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Bunion Surgery Recovery! Please HELP!

Discussion in 'Ask your questions here' started by rhiann666, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. rhiann666

    rhiann666 New Member

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    I had bunion surgery and my 2nd toe shortened on my right foot 4 days ago, on the 18/8/2011... I am now post op and swathed in 500 layers of bandage with a surgical shoe on...
    I was wondering when i could start putting some pressure on my foot as it still hurts, my crutches are meant to be used as walking aids, but im using them as crutches. Tonight is my first night i wont be taking my oxynorm, just Nurofen Zavance from now on, and my foot has been non stop elevated for the last 4 days (literally except for when i go to the toilet)

    When can i start to fully weight bear?
    Does it hurt getting the screws and stitches removed?
    How long until i can drive?
    How long until i can wear normal shoes?

    People who have had this done, please tell me your experiences!

    I did ask my doctor this things before hand but he answered them very quickly and quite off-handedly so i would like further insight!
  2. FootDoc

    FootDoc New Member

    I really find it quite peculiar that only 4 days after you have had surgery by the doctor of your choice, that you are now resorting to the Internet to solicit information from those whom you do not know in regard to issues which only your attending surgeon should be answering. As you stated that you had already asked your doctor, I would have to believe that you did so BEFORE and not AFTER your surgery, as after the surgery is no time to be educating yourself regarding those important points. So, if your doctor answered you only "very quickly and quite of-handedly" PRIOR to getting your money, what makes you think you will do any better with him AFTER you have paid your money. I would have to think that his inadequate manner of response could have been taken by you as a clue that perhaps you should have looked elsewhere for a more cooperative and caring surgeon. That's what I would have done, but perhaps I have more concern for myself when someone is about to cut on me than do you. But beyond all that, are you REALLY willing to have some unknown patients (if, in fact you get even a couple responses) tell you when to bear full weight and when to drive, instead of your doctor, or are you now going to say that you wouldn't have followed such advice anyhow? Patients have a responsibility to themselves to make responsible decisions, and asking others when you can bear full weight and when you can drive does not fall in that category. Surely, this is not the response you had been looking for, but it is a response that, if you heed it, will serve you well.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  3. rhiann666

    rhiann666 New Member

    I was hoping it was you who replied and I had been expecting such an answer. Although some small hope within me made me believe you would just answer the question for once...
    In regards to cost. It didn't cost me a thing. I went through the public hospital system. Being in a public hospital they didn't have much time to sit around answering every little question I had. Plus at the time I had forgotten a few as before hand I was scared and afterwards still a bit dopey from the anesthetic/morphine.
    Yes I am asking people I don't know. Because they. Unlike most doctors have had the surgery done themselves and will be able to tell me how they felt. Not a doctor who tells me how I should feel. Because that doesn't give me much to go by if I don't feel that way.
    Please just help me and answer my questions... IF you can.
  4. FootDoc

    FootDoc New Member

    First of all, I alone make the decision as to the questions I choose to answer, and am under no obligation to answer same in a manner which suits your or anyone else's expectations. It is my belief that far more important than addressing your specific questions, the answers to which are really the responsibility of your own doctor, is at least to attempt to educate you and others as to what being a good and effective patient entails and what expectations you should have of your own doctor instead of voicing disdainful complaints about answers from someone who has no responsibility to you.

    I was taken aback by your assertion that, because you had your care through a public hospital system that it cost you nothing. If, in fact, you pay taxes, than likely some of your tax dollars pay for that service, and if you don't pay taxes, then OTHERS, perhaps including me, are in part paying for YOUR "free" care.

    But just because it is a public hospital, paid by tax dollars, does not relieve the attending doctors from responsibility to properly care and interact with their patients just as is the responsibility mandated of privately paid doctors. Questions such as, "When can I bear full weight?" and "When can I drive?" are not "little" questions, and no one has to, as you asserted, "sit around" answering them. Any responsible doctor and any responsible hospital discharges a patient with written instruction as to such salient post-operative instructions, and there should have been some responsible person with you who could have been there to make certain that the instructions were received and understood. One would hope that the surgeon who performed your surgery had done many such procedure before and had assessed your specific medical needs and physical capacity. Former patients do not know if they had undergone precisely the same surgery as have you, and even if they did, have had generally only one experience. You surely would have not submitted to your surgery if you knew your surgeon had performed it only one time, and proper aftercare can be every bit as important as the procedure itself. When a doctor tells you "how you should feel" he does that based upon his previous, hopefully extensive, experience. Former patients do not have that perspective and don't know if they got better by following the instructions given or by mere happenstance. Moreover, if, in fact, you do not feel the way the doctor had told you to expect, then that becomes an important signal that you better talk with him and find out why you are not progressing as he believed you would.
    As far as your questions are concerned,

    When can i start to fully weight bear?

    When your doctor make the assessment that you can. This varies from patient to patient and procedure to procedure

    Does it hurt getting the screws and stitches removed?

    Skin sutures can generally be removed by a skilled doctor or technician with minimal to no discomfort, although some patients, especially children, will sometimes put on quite a show.

    Screws, if and when they are removed, are removed under some form of anesthesia, generally in my practice under local. Unless problems are encountered or complications ensue, it is rare, in my experience, that any substantive disability follows after the procedure.

    How long until i can drive?

    Once I believe that adequate bone and soft tissue has taken place, I routinely tell my patients whose surgery involved the right foot, not to drive until they are able and willing to slam their operated foot on the brake as hard and quickly as they might have to in the most drastic emergency. Obtain the definitive answer for your individual case to this question from your own doctor only

    How long until i can wear normal shoes?

    I tell my patient, that they can wear normal shoes when immobilization is no longer necessary and the swelling has mitigated such that the foot fits in the shoe. Obtain the definitive answer for your individual case from your own doctor only.

    Finally, insist that you get full and attentive care from the doctor responsible to YOU, whether you pay out of your own pocket, insurance pays, your tax dollars pay or ESPECIALLY if someone else pays.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2011
  5. tstamets

    tstamets New Member

    Hi rhiann666

    I hope you are doing better. I had a thread that I started that was called Hammertoe Surgery. I wanted to ask you if you had had that surgery? Later down the road I will have to have a bunion removed. The hammertoe surgery has been okay but I have also experienced some pain in that which I expected from the surgery.

    I wanted to get some type of feedback from you on your bunion removal. Any information you can give would be helpful.
  6. rhiann666

    rhiann666 New Member

    Hi :)
    My experience has been mainly bad. But that's because I'm a 19 year old with lots of energy so this is really a struggle for me! For the first 3 days I lived off two 12 hour oxycodone tablets and Nurofen zavance in between that, a day. Then the pain eased off and I was off morphine until the doc told me I should take one, once a night to help me sleep. The first week was alright. I moved around a little more, weight bared a little more as my foot let me, even went to a party a week and a day after my surgery! But then as I was standing all night my foot got too much blood to it and swelled up again. Now for the 2nd week im back to lying in my bed everyday. I had to go get the dressings changed two days ago as my original ones had started to wane and loosen. But the stupid doctor only put bandages on me, not the padded gauze I had on originally and wound the bandage really tight. I had to go home and redo them myself. But have been in pain ever since. I go on the 6th, next Tuesday to get my screw and stitches taken out
  7. Aphrodite

    Aphrodite Guest

    I had my surgery 4 weeks ago and doc says I can move from the black boot to the surgical shoe...but it is too painful....I had to cancel 2 business trips. I had this surgery before 20 years ago and it was just as painful as I remember...giving birth was far less painful. With previous surgery I was out of the cast and into surgical shoe no problem....but I am nowhere near ready...doctor is oblivious to my pain. I had this done along with a second hammertoe. I am convinced I will never be able to walk again. Don't do this unless it is causing you unbearable discomfort....I need my other foot done again but I will live with it instead
  8. stilwellfeet

    stilwellfeet New Member

    There are many types of bunion surgery, some not allowing any weight bearing for 4-6 weeks. If you could please get the type of surgery, and even an X-Ray would be really helpful... There is hope! jgs
  9. rhiann666

    rhiann666 New Member

    I'm fairly sure it was just a bunionectomy. But I did have my second toe slightly shortened. The doc reckons 6 weeks from the surgery until weight bearing. I went in yesterday to get my stitches out and ended up in hysterics after just half of one stitch being pulled out, never in my life have I felt such pain. So the only way I'm getting them out is next week under a general. The day before yesterday I was able to walk without crutches and was very happy with my progress, until the surgeon stated he still didn't want me to put any weight on it. So back to destroying my arms and hands with those stupid grey crutches with the circle around the arm :(
  10. stilwellfeet

    stilwellfeet New Member

    Hey Rhiann666-
    Bunionectomies come with and without various osteotomies (or bone cuts, which need to be stabilized). If you had "just a bunionectomy", then generally you can start in running shoes once stitches are out. Usually the prolonged non-weightbearing is for fusions, complex unstable osteotomies, etc.

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