pictures though and attempt to attach them to ** and would be interested in your verdict. Whether i will get the swelling after the fairly restrictive dressings come off remains to be seen but I always have my super velcros to fall back on (pun not intended)
Anyway need to stand up so will close and wish you a continued good recovery.

Keep smiling. We have the summer, just around the corner, to enjoy our new feet (or foot in your case). x

 
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Old 03-28-2011, 03:22 AM   #32
delightfuldior
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Re: Scarf Bunionectomy - post op pain etc

hello all

My bunions are inherited from Mums side. And my Mum is in surgery having her left bunion done and toes straightening as I type! Hers are terrible, she is 51. I am 33 and had them as far back as 10 year old! I used to hate PE and wore long baggy bottoms to cover them. I didnt make them any better by wearing high heels with pointy toes from about 21 but they have kinda got worse in the last 4 years and Ive been wearing mainly flats! I will be getting the right one done in a couple of years as it looks so distinctive now against the new foot. It wasnt that bad as you see in the pic but since the op its got bigger and more painfull as I have been over compensating on that foot.

I came off the meds about week two. I got tummy upset and rash with the anti inflams and the tramadol made me feel sick so I weaned myself off them and took paracetamol every 4 hours eventually winding down off these. I found the first two weeks horrific. I had a hlaf cast on bound tightly by ace bandages and when the foot swelled it burnt like mad . Once the cast was off it felt much better but I could still feel the swelling; mainly around the tom of the foot near the toes; which I still get.

I drove my car for the first time yesterday. It was painful to use the clutch and also difficult as my velcro shoe kept getting caught under the break, so I wouldnt say I am fit for driving unless I wear my uggs. I have tried to get some cons on and gym shoes but cannot pull them on because the incision really hurts its starting to heal nice but the skin is very hard in areas where the metal work is underneath and its numb but stings.. if that makes sense.

Ive been gently massaging bio oil in twice a day since Saturday. I have used this before for another op I had and the scars are barely noticable.

I previously went to see about having my bunions done in 04. The consultant told me I too would have a pin/screw sticking out my foot for a while... this put me off and I refused to have it done. So I praise you for going ahead!!!!! You must have guts to have the procedure done this way. Who knows when I come to get the other done I may see a diff consultant and have it done this way!

I have been off work for 8 weeks. 4 weeks full pay and 4 weeks half pay by my employer. I go back tomorrow on a phased return to work basis starting from office duties 25% of my hours, building up to 100% over 4 weeks. I will then return to my normal duties of driving and working between sites on shifts. My employer has been great. I was told that I would only be off 4 week but at the 2 week check up I was told to return in 5. I was gutted

I suffer from anxiety and depression anyhow so 7 weeks of nothing to do drove me up the wall. But by week 4 I was up and about shuffling in my heel bearing shoe and was able to get into the garden, walk around the block with the dogs and do housework which lifted my spirits.

Next time I will prepare more now I know what to expect. Maybe buy an online course to do whilst off work, arrange for the dogs to be walked every day etc. Them not getting walked made me sad alone as they love their two walks a day. Now they are back full swing now I can take them I had to freeze my gym membership for three months. I go back on 1st May of which I will have some PT sessions for a month and then Im on my own. I'll be doing bike and stepper and x trainer eventually as running is out of the question. I'm going to visit a runners shop this week and get my foot checked and some ideas on shock absorbing trainers for when I eventually start running.

Its a massive operation getting ya bunion done. some people cannot beleive how complicated the op is. It tests ya mental health to the limit!! But if all goes well.. its worth it

 
Old 03-28-2011, 09:57 AM   #33
polly54
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Re: Scarf Bunionectomy - post op pain etc

Hi All, Thanks so much for continuing to tell your stories.
I had my 2 week post-op check-up with the nurse and at first found myself barely able to squint at the damage as the original dressings were removed. However very pleased to say that my feet didn't look half bad. Some bruising to my second toes, redness and a bit of swelling around the joint, very little dried blood/healed up cuts, compression marks from the bandaging, injection marks around my inner ankles from the local, which i understand was given in addition to the light general anaesthetic. Big and second toes have gaps between them but have been told that this will reduce in time. The joints still looks a bit buniony but nurse told me this is due to swelling. Indeed the x-ray showed a completely straight joint which is great.
As there was still a little bit of healing to do a lighter, breathable dressing was put on, just over the cuts and i have to take this off in 2 days when it is anticipated that healing will be complete. I am still in the velcro sandals with thick fluffy socks on. I was told that i will probably be able to shower in 4 days, shower being better than bath at this stage. Also I can try out soft shoes, increase time on my feet and increase activity generally, at my discretion, over the next few days. I was told to expect more shooting pain, numbness and other random sensations-all normal.
I do feel a bit more conscious of my feet and their vulnerability since loosing the thick dressings and i am sure that i will be inclined to heel walk when in soft shoes. But i intend to get back to my 3 days a week at work in 8 days, hopefully in shoes of some sort, so I need to risk a little. And get fitter! If i do get back to work as expected that will be 18 days post-op. Not bad eh? We will see.
So all in all I'm very happy and amazed about having relatively normal feet for the first time in 20 years. I plan to take it steady for the next 2 days and then i will try soft shoes for increasing periods of time around the house. I think that it has really kept my spirits up being able to do most of the ordinary household chores, to some extent, from day 3ish. My husband has probably appreciated this too. I do miss walking the dogs (and feel so sorry for them, especially as we have had such a sunny week) and riding but look forward to the lighter nights to get back into outdoor pursuits. I have a cross-trainer so will make a start with that in a few days.
I am keeping my bit toe still rather tham trying to move it until cuts healed. The idea of using bio oil is good. I will dig some out and try it at the weekend.
I've been told not to attempt driving whilst still off work on sick as i won't be covered insurance-wise. So i will have to continue with lifts but might be in a position to drive to my ? discharge check up on 12/5. That will be good.
I haven't trying to attach pics at this stage as i'm still in dressings but will have a go in 2 days or so when hopefully i will be healed.
I hope you continue to make progress and keep looking forward to active/ outdoor times to come now that we are over the worst. I agree that this surgery is far from a doddle but it opens up so many possibilities and seeing our pretty and painless feet will be a real reminder of our courage and also our great patience. c-:

 
Old 03-28-2011, 12:45 PM   #34
Hotdog girl
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Join Date: Mar 2011
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Re: Scarf Bunionectomy - post op pain etc

Hi Delightfuldior, thanks for your reply! It is always nice to hear from people from the other side of the world of their bunion healing experience. Such good emotional support - as I am still kind of on my 11 days post-op, slowly making my way to the 2 weeks post-op mark!

My foot is feeling more of itself now. Once in a while I have some numb feelings, and little pin like sensations. Not a huge deal but I am feeling them more this past few days. The swelling has gone done a lot than the past week. A little bit left per my eyes can see (my toes are sticking out from the bandage so I can always check on my toes)

My bunions got bothersome when I was in my early to mid 30's. Back then, I did think of surgery but my family doctor encouraged me to wait out a few more years, as he fore-warned me it is a serious surgery and I do have to be ready for it. He was right. So for the following years, I tried everything on the face of this earth to prolong the deformation of the bunions. I got good professional medical insoles for my soft walking shoes, taking care of my tired feet at the end of the day by having massages and foot soaks, I also cut back in a few pounds (I have always been in the 125 to 131 lbs range, so I am keeping it to 128 for years - trying to loose a bit more & hope to return to 125 to 126 pounds. Using the crutches and canes have been a work out in itself....

However, after 10 years now, I cannot get away from the reality that my bunions are starting to hurt and bother me more, almost on a regular basis. So, I returned to my doc and he referred me to this currently lovely lady surgeon. She is very experienced in sport injury and is a foot specialist. I have been seeing her monthly since April 2010 and we all came to this decision to have one foot done for surgery while I am still in my early 40's and can get back the quality of life. I love nature walks, light jogging and all kinds of leisure walks. I am not huge on heavy duty long distrance cross training or marathons so I am not asking a lot out of my feet. Just to be able to get outdoors and may be go on some hikings (Vancouver has a lot of lovely trails). Really, that is all I ask of my feet - to be healthy.

In regards to the surgical method. Orginally my surgeon was thinking of using a little screw to permanently bind my newly adjusted big toe bones. However, she knows that my bones are of more 'slim' bulit, so she decided to use a thin nail (or pin) and let it sticks out for a bit post op, but will be removed eventually so I have no metal inside me. She does not want to trauma my foot more than necessary (as the bunion surgery is already a lot to bear for many women) so she wants to go easy on me. For the scar, I have a bottle of Bio oil at home. I also have some organic extra virgin olive oil with some coco butter and herbs at home. I can melt some of these goodies together and gently put it on the scar once the hardware are out and the wound is closed. But not massaging it too much yet, as one of my friend who is a herbist told me the scar tissue underneath the top layer still needs time to bind even when the top layer of the wound is closed up. So, be patient and let the skin takes time to bind properly, like the bit toe bones.


Well, I took a quick look at my 5 days post op foot later when I visited my surgeon last week for my 1st postop visit. I almost 'passed out' when I took a quick look at my foot - as I have not seen my foot to be so bundled up, with the stitches and pin. I comforted myself it is just a matter of getting use to see an operated foot, I guessed. I have never had any surgery in my 43 years of life, so this bunion thing has been a big thing for me. To be brave emotionally, and to weight out what is important in life - a foot with some scars (which will fade in time) or a foot (or feet) with endless pain and eventually overlapping toes and limited mobilty. I decided to go with the former and have some scars of 'character and courage' - courage to make a change in life. I almost cried with joy to see how straight my big toe is 1st time in more than 20 years! My surgeon let me have a quick few seconds' glance of my newly straightened toe right after operation, for encouragement. I was kind of half awake from the pain killer. I had a local anthestia at my foot only, not a general.

By the way, I have read up a lot materials and took a course in herbal healing and natural soap making years ago. I have learned that organic extra virgin olive oil, calendula oil, lavender essential oil, organic natural shea butter, coco butter, rose hip oil, and chickweed herb are all good for scar healing. I have them all ready at home now. I purchased a jar of chickweed cream (since this is the only thing I do not have at home), very gentle (made of infusion of chickweed which natura olive oil). I am going to try the chickweed cream soon after the doc gives me the ok for the wound healing. Then I'll go with the olive oil and try the Bio oil eventually.

One thing I have working very hard during this 2 weeks post-op (which is the most awful period of time per everyone I have talked to in person and from this forum) is that to avoid the on-set of depression. As I have shared I went through depression after giving birth to my baby daugther 15 years old for a whole month. It was one of the awful experience I had. I was glad I had the 6 months maternity leave here in Canada back in the 90's. So I was able to kick it off and be a happy mom by the time I returned to work. From 1998 onwards, Canada even extended maternity leave to be a full 12 months, with 60% pay from Govt. I almost kicked myself for not having a 2nd baby to make full use of this govt benefit. However, life goes on & my daughter is a young lady of 15 now. She will celebrate her sweet 16 on May 20 this year, just a couple of month away! It is also that I know my daughter is grown and hubby is still not ready to retired so I decided to get 1 foot done now. At least I have 1 good R foot for the future. I have been telling myself this is a learning experience for this entire bunion operation and post-op healing. As what I am learning now will be really helping for my next L foot surgery (which is inevitable as that bunion is big too. By that time in a few years, I will be a bit older (may take longer to heal due to age and my bunion may be even bigger then) but again, it will be the L foot so at least it won't be my domniant foot.

It took me a while to decide which foot to operate on, as the R foot has a 'slightly' smaller bunion, but hurts my nerves more as it is my dominant side. The L has a bigger bunion but hurts me a little bit less - so after debating with myself for months - my R foot first, it would be.

My younger sister also have bunions on both of her feet. She just turned 40 with 2 young kids. However, hers have never bothered her feet like mine. She is also a bigger bulit girl. I was told by my foot surgeon that may be I have slimmer bones, so the bunions show more and I feel them more on my feet compares to my sister -

My dad passed away 10 years ago at age 65. He also have identical bunion feet like my sister. He also got away with surgery for his feet.

For shoes, I have not buy any new soft shoes yet as I am not even sure if my shoe size will change after this operation. So I am sticking with my current walking shoes (soft stretchy material) with my special insoles in them for support. These shoes have been working hard for me all of the past year since my foot started to hurt bad. They are a bit worn out so once my foot healed, I'm going to look around to invest in another pair of good walking shoes to replace them and keep on using my professionally made support insoles with the new shoes. Good quality shoes can be expensive here in Canada. I have to say, I am not thinking about heals for years to come, as my L foot still need to be watched out for the bunion. So, the only heals I have are my winter leather boots which is not really 'high healed', just a bit higher than my other flats.

I will keep you posted of my updates after the 2nd visit to my foot doc later today. Hope to bring you good news of progress.



Quote:
Originally Posted by delightfuldior View Post
hello all

My bunions are inherited from Mums side. And my Mum is in surgery having her left bunion done and toes straightening as I type! Hers are terrible, she is 51. I am 33 and had them as far back as 10 year old! I used to hate PE and wore long baggy bottoms to cover them. I didnt make them any better by wearing high heels with pointy toes from about 21 but they have kinda got worse in the last 4 years and Ive been wearing mainly flats! I will be getting the right one done in a couple of years as it looks so distinctive now against the new foot. It wasnt that bad as you see in the pic but since the op its got bigger and more painfull as I have been over compensating on that foot.

I came off the meds about week two. I got tummy upset and rash with the anti inflams and the tramadol made me feel sick so I weaned myself off them and took paracetamol every 4 hours eventually winding down off these. I found the first two weeks horrific. I had a hlaf cast on bound tightly by ace bandages and when the foot swelled it burnt like mad . Once the cast was off it felt much better but I could still feel the swelling; mainly around the tom of the foot near the toes; which I still get.

I drove my car for the first time yesterday. It was painful to use the clutch and also difficult as my velcro shoe kept getting caught under the break, so I wouldnt say I am fit for driving unless I wear my uggs. I have tried to get some cons on and gym shoes but cannot pull them on because the incision really hurts its starting to heal nice but the skin is very hard in areas where the metal work is underneath and its numb but stings.. if that makes sense.

Ive been gently massaging bio oil in twice a day since Saturday. I have used this before for another op I had and the scars are barely noticable.

I previously went to see about having my bunions done in 04. The consultant told me I too would have a pin/screw sticking out my foot for a while... this put me off and I refused to have it done. So I praise you for going ahead!!!!! You must have guts to have the procedure done this way. Who knows when I come to get the other done I may see a diff consultant and have it done this way!

I have been off work for 8 weeks. 4 weeks full pay and 4 weeks half pay by my employer. I go back tomorrow on a phased return to work basis starting from office duties 25% of my hours, building up to 100% over 4 weeks. I will then return to my normal duties of driving and working between sites on shifts. My employer has been great. I was told that I would only be off 4 week but at the 2 week check up I was told to return in 5. I was gutted

I suffer from anxiety and depression anyhow so 7 weeks of nothing to do drove me up the wall. But by week 4 I was up and about shuffling in my heel bearing shoe and was able to get into the garden, walk around the block with the dogs and do housework which lifted my spirits.

Next time I will prepare more now I know what to expect. Maybe buy an online course to do whilst off work, arrange for the dogs to be walked every day etc. Them not getting walked made me sad alone as they love their two walks a day. Now they are back full swing now I can take them I had to freeze my gym membership for three months. I go back on 1st May of which I will have some PT sessions for a month and then Im on my own. I'll be doing bike and stepper and x trainer eventually as running is out of the question. I'm going to visit a runners shop this week and get my foot checked and some ideas on shock absorbing trainers for when I eventually start running.

Its a massive operation getting ya bunion done. some people cannot beleive how complicated the op is. It tests ya mental health to the limit!! But if all goes well.. its worth it

 
Old 03-28-2011, 01:19 PM   #35
Hotdog girl
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Posts: 14
Hotdog girl HB User
Re: Scarf Bunionectomy - post op pain etc

Hi Polly, as I am a newbee at this forum, I just replied to another lady from UK 'delightfuldior' for my reply. I am not sure if you too can see my reply to her. So, I decided to send you this same reply with my updates - don't want you to feel left out on our chatty forum
I'll keep you posted once I am done with my 2nd post-op visit later this afternoon : Hugs!

Hello All, Nice to hear from the other side of the world of their bunion healing experiences. Such good emotional support - as I am still kind of on my 11 days post-op, slowly making my way to the 2 weeks post-op mark!

My foot is feeling more of itself now. Once in a while I have some numb feelings, and little pin like sensations. Not a huge deal but I am feeling them more this past few days. The swelling has gone done a lot than the past week. A little bit left per my eyes can see (my toes are sticking out from the bandage so I can always check on my toes)

My bunions got bothersome when I was in my early to mid 30's. Back then, I did think of surgery but my family doctor encouraged me to wait out a few more years, as he fore-warned me it is a serious surgery and I do have to be ready for it. He was right. So for the following years, I tried everything on the face of this earth to prolong the deformation of the bunions. I got good professional medical insoles for my soft walking shoes, taking care of my tired feet at the end of the day by having massages and foot soaks, I also cut back in a few pounds (I have always been in the 125 to 131 lbs range, so I am keeping it to 128 for years - trying to loose a bit more & hope to return to 125 to 126 pounds
Using the crutches and canes have been a work out in itself....

However, after 10 years now, I cannot get away from the reality that my bunions are starting to hurt and bother me more, almost on a regular basis. So, I returned to my doc and he referred me to this currently lovely lady surgeon. She is very experienced in sport injury and is a foot specialist. I have been seeing her monthly since April 2010 and we all came to this decision to have one foot done for surgery while I am still in my early 40's and can get back the quality of life. I love nature walks, light jogging and all kinds of leisure walks. I am not huge on heavy duty long distrance cross training or marathons so I am not asking a lot out of my feet. Just to be able to get outdoors and may be go on some hikings (Vancouver has a lot of lovely trails). Really, that is all I ask of my feet - to be healthy.

In regards to the surgical method. Orginally my surgeon was thinking of using a little screw to permanently bind my newly adjusted big toe bones. However, she knows that my bones are of more 'slim' bulit, so she decided to use a thin nail (or pin) and let it sticks out for a bit post op, but will be removed eventually so I have no metal inside me. She does not want to trauma my foot more than necessary (as the bunion surgery is already a lot to bear for many women) so she wants to go easy on me. For the scar, I have a bottle of Bio oil at home. I also have some organic extra virgin olive oil with some coco butter and herbs at home. I can melt some of these goodies together and gently put it on the scar once the hardware are out and the wound is closed. But not massaging it too much yet, as one of my friend who is a herbist told me the scar tissue underneath the top layer still needs time to bind even when the top layer of the wound is closed up. So, be patient and let the skin takes time to bind properly, like the bit toe bones.

Well, I took a quick look at my 5 days post op foot later when I visited my surgeon last week for my 1st postop visit. I almost 'passed out' when I took a quick look at my foot - as I have not seen my foot to be so bundled up, with the stitches and pin. I comforted myself it is just a matter of getting use to see an operated foot, I guessed. I have never had any surgery in my 43 years of life, so this bunion thing has been a big thing for me. To be brave emotionally, and to weight out what is important in life - a foot with some scars (which will fade in time) or a foot (or feet) with endless pain and eventually overlapping toes and limited mobilty. I decided to go with the former and have some scars of 'character and courage' - courage to make a change in life. I almost cried with joy to see how straight my big toe is 1st time in more than 20 years! My surgeon let me have a quick few seconds' glance of my newly straightened toe right after operation, for encouragement. I was kind of half awake from the pain killer. I had a local anthestia at my foot only, not a general.

By the way, I have read up a lot materials and took a course in herbal healing and natural soap making years ago. I have learned that organic extra virgin olive oil, calendula oil, lavender essential oil, organic natural shea butter, coco butter, rose hip oil, and chickweed herb are all good for scar healing. I have them all ready at home now. I purchased a jar of chickweed cream (since this is the only thing I do not have at home), very gentle (made of infusion of chickweed which natura olive oil). I am going to try the chickweed cream soon after the doc gives me the ok for the wound healing. Then I'll go with the olive oil and try the Bio oil eventually.

One thing I have working very hard during this 2 weeks post-op (which is the most awful period of time per everyone I have talked to in person and from this forum) is that to avoid the on-set of depression. As I have shared I went through depression after giving birth to my baby daugther 15 years old for a whole month. It was one of the awful experience I had. I was glad I had the 6 months maternity leave here in Canada back in the 90's. So I was able to kick it off and be a happy mom by the time I returned to work. From 1998 onwards, Canada even extended maternity leave to be a full 12 months, with 60% pay from Govt. I almost kicked myself for not having a 2nd baby to make full use of this govt benefit. However, life goes on & my daughter is a young lady of 15 now. She will celebrate her sweet 16 on May 20 this year, just a couple of month away! It is also that I know my daughter is grown and hubby is still not ready to retired so I decided to get 1 foot done now. At least I have 1 good R foot for the future. I have been telling myself this is a learning experience for this entire bunion operation and post-op healing. As what I am learning now will be really helping for my next L foot surgery (which is inevitable as that bunion is big too....). By that time in a few years, I will be a bit older (may take longer to heal due to age and my bunion may be even bigger then) but again, it will be the L foot so at least it won't be my domniant foot.

It took me a while to decide which foot to operate on, as the R foot has a 'slightly' smaller bunion, but hurts my nerves more as it is my dominant side. The L has a bigger bunion but hurts me a little bit less - so after debating with myself for months - my R foot first, it would be

My younger sister also have bunions on both of her feet. She just turned 40 with 2 young kids. However, hers have never bothered her feet like mine. She is also a bigger bulit girl. I was told by my foot surgeon that may be I have slimmer bones, so the bunions show more and I feel them more on my feet compares to my sister -

My dad passed away 10 years ago at age 65. He also have identical bunion feet like my sister. He also got away with surgery for his feet.

For shoes, I have not buy any new soft shoes yet as I am not even sure if my shoe size will change after this operation. So I am sticking with my current walking shoes (soft stretchy material) with my special insoles in them for support. These shoes have been working hard for me all of the past year since my foot started to hurt bad. They are a bit worn out so once my foot healed, I'm going to look around to invest in another pair of good walking shoes to replace them and keep on using my professionally made support insoles with the new shoes. Good quality shoes can be expensive here in Canada. I have to say, I am not thinking about heals for years to come, as my L foot still need to be watched out for the bunion. So, the only heals I have are my winter leather boots which is not really 'high healed', just a bit higher than my other flats.

I will keep you posted of my updates after the 2nd visit to my foot doc later today. Hope to bring you good news of progress.

 
Old 06-10-2011, 02:59 PM   #36
aimski
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Re: Scarf Bunionectomy - post op pain etc

Oh dear! Don't regret! And do go back if ur other one is bad!!I did both at once& although it was nit fun almost 2 years on I am so much happier!!!

 
Old 07-28-2011, 11:12 AM   #37
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Re: Scarf Bunionectomy - post op pain etc

Greetings: Sent you a hug. I had my bunion (reconstructed foot surgery) two week ago today. Went for post op earlier during the week. I had lots of leakage from area where the pins are but was told to shower the next day. What a disaster! While I was told to bear wt. on the heels something went wrong. Bled profusely. Called my surgeon in panic. Was told to discontinue shower for 72 hrs and just bathe around the area. Happily, by staying in bed for two days with feet propped up, today the leakage is minor. I am also wearing the boot and can, with the aid of crutches navigate to the bathroom. Despite crutch training with the PT, I have not been able to manage them very well. I could (can) not get over the fear of falling after falling once already. I also tend to put the bad foot down first. I am right handed and my right foot was operated on. Previously I was a very active walker. This situation makes me wonder, will I ever be able to put that right foot down and walk normal again?
I had the bunion removed on left foot years ago and was thinking the experience would be similar however reconstructive foot surgery means far more than just the removal of a bunion.
I wonder how long is it going to take before I am able to bear full weight on my foot and walk normal again? BTW my surgeon says I have the option of leaving the pins in or having them removed. The latter would appear to be a setback for me so at this time I guess I will just leave those foreign objects to live with me forever.
On a high note...I saw the x-ray and the bunion is gone!
Would I do it all over again?-can not say at this point. I had discussed the matter for years with my podiatrist who did not support surgery but was more willing to inject my paining area and prescribe expensive new orthotics every six months . However the pain had gotten so bad my quality of life was affected which resorted in my decision to go with my orthopedic surgeon and pursue the surgery. I was getting older and decided to finally stop putting the surgery off.

 
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Hotdog girl (07-29-2011)
Old 07-28-2011, 09:39 PM   #38
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Re: Scarf Bunionectomy - post op pain etc

Hi Profmia:

Your posting said you had a bunion removal 2 years ago for your left foot, was this operation for your R foot a lot different in operation procedure than the L foot?
As you could see from my previous posting that I had my bunion surgery done (austin cut) for my right foot (I am right handed too) just around mid march of this year. It has been just past 4 months (and 2 weeks) as of today. I am feeling good and happy with my recovery.

I had one long pin in my foot, and was removed after 4.5 weeks,after a 2nd x-ray was done and ensured that the new bone is forming good.

Like you, I was VERY worried and almost got into a depression during the first 3 weeks post op. Mostly due to the pain & change of lifestlye (crutches became my friend) and the feeling of not-so-useful, and dependence upon my husband. I am an outgoing full time working mom, so being home bounded for weeks was killing me. I was drosy the 1st week too due to the amount of pain killers I had to take to ease the post op pain. Anyway, I was told not to shower for 3 full weeks or until the wound is closed up (my surgeon checked me every week and changed the dressing for me). I had a little drainage 24 hours after my surgery but it quickly stopped. My doc was fantastic and encouraged me every week when I saw her. I done the surgery by this private foot surgeron so I could see her for post-op visit weekly based on her schedule. After about 3 weeks, the wound closed and I could take shower (but be very careful not to slip inside the shower). I was wearing a plastic leg cover called 'seal tight' to cover my entire leg and with the help of hubby, I could take a bath every other day without getting the operated right foot wet. So, I lived like that for 3 weeks, and rejoiced when I could be independent to take showers. Then, when I could stand a bit better, I slowly become even more independent every part of my daily life. I was told to bear weight gently after about 4 weeks, heel first, and then after 5 days, mid part of the foot as well, and another 5 days, I could start to be brave and bare weight for the whole foot - bit by bit. Then, by 5 week, I could walk a bit without crutches (but wearing my support boot) and walk a bit here and there around the home and very very short distance. Later, after about 6 weeks, I could walk more on my boot for short walks!! Rejoice - finally I can leave my home longer!!! Then, back to work at 7th week post-op, wore the support boot for 1 week, then learned to let go of the boot and wore runners to work, again, lifting my foot up as often as I could in the office. I placed a paper box under my desk and that helped me for weeks!! Now, I don't even need to lift my foot up that often during the day, and can go without the box for an entire work day. Just some very minor swelling left here and there during some evenings after work. I will have good warm bath with bath salts to let my foot relax, and it helps me sleep well. As of today, I can wear normal soft leather office style shoes (almost back to my normal size again. I have been wearing a pair of size 7 soft leather shoes for a while, I am normally a 6.5
This don't bother me as the extra half size gives me more space in case the foot swells a little bit.
I can go for long walks again, not ready back for jogging yet. I should see my foot doc again by late Aug or early Sept (I only need to see her once every 2 months now), and if she gives me the OK, I should be back to my yoga, my jogging and a bit of running by Fall. I still need to massage and do a lot of foot exerices to keep my scar tissue relax and flexible, so not to get lazy and sniff due to the healing from the operation. I still feel the tightness around the wound area at my big toe every now and then, so I am also seeing my physico person to keep practising on the foot exercises. I am almost there!
I am going to be 44 in late August and before my surgery, walking a block would be painful to me. I had to give up hiking 2 years ago due to my bunion pain, it was not huge but was pressing on a nerve under my foot, therefor the pain was intense when it happened. I checked into many options and tried them all. After seeing my foot doc for a year, I decided to go ahead while I am younger and still want to be more active. She does a great job and very caring. For now, I am trying to make sure my R foot heals 100% before I starting thinking of my L foot. My L foot also has a bunion and I am sure eventually it will get to me. Just a matter of time (I was given a window of 3 more years)....Very likely, I should operate on it within 3 years, once I saved up the $ and emotionally ready to do this all over again. I also need to pick a good time to go off work, as my office is a busy office. My 7 weeks off was a new thing to them and my coworkers have been great to me. I cherish them a lot for covering my work all those time.

For the scar, I have been using Vit E cream given by my foot doc. I have also massage organic olive oil to the scar area nightly after it was all healed together with the vit E cream. So far, the scar is there but not 'toooo bad' considering the operation I had. I will continue to take care of the scar hoping to make it as minimal as possible.

Recovery does take time, and is a testing of patience. It is well worth it now that I looked back. I have to thank my dear hubby, daughter (she is now 16) and many great friends and coworkers for visiting, encouragement and helping me during my 7 weeks. Those are the main line support for me to get through this, emotionally and physically. I also say a lot of prayers too, and they are of spiritual comfort to me when I was really down!

Take care and don't worry too much. A happy mood will really lift up your spirit and helps the healing. Have peace! Keep writing us notes here if they help you

Hugs,
Hotdog girl

 
Old 07-29-2011, 08:26 AM   #39
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Re: Scarf Bunionectomy - post op pain etc

Greetings Hotdog Girl:
Thanks for your reply and well wishes. Actually, your response contributed to changing my mood from worried to being a bit more optimistic :-). My left foot surgery some yrs. back was totally different and done by an excellent podiatrist. Recovery as I remember was about two months. I had no wt. bearing probs and went from the half open toe walking boot straight to wearing comfortable wide toe sneakers. While I had been advised that this reconstructed foot surgery was more serious, I realize now that I had not prepared myself psychologically for the length of time it would take for the healing process. My focus was getting rid of the bunion, which as I mentioned had become so painful that my daily 30-minute walk was unbearable. I am now just putting things into perspective. It has only been two weeks since the surgery and each day I am seeing some progress. I do not have to worry about time off from my full time position. Daily my co-workers send cards and fruit baskets and cherry e-mail messages. I just hope that I will be up to returning to my part time university teaching position one night a week since school starts up on Sept. 1. While I need the extra income, I am seriously thinking about the possibility of informing my chair that I may have to take off for the fall semester. I still have a week or two before a final decision. Let's see how mobile I am after week three-post op. I have had lots of support from family during my recovery. I have been quite lucky as a matter of fact because my sister who is a CNA and was not working at the time moved in and has been taking care of me. I feel lucky to have such support. Meditation and positive thinking are some of the best healing modalities. Finally I am going to call my surgical supply store to see if they have that foot shower glove which you mentioned.
Thanks again and my best to you.
Profmia

 
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Hotdog girl (07-30-2011)
Old 07-30-2011, 10:35 AM   #40
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Re: Scarf Bunionectomy - post op pain etc

Hello Profmia, the product I got is called 'Tight Seal" which only cost me Canadian $7.00 at the health care speciality store near my local hospital. It was basically a long (the shape of a leg) plastic bag with a verco strap which comes with it to tight up the top part of the thigh so it stays up when you bath or shower. However, I find that water still leaked in it when I shower (trying to rest my operated leg by leaning it against the shower wall), as I was still standing upright. Whereas when I was in a bath tub, I can elevate my wrapped foot by resting it at the side of the bath tub. I find that my foot stayed 100% dry and yet the rest of my body could get a nice bubble bath this way. One thing, for bathing during this time, you do need someone to help you go in and out of the bath tub, just in case anything happens and you don't want to slip during the 'getting in or 'getting out' of the tub process.

I find that with age, the healing does delay a bit. I did some postings on this forum back in March and asked around women who had this austin bunion surgery done (similar to my procedure) as to how long they were taking for healing. Those women around their 30's usually healed faster. I got 2 ladies in their 50's (one in early 50's & one almost 60), they had a difference of 'healing' time of a few weeks to just over a month. Of course, my definition here of healing is when one can walk without crutches and can perform daily basic task of driving, walking short distances, taking the transit and back to work full time (considering if the job is an admin type job which can sit for 40 to 50% of the time with a foot stool under the desk to rest up the foot - not the 100% standing jobs like a waitress or bartender). Those high demand standing jobs, some girls in their 40's told me they needed the full 3 months (about 12 weeks) off, as their jobs cannot allow them to take sitting breaks if their feet swell during the day. I had 7 weeks off, and the 8th week when I returned to work, as much as mine is an admin job, and rest my foot most of the time at my little stool, I still felt exhausted everyday when I came home. My job did not allow me to take partial hours then processed back to full time. They had been very busy during my 7 weeks off, but coworkers had done a lot for me, so I returned full time from a MOnday to a Friday for the 1st week. They had been nice to me by just giving me non-walking tasks most for the 1 weeks. Then, the 1st part of the 2nd week back (9th week post op), they still let me sit around more, and by end of end week, I am back to some walking around the office - deliveries of paperwork, printing documents etc etc. By the 3 rd week back (10th week post op) I was performing 100% of the daily work, still tired at the end of each night but more 'myself'. Definitely lots of ice packs and rest up the foot everynight since I returned to work.

By the 4th week back to work (about 1 month returned to work, 11 weeks post op (early June 2011) - I was able to rest my feet up less, do A LOT of my usual heavy duty houswork, walk longer distances around my home, going out on the weekend to see friends....

I would say, the plateau of healing slow down after you are able to work 85 to 90%, which is good as you should be able to be living your 'normal' life by then. Just the last 10 to 5% takes time to complete heal. The last portion of healing, to me, are activities like running, hiking, doing yogas, jumping up and down, or activities which demand more of the foot, those just have to wait till I feel better. Some people said the last part takes about another month or so after your 'healing' period.

So, see, there is hope, and we will all get better, just shorter for some, and slightly longer for the others. Keeping our spirits up is so important during this long healing period post-op.

Most people who underwent foot surgery told me patience is needed when come to healing. As the foot is an essential part of the human body. Someone I know who got a more serious foot & lower leg surgery done told me their lived on their crutches for 5 months, then progressed from there, couldn't walk until about 6 months - this was a way more serious case, not a bunion operation.

Virginia

 
Old 07-30-2011, 07:14 PM   #41
profmia
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Re: Scarf Bunionectomy - post op pain etc

Hotdog Girl: Thank you so very much for all of your upbeat and healing information. I look forward to when I can offer such encouraging responses to others. Peace. ProfMia

 
Old 07-30-2011, 10:34 PM   #42
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Re: Scarf Bunionectomy - post op pain etc

Hello Profmia, you are very welcome! May I ask your nick name means "Professor Mia"?? Ha! Just curious.

My nickname is called so due to my daughter loves hotdogs! She is now 16 and still does. So, in many of my user names for computers, I often use hotdog.

Take care and I hope you will feel better, speedy recovery!

Virginia

Quote:
Originally Posted by profmia View Post
Hotdog Girl: Thank you so very much for all of your upbeat and healing information. I look forward to when I can offer such encouraging responses to others. Peace. ProfMia

 
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