Bilateral Bunion Surgery

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I briefly read through the posts on here prior to my surgery on 15th Dec 2015. I thought it worthwhile adding my experience to the discussion for anyone about to undertake the same procedure.

I'm 32 and run a design agency. My bunions were inhereted from my Mothers side, her father had very bad bunions, she has had 2 operations to correct hers, the last being 15 years ago, so I'm sure the procedure has advanced. Nevertheless, she is left with feet that aren't perfect, her big toes do not touch the floor but she's still able to run and do yoga etc. As well as the appearance, the pain in my bunions had got progressivley worse over the past 18 months. I have private healthcare with work so I thought I should sort this before I begin to think about having children. I had an op booked in for August 2015 but cancelled it as I was worried about work after PLUS I had been under Mr Lal at Gatwick Spire and had individually been told by two separate people that I should stay away from him. I visited Mr Lal in Jan 2015 and he wasn't the most professional, he showed me a family friends X-rays as she had previoulsy had a similar op by him. Then early Dec 2015 I got a bee in my bonnet, I should have it sorted now, the pain was beginning to wake me at night and I could feel if affecting my excercise classes that I went to 5 days of the week. I saw Mr Ralph Graham, my consultant and was booked in for the week after - 15th Dec. 

In preparation (apart from running around to get my xmas shopping done) I took Arnica and Bromelain to help with bruising and inflammation. I’m a veggie and have known to be anaemic, so I made sure that i kept on top of my multivitamins too. I’m a huge believer in the arnica. 

The operation was booked in for 5:30pm at North Downs Hospital, Caterham. Which is about a 25 min drive from me. My other half took me. I was home that same evening by 11pm. The op took around 2 hours. The pain was noticeable when I woke but not excruciating, they sent me home with Tramadol and Enoxaparin injections that I had to do each evening for 5 days, it was a tiny needle that I had to inject into my tummy to prevent DVT as I wouldn’t be moving much. 

I slept ok when I got home, probably because of the general. For the next week I took it easy and kept my feet up.I had large bandages on them and the blue post op shoe. I kept on top to the pain by alternating Ibuprofen and paracetamol and saved the Tramadol for the evening. I slept ok, I had two bolster cushion which I used to keep my feet up, I’d advice you to have two big cushions, luckily I had a recliner sofa to help too. I walked to and from the loo and when sitting I tried to rotate my ankles everyone and then. Each day I would raise my legs well above head height by laying on the floor with my feet on the sofa, it helped with the inflammation. 

By Friday (3 days later) I was at the hairdressers having my hair washed. I didn’t sleep with the boot on. I also tried to keep my protein intake up as I had read that it helped with healing.

I had my dressing reduced after 7 days which was nice and I kept the post op shoe on. I was happy with how they looked, the right was so much straighter! 

I managed to do a little bit of shopping too by making use of Tesco’s mobility scooter. On Christmas eve I treated myself and washed my toes and painted them smile Christmas Day was only 10 days after my operation, my parents and brother hired a wheelchair and we went to the pub after our lunch. I thought that I would have more cabin fever but having a supportive family and partner meant that I was able to get about to different houses and have not been half as bored as I had expected, hence its taken me 3 weeks to write this. I had booked in regular hair washes at the local salon but realised that I could quite easily have a bath. I could lower myself in with my feet hanging out but needed someone to pull me out, so I made sure that I did this when someone strong was around. NYE was spent with my partners family and his 4 year old, over the festive period I just had to be careful about people knocking them, on boxing day we had 25+ people. I’m glad that I chose to have it done at this time of the year. People are on holiday and you’re entertained. On day 13 I went to the pub with the girls in my post op boots, it wasn’t so bad and I made sure that I put my feet up.

14 days post op I had the dressing taken off and the sutures removed which wasn’t that bad. I could see the bruising more clearly but it wasn’t too bad. I was a little disheartened that my feet didn’t look that different this time around but I’m hoping it’s just the swelling. I thought I was able to fit into a pair of my trainers but I was wrong. I didn’t fancy being in the post op shoes anymore as they’re pretty big so I bought a cheap pair of trainers which were very light and had a material top. I’ve been in the trainers since and put on sterile dressings over the wound. When I have my trainers off I take the dressings off and apply some vaseline. When they’re up they go wrinkly so I know I’ve rested the properly. I’m able to walk around Tesco but know when I’ve done too much. The pain is fine but your feet tell you when it’s too much. I was very nervous about gaining weight as I regularly visit the gym but I am now 3 weeks and 1 day in and feel pretty much the same despite having Xmas and NYE between then and now. I can’t wait to go swimming to get my fitness back and feel a bit trimmer but need to wait for the wound to be 100% healed. They are pretty much there, I think by week 4 I should be able to swim.

I was very naughty and today (3 weeks 1 day post op) I drove an automatic car miles to work, I felt fine, I think I’d manage an emergency stop but am not sure what impact that would have on the healing process. I’m not seeing the consultant until 19th Jan 2016. At the moment I’m keeping them raised and trying to stop walking on the outside of my feet and weight bare, a habit that I started from day one but need to go back to being flat footed. There’s not much pain just a tight feeling.

Overall I’m so pleased that I have had it done and especially at this time of the year. I have a way to go, about 9 weeks until I can exercise, but I’m pleased with the mobility that I already have. My advice to anyone is to go for it, don’t over think it too much. Only other tip is to take a dress to wear after the op so you don’t have to faff with trousers. I bought a few large jogger bottoms too but only needed these for the 1st week, after 10 days I was able to get leggings on. I even wore tights for a few hours on Boxing Day! (11 days post op).

I hope this helps someone in the same situation I was in.

(Trying to attach pictures but the site isn't allowing it at the moment)

1 like, 10 replies

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10 Replies

  • Posted

    Wow!  Lots of great information!  You're very lucky!  I can't bear any weight on my foot at all for at least six weeks.  
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    • Posted

      None at all? Was your operation straight forward? I was told that if it was comfotrbale I could weight bear with a cusshioned sole, like the post op shoe or trainers. How are you getting about if you're not weight bearing? Hope it's all ok. I worry that if you don't keep the soft tissue mobile your rehabilitation could be pretty long. 
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    • Posted

      My surgery was pretty extensive.  Lapidus bunionectomy left foot (w/screws), hammertoe repair on second toe (w/pin), and repair of small bunion on outside of foot w/more screws).   If I put weight on my foot and the screws move, my healing will be greatly impaired. I am using a knee scooter which has been wonderful. I should be able to  bear weight after six weeks.  
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    • Posted

      Oh wow you poor thing - although it does look lovely and straight! The knee scooter sounds ideal! Do you have to have the right done too? Hope you have a speedy recovery! 
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  • Posted

    Hi Elle,

    Great to see another success story. What kind of procedure was applied to correct your bunions?

    I had my bunion surgery, also bilateral, one day after yours, on 16 December. Will post my story, also successful so far, in a separate thread.

    Have a good recovery,

    Yuri

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    • Posted

      So close! Be interested to know how you're getting on. I started doing a circuit workout last night and this evening, none of it bore weight on my feet, feels good to do something active. I can't wait to start swimming to get some excercise in. They seem to be getting less and less swollen although I'm convinced that they don't actually look that different from before the op! How are you getting on? Let me know once you've posted your story.
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    • Posted

      Hi Elle,

      I just posted my full story, a bit later than expected. Looks like everything is fine. In the last week in particular, I feel an urge to move more. Swimmimg is out of question for me at this time, because of K-wire, but I really look forward to resuming my hiking / wildlife photography.

      Cheers,

      Yuri

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