Foot deformities can cause high levels of pain and discomfort, which is why many are willing to go through a hammertoe or bunion surgery. But what to expect after bunion and hammertoe surgery? If you’re having foot problems and are considering one of these procedures (or both), make sure you know everything about the recovery process.
What to Expect After Bunion Surgery
Since it’s the surgery in question, there will be a bit of pain and swelling in the weeks following the procedure, but they should improve each day. Any significant pain and swelling shouldn’t occur after six weeks, but they can appear in the lower intensity up to six months post-surgery. Count on taking several weeks off work – the exact time you’ll need will depend on the type of surgery you’ve had.
After the correction, you’ll have to wear a specially designed shoe or cast that will keep the big toe in the right position and protect that part of your foot from harm. This protection must be worn at least several weeks after the surgery, and sometimes even several months, depending on the extent or type of bunion surgery.
Stitches, on the other hand, should be taken off approximately two weeks after the procedure. As for the pins, if your condition requires them, they should be removed four to six weeks later.
How Should You Take Care of Yourself at Home After Bunion Surgery?
Although recovery time differs from one patient to another, there are some general guidelines you should follow after a bunion removal procedure. Follow the recommendations pointed out below to achieve the best results.
One of the most important things to do after surgery is rest. Don’t try to push yourself over the limits – it will be counterproductive. Make sure you ask your doctor when it’s safe to start driving again, as well as exercising.
In the beginning, you should avoid any kind of heavy-lifting workouts and activities. However, note that physical therapy is highly recommended after these procedures since they’ll help you straighten your toes and improve their mobility.
In most cases, you can continue with your normal diet. However, sometimes patients complain about stomach problems after the surgery. If your stomach gets upset or you’re experiencing constipation, adjust your diet to overcome it. It would be good to prepare low-fat food for the first few days after the procedure and take fiber supplements.
If you take prescribed medication, consult your doctor about when you can start taking them again. Your doctor should also let you know if any new medicine is required after the surgery.
Make sure you take any prescribed pain medicine or antibiotics as directed. If you’re not prescribed painkillers, ensure you know which you can take in case pain occurs. Lastly, if you’re experiencing some side-effect of the medicine given, ask your doctor to prescribe you a new one.
The bandages you’ll be sent home with should be removed after several days, but it’s important you don’t touch the operated area. Additionally, you should keep your foot dry until your doctor says otherwise.
What to Expect After Hammertoe Surgery
Post-care and recovery after hammertoe surgery are very similar to those needed in case of a bunion procedure. Redness and soreness of an operated toe will get better over time, but these symptoms are expected to last between a few weeks and several months.
After surgery, you will need to wear a specially designed shoe for up to six weeks to keep a toe in the needed position. Stitches will be removed approximately two weeks after surgery, while pin removal shouldn’t take longer than six weeks after the procedure.
How Should You Take Care Of Yourself at Home After Hammertoe Surgery?
As with bunion surgery, home care is exceptionally important for the success of the procedure and the length of the healing process. Here are some pointers on what to do (and whatnot) after the hammertoe surgery.
Walking is important in the recovery process, but so is resting. Rest when you’re feeling tired, but ensure each day you walk a little bit more than the day before to improve circulation. However, count on three to six weeks before you can take a long walk after hammertoe surgery.
Consult with your doctor about the best time to start driving after hammertoe surgery, but don’t expect it to be before the four-week mark. You can also try to start doing toe exercises to strengthen the toes and make them more flexible. However, make sure you have a doctor’s approval before you begin with them.
As for the diet, follow the same guidelines we provide in the case of bunion correction. If you start experiencing an irregular bowel movement, adjust your diet accordingly. If the problem continues for more than a couple of days, consult with your doctor.
Always talk with your doctor before restarting old medicines and using new ones. It’s especially important if you’re prescribed aspirin or any other kind of blood-thinner medication.
Take antibiotics and pain medicine (if given) exactly as prescribed. Don’t stop with antibiotics just because you’re feeling better. Of course, if the new medicine you’re taking is making you sick or you experience any other trouble, alarm the doctors as soon as possible.
Leave the bandages on until said otherwise, and make sure not to soak your feet until you’re given permission. Additionally, if pain and swelling occur, you can place ice on your foot for about ten to twenty minutes each hour. Make sure you elevate your leg whenever possible for the first three days after the surgery to reduce swelling.
To Prepare Better, Consult With Your Surgeon Before the Operation
Nobody can tell you better what to expect after hammertoe and bunion surgery than a medical expert specialized in it. Therefore, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Lux Foot Surgery. We can provide any additional information you may need about the procedure itself as well as the recovery process. Call us Monday to Friday and schedule a free consultation, or simply contact us through the website form – we will be happy to help.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From Hammertoe and Bunion Surgery?
Bunion and hammertoe surgery recovery will depend on the type of surgery and its extent. In most cases, general recovery will take approximately six weeks. After that, you should be able to go on long walks or, for example, drive. However, it takes six months to a year for your foot to recover fully.
Can You Have Hammertoe and Bunion Surgery at the Same Time?
It’s possible for bunion and hammertoe surgery to be done simultaneously. However, a previous consultation with a doctor is needed, so they can assess the extent of foot deformities and make the plan with the best possible outcome.