13 answers

Recovering from Foot Surgery

I had bunion surgery 1 week ago on one foot and really thought I would be mobile by now. I am still in the surgical dressing and have a special shoe I have to wear, but I am no longer taking pain medication. Has anyone else had this surgery who can share their experience. How long will it be before I can walk on the foot? I am not used to being restricted and I'm starting to go a little nuts.

What can I do next?

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I had a bunionectomy 1 1/2 years ago. My podiatrist told me everyone heals differently. There's no norm for healing. However, I was in a boot cast for nearly 2 weeks, then a walking boot for 2 weeks, and finally the special shoe for a couple weeks. It was at least 2 months before I could wear normal shoes (I wore Crocs after the special shoe). It was about 4 months before I tried running and 6 months before I could run a couple miles confidently. My Podiatrist liked to err on the side of caution b/c if you're not patient and let it heal completely, it won't heal right and you might have more problems down the road. Just enjoy the down time!

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I had a bunionectomy 1 1/2 years ago. My podiatrist told me everyone heals differently. There's no norm for healing. However, I was in a boot cast for nearly 2 weeks, then a walking boot for 2 weeks, and finally the special shoe for a couple weeks. It was at least 2 months before I could wear normal shoes (I wore Crocs after the special shoe). It was about 4 months before I tried running and 6 months before I could run a couple miles confidently. My Podiatrist liked to err on the side of caution b/c if you're not patient and let it heal completely, it won't heal right and you might have more problems down the road. Just enjoy the down time!

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Hi L.,

I have not had the surgery, but my husband has considered it for his own foot. The surgeon he talked to about it said that he would be "restricted" for at least 6 weeks. Because of that, I was surprised that you are asking the question only one week post-surgery. What does your doctor say?

Make sure you know what you are supposed to expect from your doctor - perhaps he or she didn't prepare you well enough.

Good luck,
D.

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did you not discuss this with your surgeon before having the surgery? I would talk with you surgeon about this.

my cousin had this surgery and she was down for at least 3 weeks

I have no personal experience but I did run into an older lady who had bunion surgery- she said NEVER have it, she was better off with the bunion! I'm not trying to scare you- she was an older lady and was probably taking longer to heal than you will.

If you can walk with a cane, try that, but my experience with surgery is that recovery usually takes a few weeks. In a few months see a chiropracter to make sure you haven't thrown your back out of alignment from limping.

I wish you a speedy recovery!

Hello: I feel your pain. I had my bunion surgery last Wednesday May 12. I thought the pain was awful, percocet I was taking worked reverse on me I was wide awake and it took some of the pain away. I was hoping to sleep alot and not feel the pain. Today is the first day that I decided to not take any pain meds, still having pain but I am able to tolerate it. I did notice I was able to put some pressure on the side but afraid to put all my weight on it today. I am using crutches to get around and it is making me NUTs also. I hope this makes you feel better. I go this Weds for a follow up so we will see what he says.

L.,

I have had the surgery done on both of my feet (at different times) and each healed at different rates. Your dressings will come off soon, but you will be wearing that boot for a while. Also, you need to stay off your feet as much as possible (I do mean this...stay on your butt) b/c the more you get up now the longer it takes to heal. The swealling needs to go down. I learned this the hard way with the second foot surgery. The first one I was fully recovered in about a month. I stayed off my foot for a week and a half and then I limited my time up moving around. Then I always elevated my foot when I was sitting down and at night. My second surgery took 3 months to heal b/c I did not take it easy the first couple of weeks so it took longer to heal b/c the swelling would not go down.

I too am a former teacher, now SAHM. I know how hard it is to sit still for any link of time. I had both surgeries done while I was teaching and I sat in a chair and had my students bring me everything I needed and another teacher took them to lunch and other classes. You have children old enough to help you out so let them for the next week or your recovery will be longer. It is hard, but try to relax and not think about all the things you need to do. Relax and enjoy this time. Read a book that you have been wanting to read, but couldn't find time too. Hope this helps. Hugs for a great recovery. You will enjoy the bunion being gone once the swelling goes away (that means staying off your feet...:-))

My mother had the surgery and was off her foot for a month and in the shoe/boot even longer. And her surgeon told her she had a quick recovery because she stayed off it so well. She had a little scooter she wheeled around the house on that she knelt on, which elevated her foot.

Here's a link to some info for you. You can find more I'm sure if you do a general search for "bunion surgery".

http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00140

I didn't have this surgery, though I need it, but my aunt did and she was literally off her feet for 6 weeks!

L.,
I've heard that kind of surgery requires staying off your feet for no less than 6 weeks. If you use your foot it'll take longer to heal. Relax and try to catch up on your reading or crossword puzzles. =)

Dear L.,

Have you discussed this with your surgeon? He/She should have given you some idea about the length of recovery.
I have had the same surgery, and also had major foot reconstruction at the same time. Foot surgeries are difficult, and the most important thing is to FOLLOW THE DOCTOR'S ORDERS, period. If you don't you risk "undoing" the work they performed and increase the chance of it not healing properly.
I had to be completely off my feet except for going to the bathroom and to get dressed/undressed in the morning and evening for almost three weeks. I then "graduated" to crutches, a smaller surgical dressing, and was able to get around a little more, but still had to keep my foot elevated as much as possible.
After that, by the fourth or fifth week when the pins were taken out, I was able to start wearing an athletic shoe, and returned to work on the promise that I keep my foot elevated, which I was able to do at the time, as I had a clerical job that allowed me to do most of my work at my desk. I was excused from doing the duties that required me to be on my feet.
I actually learned to enjoy getting a break from doing my household duties, learned to shut my big mouth when the towels weren't folded properly or the dishes not stacked to my liking, etc. My dh was like a mother hen and for about six weeks, he did the cooking, cleaning, laundry, took me to my doctor's appointments, did the grocery shopping, etc. He only took off two or three days from his job, when I first had the surgery, so he did all this while working!!
It sure was a lesson in humility and appreciating my mobility when it returned!
So be patient, it won't be too much longer and you will be able to have less restriction as your surgery heals. It'll be well worth your effort to concentrate on a quicker recovery time by following your doctor's orders and not pushing yourself into too much too soon, which us women tend to do often times!! LOL
Things I did while I was off my feet ranged from letter writing, watching old movies, reading, working word puzzles, calling friends, sewing that I hadn't gotten to when I was working. I also kept up with a menu planner for my husband to use, and made some designs for when I could get back to my fabric painting.
Hang in there, and good luck. It'll feel sooo great to be able to wear shoes again and not have your foot in pain and hurting.

I had bunion surgery 5 years ago on my left foot. I wore the special shoe for 2-3 weeks and then loose fitting shoes for about 1 month. I was better than new about 2 months after surgery. It sounds like a long time, but it is worth it 5 years later to not have the pain from the bunion. Good luck!

K.

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