Very little info on bunion recovery

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i had a scarf osteotomy two weeks ago. I am struggling to find info on recovery. When I ring the hospital I get completely conflicting advice. The same goes for info on the Internet. Can anybody advise please? Should I be doing exercises? If so, what? My big toe bends up like a banana I can fit my whole hand underneath it. Is this normal? Should I wear my post op boot in the house? Or can I be in bare feet? Experiencing back ache from lurching up and down in boot. How much activity should I be doing in comparison to rest? Feel at sea and a month to go in the boot seems a very long time. Any advice really welcome. Thank you.

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, I got back ache from wearing the boot/shoe I cannot see how anyone wouldn't eecially when walking on the heel of it.   I had my second toe done and it tended to stick up all the time when I first had it done.  I was told to stay indoors for 2 weeks after op, the first week was none weight bearing, the 2nd I could put my weight on it but rest for 45 minutes in the hour.  I just kept wriggling my toes and moving my legs at the knee when I was not moving about. I elavated my foot whenever I was sitting.  I did find the information varied from doctor, to nurse etc.  I did have all this info on a sheet after my op when they discharged me and they told me what pain killers to take.  Hope this helps good luck.

     

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  • Posted

    Hi Susan

    Please do try and speak to someone at the hospital.  They should have given you advice on discharge.  But in the meantime, for what it's worth ...

    Exercise - all you can do at this stage is move your foot up and down and side to side, like you would do in an aeroplane.  Wiggle your toes if you can, but you might find this almost impossible.  You can bend down and hold the toe with one hand and gently wiggle/flex it with the other.  There are other exercises you can do at a later stage.  The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital has a very useful brochure you can download and this has exercises in.

    It is normal for your toe to stick up a bit at this stage. 

    I was told to be heel weight-bearing only for the first six weeks.  That meant using the shoe at all times, except when in bed.  (Others have been advised to wear the shoe even in bed!). It's important you don't put any pressure at all on your toe while it's healing.  Find a comfy shoe to wear on your good foot that has a good depth to the sole, so that its height matches as much as possible your surgical boot.  That will immediately help your backache.  A slipper is about the worst thing you can wear!  

    I was was told to have my foot up above heart level for 50 minutes out of every hour for the first 2 weeks and then increase the time gradually.  The more you rest now the quicker your foot will stop swelling so much.  Also use ice packs to reduce swelling (a bag of peas or a wine cooler works well!)

    Best wishes for your recovery!

    Judy

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    • Posted

      Good advice re the other foot Judy, I remember being told that too.  I was also told that they do not recommend slippers at all.  I was not given any crutches etc because they want you to rest and heal.
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    • Posted

      I actually ended up going out of hospital with no advice or discharge papers! The surgery was brilliant but the admin was dreadful.  They told me I would get a letter so I thought I would get it in the post, but they actually meant I should have left the hospital with one!  I had to arrange my own 6-week check-up.  All my information I got from this forum.  I also was not given crutches, just the shoe.  I had no problems with that, in fact I grew to depend on my shoe as I felt secure in it!
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    • Posted

      Hello Judy,

      thank you so much for your considered reply. I have spoken to the hospital twice but was offered very vague and also contradictory advice. What you say is invaluable. I will certainly download the brochure you mention thank you. Stupidly I have been wearing slippers. Thanks too for that advice. I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.

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  • Posted

    Hi again I cannot believe that your hospital treated you like that.  You should not have had to arrange your own appointments.  What about stitches being taken out did you not go back off that? 
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    • Posted

      Yes that is normal but I got appointments up front, the op one,the the dressing change, then stitches out and 2 weeks later pin out and then check up at 6 weeks.  They were very good onthat score but I am not saying there were nori lens along the way.
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  • Posted

    Hi Susanwww.

    Your concerns just how limited some bunion patients are sent home devoid of any kind of advice, help, instruction.

    Carol is perfectly right in everything she says.

    Elevate the foot and only mobilise yourself for at maximum of 10 minutes in any hour. Failure to do this will almost certainly result in extreme throbbing and swelling and your foot may feel as though it's going to explode. That's why you must elevate.

    You must wear the heel wedge shoe.  I did not wear mine in bed.

    Do wriggle your toes to keep them from ceasing up.

    Use crutches to help you move around ( if you have them. If not ask the hospital to provide some for you.)

    Buy a Limbo ( this is a plastic stocking - they come in various lengths depending how much of your leg you have bandaged  - to put on over your bandages and enable you to have a shower without getting the bandages wet)

    Invest in a Bed Cradle to insert between the mattress and bed base as it will lift the weight of the duvet/bed clothes off your foot/feet whilst in bed) I found mine invaluable as I did with the Limbo.

    You must be prepared for many, many weeks/months of being very much out of action and limited mobility as this type of surgery carries with it a lengthy recovery period of up to 12 months,

    Do not try to force yourself to be more mobile that your foot tells you.

    When your bandages are removed you must not try to force your foot into shoes if it won't go. It will very likely be very stiff and this is because the bones in your foot have undergone a lot of pulling and tugging and there will be bruising. Do not worry because in time this will become easier and you will eventually be able to get a shoe on easier. But YOU MUST NOT FORCE IT INTO SHOES TOO SOON. If you do you will very likely cause problems with the healing of the foot.

    I am not being over dramatic here, but I have been through this surgery twice on my feet and because I adhered to the advice I was given I am pleased to report an excellent outcome.

    Each one of us is different. Hospitals and clinics vary as does the ,care, support, advice and instruction given to patients.

    I had a very good consultant and hospital in West Yorkshire and my surgery was on the NHS.

    Good Luck.

    Gillian

     

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    • Posted

      Hello Gillian,

      Very many thanks for all your time and effort replying to my post. You have offered a lot of very valuable advice and I appreciate that.

      I think I need to think of the recovery as much more long term than I was, and I need to stop trying to do too much.

      thanks again.

       

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  • Posted

    I agree with everyone else on here keep shoe on until told not to I was told to wear it for 6 weeks even indoors the one day I thought I'd leave it off I stubbed my toe sad rest ice elevate when ever you can I'm 11 weeks post op and this forum is best for advice and tips. I'm fortunate to work in a hospital and therefore have physios I can ask for advice, but must admit it's not a quick fix recovery but will be worth it, good luck with ur recovery and your amongst friends in here x
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    • Posted

      Hello Lyn,

      isnt it amazing that I spoke to the nurse today and she said I didn't have to wear the boot at all in the house! The previous nurse said I should. See how confused I am! At eleven weeks post op what stage are you at? What sort of distance can you walk? Have you resumed all your usual activities? Can you go for a walk? Thanks.

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    • Posted

      Hi I'm back to work doing 12 half hour shifts I wear trainer type shoes but I am on feet for whole of shift it does ache if I'm on feet for Any length of time I can walk quite far tho and shoes I can wear flip flop type sandal and trainers I've got knee high boots but these seem to make ankle ache I was told the mechanics of the foot change post op so I guess shoes I've worn before will feel different swelling wise it's not too bad and toe movement good not 100% yet tho, I find massaging quite firmly helps with aches and pains too I'm having other foot done end of year so hoping this recovery is well and truly over by then, I've been gym but only on cycle I do stairs at work rather than lift to help get everything back to normal, I live in UK and my op done by podiatrist x
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