5 weeks & 4 days after Scarf + Akin Osteotomy

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Can anyone tell me what their scar looked like 5-6 weeks after surgery and what their foot felt like at that stage?

My whole scar has healed really well, except for one small area along the top of my 1st metatarsal. The area is only about 1cm long and 0.5cm wide, so not big at all, but it's still covered with a scab and it keeps leaving tiny drops of fluid after I have a shower. Do you think it's normal at this stage? How long did it take before your scars have completely healed and all the scabs were gone?

How did your foot/toe feel 5-6 weeks post op.? Was it already fully flexible or was it still somewhat stiff? Did you experience any swelling/change of colour at that stage? I can move my toe but it's still somewhat stiff and can hurt when I try to stretch it. Also, it seems like my foot is permenently but only very slightly swollen along the 1st metatarsal and the big toe. When I overdo it with activity it can get beetroot red and feel tired or slightly painful but I don't really notice any more swelling except for the amount that seems to always be there, regardless of what I do. Do you think it's normal?

 

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  • Posted

    All that you're experiencing is normal.  I'm 7 weeks and at the same stage you're at I wrote on here about the same scab.  To my amazement it all came away about a week later!  Now I am applying bio oil and continuing with e45 on whole foot as I am finding skin peeling.  My foot goes red, purple and when it's rested normal.  I read about the stages of bone repair: first five days congealing blood at the wound; up to 40 days that turns into soft bone tissue and sets, then up to 100 days remodelling when the soft tissue turns into bone.  It's amazing the healing process!  I am hoping that by six months the metatarsal will be a normal size, because right now it looks nearly twice size of other foot.  I'm getting twinges, aches, sharp pains and swelling still, but nowhere as bad as it was in the first two weeks.  I still keep my foot raised when I sit down, that keeps the swelling down, and feels better.

    hope you progress well.

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much, barbara00055! You have actually answered all my questions, plus one that I meant to ask and forgot --> about the metatarsal being twice the size of the other foot as mine is. I feel so much better knowing that all I was worrying about is normal and there is someone out there who has experienced the same smile Thank you!
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    • Posted

      Oh yes, and I also experience the little twinges, aches and sharp pains that you wrote about but they're not too bad so I wasn't worried about those at all.
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    • Posted

      I don't worry any more, but do get really frustrated at times.  I would love to get back to normal activities, and when I try, my foot gets swollen.  I was told that this was a long process of recovery, but it's not till it happens to you that you realise all the implications.  My surgeon said sometimes it takes a year to fully recover and it's a gradual process, so I keep telling myself to be patient!
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    • Posted

      Barbara, what does your scar look like now? About three-fourths of mine (starting at the toe upwards toward the ankle) are just a single line of scaring but the last one-fourth (where the scab is) took longer to heal and is wider and more red than the rest.
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    • Posted

      Yes, I completely understand you. I feel the same way. I would love to be able to do so much more already but I was also warned that the recovery process takes months and if I'm not prepared to rest/slow down during that time, then I shouldn't bother with the surgery at all. However, I think I got the balance of activity vs. rest and elevation just right right now and I am able to go out for little walks around my neighbourhood or do some chores in the house already without overstraining my foot (as long as I rest with my foot elevated afterwards), so it's not that bad, really. Only 3 weeks ago my foot killed every time I held it downwards for longer than a few minutes. 
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    • Posted

      Yes, it's strange, I keep having to remind myself it was only a few weeks ago that I was struggling to walk, must have had more speedy recover in past week or so as I too can do chores around the house and actually walked around the supermarket on weekend, I struggled at the end though.  
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    • Posted

      Sometimes recently my scar is a pale line and hardly notices, apart from the cm over the bunion.  This was the last part of the scab to go, it is wider than the rest but is beginning to close more today.  Right now my scar is bright red, because I sat to do some machine sewing this afternoon, thought sitting ok, but it wasn't I should have lifted my foot.  I didn't rest in between and got dinner, by the time I'd finished and sat down my foot was badly swollen including the big toe, haven't seen it like that for a while.   It's better now as I've been sitting with my foot up and gave it a massage.  I keep doing this to myself, thinking I'm better now but I'm not!
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    • Posted

      I too get frustrated that I can't yet do some of the things I want to but then I try to remember that it was only a few weeks ago that I had to pee in a bucket and wash my hands in a bowl of water cheesygrin because a trip to the bathroom caused me too much pain. I guess we just shouldn't expect too much too soon. Besides, I think we're both doing really well anyway. 

      I'm actually planning to do some machine sewing some day next week too, so I will bear in mind what you said and prop my foot on something while I'm at it. 

      I find it strange that in my case it's not the area over the bunion that is where the healing took the longest and where the scar looks the worst. It would make more sense. My worst bit is a lot closer to the ankle while the part over the bunion healed beautifully and fast.

      How much time, more or less, do you still spend sat down with your foot elevated?

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    • Posted

      Hi kourtney.  Yes when I remember back to the first two weeks I don't know how I managed, it was horrid and very inconvenient.  Next two weeks still struggling and keeping leg raised most of day.  Last two weeks I got into a good book so not much activity, just get up and have a wander round every hour or so.  This week, because I have the swelling down a bit I thought I could be more active, so have been spending hour or so without resting, like in the garden, sewing or shopping, but that's not a good idea as my foot is feeling heavy again, my calf is hurting and foot swollen.   So here I am again with leg raised.  I hate sitting down for lengths of time, I get fidgety, I guess I'll have to start reading again!
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    • Posted

      Do you know why your foot is feeling heavy and your calf is hurting? I never felt those except my calf hurt slightly when I started wearing normal shoes again as it was being used in the way it should again.
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    • Posted

      Yes this is when my foot begins to swell, it goes when I raise my foot for a while and massage the foot, leg and calf.  Think it's water retention.
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  • Posted

    Hi. I am just coming up to 15 weeks after scarf and akin osteotomy and agree that all the above is normal! I do a little bit of jogging (a couple of hundred metres) most days with the orthotics that I've had made and have just run a couple of miles on a treadmill which is nice and springy. Progress is still good but I am getting frustrated by not being back to normal and I think I might need to ease back for a little while as my big toe joint (MTP joint) has started to hurt more. The stiffness that people have mentioned certainly applies to my foot as does the swelling. For the first six weeks, my big toe felt as if it had a metal plate fixed to it along the top which is not something that I have heard anyone else say! It was as stiff as a wooden post as well. Only in the last couple of weeks has my foot stopped being so dark pink and returned to pale pink. I can recommend cycling as a way of keeping fit without hurting your foot too much. The shoes that I wear for cycling are stiff so they don't bother my healing toe. I still do flexibility and strength exercises for the foot although I think the flexibility has reached its limit and is not great at 50 degrees. Orthotics make a HUGE difference to my walking and running! My scar is neat except right at the side of the ball of my foot where the stitched wound was creased up as a result of the excess skin which was around the bunion. The scab stayed there up until about week 7 and the scar that is between toes 1 and 2 leaked fluid a bit up until about the same time. I have been massaging the scar to try and make it flatter with Bio-oil though I am not sure it is necessary to use anything this expensive. Ordinary moisturiser would probably do. I hope this helps to reassure people that they are "normal"!
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    • Posted

      Hi Nicola. It certainly is very reassuring to hear that other people have experienced the same things and it's very encouraging to hear that you are able to do some jogging and running already. I am really looking forward to that myself. I soooo need me some proper exercise and walking the distance that I do now just doesn't feel like enough activity for me. But at the same time, I don't think walking any more than that would do my recovering foot any good either at this point.

      I'm sorry to hear that the stiffness and swelling still apply to your foot this long after your surgery. I wouldn't really worry about the swelling though as I've been told it can go on for many months but I would get the stiffness and redness checked out by a doctor. My big toe kind of feels as if it had a metal plate fixed to it along the top too but I am able to bend it upwards nearly as much as in the other, healthy foot (thought stretching it further does hurt) and a little bit downwards (but nowhere near as much as in the other foot). If yours was completely stiff at this stage and is still somewhat stiff and red at 15 weeks post op., then maybe something went wrong. Have you talked to your doctor about it? I'd get it checked out just to be on the safe side. 

      How come you have a scar between toes 1 and 2? Did you have something else done to your foot at the same time? I only had one long cut along the inner side of my foot. Nothing between my toes or anywhere else on my foot.

      Cycling sounds like such a good idea! Thank you. I haven't thought of that! I'll see if my partner fancies a bike ride with me some time this week when he's off work.

      What orthotics did you have made and why? I haven't been told I needed any at all. 

      From what the medical staff at my clinic told me, no, you don't really need to use Bio-Oil as there is no medical evidence that it works better than any other thick moisturiser, so I didn't bother getting it and I just use regular body lotion. 

      How bad was your bunion before you had it operated? I don't seem to have any excess skin over the bunion area at all and the scar is really thin and nice there too. My bad bit of scarring and the area that still hasn't healed yet is higher up on the metatarsal (closer to the ankle). I wonder how it will end up looking after it healed. Hope it won't be too bad. Though, I guess I prefer a scar over a bunion any day anyway.

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    • Posted

      It is hard when you don't feel like you are really getting proper exercise but there are ways to avoid impact and full weightbearing on your feet and get proper exercise, e.g. swimming, cycling, squatting-type exercises. I can really recommend changing straightaway to a different activity if one hurts you, e.g. if your MTP joint (ball of foot) starts hurting after 3 minutes on the treadmill, don't continue for another 21 minutes, just get off and get on the cross-trainer or it may hurt for a while...doh!

      My bunion wasn't bad by many people's standards. It was "moderate". The big toe was under the second toe quite a bit and I had some osteoarthritis in the joint. This is probably the cause of the stiffness. It is funny to hear that someone else does have the metal plate sensation after all (well, for me anyway)!!  I am sure the redness, well darker pinkness, was just a transient phase of the healing and I think my podiatrist understands the stiffness. To be honest, it had lost some of its flexibility before the op anyway and I can't expect perfection really!

      The extra scar was so that a tendon - some adductor/abductor tendon or other could be cut ("soft tissue release") as a standard part of this op apparently. My other scar is along the side of my foot right over where the bunion was so I suppose the surgeon couldn't reach that tendon from that incision. I got orthotics about 25 years ago originally, when I did a lot of road running and my MTP joint used to hurt because of my biomechanical faults! Now, I wear them because they somehow ease the discomfort of the phase of your stride where you are bending the MTP joint with your weight on it. It is all very clever. I decided to see the podiatrist without anyone suggesting it. In fact, no doctor gave me any real advice other than "Walk, don't run and wiggle your toe!" Like you, I prefer a scar to a bunion!

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    • Posted

      I don't know where the raised eyebrow face came from, by the way. It was a bracket when I was typing. I don't even know how to put that face in text! ))))))))))))))
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    • Posted

      Hee hee, raised eye brow, funny this internet and text typing.  I keep missing the o for an i and fast text doesn't correct!

      Anyway I wanted to add that I too have the scar between 1 & 2, surgeon said he removed tissue there to draw the two metatarsal bones closer together and therefore straightening the big toe further (he actually over straightened mine and said it would ease back when I start wearing shoes - it has a bit already). He did also say he cut the tendon there and that often mends itself!  I wonder if this is why I can't bend my big toe away from me.  

      I thiught the the metal plate thing on top of foot, just there and over the middle toe where I had hammer toe straightened, was to do with the tissue tightening where it is mending?

      good to chat abiut these things, knowing I'm not the inky one go through this wink

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    • Posted

      Whoops, should have ready befire I sent, my fingers must be lazy!  Inky no only!
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    • Posted

      Well, I'm glad you're not inky!

      That is really interesting that the tendon sometimes mends itself. I was just told that that tendon isn't needed! I THINK that that tendon only affects sideways movement. In my case, I think it is swelling that limits my ability to bend my toe away from me at the end joint. My toe has been more swollen the last few days, corresponding with a big increase in activity (running), and the downwards flex is reduced at that  joint. Hopefully, it will improve again soon with a bit of rest. I don't see any reason for the flex to be reduced there otherwise. It is more or less undisturbed by the operation, I would say. The upwards flex of the toe at the MTP joint is a different matter as it was already affected by wear-and-tear before the op and my podiatrist reckons it is at the limit of its flex now. If it takes a year for swelling to go then I am not doing too badly in general, I reckon!

      That the "metal plate" is due to tissue tightening makes perfect sense. Where did you hear that? That sensation is much reduced now, by the way. Also, for the first eight weeks or so after the op, I had no sensation at all along the side of my big toe but gradually it has become nearly normal. It came back with some tingling and burning to remind me that it was trying!

      You seem to have had many of the experiences that I have had, Barbara, and its nice to hear that I am not alone though everybody's feet are different and we're all different and have had different surgeons doing slightly different ops so comparison doesn't always work!

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    • Posted

      Wow running at 15 weeks, I'm half way there and if I can even walk faster then I'll be pleased!  I am missing my long country walks.  

      I don't know how or if the tendon does mend, it's just what he said, I'll question hi when I go for my next consultation on 3 June, this is when I have X-rays and get to see what has happened. Some people have this done at 6 weeks but it will be 10 weeks for me - you're right about our different experiences with diff surgeons!

      As for the metal plate feeling, I didn't hear it from anyone, I just thought that because the tissue where my foot was cut is very tense and that feels like the metal plate you mentioned. 

      I visited an outdoor pursuits shop yesterday; I was trying to find a clasping ball to start exercising my toes.  I couldn't find anything but the assistant gave me some idea for this exercise.  Those stretch exercise straps used in keep fit, place it on the floor and roll your toes over it to try to clasp and gather up.  I have one for resist exercises and so tried this on my foot - it really does work.  Beginning to find my big toe moving down with the other toes!  I also tried to find an orthotic but none so far.  Might be a good idea to get one made especially for my foot, but I can't get trainers on yet, unless I buy men's and a size or so bigger.

       

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    • Posted

      Thanks for all that. I reckon you'll soon be walking in the country again. The right footwear is really important. I don't know if this would correspond with medical advice but stiff-soled boots are certainly easier to walk in at first and, of course, the right orthotics help a lot. I had to wear Teva sandals at first due to swelling and my podiatrist stuck some bits of foam to the top of the sole under my big toe and they worked like magic. I expect you're finding your shoes too narrow at the bottom end of the laces? No easy answer there!  Having to get bigger footwear when you know the swelling will go down in a few weeks is a pain! Yes, I also find using both good and bad feet to pick things up is helpful. Let us know what you find out on 3rd June. Good luck!
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    • Posted

      I'm not sure if I have mentioned in this discussion, but I bought Teva Active sandals at week 4, then gradually weaned myself off the wedge shoe.  I find them so comfortable and it was a relief that I could walk normally, after that wedge!  I like the wide sole.  Anyway since then I've also bought some sandals with Velcro and a slight heel just over inch.  I bought them because of the wide fitting 3xE. I wear these occasionally when I want something a bit more stylish.  Anyway, it's just as well it's summer, so I can wear sandals and then maybe in the autum I'll be back in my trainers.

      Also I have walking boots with thick solid soles, and I've been thinking of trying them for a walk in our local woods.  I'd probably get them on because of the laces down to toes.  so thanks for that I'll probably try them soon.

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