Bunionectomy on Dec 18th-Scared Out of Wits!

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Hi all!

I'm new to the forum, and could use some advice. I'm 26 years old, lightly to moderately active. I have to have a bunionectomy on both feet as my bunions have gotten bad enough to where it hurts to walk. The podiatrist will be performing the right bunionectomy on Dec 18th, a week before Christmas, and the other foot hopefully sometime in Feb. I don't know what kind of surgery it is, I know there are different types, but the Dr. informed me that he will basically have to break a bone or two in my foot, put metal screws in, shave the bunion off, and sew it up. Naturally, I'm terrified. I've never once broken a bone in my body, and this is my first major surgery and am unsure what to expect. For those that have had it, what was the recovery process like, and how painful was it? I've purchased a cane to use and I will have the special walking boot. Another concern is we are traveling about 4 days after the surgery to spend Christmas with our families. I've made it clear I won't be up to walking much, if it at all, but I'm wondering if 4 days after surgery is too soon to try to travel.

For those who have had whatever type of surgery this is, what was the process like, how painful was it, and how soon was it until you could exercise again? (Lightly, obviously, not heavy intense stuff!)

Thank you!

-Scared.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Cal - First of all yes it is quite painful but if you keep taking the painkillers for a week or so it's manageable.   SecondlyI didn't go out for two weeks post- op s

    w it washen it was to out patients.  As long as the people you are going to do everything for you and I mean everything except eating and the toilet then yes go.  You really are off your feet....

    it is so worth  it - so much so I'm getting my second one done in January.

    Good luck and do what your doctors tell you!!!

    Jane

    x

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  • Posted

    Hi 

    Tomorrow I am in the 4th week of recovery and having my 2nd one done in Feb and cannot wait

    The first 4days are the worst travelling might be uncomfortable they soon after surgery But  if you could get in the back with your foot op you should be fine

    4 weeks now and can walk with just slight discomfort but getting there 

    Back to work in 2 more weeks and my job involves standing for 8 hours a day so waiting for my bone to completely heal 

    Can not wait for the next one now and I should be pain free this time next year 

    Good luck but please do as your surgeon tells u to do to help with a full recovery 

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  • Posted

    I’m 4 days post op.  Had 7 screws (pins) and brace installed plus bone shaved.  Foot looks like Frankenstein’s.  Got to see it yesterday at bandage changing.  Im in way more pain than I expected.  Not able to leave the house. Mostly lay on couch with it elevated.  Feels like it is going to blow off my leg when I’m vertical.  Constipated from Percocet. Praying for a better day tomorrow day 5.   Sorry to say my experience has been very rough.   No way I can leave the house yet.  Wishing you a more better result.
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  • Posted

    Hi Cal!

    Hoping I can make you feel a little less anxious about the surgery. 

    I’m 29 and had a bunionectomy with  first metatarsal osteotomy on my left foot last Tuesday (5 days ago). It sounds exactly like your surgery. I was really nervous about the amount of pain I would be in, but I made sure to stay on top of my meds (Hydrocodone every 4-5 hours) for the first two days and then only ibuprofen a few times since then!

    I would plan on limiting any activity after your surgery. You’ll want to sit with your foot propped up to reduce the swelling and throbbing. 

    Also - showering isn’t the easiest thing ever. I’d get a shower chair if you’re able to. 

    Good luck tomorrow! I’m happy to keep in touch if you’d like to because I’m only a few days ahead of your timeline smile

    Lindsay

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    • Posted

      Hi Lindsay,

      I’m 31 and had the same surgery on Dec. 21st. I’m just over the 3 week post op mark. Time ticked slowly the first 2 weeks, but this week has been much more enjoyable.  Curious how your recovery has been.  The downtime has been the worst part for me. Pain was only bad the first couple days and I stopped taking pain meds on day 4. I walked slowly today for the first time with no crutch assistance and it felt GREAT to be bipedal once again. I only put pressure on my heel, but still, “walking” was wonderful. What stage are you at? Are you wearing regular shoes yet? I’m eager to get rid of this surgical boot. Hope you’re healing is going smoothlysmile

      Allie

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    • Posted

      Hi Allie,

      Glad to hear things are going well for you!

      I was non weight bearing for 3 weeks unfortunately. After 3 weeks, I got cleared to start putting a little weight on my foot, but admittedly, I’m still a little nervous to do so. I’m currently 1 month and 1 day post op. I will be in a boot 2-4 more weeks. Were you nervous at all about starting to bear weight?

      Completely agree on the downtime being the worst part!

      Also - if you haven’t heard of it already, there’s a Facebook group called “I Survived a Bunionectomy” which has tons of people going through the same thing. It’s been really helpful in recovery to be able to ask questions to people who’ve been there and nice to see other people’s journeys. 

      Best,

      Lindsay 

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    • Posted

      Lindsay,

      Thanks for replying so quick! I actually deactivated my FB last year otherwise I totally would have joined that group.  

      I agree that the idea of pushing down on something you’ve treated so gingerly for weeks is terrifying. I was quite nervous, too. I started by just standing and balancing.  (Only with the heel of surgical foot) Sure, there was some numbness and tingling, but I just kept doing it for short bursts and then right back to elevating it. The intensity feeling diminished with each subsequent stand.

      Then, I tried very slowly walking with one crutch to alleviate the majority of the pressure in each tiny step. That went well. So, after a couple days of smooth sailing with that, I tried baby steps on the heel without crutch assistance and had very minimal discomfort. Yesterday, I probably did a little too much but I got a taste of mobility and ran with it cleaning, organizing, rearranging, etc.

      I’m a clean freak and not being able to stay on top of things has been so annoying. I love my husband and bless his heart he has tried to take the reigns while I’m down, but there’s all those “behind the scenes” tasks he just doesn’t quite notice. 😩

      My foot is very tight feeling around the incision and I get sharp shooting (nerve-reconnection) pains every once and awhile, but I can finally sleep with my foot under the covers (wrapped and socked).

      I started back at yoga last week and although I have to modify the majority of poses to fit my one-leggedness, it has been amazing. 🧘???I definitely recommend stretching and range of motion exercises with both legs. I have lost so much muscle being down for 3 weeks. I even lost an inch off my calf of the surgical foot!!

      Another tip is to ask for another surgical boot and wear it on the other foot while walking around the house. That way, your hips are level! So many people get hip and lower back pain during recovery and I think it’s due to the uneven nature of walking with the boot.

      Anyways, baby steps are the name of this game and I think if we take it gradually, we’ll be all set at the 6-8 week mark to try “regular” shoes. I CANNOT WAIT to drive again!! 

      Have you purchased or decided on your first normal shoe yet?  I’m still doing research and haven’t decided.

      Allie

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  • Posted

    How’s the recovery going Cal ?  It’ll be 4 weeks on Tuesday January 2nd for me. I’m completely off the Percocet.   I  took it for all 3 weeks post op.   Took last one on December 26th.  I think I had withdrawals from quitting it.  Bad stuff .   Just take teylonol when needed now .    No pain when foot is elevated but hurts real bad after being on crutches or knee wheelie for more than 10 minutes.    Doctor says I can walk at 6 weeks.  I’m in a walking boot but only can put weight on my heel. I’m getting better but very slowly.   Outside of big toe still very numb.  I am unable to move it much and not sure how much movement I have because the way it’s wrapped up.  Happy New Year.  I hope things went well for you.
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