6 weeks after bunion/hammertoe surgery - foot quite swollen

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So, yesterday I was 6 weeks after bunion and hammertoe surgery. My doctor said that I could walk in soft wide tennis shoes. Well, I tried with wide, large sneakers and then wide Lem shoes and my foot does not fit into anything. It is swollen and frozen. Also the skin on top of my foot and also sole, toes is very thick and hardened and now peels like crazy. I am limping along still in my neoprene surgical sandal. I know that it does not offer enough support but there is no shoe of any kind that I can put my foot into. My doctor said that I could drive when I can wear normal shoes. But I cannot wear even wide, soft sneakers. So, I am still elevating my foot a lot. It helps but not much. I know that swelling is normal and it will last quite a while. But I am worried that I cannot wear even wide soft athletic shoes. Have you experienced this? What did you do? I know there is light at the end of the tunnel but how long is this tunnel? Thank you!

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  • Posted

    Hi Simona!

    I am 33 weeks PO. I was allowed back in normal shoes after 7 weeks but at first I could only wear sandals, then aqua shoes for quite a while. Then I bought a pair of Merrel shoes (almost bear foot with wide front), those were comfortable. But I think I couldn't wear them until I was about 10-12 weeks PO. It takes a long time to get back to normal. I will never wear normal trainers again, I'll only buy wide ones. But you might have to try a few different shoes before you find the right ones.

    I hope this helpes.

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  • Posted

    so I have had both feet done now the first one I had done last year September 2019 my foot was swollen quite big I would say for around four months and then after that the more I walked on it the more it was swollen this was on and off through the whole of the summer we are now in December 2019 I would say the Welling stopped probably the end of August beginning of September my foot is completely normal. welling stopped probably the end of August beginning of September my foot is completely normal.

    So now the other foot was done on the 19th of November although it was the same surgery completely different experience I was up and around after five days although my foot was sore it was mostly in the night it would wake me up the swelling is minimal I have to be honest it’s the 14th of December 2019 and I have my sneakers on although when I do walk I have to walk quite slowly but sometimes I don’t sometimes it slightly swollen sometimes it’s not so I think really and truly how are you can recover has a lot to do with your body and how it works what I would suggest is taking vitamin di vitamin see and high-strength visuals that is the difference this time to the last time I started taking these six weeks prior to having my surgery I really do believe they made a difference but remember you’ve just had a massive Surgery and trauma to your foot so just try to keep it elevated as much as possible doing lots of fluid and take supplements that are naturally sourced to help with your recovery you will not regret it in the end you will have a lovely feet I am so happy

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  • Posted

    Hi Simona!

    I only wore sandals for 3 months after I was able to walk.. I was lucky it was summertime. My feet peeled like crazy too. I started wearing soft sneakers late in September and I am now able to wear flat boots (although I sized up for my boots and wear thick warm socks underneath cause my feet are always cold). I had two surgeries because the first failed (first one was February 28th and second surgery was April 9th) and was able to walk in June.

    If your feet are still swollen please don't force them in shoes. Maybe try wearing slides with socks on? Not the most fashionable lol but it's a start!! Patience is key for this kind of healing journey..

    I wish you a good recovery!

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  • Posted

    Thank you ladies! I guess patience is KEY! Today I had the idea of holding some frozen pea packets against the swelling. It felt good. Today I will take my first full shower, including my operated foot which hasn't seen water since October 31. Tomorrow I will try the trainers again. At some point, they will have to fit. What is your experience with walking around in the house just in socks or even bare feet? Is this something good or does it do anything bad to the foot?

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    • Posted

      Did you try bare feet or socks around the house? How did it go?

      It's 5 weeks today since my surgery. I've found when I've tried bare feet, maybe when I've sat down with my feet elevated and then realised I forgot to get something, that it hurts and I tend to automatically keep my toes up and walk(?) on the sides of my feet. I don't think that would be helpful for healing, since we've had major work done on our bones and I don't want to ruin that. So I'm not attempting it any more till I'm further healed.

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  • Posted

    Simona I'm at the exact same place in my recovery, 6 weeks from bunion, hammertoe and tailors bunion surgery Oct 30, 2019. Its very frustrating to still be so swollen. I was looking forward to my hammertoe pin removal and clearance to begin weight bearing but its just such a battle of swelling and pain. Its actually the first pain I'm experiencing since the surgery. I'm 64 and a very active cyclist and hiker so this is brutal. Reading the responses really hasn't given given me much relief as it sounds like 8-12 weeks is the next date to look forward to. My Dr told me i'd be able to drive and begin PT as soon as I can walk but I just hobble. I'm heading to my weights to do some seated dumbbells and floor yoga but I know it'll be hard and exhausting. Seems so strange to have such a minor work out be so hard. Lets stay in touch and perhaps we can share our recovery benchmarks and look forward to a full recovery. I don't know about you but I was hoping to be back on my bike at 12 weeks and now at 6 weeks I cannot imagine putting on a cycling shoe. Wishing you speedy healing.

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    • Posted

      Thank you. So we had surgery just one day apart and we are also a year apart. I am 65 and I do dancing for pleasure and exercise. And long walks. Obviously, I cannot do anything like that. My pin was pulled out at 6 weeks minus one day, my foot was unwrapped and only some steri strips were left at the sites of incisions, that is a few such strips over the former bunion, a few strips at the base of the second toe (formerly hammer toe) and a vertical strip along this second toe. I was told that after 3 days I could take a normal shower and be able to soak my foot too. I was told the steri strips would eventually come off by themselves. My doctor, voted best in my state, did not put any permanent hardware in my foot and he also does not believe in physical therapy. I asked for it since I read a lot about PT being very helpful. He told me he does not recommend it because he found that PT may increase the chance of bunions coming back. I asked whether I should do some mobility exercises with my foot and toes and he said "Just walk". The problem is that my foot is too swollen and too frozen in place to be able to fit into even a wide, larger soft shoe. My big toe and its neighbor are super stiff. Also, yesterday, when I had my shower, the steri strips did not fall off. My husband came and without even asking me, quickly tore off the strips over the bunion incision. He is a doctor, pediatrician and he thinks it is better for wounds to heal with nothing on. However, I think he ripped some crust that had formed over. Now there is a big gaping hole there, horrifying, oozing. And it hurts, shooting pain that is amplified when I put that surgical sandal on to go to the bathroom. Have you tried walking just in socks or barefooted? It may not be advisable, I fear. So now, I feel worse than I felt before my husband got it into his head that it would be better for me without those tiny strips. I still have the strips in the other places. I put antibiotic ointment over that open wound and my husband taped over the wound and all around the foot. I am limping worse than before and I feel quite discouraged.

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    • Posted

      Hi Simona, I feel your pain!!! My Steri strips cam off at about 3 weeks (actually removed by dr. ) and he used Neosporin and gauze with ace bandage until 6 weeks when pin removed. Yay.. 1st shower( without pin and plastic cover) at 6 weeks too. I use co-flex tape per my Drs recommendation and an ace bandage and sometimes wear the black shoe with open toe around the house. I use the heavy black Frankenstein boot if go out. Sometimes it feels good to just have my foot exposed to air around the house. My incisions are pretty much healed now. I was so excited to be able to put weight on foot and start walking but it's so painful and my foot gets swollen if I walk too much. At my drs request I stretch my toe up and down daily and curl my toes to start stretching the ligaments. PT is recommended by my dr once I can walk but not before.

      I interviewed 7 surgeons before settling on my surgeon but it was hard to find references from former bunion patients so I'm just praying everything will work out!

      Fortunately my husband is willing to cater to my constant grocery requests. Holiday shopping on Amazon. Yesterday was actually my first trip out to a store to buy a bottle of wine to take to a holiday party. Yeesh..so much work to dress up lol. I feel like I'm on house arrest and I mostly stay home, since I can't drive until at least 8 weeks.

      I planned my surgery and attempted to plan my sedentary time to do my end of year Continuing Education (retired accountant) and I'm taking a very intensive online class, which I'd never commit to if I were mobile. I knew this sedentary lifestyle would be brutal.

      I started doing floor yoga stretching and some dumbbell weights at home. Since reading several patient accounts I now realize the recovery is likely 3-5 months. I live in Southern California so I can at least sit outside and don't have to deal with weather.

      I had to laugh at your description of your husband ripping off the steri strips but ...ouch! I can't even stand to have a blanket on my foot yet.

      Hang in there, we will get there. Strangely feels good to have someone to snivel with. 😃. You will be back to your dancing and I will be back to cycling in time.

      Lets stay in touch!

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    • Posted

      Hi!

      You are lucky to live in So. Cal. I lived in Orange County between 1983 and 1990. Then we lived in CT for three years in CT and since 1993 we are in SE Massachusetts. I also interviewed a lot of doctors. Finally, I settled on the one whom Boston Magazine found to be the best foot and ankle doctor in the state and I also found him on a list of 10 best foot and ankle doctors in the country. After he removed my pin, he sent me home without any bandages, just the steri strips. And that open toe surgical sandal. Before, I had the bulky aircast boot for the first 2 weeks. It was a good thing I brought a sock at my visit. To realize just how lucky you are just living in a warmer climate, think that we had snow over here, and obviously it was quite chilly. And to go out of the house, and into the car, I had to navigate a good number of stone steps, icy, and snowy, dragging myself on my butt since I wasn't allowed to bear any weight. I am practically under house arrest. My husband is a pediatrician who works very long hours. He rushes home at lunchtime to help me down to the kitchen/dining area and gives me some food. I cannot walk down the stairs or up, without help. And I cannot stand up and cook either. Normally, I am very active, shop for and prepare gourmet meals but since surgery, my husband was in charge of this chapter, with some mixed results... It seems that you do go out, have some social life. We don't and now I am in an enforced prolonged house arrest. You say you were instructed to flex and bend your foot and toes. My doctor did not recommend this, just said to walk, which I cannot do very well. And my toes, the big one and the next are not flexible in the least. I try but it simply doesn't work. Now, since that yanking episode, it hurts to even flex my foot minimally. So, I do minimal walking. I try to do some flexing but then I get shooting pains at the bunion and hammertoe location. Usually, for Christmas I do a lot of special cooking. This year it is not going to happen. Take care! Be well! Keep in touch!

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  • Posted

    Hello. Yes I had that done on my right foot in April 2016. And yes my foot was swellon for 4months I could get into a Reebok cloth tennis shoe it will take time i hope all goes well for you.

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    • Posted

      Simona, I can so relate! How are you now?

      I had surgery November 21st, bunions on both feet and hammertoe fusion on my second toe, left foot (which actually is more painful and weird feeling than the bunion toes).

      I'm constantly fighting to stay upbeat. The isolation, frustrating swelling, lack of activity, plays havoc with my emotions.

      My first 10 days after surgery I really didn't take painkillers, other than the paracetamol they gave me during my 2 days in hospital. Day 11 my right foot started stinging, stabbing and feeling not right, but naturally I couldn't see anything because of the huge bandages. Those first two weeks I was diligent (most of the time!) about laying down on sofa or bed with my feel elevated. The surgeon stresses the importance of that.

      Bandages and stitches removed on day 15 (Dec. 6th) and there was an infection beside my right big toe. I was prescribed antibiotics but 2 days later (a Sunday) I wasn't improving, the seeping and pain was getting worse, so I went to the Emergency dept. at our local hospital. I landed back in hospital, on a drip, for 3 days!

      Now the infected area is drying up but looks unsightly. As tlw described, I do the toe curling and also a stretching exercise with my 2 affected toes on my left foot - the doctor said twice a day - but the infection in my right foot has meant I couldn't exercise that toe; it's quite stiff by comparison.

      I have a big problem with swelling and I dread trying to put on my soft trainers. Initially it's not too bad, but my feet soon swell and I absolutely hate being trapped in those shoes. I normally never wear trainers except for the gym; they have always made my feet feel claustrophobic 😃 , and they go with none of the sort of clothes I wear. It's Summer here, the trainers and socks make my feet hot and look ridiculous with little summer dresses. I want to wear something on my feet that doesn't hurt and that makes me feel normal.

      I've been really isolated. I'm 69 yet fit and (usually) active and fast moving. Normally I'm dancing (rock'n'roll and line dancing) and also going to the gym... pilates, light weights, aerobics, dance fitness etc... most days of the week. I can't do any of that, and so now don't get that regular social exposure to my gym and dance friends. In fact we go no where. I still can't drive as my right foot is my braking foot and still too sore. I feel really cut off not even being able to duck out to the shop for, say, a bottle of milk. I'm finding that for me this procedure has been an emotional journey as well as a physical one. I want myself back! I know it will all be worth it and I have no sign of bunions now at all, which is wonderful! You expressed it well - "I know there is light at the end of the tunnel but how long is this tunnel?"

      I wonder when I'll be able to go for a walk and not end up limping and hobbling because my feet have swollen. At present I wouldn't be able to walk to the end of our street without having to hobble back like I'm 100 years old.

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  • Posted

    From the UK and 8 Post op. My left foot is still swollon and I've had to take the shoe lace from trainer for me wear. My doctor said to walk straight away too. I've had a few baths since having plaster boot off and big toe and the one next to it is still quite tender. X

    Hope everyone has a good Christmas x

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  • Posted

    Tomorrow it will be 8 weeks since my surgery. It was bunion plus hammer toe on 2nd toe on right foot. With the exception of my three doctor's visits (2 week, 4 week and 6 week) I have not been out of the house. I am walking indoors but my foot swells and hurts. My former bunion area is still red, it has not crusted completely. I have experimented with various shoeware and I cannot say that I am comfortable in anything. I got a pair of neoprene shoes which open all the way and close with velcro. They are not bad but my feet sweat in them. I also got a pair of shearling slippers, open toed, also on the same principle of opening all the way and closing with velcro. They would be great but they are too warm to wear indoors. I tried the Furoshiki shies which wrap around your foot. My foot feels ok in them but then it gets swollen. Of course I've tried sneakers, Keds, Lem shoes but my foot doesn't like to be shoved into anything, practically. My big toe and the next toe are quite stiff and bend only down, a little bit. For some reason my surgeon doesn't believe that physical therapy works and he even told me that sometimes PT may bring about bunions. I don't quite believe that but I wouldn't want anybody forcing my toe, beating it into submission when it is sore and stiff. I am very gently trying to move it or them, (big toe and next). My surgeon strongly advised me to go for fusion but from others' experience, I was reluctant and so there was no fusion for me. For now, my big toe feels like it has been fused, with it being so stiff. And the next toe is also stiff but I have more patience with it since it was skewered on a pin for 6 weeks... So, I want to walk normally, wear shoes that are not ridiculous, go out, drive. Actually, tomorrow we are going to the movies. My first outing. I am thinking I will wear the shearling slippers. And, I promised myself that on January 1, I will go down to the basement and resume my dancing even if it is going to be slow and not too easy. I need that for my state of mind, first and foremost. Good luck to everybody! Happy holidays and be gentle on yourselves. Sooner or later, preferably sooner of course, we will walk, run, dance, exercise, do our usual stuff!!!!

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    • Posted

      That shoe issue is a problem. Today I dragged out of my wardrobe a pair of sandals with velcro'd straps across the foot... I had to buy them for an orthotic to go in when I had plantar fasciitis in January. I can't wear them without socks as they hurt my skin, but I wore them around the house with socks (not a good look but oh well) and it felt better than the surgical sandals I'd been wearing, and also the trainers. Though I did spend a lot of time with my feet up today; thank goodness Christmas stress is over.

      It puzzles me why my actual skin is sore to the touch, besides the internal soreness and the discomfort of the swelling. Do others have that surface soreness, not on incision areas but just pretty generalised?

      Simona, what sort of dancing do you do? You need to do something that defines "you", I can understand that.

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