By: Drew Heideman, MPT, ATC, PES
Bunion Surgery Recovery Tips
Follow these bunion surgery recovery tips if you are having bunion surgery or a bunionectomy.
- Buy ice packs to prevent leaking onto bandage from using plastic bags
- Cook a few days worth of meals before surgery
- Have extra pillows for easy elevation of the leg
- Practice with crutches if you will be using them
- Buy compressive wrap to help decrease swelling after surgery
- Have your pain medication filled before surgery
- Store your surgeons phone number in your phone in case of emergency
It’s always good to be prepared before surgery. Read more to learn about the causes of bunions and the surgeries used to fix them.
What is a Bunion?
Bunion Surgery Recovery Tips
The quick answer is that a bunion is a bump on the inside of the base of your big toe. A bunion can cause hallux valgus deformity, forcing the big toe into the second toe.
A bunion can cause pain and cause the skin to become red and sore on the bump on the inside of the foot at the big toe.
What Causes a Bunion?
The quick answer is that the problem begins in the middle of the foot. According to Dr. Turner Vosseller, a Foot & Ankle Orthopedic Surgeon at the Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute, we used to think Bunions came from wearing tight shoes. But studies of Australian Aboriginal Tribes have found that they can have bunions as well and they do not wear shoes. These findings have led doctors to consider the evolution of the foot and other causes.
Image of bunion cause
The problem is now believed to come from instability in the 1st tarsometatarsal joint. This is the joint where the mid-foot and forefoot meet. From an evolutionary stand point this a joint that distinguishes us from Great Apes. It allow us to stand but can still have some instability in some people
Instability in the 1st TMT joint can allow the 1st metatarsal bone to drift inward. The Big Toe angles back toward the other toes, giving the appearance of a bump on the inside of the foot at the joint of the big toe.
To learn more about Bunions, watch this Bunion Video with Dr. Turner Vosseller.
If you want to learn more about plantar fasciitis, go to: topdeblogs.com/trending/content/preventing-plantar-fasciitis
How Do You Fix a Bunion?
The quick answer is that you either wear more comfortable, wide shoes to take pressure off the Bunion, or you have surgery. According to Dr. Vosseller, there is no middle ground treatment that really helps. Splints can hold the toe in place temporarily, but it goes back to its position as soon as the splint is removed.
There are many ways to surgically correct a Bunion but one of the most common is a Fusion of the 1st Tarsometatarsal joint (TMT joint) call a Lapidus Bunionectomy.
Image of before and after Bunion surgery with 1st TMT fusion
Other surgical options Include minimally surgery using small incisions at the end of the 1st metatarsal bone. This procedure allows Orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons to cut the bone and reposition it using small screws.
image of minimally invasive bunionectomy surgery
Bunionectomy Recovery Time
According to Dr. Turner Vosseller of JOI, patients who have a fusion are able to begin walking after about 4 weeks. With minimally invasive bunion surgery, he usually allows his patients to weight bear in 10 to 14 days.
There is a gradual return to normal activity after this.
This is why it is important to be prepared and follow the bunion surgery recovery tips!
Physical Therapy after Bunion Surgery
Physical therapy after a bunionectomy
Physical therapy after the surgery can assist with improving your toe mobility to ensure you are walking normally after surgery. Not all patients will need physical therapy after a bunionectomy. Talk to your surgeon about possibly being referred to physical therapy after your bunion surgery.
The goals of physical therapy after bunion surgery would be to:
- improve the movement of the big toe
- improve strength
- reduce pain
- return to normal function
Physical therapist can also offer bunion surgery recovery tips to help you return to normal activity.
The Jacksonville Orthopaedic Institute will continue to monitor the latest developments of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), we are committed to protecting the health and safety of our patients, families and caregivers. To read more about our safety measures go to JOI4U. JOI & JOI Rehab, encourages all patients to wear a mask to their appointment. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, should contact 904-JOI-2000 prior to your scheduled appointment. In an effort to adhere to the national social distancing request, please do not bring family members to your appointment unless they are needed for translation or transportation. You can also complete all of your new patient paperwork from home. To request registration paperwork electronically click HERE.
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment with Dr. Turner Vosseller, please call JOI-2000, Schedule online, or click the link below.