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What To Expect 3 Weeks After Bunion Surgery

by Annabel Caldwell
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What To Expect 3 Weeks After Bunion Surgery

What To Expect 3 Weeks After Bunion Surgery

Week 3: During this week your sutures will be removed. Elevation is still recommended but not to the degree required during the first 2 weeks. Compression stockings are a good idea at this stage to keep the swelling down and allow increased activity. Ice 2 or 3 times a day for 20 or 30 minutes also is very helpful.

During your visit to your doctor’s office on post-op Day 0, he/she may discuss with you what he/she recommends as far as elevation is concerned. The main concern of most doctors is pain control and prevention of stiffness in the early stages after surgery.
Elevation is something that should be done whether it’s an outpatient procedure or one where you’re admitted into hospital. It can’t hurt, right? Well, maybe so; however, there are some risks associated with elevating your foot too high. If you elevate your foot higher than 45 degrees for long periods of time, you risk developing deep vein thrombosis (blood clot). This condition would require immediate medical attention if left untreated. In addition, elevated feet increase the likelihood of skin breakdown, which could lead to infection. So, how much elevation do we need?
The general rule is no more than 15 degrees above horizontal. For example, when standing up straight, you don’t want to have your big toe over the edge of the table by any chance, right? You’ll need to follow your surgeon’s recommendations regarding elevation, but just remember to take care not to exceed these limits.
If you’ve had a bunion operation, chances are your foot has been elevated for days following the surgery. But why stop now? Your body needs exercise and movement, especially in the beginning stages after surgery. Here are some tips on getting started on moving around again!
Exercises – Keep Moving Around
Walking is a great way of keeping active. Walking is a safe form of exercise because you won’t put pressure on your new implants. Start slow and work your way up. Walk 5 minutes per day for 1st few days then gradually build up to 10 minutes per day.
It’s also important to stretch out before exercising. Stretching helps loosen muscles and prevents injury. A quick way to perform stretching is taking a step forward with each stride while lifting your heel up off the floor. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times. Another simple exercise to get started is raising your toes up about 6 inches from the ground without bending them. Repeat 10 times. These exercises should be performed once every hour.
Massage Therapy – Getting Better Fast
Your physician may recommend massage therapy for you to help manage your discomfort. Massage therapy is beneficial in many ways. First, massaging relaxes tight muscles and allows blood flow back into affected areas. Second, it promotes healing through lymphatic drainage. Third, massage increases flexibility and range of motion.
There are different types of massage techniques depending on the area being treated. Some massage therapies include kneading, rubbing, compression, tapping, friction, etc. Most therapists use their hands to apply pressure to sore spots. However, some therapists might also insert special tools such as pneumatic pumps, balls, brushes, heat pads, etc., to provide relief.
For best results, ask your therapist to focus on specific problem areas, such as the top of the foot, arch, bottom of the foot, ball of foot, sides of the foot, heels, etc. Also, make sure they know how to treat your specific type of bunion.
Take Anti-Inflammatories Properly
Anti-inflammatory medications are generally prescribed to reduce inflammation. There are several types of anti-inflammatories including steroidal and nonsteroidal preparations. Steroidals tend to suppress normal immune response better than nonsteroids. They are usually administered orally and taken regularly. Nonsteroidals are less potent than steroids but easier to tolerate. If you don’t experience any major side effects, nonsteroidals are often used instead of steroids.
Here are some examples of common drugs: Ibuprofen 400 mg three times daily for rheumatoid arthritis, Diclofenac sodium 50mg twice daily for treating gout, Naproxen 250mg twice daily for osteoarthritis, Acetaminophen 325mg three times daily for fever, Celebrex 200mg two times daily for reducing plaque formation.
Precautions
While you recover after your surgery, take precautions to avoid complications. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Use hand sanitizer gel or soap and warm water. Wear loose fitting cotton clothing made of breathable fabric to prevent moisture buildup. Avoid sharing personal items like towels and washcloths. Don’t share sports equipment or shoes with anyone else. Take all prescription medication exactly as directed. Ask your nurse or pharmacist any questions you may have about your prescriptions.
Follow your surgeon’s orders carefully. He/She will give you specific instructions on how to proceed after surgery. Listen closely and understand everything completely. Do not miss any scheduled appointments. Be honest with your surgeon if you have any concerns or doubts about anything he/she tells you.
Be aware that swelling varies among individuals. It takes time for your body to heal. Early diagnosis and treatment are keys to minimize recovery period and achieve desired outcome. Be patient and proactive in seeking professional advice.
We hope our article provides information that aids in making informed decisions about your health. Please consult with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise program or discontinuing any medications. We encourage you to report any adverse reactions to medications or supplements to us.

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