Updated: Jul 30, 2020
September is National Pain Awareness Month, and anyone who’s struggled with a painful and stubborn bunion can tell you just how aware they were of their problem! Remember, foot discomfort isn’t a normal state, and there are methods for treating it—occasionally that includes surgical intervention. To truly correct a bunion, you have to surgically repair the joint. This can offer you real relief, but how your foot handles the procedure is largely influenced by what you do for your bunion after surgery.
Getting bunion surgery is a big step, but it is only half the battle in your recovery. Taking care of your bunion after surgery is crucial for restoring your foot to full health. For the first few weeks, you’ll need to keep the foot stable and protected. This may mean a simple, stiff boot or a full cast, depending on the type of procedure that was performed. You may have to avoid putting weight on the foot for a time, too.
Your foot will be prone to swelling for a while, so you’ll need to keep it elevated as much as you can. Icing the foot will also help with edema. We’ll recommend pain medication to help manage any discomfort. You’ll have to keep the bandage over your incision clean as well, to help prevent infections. Stiches will be removed a couple weeks after surgery, or whenever the surgery site has healed over sufficiently.
After several weeks, if the big toe is healing correctly, you’ll be able to begin easing into activities again. You may need physical therapy to help rebuild your strength and stabilize your foot. This will help you prevent injuries and avoid the biomechanical problems that could contribute to a bunion returning. You’ll also be able to start wearing comfortable, cushioned footwear that pads and protects the big toe, without putting extra pressure on it.
Proper care of your bunion after surgery can help make the difference between a healthy, pain-free foot and one with uncomfortable complications. Don’t ignore your post-procedure care instructions, or take your foot for granted. Instead, let the Gulf South Foot & Ankle, LLC team help you with your recovery. Call (504) 708-4810 or send us a request online to make an appointment at our Metairie, LA, office.