Bunions can often be treated conservatively through the use of orthotics, shoe modifications or padding efforts. However, when a bunion deformity doesn’t respond to typical treatments, there may be a need for surgery. Unfortunately, these types of surgical procedures call for a good deal of healing time, and here are five tips to help streamline post-bunion-surgery recovery.
1. Prepare the Home Before Surgery
It’s essential to remember that your mobility will be highly limited after foot surgery, especially for the first few days. With this in mind, it is recommended to do a bit of home preparation before undergoing the procedure to ensure a better outcome when you arrive back at home. Some steps to take — while you still can — include:
- Clear or expand pathways where you need to walk, as you will be wearing a boot and/or using crutches post-surgery, and tripping or banging the foot can cause undesirable complications.
- Be sure to have a fully stocked pantry and refrigerator or enough food to last you a week or so. Prepare a few meals in advance if possible.
- Stock up on bandages and invest in a good ice bag, as plastic bags often leak and will wet your bandages.
- Put items you will use frequently — like phones, remote controls, etc. — in places that will be easy to reach from your planned "resting" spot as your recover from bunion surgery.
2. Have a Support System Lined Up for a Few Days
It will be a long road to recovery that can last anywhere from two to six months. However, the first week is generally the most challenging for patients after they return home. Having some help from friends, family or even hiring a part-time home care professional can be invaluable during this time. Furthermore, your support system can help keep you off your feet, which can expedite healing time, lessen pain and prevent accidents.
3. Wear Foot Boots and Use Mobility Tools as Prescribed
For the first couple of weeks post-surgery, prepare to wear a surgical cast or boot-like medical device to protect your stitches and the foot itself. You will want to keep these dressings and coverings dry when bathing, so you will need to cover the foot with a specialized bag designed to cover casts and boots. It is vital to offer your foot the support it needs by wearing the boot and using the crutches when moving about to alleviate foot stress. Failure to follow your doctor’s instructions can result in re-injury, infections and undesirable pain.
4. Make Every Single Follow-Up Appointment a Priority
You will need to see your surgeon regularly for several weeks and months after the bunion surgery. There will be stitches that need to come out around two weeks after the surgery, and the doctor will want to ensure that no signs of infection are present. The foot will be swollen for some time after the operation, and soreness will persist for weeks. However, your surgeon will evaluate you regularly and help you with pain relief via prescriptions and often with physical therapy to strengthen the foot and ankle area.
5. Choose the Right Bunion Surgeon in Montgomery County
Here at Sweeney Foot & Ankle, our podiatry team is arguably one of the best in the nation, so you can feel confident when choosing us to both handle your surgery and follow-up care. So start your recovery off by choosing the best bunion surgeons around! Contact our office in The Woodlands, TX at 281-292-4944 or our location in Magnolia, TX at 281-789-4956 today to schedule an appointment.