Planning my surgery(s). Left or Right foot first?

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Hello there,

I am a 32 year old mother of 4 children 10 to 4yrs. I have been waiting until my kids became old enough to get this done, it seems there won't be a better time than now. Do any of you think it's better to have your right or left foot done first? I have to have the bone cut, moved and screws placed on both sides (not sure how many variations there are).

Thanks!

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    If you have your left foot done first and you either have an automatic car or can hire one then you can drive after 2-3 weeks.But  if it were me I would have them both done at once, cause once is enough!
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    • Posted

      Thank you for the advice,

      I do have an automatic car so that will be easier but my doc said no driving until boot is off on right foot 2-3 months. That will be the toughest part!

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  • Posted

    Andrea.

    What very strange question you ask.

    Honestly!! Does it really matter which foot you have done first?

    You seem to be very vague as to what's involved in this surgery.

    You need to read the document ' A Patient's Guide to Bunions ( Hallux Valgus) and Lesser Toe Deformities'  on the website of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospitals website.

    Of course your bone will need to be cut! This is how the bunion is removed and corrected.

    You also need to be aware that you'll HAVE to sit with your foot elevated for at least 2 weeks post surgery AND only move to visit the lavatory/make a cup of tea etc. You will; have a heavily bandaged and strapped foot. You will probably need to use elbow crutches. You will have to wear a special heel wedge shoe which is designed to put all the weight on to your heel. You will be bandaged for up to 8 weeks with these changed every 2 weeks or so at the hospital.

    Do I make myself clear?

    I am 64 years of age and had my left foot bunion together with a hammertoe correction on the same foot in November 2013. Last Wednesday  -  1st October 2014  - I had the bunion surgery correction on my right foot.

    You mention that you've been waiting until your kids became old enough to get this surgery done.

    Take it from me ( and I am retired ) that if I had your kids at their ages I don't think I would be going ahead with this surgery.

    In short, you are going to be very incapacitated for a long time.

    I am not scare mongering.

    My surgery wasn't cosmetic. It was for medical reasons as I have had bunions growing steadily worse for many years and I knew without the surgery it wouldn't improve. Is yours?

    Good Luck.

    Gillian

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    • Posted

      If you have minimally invasive surgery its not so bad. My bandage is off and i've just been to the gym (upper body only) and I'm 3 weeks post op, scarf and akin oesteotomy
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    • Posted

      I'm not sure if it's a cultural thing or if you are making assumptions about why I'm having the surgery and feel the need to lecture me but you came across very harsh. I am having it for medical reasons, I wouldn't put myself through that much pain for aesthetic reasons. I have constant pain from severe bunions and osteoarthritis. I am a very healthy runner who happened to inherit bad genetics.
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  • Posted

    Hi Andrea

    I don't think your questions/concerns are odd at all.  We all have many questions before surgeries, no matter how much research we do.  I live in Canada and am almost 6 weeks post-op after a  Chevron procedure (piece of bone removed in the joint, bunion shaved down, pin for 6 weeks).  I am not allowed any weight on it until the pin is removed, then heel weight for two weeks afterward.  I do not have a boot/cast but had a large bandage for the first two weeks which was removed when the stitches came out.  My surgeon prescribed Percocet (which I took for the first 3 days but didn't tolerate well) and after that, I used extra strength Tylenol with good success for a couple more days.  My own experience was that elevating it realllly high helped the most with pain - very manageable.  Because I could not weight bear for an extended period of time, my surgeon would not do both at once - despite my pleas!

    Hopefully you have a partner or family who can help with the children and prepare meals for the first couple of weeks (and check in on you if you are taking narcotics the first while). 

    The bonus to doing it now is you're young and younger bones heal faster than my 48 year old bones!

    p.s. to Gillian - I believe Andrea's comment about bone removal referred to a procedure like a Chevron, not the removal of the bunion itself.  I also believe this site is intended to be a SUPPORT site.

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    • Posted

      Thank you much for the reply. I'm from Minnesota. I will be having my spurs shaved, the bone cut and moved over with 3 permanent screws. I am not looking forward to this but I just want it done. My doc said he will be prescribing oxycodone which I've never had. He said I will have boot, no weight bearing for about 5 days then minimal use of foot for 2 to 3 months. Just trying to get some support, I'm a bit nervous. He said that typically younger people have a lot of pain but since I've had kids I shouldn't be too bad. I guess having kids makes you realize what severe pain really is ha!
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  • Posted

    Yes this is definitely a support and I have had tons of support. Andrea,  I imagine that 3 of your kids are at school. Hopefully you know some of the mums, as I found that although my youngest are 14 yr old girls and in high school, the mums of,their friends did a few meals for me when I first got home from hospital. The other thing you can do is cook and freeze as much as you can beforehand. Can your husband take any time off? If not then try and get friends to drop by and/ or employ a high school student to help in the evenings.  Is your little one at pre school? It is true you can't do much for,the first couple of weeks and for weeks after than you can only move slowly. Have a read of all the other discussions on the forum, there are heaps of hints. Your biggest concern will be needing help with he kids. Hope it all goes well, Fran.
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    • Posted

      Yes 3 of my kids are at school all day and my youngest attends preschool 3 days a week and is gone about 4 hours on those days. He rides the bus that comes right to our house so I won't have to hobble too far to bring him in/out. My boyfriend is very helpful and he realizes all that he will be taking on and is encouraging me to get it done. I am starting school full-time next spring and want it done before then (which is why I chose to have it done now). My ex-husband will also be coming over a couple evenings a week to watch the kids (he takes them to his house every other weekend). I will definitely make some soup/meals and try to freeze some ahead. My parents will probably bring a meal each week as well. Have you used a rolling walker so you could kneel with bad foot and still do some work in kitchen (dishes and cooking) after a couple weeks. I was on complete bedrest with my 3rd child for 11 weeks and I was terrible at it (did a lot more than I should have). I guess my pain will show  me how much I can handle.
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  • Posted

    whichever foot is the most painful.  i had my right foot done 4 years ago and had my left foot operated on 2 weeks ago yesterday and had my bandage and sutures trimmed yesterday and a dressing put on for a couple of days.  My son is now 13 and does help a bit but my husband is brilliant.  As long as you have a good network of family and friends to help in the early stages you will be fine as you have your hands full with your children.  Good luck whatever you decide.
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    • Posted

      Thank you Maria,

      I will be doing my right foot first. It has more severe arthritis although my left foot is more severly deformed. I also want to get my driving foot done first so it's out of the way.

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  • Posted

    Andrea

    i am now nearly 8 weeks post surgery and can now say that I am almost as mobile as I was other than my foot is very swollen and I have to walk slowly. I have three children who are now 21, 19 and 16. I have needed the surgery for many years but this year finally felt the right time. The oldest one was able to drive me and the others around which meant everyone could go about their usual activities and they were all at an age that they could help with the cooking and chores. 

    I was non weight bearing for two weeks and was only allowed to go to the bathroom and back during that time. The next four weeks I still had to keep my foot up as much as possible and was on the crutches. Although I was able to stand for short periods in the kitchen I was not able to carry anything due to the crutches. You will need a lot of help and it is not easy as it has been very frustrating to be so independent on others for so much. 

    I don't feel that I could have got through this when my children were so much younger as I did not have any support other than my husband and he had to go to work. Good luck in your decision. Just remember that the more rest your foot gets in the early days will benefit it in the long run. Don't rush it as even now I can only be on my feet up to an hour before I have to get the shoe off and the foot up. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply Michelle,

      All of your suggestions and information have been very helpful!

      Good luck with your recovery as well!

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