Practical tips

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hi, 

im having a big toe fusion next week and I am beginning to panic about small things like getting around and using the shower. Does anyone have any tips on showering versus bathing and his to keep the area dry. Also any tips on exercise during the first couple of weeks. I have never used crutches, are they difficult. How do you get upstairs? -all these questions were going round in my head last night. Any help

 would be appreciated.

jan 

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  • Posted

    Hi Jan

    Firstly good luck for your op! I bought a shower stool which has sucker pads on the bottom and put it in the bath. I then had my legs over the side of the bath on a stool with a towel or plastic bag over my feet and then used the shower hose to wash. I could only wash my top half for the first three weeks as wasn't allowed to get my bandages wet.

    In terms of exercises - the only thing I could really do was some Pilates exercises on the floor as wasn't allowed to put pressure on the feet. This is the hardest part as all I wanted to do during that time was run around, so it can be frustrating, but be patient, you need to rest more than anything for the first weeks so focus on that as it will speed up your healing.

    Do you have Facebook? There's a fantastic group called I Survived a Buninectomy on there, it's a brilliant network of people who have either gone through the process or are currently going through it so great for support and to ask questions. I also have a blog which has lots of tips in it but am not allowed to post links to blogs on here so if you're interested send me a message and I'll send you the link.

    Good luck x

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  • Posted

    Hi

    i had my big toe fused 21st June this year and am recovering well

    i read so many bad stories on here so was a bit scared too

    i had crutches too but did not use them for the stairs go up and down on your bottom - much safer too

    i bought a little stool for the shower and a pastic foot cover it is not easy I will admit I used to sit with my foot on the edge of the shower cubicle and hold the shower in my hand

    getting around will be ok you will be taught how to use the crutches before you leave hospital the boot so red designed so you can walk but no weight is on your toe

    i had a boot on both feet so I know what it is like

    i must stress the important thing is that you rest as much as possible in the first 2 weeks and for the first 5 days I only went as far as the toilet

    saying all this after 7 weeks I could wear normal shoes and could also drive 

    I bought a pair of sandals with Velcro on so you could adjust them

    jane

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    • Posted

      hi jane

      thank you do much for sharing your story. Your practical advice is really useful, and it's nice to hear some thing positive for a change. 

      I went out today and bought two pairs if shoes with Velcro straps ready for when I am able to wear them. Made me feel better. 

      Will let you know how it goes

      jan x

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    • Posted

      Hi

      forgot to say can't stress enough how important it is to rest with feet up as much as possible especially first 2 weeks 

      I have had hardly any swelling and have had no need to ice my foot at all

      good luck

      jane x

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    • Posted

      Another another bit of advice put a pillow under your legs when you sleep and also put one at the end of the bed as it takes the weight of the covers off your toes

      jane

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  • Posted

    I had bunion surgery and was told to keep dry for two weeks. I had an arrangement of larger stool in the shower cubicle, smaller outside. Pull shower head right down and angle it where you want. I sat on larger stool, closed doors but left my leg sticking out, resting on small stool. I also tied a small towel around my calf to stop any water running down that leg. It worked really well! Sadly I'm still doing that 7weeks later as there were some complications. 😿

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    • Posted

      thank you for your message. Sorry to hear about your complications and hope you will soon be improving. I am really nervous  but hearing other people's experience s really helps. Will let you know how it goes. 

      Jan x

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  • Posted

    Because you cannot get it wet for a few weeks, the shower stool is key. A must have. Instead of a waterproof boot which didn't fit over my foot with the brace after surgery, a friend recommended plastic wrap. Starting low at your shin and working your way up mid thigh. Then I sat on the stool in the shower and let my leg hang out of the shower. Just as a precaution I let a towel rest on the thigh of my injured foot.

    I was limping around afterwards feeling sorry for myself because I didn't seem to be getting better. Then I began physical therapy and it's coming along quite well. I'm back to road biking everyday - 66 days after surgery. I also went on an elliptical machine with not a single second of foot pain.

    Good luck

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    • Posted

      hi kim

      thank you fir sharing your story, it really helps and I feel much better about the op next week, just want it over and done with. Will let you know how it goes

      jan x

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  • Posted

    Hi I had bunion surgery (right foot) almost 6 months ago now - getting along fine and swelling is still going down but improving all the time. Left foot scheduled for Sept 30th!

    I had a shower seat which was extremely helpful for showers - I have a walk-in shower so I just transferred from a vanity stool to the shower chair - obviously always wearing the plastic cover over my bare (bandaged) foot.

    I also found my bidet very handy for body washing as it is obviously something you can sit on!

    Lots of hopping on one foot in the bathroom in those early days while you dry off before you get your surgical shoe back on : )

    But it passes and eventually you find yourself gently putting your foot down and wow! You know your healing!

    I did not have any crutches, only the surgical shoe. I was moving about carefully and by day three went down a flight of stairs by myself. Was mobile within the house for the first week, not with a lot of stamina (as needed to elevate and ice often) but I managed just fine. Wore a little simple fabric cross-body bag to carry my cellphone and tablet, headphones, notebook, medication etc so my hands would be free to grab handrails when using the stairs etc. Too much effort to go back if I forgot anything so the little bag was excellent to keep my immediate needs handy.

    Can't say i really exercised during this time - I realize that I probably could've - at least arms etc!! Be careful with your diet during this time or the pounds can pack on really quick!

    Good luck keep us posted!

    Susan

    Toronto, Canada

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    • Posted

      Thank you Susan for sharing your experience. It us really encouraging yo read stories on hear and I feel much better about my op next week. Will let you all know how it hides. 

      Jan x

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  • Posted

    Hi Jan, I had my bunion correction 3 weeks ago! I had read so much on different forums I began to panic too, there are some horror stories but let me tell you my experience.

    I had my bunion removed and a fusion using 1 screw it was meant to be 2 fusions with 2 screws but after my surgeon corrected my first bone he said it actually only needed one as the alignment was good and the second would not have made too much of a difference. This was great news to me :-) worth asking are you having 2 fusions on your toe do you know I.e 2 screws ?

    I had day surgery and when I came to I had no pain at all I had an ankle block during surgery they call it, my left foot was in a bandage with good padding around big toe I was given a special type of shoe that only lets me weight bear on the heel! Will you have a shoe? I was also given crutches for balance. It really is ok once you get used to them although after 4 days I went to just 1 crutch, I found this much easier freeing one hand so I could at least carry a drink from the kitchen & back. For the first few days too I went up the stairs on my bum and came down on my bum I felt safer this way now I go up sideways as my shoe don't fit on the stair properly. I had a little set back had my stitches out 2 day ago and my surgeon moved me about a bit so I have been in quite a bit of pain across the top of my big toe my skin is also peeling where the bandage has been on for 3 weeks. It's really important to elevate your foot whenever you sit or sleep I still have my foot elevated sitting and use ice at least 3 time a day when I'm sitting watching tv just under the top of my toes and I elevate when sleeping and It really has kept my swelling down I know if I have been on it too long which at the min I can manage 20 mins before it throbs but as soon as I get it up its good again I now have just the shoe with no dressing needed however I'm wearing a big fluffy sock to give me some padding around my scar area. I have to manually exercise my big toe and its moving well after just 2 days but make sure you take your pain killers before excercising!! I also have fibromyalgia so the pain has been intense, it's not as bad as I have read it's just the recovery is soooo long you can't walk on it for 6 weeks my hubby picked me up a wheelchair from the British Red Cross they loan it to you for a donation only, it's been great my hubby thinks he has a new toy lol takes me for walks down the canal and lakes :-) Ok showering!! Well I literally bathed my body each day sitting on the toilet you probably won't feel like doing much at all tbh and although I have a seat in my shower I have only just now felt stable enough to have one I did buy a waterproof ankle cover but didn't use it it's meant to be good though. I have another 3 weeks in my boot then back for X-ray and then Physio will start. My leg had gone skinny where I have lost the muscle in my calf but I'm sure that will build back up quick enough. If you want anymore info just message me cause I probably have not covered everything. God bless him xxx Cindy

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    • Posted

      Hi cindy,

      thank you for all the useful information. I have had great support from this site and really feel much more encouraged. I gave a busy life and the thought of 6 weeks confinement fills me with dread but I gave lots of books and good friends popping in . I will let you all know how it goes.m

      jan x

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