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Bunion Surgery Recovery Question

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Old 05-10-2011, 04:10 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2011
Location: NYC
Posts: 2
tivocal23 HB User
Bunion Surgery Recovery Question


Im 31 years old female and I had bunion surgery done on my right foot on Feb 21, 2011. Its been two and a half months since my surgery and I still can't walk properly. I dont have much range of motion or flexibility in my big toe and my foot is mostly swollen, not a lot but enough for me to notice and feel tight in my sneakers. I can't wear anything else and I have pain pretty often in my big toe. I also have a bunion removed close to the small toe but that has not bothered me that much.

My question is how long will it take me to walk normal and most importantly to wear regular shoes. I miss wearing heels and just regular flats, especially since summer is around the corner. I fear that my foot will never go back to its normal size and I will always be limping and only wear my sneakers.

My doctor is the worst ever. He never saw me once after the surgery and Ive only been seeing his physician assistant, who keeps saying everything is normal in response to my every question. Im freaking out here, someone please help!!

Thanks. Tivocal23

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Old 05-10-2011, 05:12 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Chicago, IL
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beccaqt7 HB User
Re: Bunion Surgery Recovery Question

It sounds like you don't have a very "involved" doctor. How many follow up appts have you had with his PA? Next time, I think you should request to see him specifically. In the meantime, understand that it's pretty traumatic surgery. The procedure my doctor did has a quicker heal time than most, but its still going to be about 2 months before I should expect to wear anything besides gym shoes. Also, he is really agressive with therapy and had me start PT the week after surgery. I've said it on other threads, but I can't stress enough how important it is to find a good PT and have them work with you to expect a full recovery and ROM.
Be patient- you are still a "recent" post-op, and swelling, stiffness, and a little pain is still normal. My PT and doctor both told me to expect swelling for a few months, and others have said 3-6 months of swelling, sometimes even up to a year before you are fully recovered.
I'm sorry you haven't had the best experience, but you need to be your own advocate and insist on seeing your actual doctor, and make him write a script for some PT to improve your healing.
Hope that helps! :-)

Old 05-11-2011, 01:47 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Canada
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jd20 HB User
Re: Bunion Surgery Recovery Question

I'm a 34 year old female and I had bunion surgery on my left foot in early December, so I'm about 10 weeks ahead of you in the healing process. Of course everyone's body is different, but it's always nice to hear about other people's experiences - that's why we're all here, after all!

Today is exactly 5 months post-surgery for me, and I'm occasionally able to wear high heels, but only for short periods of time. I'm now able to get back into most of my flats and can wear them fairly comfortably. I still have a limited range of motion in my big toe joint, despite having done physio. I can't, for example, do lunges yet at the gym b/c my big toe won't bend enough while supporting my body weight. Also, I do have significant swelling still and if I do a lot of walking or strenuous exercise my foot will swell the next day.

At this point I really understand your frustration - I'm not certain how much of the reduced range of motion and swelling are permanent. I'm hopeful that my foot will recover more, because I'm less able to fit into shoes than I was BEFORE the surgery, which is really frustrating. During the long healing process I motivated myself with thoughts of wearing the cute shoes that so many of my friends can wear, but I certainly can't do that yet. However, I will say that when my foot does hurt (when it's swollen and my shoe is too tight, for example) it's no where near the level of pain that I used to have with my bunion before the surgery.

However, it is really frustrating to find that I can't wear shoes that I was able to wear before the surgery b/c my foot is too big/swollen and b/c my toe joint won't bend enough for my foot to slide into the shoe. My best advice is to do physio and focus on the positive stuff - notice when you're able to do things painfree that you couldn't have done before, rather than focussing on the stuff you still can't do (wear cute high heels)!

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