Surgery of any kind can disrupt your life in both small and big ways, and bunion surgery certainly brings with it considerations on both ends of the spectrum.
If you’ve decided to end the discomfort and pain your bunion is giving you by undergoing a surgical procedure, we’ve pulled together 10 tips to help your recovery go as smoothly as possible. Here at Complete Foot & Ankle, we’ve helped many of our patients get back on their feet as quickly as possible.
With bunion surgery, carving out time for the actual procedure is the easy part. Once you get back home, usually on the same day, is when you truly appreciate any preoperative measures you’ve taken to prepare for your recovery. If you’re going to be on crutches, not only is your foot sidelined for a while, so are your hands.
With that in mind, here are a few tips to consider:
1. Prepare for coming home
When you get back home, you’re still going to be a little woozy from the anesthesia, so be sure you prepare a little nest for yourself to rest comfortably in. Whether it’s on your bed or your couch, have the necessary pillows on hand to prop up your foot and your back, then sit back and relax with your favorite book or movie.
2. Do some crutch prep
After your surgery, you may be on crutches for some time if we don’t want you to put any weight on your foot. Prepare your house in advance by clearing wide pathways and removing any hazards, such as unstable throw rugs.
3. Keep it clean
When it comes time to shower, we may not want you to get your foot wet, and you can’t stand on it besides. A shower chair or a handheld shower head makes getting clean a snap.
4. Keep stuff within reach
Eyeball where you spend the most time and make sure everything is within reach. For example, you don’t want to labor over to the couch, get comfortable, only to realize the remotes are on the other side of the room. Have all you need on one table, such as remotes, tissues, a lamp, and a bottle of water.
5. Set up hydration stations
Carrying a glass of water is impossible when you’re on crutches, period. Plan ahead by placing water bottles throughout the house, so you always have one nearby.
6. Get a little help
Depending upon how long you’re in non-weight-bearing mode (which means you’re on crutches) you won’t be able to perform a number of your usual tasks. Plan ahead to have family and friends help you with everything from walking the dog to to doing the laundry.
7. Take a back seat
Depending upon the extent of your procedure, you won’t be able to do much driving after your surgery, for anywhere from two weeks on up to two months. Before your surgery, create a schedule for family and friends (or Uber) to get you to where you need to go.
8. Stock up
Since you won’t be able to get out much on your own, stock up your kitchen and bathroom with all of the necessary supplies before your surgery. And be sure to have portable snacks and easy-to-make foods on hand. Your kitchen skills will be severely limited.
9. Don’t cheat
When you graduate to a walking boot, or even before that, resist the temptation to cheat and use your foot. It’s crucial to allow your bones heal properly, and any premature pressure can offset this process.
10. Do the work
We usually recommend physical therapy during your recovery for several reasons. A physical therapist is with you every step of the way, helping you walk with your crutches, then your boot, and, finally, your new foot. The therapist also ensures you keep the strength up in your foot and leg, so you’re ready when the time comes to walk on your own.
With a little advance preparation, your bunion surgery recovery will progress without incident, getting you back on your feet in no time.
If you still have any questions, please call us at either of our offices in Ridgewood or Garfield, New Jersey, or use the online booking tool on this website to schedule an appointment.