How much to rest for weeks three to six?

Posted , 6 users are following.

I had 'complex' scarf osteotomy (not sure if complex is just the standard term for bunion surgery?) and a dislocated, deformed second toe corrected with pin inserted just over two weeks ago and stitches removed on Friday. The foot was completely re-bandaged and I've been instructed to continue heel walking until the next appointment just after the six weeks mark. At the moment, I'm getting periods of quite severe nerve pain, I suspect because everything was disturbed on Friday, so hopefully this will subside over the coming days.

I meant but forgot to ask how much and how gradually I should increase being on my feet over the next four weeks. I suspect that, given even walking a little at the moment brings on pain, my foot is thickly swaddled and I need to heel-walk (with a flat-soled sandal), this will automatically limit my activity levels. However, if anyone can give some guidelines or advise from their own experience, this would be helpful. (I guess, though, that trying to get further information from the consultant could also be a wise move!)

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi there! You can expect to still have nerve pain etc at 2 weeks so keep taking the painkillers. Yes, you are normally told no weight bearing [only heel] for the first 6 weeks and your feet will tell you how long you can be on them!! Just know that it will be a gradual increase, starting at 5 mins in every hr to 15 mins in an hr etc It's a slow old process and much patience is required but hey! it's worth it, I am now 15 wks post op and have two wonderful straight feet [no bumps!] and hardly a flicker of pain. Take it easy and know that there is light at the end of the tunnel!!
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    • Posted

      Hello Jinny,

      You had both feet done at the same time?  My consultation refused to do that for me, unfortunately.  I was of the view, that if its a long recovery, then two birds with one stone!  My op is scheduled for 5 Dec, but am on standby list should a cancellation occur.

      Your reply to Janiejay was very encouraging.  Will take your advice during recovery. x

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    • Posted

      Hi there Heather. Yes I was told 12 wks recovery period and that is what it turned out to be, it's a long haul so I was very glad that I had both feet done together. This wasn't a real problem as you just heel walk in your heel bearing sandals. I hope you get yours early on a cancellation as I did, only had to wait 6 wks! Otherwise you will have to be waited on for Christmas dinner etc!
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    • Posted

      Hello. Thank you for getting back to me. I might still try & persuade

      my consultant. The thought of 12 weeks inactivity twice is too depressing.

      Well done on your recovery. You sound very positive. Xx

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    • Posted

      Hi. I am 5 weeks post op on both feet and was hoping that after 6 weeks I would be able to start walking more normally even if only for short periods. Am I being over optimistic? Am I likely to have to continue to heel walk  How far could you walk by 12 weeks. I'm  just dying to be back on the move! 
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    • Posted

      There is a lot of difference between 6wks and 12wks, be patient! We all heal differently and at different rates. I had plaster casts on both feet until wk7 so it was just heel walking for me! When the plasters came off my feet were a sorry sight! However, I soaked them in Epsom salts everyday and did exercises I found on the web under 'exercises after a bunionectomy' they were very helpful and gradually my stiff big toes have got reasonable movement back (I am still doing exercises and each week see the improvement). By 12 wks I was walking around the block ( about a mile) and have gradually built on that. Work on your exercises and be kind to those poor feet, they have been thru a lot! Happy healing!
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  • Posted

    I must be around the same stage as you, October 10th. I had

    both feet done at the same time, right foot bunion removal plus

    two metatarsals broken and reset plaster cast put on, left foot

    bunion removal only wrapped in bandages. Like you I also had my first check on Friday although my stitches will dissolve on

    their own. This time both feet were dressed in plaster casts and both are in much more pain than the last fortnight as you say it

    could be because of the dressing changes but during

    conversation with the surgeon I mentioned that the pain hadn't

    been as intense as I thought it would be and he said he'd put

    quite a bit of anaesthetic in my foot so it shouldn't have been too

    painful, so may be that could also be a reason, our feet are no

    longer numb.

    As with walking its still heel walking for me and always with my

    boots on I return to hospital in 4 weeks, but I'm afraid I've spent more than the 15 minutes per hour which was recommend by

    the surgeon on my feet over the weekend, so today I will

    certainly be following his advice. Don't rush the walking as said

    your feet will let you know how much or little they can cope with

    so take your time and let them heal properly. But I suspect we

    will be in for a few more twinges before we see the end results

    which hopefully will be worth the wait.

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    • Posted

      Yes, I think feet have a useful trait of letting us know if we've overdone it! I thought I'd better phone and find out for sure what I should and shouldn't be doing over the coming weeks as people seem to have different instructions, understandably given the variety of work undertaken -what suits one can inappropriate for another. Just as well I followed up on it as I've been told to stick with the regime of 50 minutes elevated per hour until I go back on 25th November. Hope you are coping OK with the inactivity. As you say, it should be worth the wait.
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    • Posted

      At least you've put your mind at rest so one less thing to worry about, apart from asking the same question to my surgeon the only other one I needed to ask was when

      could I return to swimming, oddly didn't feel the need when j saw him getting two new casts ready. I think having

      gone through some off the posts there does seem to be a few different methods of bunion operations some also

      having metatarsals seen to at the same time but all with

      mainly the same out come for recovery, elevation of the

      feet/legs and patience of the mind.

      My next visit is on the 24th November when I hope I can say goodbye to my casts, but I also know that it can still

      be some months before I'm fully recovered.

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    • Posted

      It's good to have someone following the same timeline, just a day apart sofar. The days do pass - Tuesday already!

      I thought my mind was at rest but, thankfully, I had a niggling worry about yesterday's instructions to keep on with 50/10 until 25th Nov, plus I was finding heel-walking on a flat soled shoe caused pain further up the foot. I spoke to physio this morning and was told that I can gradually build up by 5 minutes every two to three days and I can have a special heel-walking shoe straight away. Lesson: if you have concerns or are unclear about anything, ask. What a relief! It would have been quite adifferent outcome if I'd followed yesterday's advice.

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    • Posted

      Do they do different types of shoe? Didn't know that

      mine are quite hard flat soled shoes, rather strange on

      the feet as you don't get the luxury of right and left seems one shape does both. May be as I've had my toes broken they need to be kept as flat as possible. I walk as flat as a penguin.

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    • Posted

      Yes. I currently have a rather snazzy little number, slightly shiny jade green fabric edged with blue piping and with navy blue velcro straps, just my colours and it could fit on either foot. I knew you could get sandals with built up heels and I think someone on a current thread has posted a photo of hers. If you don't ask, you don't get! ( and this is nhs, by the way).
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