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So you’re facing bunion surgery. You’ve probably heard about the possible weeks’ long recovery time, and you’re worried about how you’ll cope with this period or make it shorter if possible. That’s why you’ve come looking for bunion surgery recovery tips so that you can be back on track right away, with the minimum interruption to your lifestyle.
What is a bunion?
A bunion is when your big toe starts to point inwards, towards the rest of the toes on your feet. Thought to have caused by the bones of the feet growing, but now it’s known to almost everyone, a bunion is caused by slow dislocation of the foot joint over time.
Two things caused Bunions. Foot health, including gait style (how you walk and the pressure it applies to your feet) and footwear. Bunions don’t just appear overnight. It’s a very gradual thing.
Bunion Surgery Recovery Tips: Timescales and what to expect
Hopefully your surgeon has already told you what to expect, but in general, bunion surgery is nothing to worry. The vast majority of bunion surgeries performed as an outpatient surgery so, you will be going home the same day.
Expect to arrive a few hours early, be prepared and go in for surgery. The surgery itself should only take an hour or so, with perhaps another time in the recovery room. After that, you’re ready to go!
Then comes the recovery.
Recovery After Bunion Surgery
You’ve got good news. Long gone are the days of crutches and casts leaving patients out of action for weeks on end. Advances in medical science and bone implants mean that, for some patients, they can literally walk out of the hospital under their power just a few hours after surgery.
For everyone else, the recovery time is nowhere near what it used to be. Here’s a general timescale of what to expect week by week.
- Week one: You’ll be resting most of the time through this week. Expect regular painkiller use, as well as keeping your foot elevated.
- Week two: You should be mobile by this point, even if you’re using a stick. It’s safe to start a gentle exercise routine, and possibly even swim again.
- Week four: You should be driving at this point unless there have been major complications.
- Week six: Your bones should have healed by now, and your foot should look relatively healthy again. You’re good to wear regular shoes, and even get back to work.
Some tips to help you recover faster
- It is important always to keep your foot elevated as much as possible. It keeps the pressure off of it and helps it heal faster.
- In the first week, if you feel any sensation in your foot at all, take some more painkillers. It can also be a good idea to take some just before sleep, so you don’t get to wake up in the middle of the night by pain.
- You qualify for a handicap pass. You might scoff at this, but when you’re back on the road, it makes it so much easier only to have to walk a short distance to the shops and back to your car.
- Even if you think you’re healing, keep that walking boot on. I know, it looks silly and it’s wildly inconvenient, but it’s helping your foot heal faster, and heal correctly. Keep it on as much as you can, especially when you’re on your feet.
- Ice up your feet as much as you can. It reduces swelling and helps everything heal.
- If you’re walking short distances without the boot on, walk on your heel. Keep as much pressure off of your toes as you can.
- A basic exercise routine can help. Lift light weights, do crunches, swim, knee push-ups, plus the specific activities your surgeon will give you for recovery will all make a huge difference.
- Stay connected to friends and family. You’re going to get bored. You’re going to get depressed. You’re going to get lonely while everyone else is out at work. You’re also going to realize just how godawful most daytime television is. So get in touch with people. It’ll help keep your spirits up, and if they visit, give you something to do.
- Stop poking at it. It doesn’t help. No playing with the bandages trying to sneak a peek. No taking the boot on and off all day. Especially no sticking pens down under it to scratch the itchy bits.
- Remember to contact your Doctor if you have any concerns, or notice any signs of inflammation including increased Pain, Redness, and Feeling hot around the surgery area.
Remember. Bunion surgery recovery time is nowhere near what it once was. And by following some of these bunion surgery recovery tips, you can reduce it even further. We wish you all the luck in the world with your surgery, and once you’ve successfully come through it, remember to come back here and tell us what you did, so we can spread that knowledge and help others going through the same tough situation!