I'm in the military; road to recovery after lapidus bunionectomy

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I had a lapidus bunionectomy March 10th. I have my third post op appt tomorrow morning where my doc will take xrays to ensure the screws in my foot haven't backed out and my bones have continued to heal. I was put in a big, black boot about a month ago now after being in a cast and splint for 6 weeks and was told I could partially weight bear on my heel only and to begin range of motion exercises for my big toe because it was stiff as heck. I was getting cold laser therapy after I got out of the cast and it has helped with the swelling and pain and overall healing. My big toe is able to bend up at about a 70 degree angle or so? I unfortunately didn't really focus on bending it down. My other three toes also don't bend down and my second toe joint hurts a little when I bend it upward, probably due to the proximity to my big toe.

I was just wondering if anyone has had any experiences with recovering from this type of bunion surgery? I'm really nervous to put weight back on my foot and to go to physical therapy even though I know it'll help a lot in the long run. I also have to get my other foot done and it'll be the same procedure. My doc told me it'll be about six months apart but I feel like with how much I depend on my good foot for everything, my foot won't be recovered that much by the six month mark. I'm also in the military and not sure how it will affect me in the long term. Any insight? Thanks!

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    I also had, the lapidus surgery, thank God your toe bends up, mines does not and it wont budge, I have rigid hallux after surgery I guess its a complication of surgery, I also have a, tightness and pain I personally would not do other foot, im 10 months post, I feel like there's nerve damage, so much could go wrong, I would give the surgery foot at least a year to heal, before I make a decision on the other foot, physical therapy will help you alot, to build up strength in your leg and balance I would go asap, and start walking on your foot, use 1crutch take small walks good luck!
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    • Posted

      I had my appointment today...my doc said he was surprised with the range of motion I was able to get back since getting out of the cast a month ago and he would not send me to PT because of it. He just told me now we're going to transition you into a regular athletic shoe and start walking again...I'm not sure but after being immobilized for basically 2 months then telling me to just start walking again seems a little ridiculous. I feel like I might push myself too hard or not enough or might do something wrong because it's basically learning how to walk again. I also feel like screws will snap once I put my full weight on it...even though I'm sure that won't happen. I've been trying to gradually put weight on my foot and it feels weird and I feel like pins and needles when I put weight on it, I'm assuming I just have to endure it and it'll fade eventually.
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    • Posted

      I feels weird but walk a little at a time I live in the city I started with one city block, then went to four blocks, the screws will be fine, after surgery and 6 weeks non weight bearing you lose muscle in that leg its called atrophy, you would definitely benefit from physical therapy, tell your doctor, DONT ASK HIM to give you a referral for physical therapy, they will show you exercises to strengthen your legs and work on them, which is necessary! You can also look up exercises on line, you really need to strengthen that leg, good luck!!! I would call the doctor and see if he could mail you a referral to physical therapy, pins and needles are probably because you leg muscles are week, you have to push and do exercises
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    • Posted

      How soon were you able to walk without support? I know I just got the go from my doc to begin walking last week Wednesday but I guess I feel pressure to already walk without support. I've tried going with just one crutch but other than the discomfort where the joint is fused and joined with screws, my ankle feels like it's going to break or something, it's a really sharp pain in that area when I try. I have a desk job right now and usually just walk through the hallways at least once every hour to use the bathroom and drink water, it takes about 10 minutes. During lunch, I walk the entire floor.
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  • Posted

    Hi Allison,

    sounds all about correct for that type of surgery. Long way to recovery though. Did you not check the internet for minimal invasive procedures? Most people going through what you are experiencing, will not have the second on done. Do some research before commiting yourself for other options, because there are plenty! Good luck with the excercising, it will come, but will take time. Where abouts do you live? In Europe we offer keyhole procedures with a much quicker recovery, on you feet straight away and back to excercising after 6 weeks.

    Regards and a speedy recovery Susann

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    • Posted

      Hi! When I first got referred to my podiatrist, he did try non-invasive techniques like getting inserts and anti-inflammatory medicine. I was also going to my chiropractor. Unfortunately, I was put in a difficult position where he said I wouldn't necessarily need it now but if I wanted to stay in the military, I would need surgery because it would only get worse especially with what is expected in the military. I am not financially prepared to get out at this time even if I wanted to get out. I currently reside in Washington but serve in the military so not sure how I would be able to get surgery in Europe.
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  • Posted

    Hi. From what I'm learning about all bunion surgery is when Doctors tell you 6 to 8 weeks recovery time, this is just not true. I had surgery end of January involving bolts, staples, broken toe etc., Week 15 was my turning point. Prior to that I worried I would never walk properly. Now the swelling is nearly going. I can walk without pain just a bit stiff beginning of my day. So keep doing what your doing don't panic but know you may be struggling for up to 6 months. I also have to do the next one but will have physio the minute the boot comes off at 6 weeks. Good luck don't panic.

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    • Posted

      Hi, I had surgery on my bunion, only the right foot. No screws or plates left in, a wire for 4 weeks and then it was removed without any pain. 2 weeks after that I was back on the treadmill, slowly jogging. Really depends on the procedure! Worth looking into it.
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    • Posted

      Hi Susan. Many of us have had such different operations but I strongly agree some sort of excersice is so important to getting back to walking pain free even if it's just gently bending toes backwards and forwards.
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    • Posted

      Hi ya, just read your post and wondered if you had any adice for me! :-) I am due to have surgery on my left big toe and adjacent toe my consultant has recommended releasing the ligament in the toe next to bug one and placing a wire which will be removed after 6 weeks the he will put a screw in my big toe which will stay in! I really don't like the idea of the screw staying in but he did not mention the option for a wire in my big toe too! Was you given the option?

      Best wishes

      Cindy

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    • Posted

      Hi Cindy. I had similar but bolts and staples put in place no wires. One operation. Do you have any choice over what type of operation you have? Look up scarf and akin osteotimy procedure. Is it similar? X
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  • Posted

    What kind of doctor are you going to, ankle and joint specialist??? Sports doctor? I dont have screws or anything I would suggest, you get a 2nd and 3rd opinion, and check their reviews, I would go for the less invasive surgery, blessings!!!
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    • Posted

      A podiatrist. I was thinking of going more aggressively on minimally invasive methods for my other foot but I'm wondering if that would mess my back or hips up by having one operated on and the other not...
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    • Posted

      Allison you really should go to a specialist, like an orthopedic joint and ankle, or a sports orthopedic, go for a second opinion, I would not worry about the other foot right now, you have a year to heal from surgery fully, so take at least a year before you worry about the other one,
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  • Posted

    Hey Allison! I read your story because I am thinking about bunionectomy. Alsi in the military currently. I have a question how did it work out for you? It's been a year

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