It’s now just over 4 weeks since I had my bones realigned in my right foot to remove my bunion and fix my foot. Under doctor’s orders, I’m still wearing the post-operative shoe and have to do so for another 2 weeks) and find that I still need to keep my foot elevated a lot, like at least 1/2 hour of every hour to feel comfortable. I’ve got a small coffee table under my desk with a cushion on it that I use when I’m working to keep it elevated.
The swelling has really gone down more – my foot looks normal from the top (well few scars and a funny colour and some bruising still) but it’s still swollen when you look at it from the side, so I couldn’t yet put my foot into most of my shoes (even if I was allowed).
I’ve stopped taking painkillers during the day, and only sometimes take them overnight. I’m finding that I can sleep with my foot under the covers, but it still is uncomfortable to have any pressure from a sheet over my toes. It’s the incision site that hurts the most – even water dropping on it in the shower stings. The toe separator that I wear all the time does help to keep my big toe in place and feeling more comfortable.
My toes are very stiff still (particularly my 2nd toe with arthritis) so I’m trying to wiggle them a few times a day to make them more mobile.
Twice a day I’m rubbing in a moisturiser – both Vitamin E cream and some bio oil to help the scars heal nicely and to minimise scar tissue. It’s the nerves that have been cut in the process that are very tender and sensitive, so there is lots of tingling and not the most pleasant sensations going on in my foot.
Not being able to drive is the thing that’s making my life most difficult. As a very independent person, I hate having to ask for favours and rely on others to help me. I’m lucky that my son is on is Learners Permit and so is getting in a few hours of practice driving me to the shops and post office and transporting his sister to her gymnastics and dance lessons. The rest of the time I’ve been Ubering around when I have to go out and no one is around to help.
I can walk short distances, but am a bit slow. My husband has nicknamed me Clompy as when I walk around the house you can hear me coming (there is definitely no sneaking up on people).
I’m back to working full time, though I notice that I do get tired more easily and have to take a break or two during the day (not something I normally do).
One of the best things I used during my recovery was a bean bag filled footstool – it works so much better than a stack of pillows to keep my foot elevated and in comfort as the beans mould around your foot.
What to Wear After a Foot Operation When You Have to Wear a Post-Operative Shoe or Moonboot
Glad you’re well on the way to recovery!
Thanks for sharing your recovery. I’m probably looking at this down the road as I have small bunions on both feet.
I hope you keep getting better.
FYI There’s a silicone gel product sold under the name Kelokote (and possibly Scarcote) that works to reduce scars. My doctor recommended it when I got a big gash on my nose and it didn’t scar. So then my partner used it on his major surgical scar (about 10 inches long) and it’s almost invisible now. You might want to ask your doctor about it.
Here’s some links to research published in the U.S. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) (division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH))
I’m going to remember the bean bag vs pillows for elevation. I just went through healing a sprained foot and my foot kept sliding off the pillows. I can see how a bean bag footstool would have worked perfectly. I appreciate learning from your journey.
Yes a big difference I found! Hope your ankle is all good again!
My foot doctor had me keep my foot elevated above my heart for 4.5 months — all the time, not just half the time — to drain away the fluid that stops the healing, he said, and it has healed outstandingly well. My doc said we want to keep it elevated to avoid swelling, because that swelling is fluid and fluid stops the red blood cells getting to the site to heal it, or something like that — I’m not a doctor but it was definitely about draining away the fluid hindering the healing.
I am keeping my foot elevated as much as possible and it really makes a big difference to how it feels too!
Im on my 4th week trying to gain motion in my big toe the feeling feels good but werid im getting there
Today I’m 4 weeks post op. I had Morton’s neuroma removal in oct 2018 and the other one removed during bunion removal. The incisions hurt and I get sharp pains shooting through my toes. I still can’t put pressure on my foot due to extreme heel pain. I’m so ready to be well!
I’m into my 4th week bunion surgery. I would never recommend this surgery to my worst enemy.. All I would say is buy bigger shoes.. I will be keeping my bunions on the other foot.
Sadly, I couldn’t walk without pain! It takes some time to heal – hope it improves for you soon.
I agree with you…I have a small bunion on my right toe and its a negative..I will not have the other foot done…I’m 4weeks out and its getting old now…I just want too feel better and get back to normal!
I have to say the same! I am 3 weeks out from my surgery and regret it 100%. I have been in pain every single day since the surgery, just different degrees of pain. My toes have been numb since the surgery and it’s the worst feeling. I am miserable and wished someone else would have told me to expect a full month of very bad pain.
Do talk to your doctor about this – everyone has a different recovery – it is a painful operation that’s for sure – and people are all different with their pain tolerance as well – but if you’re in agony – and you have numbness I’d definitely be speaking to my doctor about that as there could be an issue with a nerve or something else.
Thanks for replying! I was happy to find this blog with other’s stories. My doctor has said the numbness is due to the swelling and that my pain is “normal”. I just didn’t expect to be this uncomfortable. I feel so nervous to use my foot at all. I have a job interview tomorrow and will be on my feet for 3 hours (I’m a chef). So worried about the pain.
Oh, I was told to pretty much stay off my foot for the better part of 6 weeks – 3 hours standing is going to be hard! I found that I had to keep my foot up for a long time to keep swelling down!
Thanks for sharing your journey. I am coming into my 4th week postop and my toe is so stiff that now I feel like my second toe is becoming stiff also. Did you have pain on your foot pad, the part where your toes end? My foot is constantly swollen. I have to go back to work soon, I am an educator.
Yes lots of pain – slow rehabilitation – you need to stretch them – pull the toe out and stretch upwards – lots – every day – a couple of times a day. Keep your feet up as much as possible too as it does reduce the swelling – along with ice.
Also 4 weeks post op bunion surgery and hammer toe surgery. Pin still in. Pain ok. Your incision looks so much more healed than mine. Very dry was unsure of moisturizing it yet? Still can’t get foot wet due to k wire.
I was told to moisturise as much as possible as it aids healing the scar and also massage helps reduce scar tissue.
I’m almost 3 weeks post OP and I said the exact same thing about my other foot, not use to this feeling
I’m almost 6 weeks post surgery. Thursday I went on the train to the city to buy some shoes at Peter Sheppard sale, that will be good when I am properly back at work in February(they are really cute rose gold & white lace up sneakers) .
We had a family 80th birthday out of town yesterday. I was on my foot way too much & then we offered to bring someone back to Melbourne this morning, so I didn’t have my foot elevated in the car for two hours. Then I stupidly cooked scones & dinner.
Now my foot is like a puffer fish, all red & inflamed. I panicked, because it hasn’t been this swollen for weeks & found this blog. My foot is now properly elevated, iced & i realised how stupidly much I have done the last 3 days. I’m not moving until I have a job on Thursday. Time to cut back again. I was feeling so good, that I was not behaving my self. I barely had it elevated for 3 days.
Like you I work in fashion & theatre. I have really related to everything you have said.
Trying to find shoes that are comfy & flat, but don’t look like a nana shoe has been at least a 10 year burden. If I found something I like & didn’t cripple me after two day, that wasn’t the equivalent of a mortgage payment, I got a second pair.
My left foot is not nearly as bad, so it I don’t see me doing this again in the foreseeable future. It was much worse than I expected.
Anyway, I’m starting to breathe more calmly & think maybe I don’t need a trip to the clinic.
I am 3 days post surgery for a right foot bunion and next toe had to be shortened because it has dislocated and then fused back on top of my toe.
I have been in bed with my foot elevated for most of the time, apart from bathroom breaks
I also had a shower this morning with a special bag on my leg.
So far the pain is not too bad taking pills every 4 hours and my DH has been brilliant
all meals in bed. I’m sure this has helped with the pain free recovery so far having foot
elevated most of the time.
I have a good trainer with a wide fitting from a Danish company called Woden
with platform heals and very comfy. Worth a look.
Great to compare notes with everyone I am in England.
Beat wishes for everyone’s continued recovery.
Thank you for the great blog. I’m just one week post op. I have been fanatical in elevation. I had my dressing changed today. Was shocked at how long the scar was but my toe was straight, wounds clean and minimal swelling. I had a bunionectomy and double weils osteotomy. The bean bag was genius.
Hope your recovery goes well!
I’m 4 weeks into recover after bunion surgery. I’m 17 but the doctor said I have the bunions of a 30 year old. Right now I have been able to stand without the boot and walk around fine in the boot but he wants me to put a sock and shoe on every morning the second I wake up to keep down the swelling throughout the day but if it starts hurting after 30 minutes to put the Ace bandage and boot back on for the rest of the day. My foot is very swollen and I can’t fully feel the surface of the skin on my big toe which I’m guessing is due to swelling. So far the incision looks good it itches sometimes and my foot is very dry and i am able to go to work like I used to before surgery (5 hour shifts) and I don’t take any breaks. The only problems I have are almost slipping, my ankle gets weak and starts hurting from carrying the boot all day at school and work, and when I do stand without my boot and walk it feels very weird and I almost fall because it has been so long since I have walked without it.
I’m just 6 days after surgery. Not as much pain but severe discomfort from numbness and pins and needles. I had Morton’s neuroma removed at the same time. Did anyone else experience this. I can move my toes and no discolouration. Thanks in advance
It’s 15 months since I had bunion surgery involving pinning my big toe. The top of my foot causes me pain and discomfort daily, I can’t stand any bedding on top of my foot which throbs at night, it swells up, the underneath is numb and walking is painful…I’d have my bunion back in a heartbeat.
This surgery has affected every part of my life. Walking my dogs, sleeping, everything.
I have just returned from a hospital appointment and am now going to wait for a scan but I really want the pin removed
I would never recommend this surgery to anyone
Sorry to hear about your poor recovery
Hi there, I no longer feel alone after reading so many post op bunions and hammer toes. I’m 4 weeks tomorrow and this is my second. Although it has been mostly painless. I was recommended to walk on the boot my second weeks and it was a horrible idea as my pain and shooting nerve pain was unbearable. Stopped walking on it the next day and got off the pain medication immediately as I try to live a no pain medication lifestyle. My toe and second digits are stiff but healing feels so much better. I continue to use my crutches and desk chair to get around. I’m able to wash it and massage with aloe gel. I still wrap it for support. Hope this is healpful to someone. Thank you for the space!