Bunion Surgery RecoveryWednesday, March 30th, 2011
It is true that the method by which your bunion surgery was done, as well as the expertise of your orthopeidic surgeon and the degree of deformity of your toe, may greatly affect your bunion surgery recovery. However, how well you abide to your doctor’s home rehabilitation instructions also greatly contributes to the success of your surgery’s aftermath.
Bunion Surgery Recovery – Your Post-Op Tips
Here are some basic tips on how to prevent the post-operative complications of the surgery and promote faster bunion surgery recovery:
Weight Bearing. Refrain from lifting weights during the first 2 week after surgery. This will allow more time for your stitches to heal and close up before they’re removed.
Foot Exercises. These are important to swiftly recover the strength and prevent stiffness of your toe. Your surgeon or physical therapist may recommend certain ankle and foot exercises with a surgical band or marbles to make sure that your toes can do its normal range of motion. Exercises are good but they have to be done slowly, eventually progressing from simple to complex maneuvers. It is imperative that you follow your surgeon or PT’s advice regarding repetitions and exercise modifications.
Dressing. Although your sutures may be removed about 1 or 2 weeks after the surgery, continuous application of sterile dressing for up to 6-8 weeks must be done to completely eradicate the chances of complications brought by infection. Patients must religiously change their dressings to a minimum of once a day and be certain to keep it dry so wrap it with a plastic bag while bathing.
Swelling and Pain. A bunion surgery is not a hundred percent guarantee of complete salvation from the insufferable effects of a bunion but most patients generally exhibit a reduction of pain and swelling after the surgery.
Patients must keep in mind that it is normal for your foot to have some swelling or occasional pain for up to 4-6 months after the surgery since bones normally take months before they’re completely healed. Elevation of your foot for 30 minutes will help relieve the swelling and application of ice could be done if your surgeon allows it.
Footwear. You may have to wear a surgical shoe or cast to protect your foot during the first 6 months post-operatively but your doctor may recommend wearing athletic or soft leather oxford shoes for the first months after that. High heeled shoes are a big no-no 6 months prior to the removal of the cast. This is to make sure that you will not develop a bunion again.
Medications. Antibiotics are taken for a week post-op or depending on doctor’s orders. Pain medication may be prescribed for unbearable pain for the first week and afterwards if the pain is at its worst.
Avoiding Complications During Bunion Surgery Recovery
Any complications that are beyond the unexpected and potentially delays your bunion surgery recovery (ie. severe continuous pain and swelling that are not alleviated by medications/physical therapy or visible re-growth of bunion) must be promptly reported to your surgeon for immediate treatment. Bunion surgery recovery may take weeks depending on the severity of the bunion, so it is relevant that the patient knows her expectations after surgery.