Bunionectomy Expectations: Before, During, and After Surgery
You can’t remember the last time you could walk around a new city without excruciating pain in your feet. You can’t find shoes that fit your feet right. You’re too embarrassed to wear sandals to summer barbecues.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone. 23% of adults have bunions on their feet, and a whopping 35.7% of those above the age of 65 suffer from the painful foot deformity. It’s more common than you think, especially among women and the elderly.
If you catch it early, you might be able to simply find better fitting shoes to avoid needing bunion surgery. If you’re experiencing almost daily pain, though, a bunionectomy could be the best option for you.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about your bunionectomy and the following bunionectomy recovery.
Before Your Bunion Surgery
First of all, you’ll need to determine if you’re a good candidate for bunion surgery. Make an appointment with a podiatrist if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms:
- foot pain that gets in the way of everyday activities
- a consistently swollen and painful big toe
- inability to bend your big toe
- inability to walk far without acute pain in your foot
If you have a bad bunion that severely affects your quality of life, it’s likely you’ll be able to have it removed.
Once your surgery is planned, there are a few things you’ll need to do to prepare. First of all, your doctor will perform a few routine health checks, like taking X-rays and testing your blood and urine for illness. You’ll probably need to stop taking medications (including over-the-counter medication) before the surgery, too.
During Bunion Surgery
Bunion removal is considered a relatively minor surgery, so you probably won’t need general anesthesia. You’ll be given local anesthesia which will numb only your foot.
There are three different types of bunionectomies.
An exostectomy will simply remove the bunion from the foot. An osteotomy will remove the bunion and realign your toe joint into its original position. An arthrodesis will remove the bunion and then realign the toe joint using plates or screws– this is the most extensive bunion surgery.
After the surgery is over, you’ll go to a recovery room until the anesthesia wears off. Expect to be there for just a few hours!
Bunion Surgery Recovery
Foot surgery recovery is typically pretty simple. Since bunion removals are typically outpatient surgeries, you’ll be able to go home as soon as the anesthesia wears off.
The initial recovery will take about six weeks, but you won’t be fully healed for about six months. In the first two weeks, you’ll wear a boot, and won’t be able to walk without crutches.
After the first two weeks are up, you’ll be able to put some weight on the foot, but it’s still best to stay off it as much as possible. You should keep it elevated often, too, and make sure to ice it regularly. Ice will help reduce inflammation, which will speed up the healing process.
After everything is all healed up, make sure to wear roomy shoes from here on out. Ladies, avoid heels for six months minimum after surgery, too.
Experiencing Foot Pain?
If you’re living with pain day in and day out from bunions, take action to heal yourself. It’s a pain you don’t need to live with!
Get in touch today to talk about how we can help you!