Bunion surgery

November 12, 2012

Bunion surgery

Bunions can be exceptionally painful but are becoming more and more common as people force their feet into high-heeled shoes and ill-fitting footwear.

Recovery from bunion surgery may take as long as six months or as little as six weeks depending on the procedure followed by your surgeon. Following the advice of your medical practitioner following bunion surgery will ensure that you make a full and complete recovery.

  • Time

Recovery from bunion surgery should not be rushed – this means no walking until instructed.

  • Elevate your foot

In the days immediately following surgery to your foot it is essential to keep the foot elevated as much as possible.

  • Use ice packs

The use of ice packs throughout the day for around 20 minutes each time will reduce swelling and inflammation as well as any associated pain.

  • Use the supportive gear

Using the correct equipment provided by your health care professionals after bunion surgery is essential for a full recovery. Walking in your normal, everyday shoes too quickly may well result in complications – use the equipment provided in order to keep the toe in the correct place for healing.

  • Stay dry

Keeping your foot dry during the initial recovery stage is essential in order for correct healing to take place; excess moisture may well lead to an infection. Fastening plastic bags over the foot with elastic bands is an effective method of protecting the injured foot during a shower or bath.

  • Take the medication

If your health care professional has prescribed antibiotics or pain medication it is important that you take them as instructed.

  • Do the exercises

Physical therapy is an essential part of the recovery process following bunion surgery and should be carried out exactly as instructed in order to avoid complications such as numbness and stiffness. Following the prescribed exercises will help to strengthen your foot which may have become weaker due to inactivity.

  • Comfortable shoes

Once your bunion has been successfully removed it is important to wear the correct shoes in order to avoid the development of another bunion. Shoes with very high heels or narrow toes should be avoided.

  • Complications

As with any surgical procedure there is the possibility of complications following surgery to remove a bunion – these complications, depending on their severity, may need additional bunion revision surgery which should improve any toe deformity or reduce pain levels.

If the surgery to remove the bunion has been extensive then there is a higher risk of complications developing.

    • Numbness – this may be the result of damage to the soft tissue and nerves around the toe

    • The toe bones may not knit as well as had been hoped

    • Some patients experience sensitivity to the metals occasionally used in foot surgery

    • Over correction of the bunion may cause difficulties in walking post-surgery

Anyone who requires bunion surgery on both feet will have to undergo two separate procedures in order to reduce the risk of any complications. It is also essential to remember that having this procedure does not mean that the bunion will not return.

  • When to call the doctor

If, following surgery to your bunion, you begin to experience any of the following symptoms your health care professional should be immediately consulted -

    • Fever

    • Warmth and/or throbbing around the wound area

    • Adverse reaction to medication

    • Excessive pain

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