When moderate interventions, such as wearing wider shoes or using pads in your shoes, fail to ease your bunion pain and discomfort, Dr. Golub may recommend surgery to remove the bony bump.
Surgery is usually a last resort, but it may be your best option when you have foot pain that limits your daily activities, chronic inflammation at the big toe, or toe deformities resulting from your bunion.
Having surgery on your foot (or feet) isn’t a minor procedure and it requires recovery. Take a few steps now so that when you get home from the surgery, you’re comfortable and not inconvenienced. Optimal healing occurs when you’re not stressed and can truly care for the site of your surgery. Follow these tips from our experts here at Arizona Foot Health for the fastest, smoothest recovery after bunion surgery.
1. Follow all post-surgery instructions
Healthy, effective recovery happens when you carefully follow Dr. Golub’s post-surgical recommendations. Get all the medications, bandages, and gentle cleansers you’ll need when you get home from the hospital. Have them in an easy-to-access place so you can manage your incision immediately.
2. Create a recovery zone
A recovery zone should have everything you need nearby — pillows, television remote, books, phone, and water. This is a good way for you to recover without becoming too bored, minimizing the need to get up and put pressure on your foot.
3. Make arrangements
Check your calendar before bunion surgery and clear it for several weeks. You’ll need to take time off from work and not commit to any major activities as you recover.
4. Enlist a friend or family member
Have a friend or family member who can be on call, especially for the first few days following your surgery. You’ll need someone to drive you home and to help you manage at your house with simple activities such as bathing and getting to the toilet. If possible, have your surgical support team stay at the house for a day or two following surgery, too.
5. Stock up on food
Load up your pantry and fridge with easy-to-prepare meals and snacks. In advance of surgery, consider making a week or two’s worth of freezable entrees that can easily be reheated later.
6. Clear a path
You’ll be on crutches following bunion surgery. Practice with them prior to your procedure and clear a path from your recovery zone to important destinations — such as the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom.
7. Maintain your dressing
Keeping your toe in position is essential for your healing. Dr. Golub bandages the site of your bunion surgery carefully and it’s important to keep the dressing dry and clean. Have the necessary tools available and accessible to keep your foot dry when you bathe or shower. A simple plastic bag and tape to wrap your foot should work.
8. Have the right shoes
Your bones heal over the course of several months. Shoes you wore prior to surgery may not be appropriate to use in the weeks following — especially fashion flats or heels. Go shopping prior to surgery to get a few pairs of athletic shoes or soft Oxford-type shoes to protect your surgical site. We at Arizona Foot Health can help you determine exactly what footwear is best.
9. Gather physical therapy devices
As you’re healing, you’ll perform exercises to restore motion in your toes and foot. Get the equipment you need in advance, such as hand towels, marbles, and a TheraBand® so you’re ready to start therapy as soon as you’re cleared.
Set yourself up for optimal recovery following bunion surgery by preparing yourself and your home in advance. If you have questions, the team here at Arizona Foot Health is always available to help.