petrified of up and coming bunion surgery and recovery

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I ve had a bunion on my left foot since as long as i can remember and i m.now 36. It has got more and more severe and i m finally going for surgery after putting it off time after time. I ve just had a letter telling me i will get an offer of surgery shortly

I cant tell you how absolutely petrified i am about it. I have daily anxiety about it and it consumes my thoughts all the time. I m such an active person and have a hyper border collie. I have plans in place in terms of my partner exercising the dog and a dog walker but i m the usual dog walker and my dog is so bonded to me. I m scared how he ll react as i m aware i probably cant walk him for six weeks. I suffer from low mood at times and am scared of this as my activity keeps the mood at bay. I m scared of the actual operation and the pain afterwards. I ve never had surgery in my life. I m crying as i write this. I m scared they wont give me a general anaesthestic and i ll be awake for the procedure. I dont have any option but to have the surgery as my bunion is so large and can hardly get in any shoes. It will only get worse

Please could someone help me with some kind of advice/reassurance. I m going nuts sad

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  • Posted

    Hi Jenny, I feel your anxiety.  I have posted on the site about my double bunion op.  It might help a bit.

    You need to talk to the medics involved in your care.   Get all the facts.  If your not happy  - get someone else.   You need to be in charge of your care.  Not easy but if you feel more in control the anxiety will drop.

    At the end of the day it is your choice who you see and what you ask for.  You can ask for sedation - you will still sleep and snooze through it.

    Have you discussed how anxious you are with you doctor or whoever is doing your surgery?

    Even if you cant walk your dog devise games and activity from a chair.

    It will help you and you doggy psychologically and keep the bond going.

    Remember, it will not be forever - only a few weeks - a bit uncomforatble, bit boring, but i am on my last week before i get the pins out.

    Focus on why you are havings this done.  I have just lined up all my shoes that i have not been able to wear for the last two years !!!!!

    My trainers are ready for my first walk.

    All best wishes and praryers to you. - Lynette

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Jenny!!

    This is Bev..I am in Perth, Western Australia. 

    Firstly.... whoa up! Take a deep breath and CHILLAX!

    I fully and  totally understand all the concerns that you have as I was in the same boat last year. I saw the surgeon in May and booked my op for December .... so that I had the long school hols to recover.

    I had what I think is an Akin and Skarf procedure...  3 screws and a staple in my foot! ( google it)....obvioulsy your surgeon may do differently!

    I was likewise worried about the pain and immobility aspects  as well as having NO IDEA what to expect. I too had anxiety about getting it done.... and when the day drew closer I kept wondering if I should really go through with it!

    I have horses and live in a  Bushfire Prone Area...and coming into our summer the thought of not being able to evacuate with horses because I couldnt walk really concerned me. I also had to organise huge bales of hay so that they could self feed and several water troughs because I couldnt get out to refill them for days at a time. I could see the horses through the window though!

    It all worked out just fine....

    I had NO PAIN whatsover from the op.... it was bandaged and I had a post op surgical shoe on when I woke from the anasthetic. I went home the next day with instructions to not weight bear, to come back for stitches removal at 2 weeks post op,  to rest and have 2 mins an hour of movement for each day of the first 2 weeks..(.impossible to achieve for me... it nearly sent me nuts! ....)

    at 2 weeks I had the stitches out and a tubular gauze dressing and still no weight bearing for another 4 weeks.... and if I did it was to be light, short and on the heel only. The shoe ( stylish NOT) was worn 24/7. I had a KNEE SCOOTER for getting around the house. Get one if you can !

    at the 6 week mark I was allowed to lose the shoe the crutches and the toe spacer and to start walking.

    Easy?... no this has been my stumbling block... I found it hard and had to kind of re pattern my brain! PLus my foot swells up daily.. it mostly goes down at night but swells again. Mostly because I am back at work teaching..and our daily temperatures are above 40C!!

    I saw the surgeon today and he is totally happy with the foot,, I need to be patient with the swelling, wear those DVT support stocking things and do the toe wiggling and standing on my toes exercises.

    I cannot wear closed in shoes at all yet...this will take time! SIGH!!!

    As for walking your dog... Border Collie's are intelligent! He will know that you are not able to ...trust me! Animals are sensitive. My cat slept on my foot for the first week,,,quietly purring away. He hadnt done it before and hasnt done it since!

    I had a border collie...he died last May!

    Anyway, I hope this helps in some way!

    take care and please keep us updated on your journey!

    Cheers

    bev

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Bev - Have just read your post and I am also in Western Australia actually in Oakford South of the River.     Where abouts do you live in Perth?   It would be nice to speak to you on the phone re: your op.    I have had a bunion on my right foot for years.   I joined this site to get as much information as I could about the operations.   And, I must admitt that, after reading the posts on this site, I would only have it done by keyhole surgery, which is a lot less invasive and a lot quicker recovery time.     I have done my research and there is'nt a surgeon in Australia that does keyhole surgery, so the only option I have is to eventually go and get it done privately in UK.     It would be lovely to be able to speak to you about this but I'm not sure how I can contact you.    Are you on facebook?
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  • Posted

    Hi Jenny,

    please do not worry about the operation, you will be put to sleep and will not feel anything. Just remember, there is a light at the end of a the tunnel. Keep positive and remember, it is a short time of discomfort compared to the endless time of being able to walk without pain again. Good luck 

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  • Posted

    Thank you for your kind and supportive responses. I just had a phonecall to say my surgery will be 5 march with a pre op appt next weds. I dont know whats going on as i broke down in tears. The girl on the phone said that happens a lot! I ve had so much going on recently and i guess i m not in a particularly strong place mentally which is making this so much harder. I live in northern ireland and its an nhs procedure so i get allocated the surgeon who they gave me the name of today. I have a list of questions for him. I was told i will definetly be asleep for the procedure which is some relief. I m hoping speaking to the surgeon next week will help my anxiety. I m not in a great place right now. I have to have this op i know this. I just wish i could put it out my thoughts for this month . I have so much to do. Thanks for the tips re the dog and good to know i m not alone with this xx
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    • Posted

      Do ask the surgeon whether it is keyhole surgery or what procedure he is doing. There are minimal invasive procedures available and maybe he is familiar with them. Make sure you have someone with you for the talk with the surgeon if possible, because you might forget to ask things or forget what the surgeon said afterwards. And remember, they are not god, just normal human beings just like yourself!!!! So do not be afraid to ask as much as you need to,
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    • Posted

      Hi Susann -   You mention keyhole and minimally invasive surgery in your post.   Maybe you could give us some information about these less invasive procedures, as this is the only way I want to have my bunion operated on with a leg block.     I live in lAustralia but originally from England and I go there for holidays quite often.    Which country do you live in?      Looking forward to your input on the above.    It would be interesting to know where the people that write their experiences on this site live.    Many thanks.
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  • Posted

    Jenny,

    You dont need to worry or be pertrified. I had my surgery on 12/16/15.

    my experience was the Surgeon explained that I would be fully sedated and pain medication supplied. All went beautifully. YOur surgeon should offer a consultation appointment well before your surgery so you can ask questions and he can explain details. Let the Dr. know you are scared. If he has good patient care style he will carefully answer your concerns and provide details.

    My Advice:

    Ask your surgeon the following questions. 

    1. WIll you be fully sedated

    2. Will a nerve block be used.

    3. What type of pain medication will be prescribed and for how long?

    I had an option for full or partial Nerve Block, I went for full block along with full anesthesia. The block will totally numb your foot and it may last for up to 24 hrs. The anesthia will comfortably knock you out, so you go in and wake up in recovery room groggy with all done and no pain. However, plan on taking your pain meds like Oxycodone on schedule before the nerve block or other pain meds they supplied for surgery wear off.!!  Dont let the pain break through. Once I was released and driven home by my significant other i started on Oxycodone probably within 4 hrs of being home. Set your alarm to go off based on what your time frame is for pain medication. Do assume cause you dont feel anything, you dont need pain meds. You do while healing. I believe my oxy was every 4-6 hrs within the first 3 days. Also taking extra strength tylenol quantitiy and times the Dr. prescribes. I was taking tylenol with the painpills and started weaning off the Oxy after maybe 5 days or so. Everyone is probably different. Gradually start taking less of the narcotic and keep full strenth Tylenol going for weeks if needed. 

    Narcotics are extremely constipating, start STOOL softners a day or 2 before your surgery. Take daily doses of Stool Softners the entire time you are on Narcotic pain pills. 

    My cast was on for 3 weeks with no wieght bearing so I used a knee scooter in the house, and crutches and stayed on one floor with bathroom, kitchen and slept on couch with foot propped on 2-3 pillows. Your foot most be elevated higher than your heart most of your 24 hrs per day. Definelty while sleeping.

    I believe since I religiously kept my foot elevated during sleep and while resting on couch during waking hours I had very little pain and great recovery. The elevation reduced swelling and therefore minimizes pain while in cast.

    Your doggie will need to adjust and let your partner take care of your dog and do the walks and business trips outside. You need to rest on a couch and not take a chance of falling on your foot. It must heal in proper alignment which means no wieght bearing. Follow your surgeons instructions and you will do well. If anything I was even more cautious and limited wieghtbearing even when told i could as tolerable at 5 weeks. Proper care and caution is important for healing properly.

    AR

     

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    • Posted

      Thanks ann. Very useful post. I m gonna print off and take note of everything. I cant seem to find knee scooters around here and they cost a fortune on anazon. I m thinking maybe a wheelchair as i could prob rent one. I know for sure it wont be a minimal invasive surgery as i dont think they generally do them here on the nhs. How are you doing now ann? Are u walking? I need to try and focus on enjoyjng things till the surgery as i feel like i m getting in a terrible rut with my thinking x
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    • Posted

      My intention in my earlier post was to say

      "DO NOT assume cause you don't feel anything, you don't need pain meds. YOU DO while healing." 

      I rented my knee scooter from Wheel chair place. $5. per day. I was told no insurance covers it. It is very helpful. Especially when you want to be a little independent in the kitchen. Otherwise I just rested and slept on the couch with a bathroom near and let me significant other wait on me "hand and foot". I started back to work at the 5th week. Luckily I could be dropped off and picked up at the closest door to my office. I used crutches with back pack to be hands free. Elevator at work, no stairs.

       I am at 7 wks from surgery now and am doing very well. I am able to walk short distances at work. I limit my walking and am using my gym getting back to moderate wieght lifting movements that dont put pressure on my foot. Using the pool, however not other Aerobic activity as of yet. Hope to start using a stationary bike in the near future.

      Plan as another person advised, gathering reading material, movies, laptop, iPad or other activities (crossword puzzles) you may do while resting with your foot propped up. I was looking foward to having time to read. I ordered numerous used books on ebay ;-)

      Think positive!!

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    • Posted

      Hi Ann,

      I quite agree with almost everything you said, but I think your message about the pain medication ""DO NOT assume cause you don't feel anything, you don't need pain meds. YOU DO while healing."" is wrong and misleading. First, various people have different levels of pain after these surgeries. Some have strong pain, others have little pain, and some have none at all. I was a lucky one in the latter group, and, although given oxygodone at discharge, did not need to use it, not even one tablet. Second, and most important, opioids are not exactly harmless drugs that can be taken as a preventive measure. Just look up "opioids side effects". As you know, oxycodone is about as potent as morphine, and 10 times stronger than codeine. I think such drugs should be taken ONLY if pain cannot be relieved by other means.

      That said, I appreciate and support your advice in other matters.

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  • Posted

    Hi Jenny. Im now 9 weeks from osteotomy and atkins procedure and also mortons neuroma excision. It went well. I'll be honest & admit the inactivity got to me but get yourself organised. Books,.mags, friends round etc. Op went smoothly. I had GA-no probs. Pain after was sooooo much less than I'd imagined. 1 bad day. Paracetamol and Ibruprofen sorted it. I was prescribed Codeine but stopped that after day 2. The special shoe was on from day 1 and could heel walk from day 1 to loo etc. Spent 1st 2 weeks not really doing much. Foot was elevated most of the day.

    Im now in normal flat shoes, back at the gym doing weights and cycling. Walking okay in trainers but just shopped for 2 hrs today & was ok but it was enough. I'm impatient. But too be honest considering I'd say it's healing/recovering well. I'm due to have other foot done later this year andvthe only yjing I"d do different is to make sure I have friends over, have lots of reading materials and stuff to watch on TV.

    Don't dread it. It will be fine.

    .honestly.

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    • Posted

      Oh debbie thanks for ur message . So so reassuring. Good to hear ur recovery is going well. How do you find the walkin. U said 2 hrs was a lot. I guess i m wondering at the time span to take my dog for a walk after surgery. I guess none of that matters as i need this surgery so whats the point in even knowing. I cant back out now.. i ve tortured myself reading some of those bunion blogs on the net. Its reassuring to hear some positive stories on here xx
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    • Posted

      Hi Jenny. By having had enough at 2 hours I meant I needed a sit down. Then I'm ok to get up and go again. On days when I have done a lot I may need to take ibruprofen at night. But really that's not bad is it? For me it's been down to my own impatience and at times havig unrealistic expectations. But on the whole it has been fine. Not as bad as I had imagined and I'm out and about, back at work, can drive can walk/shop and it's only been 9 weeks. I've also had 2 procedures done so I think it's good progress.

      Good luck. You will be fine. You may have to buy some wide shoes/trainers for first weeks out of 'the shoe'. I bought some wide fit pumps from New Look and was fine in those. Trainers are very comfy. Today I have on 1 1/2 inch heel boots for the first time :-]

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    • Posted

      Debbie, you are providing lots of good advice to Jenny.

      I have knowledge of one contrary recommendation I have per my Surgeon from Mayo Clinic (Rochester MN). Besides prescribed pain meds, during the stages of healing use "Extra Strength Tylenol" as prescribed. Do NOT Use Ibruprofen. I was told, " Do NOT take anti-inflammatory medications, such a Ibruprofen and naproxen, which can interfere with healing." Seems like they could be ok later down the road but not immediately as your healing from the surgery.

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