Tips for before and after bunion surgery

Follow your doctor or nurse’s instructions regarding taking any medication and wound care. I’m not medically qualified so I can only tell you what my experience has been. If in doubt, phone your doctor or the ward where you had your surgery.


Get everything you’ll need within reach for the two weeks immediately after your surgery when you will be in bed. This could include your music, your phone and mp3 plus chargers, laptop, and any books you want to read. Also, I found a portable DVD player useful whilst flat on my back in bed for two weeks.

Sort your kitchen out too so you don’t have to reach for things as well. Standing on tip toe is not going to happen for a few weeks! If necessary get yourself a pole or grabber of some description to reach up to windows if you need to open or close them. I guess this bit depends on how much help you will have during your recuperation period. I have been very lucky and have had my mother staying with me and giving me 24/7 support, but I know in many cases this level of support isn’t possible. If your partner goes out to work you’ll have to fend for yourself during the day.

Carrying things is impossible while you are using crutches, unless you can manage with one crutch. A wheelable small trolley or table could be useful to transport a cup of tea or hot food without spilling it. You can find this kind of thing in a mobility or aids shop for the elderly or disabled.  Or you could put a chair and table in the kitchen if there isn’t one already, so you don’t need to move hot drinks or food very far.  When I was alone one day I made a flask of tea and was able to transport it back upstairs so I had tea for the afternoon.  That works, but the tea tasted of that strange flasky taste.

If you need to use a taxi to get around (for your hospital appointments) then get enough cash as you won’t be able to get to the cash machine later.

After surgery

If you are having a general anaesthetic  then get some sore throat lozenges. You might appreciate them after your surgery as sometimes it can give you a sore throat.  And if you don’t get one, then just save them for your next dose of flu!

Get some painkillers and ibuprofen. You’ll probably be given some painkillers immediately after your surgery by your doctor, which are stronger than normal. I was given a week’s worth of Tramadol. But after this time, you will probably need to take some pain killers or anti-inflammatories, so get stocked up.

Two weeks in bed

During the first two weeks you will need to stay off your foot as much as possible and elevate it a lot of the time.  This means spending two weeks in bed and only getting out to shuffle to the toilet and back. So you may be eating food in bed, if you’re lucky enough to have someone to assist you with your care. Make sure you sit up to eat it and stay sitting up for about half an hour afterwards or you run the risk of gastric reflux, which is unpleasant. Prop yourself up with good pillows or buy a bed wedge or back rest.

I found these two weeks frustrating, due to the inevitable discomfort and pain in my foot and also just because you are lying there for days. I got back ache as I couldn’t sleep on my side because my tender foot had to be propped upright and kept away from the sheets and mattress. I found a roll to rest my foot on was a really good idea, because it kept my foot elevated at night, and later on when I got a bit better, I could sleep on my side with my ankle on the roll and my foot slightly elevated off the bed so my wound didn’t touch the mattress.

Showering and washing

Use a plastic bag, with some kind of tape, to cover your foot if you want to take a shower. It’s very important that you don’t get your bandage wet while the wound is healing. In my case, I decided to avoid taking a shower for the six weeks I had my bandage on to avoid any risk of getting it wet and therefore risking infection. So I opted for a flannel wash, which is not that pleasant but it’s not the end of the world and it only lasts six weeks. And when you can finally get in the shower, you REALLY appreciate it!

When the bandages come off – dry feet and stitches

Buy a big tub of E45 cream for when the bandages come off. This is cream for dry skin conditions and was recommended by the plaster technician who removed my bandage. The skin on your foot will be dry and flake or peel off for a while. It’s a bit gross, but it’s perfectly normal and will be sorted out with the cream in a week or two.

I also bought some Bio-Oil for use on the scar. I haven’t started using it yet, but will when the dissolvable stitches have all come out (I’m nearly there, only one left in!).  I found my scar/wound was very hard at first, and the E45 cream has gradually softened it up. I’m sure the Bio-Oil will be good for that as well.

Get a large pair of socks (or two) for when your bandages come off. I appreciated having a roomy sock to put on when I got rid of my bandage so my scar/stitches didn’t rub too much against the sock.

Walking stick

Get yourself a walking stick to use when you are finally learning to walk again in your flat surgical shoe. It will feel very strange when you walk in your flat shoe, after walking about in the wedge shoe for a few weeks, and you’ll need some support. You could still use the crutches you’ve been given. Walking sticks however are not that expensive and can be useful to signal to other people that you aren’t steady on your feet, even if you don’t really need it to walk with. When I started walking again, I found that I was imbalanced on my right leg due to lack of weight bearing on it for 6 weeks. The muscles need to get stronger again, so you experience a period of one leg stronger than the other. A walking stick will help you with this!

Back ache when walking

When I stopped using my two crutches to walk around, I noticed that my good foot in its slipper was lower down than my post-surgery foot, which was high up in a wedge shoe (and later on in the flat surgical shoe). This caused an imbalance in my walking which put pressure on my lower back. So when you start walking about without crutches wear a shoe on your good foot, which will raise your leg up so you are not putting pressure on your back.


A roomy shoe or trainer to wear when you get your bandage off. It took me a week to be able to get my foot into a shoe, after my bandage came off (7 weeks after surgery), despite the fact that my doctor told me it should only take a couple of days. I don’t think they know because they don’t get to see you for another three months (in the case of my hospital) and probably don’t think to ask what your experience of shoe wearing has been (after all, it’s not clinical!). In any case, there is no rush or competition to get your shoe on so take it easy. If you do go back to work, you can always wear your flat surgical shoe for a while.

The type of shoe you might use is one with a short tongue (the bit at the top), so you don’t have to flex your toe too much to get your foot in. Also one which has an extra wide fitting so it can accommodate any swelling, and give your scar/stitches room without rubbing and irritating them. I had a shoe made by Websters when I had my bunion, and it has a wider fitting for the right shoe. I find it is perfect now for accommodating a foot liable to swelling.  However, you might prefer to go out and look for a cheaper alternative, such as a roomy trainer. Do this before your surgery so it’s ready for when you need it.

You may not need this, but I was thankful that I had an ankle support tucked away in my draw at home. Now that I’m walking again and have returned to work, I found that my ankle is a bit weak due to lack of use (6 weeks of non weight bearing), and I have developed a bit of soreness in it due to struggling to walk. I wear an ankle support to help me.


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724 Responses to Tips for before and after bunion surgery

  1. Pingback: Tips for before and after bunion surgery « Swirlingleaf | Pain On Foot

  2. Tabbath says:

    This is assume. I just had my surgery 10 days ago and this site was extremely insightful wish I would of seen prior. I will be getting my stitch out in three days and then I was told I would get a hard cast. I am excited because right now if we go out I am always afraid of people knocking into it. Currently, I don’t have much pain but I do have swelling more at the end of the day and hot foot feeling. Worse as the day goes, my friend right now is evaluation and ice. Is it normally to have hot foot?

  3. swirlingleaf says:

    Hello Tabbath! I hope all is going well with your surgery. I would advise you to ask about your hot foot if you are getting your stitches out. This is just to be on the safe side and make sure you don’t have any infection. I found that my foot felt warm, and had pins and needles and also felt a bit numb. I needed to elevate it alot, especially in the first two weeks.

    When you say hard cast, do you mean a boot? To be honest, I didn’t go out at all for the first three weeks, just rested and elevated! The swelling at the end of the day is really normal. My foot is still a bit swollen now, but I am managing to wear wide shoes.

    I do wish you well in your recovery. Are you in the UK?

    best wishes, Swirlingleaf.

  4. Tabbatha says:

    Thank you for the reply. I had a few more things done to my foot then just bunion being fixed. I had my bunion shaved and a screw placed in the upper part of the first toe bone after the complete sawed through it and rotated it. I had my 2nd toe released and my tailors bunion shaved. The cast is a hard cast no weigh bearing for 6 weeks, since the screw is further up in the foot. The screw will stay unless it causes problems. Burning hot foot seemed not to be a problem. Doctor thinks it was the swelling against the bandages. I am now on 19 of recovery. I have been back to work for over a week. First week remotely, 2nd week I went into the office and did a full day on Monday only to be on my back on Tuesday, Pulled together for a half day on Tuesday. Today I have been working from home. Temperature change in Florida from a warm sunny 78 to a cold 35 has made my foot angry. Hope to be able to go to work in the office tomorrow since, training for new team members requires my appearance.
    I don’t think I could of stayed inside more then the week I did. Doing okay expect for the frustration of not being able to drive or to just get up. I have a knee walker which gives some freedom but, cause my knee to be sore. Think it is funny that you are in London. I used to live around Bury St. Edmunds. That is where I met my lovely husband who refuses to go back now that he has been living here in Floirda for eight years with me.

  5. swirlingleaf says:

    I don’t blame your husband for wanting to stay in Florida!!


    Sounds like you had quite a lot done to your foot. I had the first metatarsal sawed through as well with two pins in it after repositioning, and my big toe was repositioned and pinned too. But I didn’t get anything else done. No wonder you will be no weightbearing for 6 weeks. I’m amazed you’re back to work. I hope it’s going well and you are not on your feet too much at work, and your training went well.

    It is frustrating isn’t it. Hang in there! I hope it’s all going well!

    Swirlingleaf (Julia)

  6. sharon says:

    I had surgery on 12/21/2010..4 days before Xmas..only time I could do it..had my other foot done in May 2009…straightened out the 2nd toe also…..almost passed out in bathroom..very weak..maybe the combo of surgery, painkillers, etc. Has this happen to anyone else?

  7. swirlingleaf says:

    Hello Sharon. Hope you’re feeling a bit better now.

  8. Tabbath says:

    One week left in cast! Merry Christmas to all now, mine is in a few days:). I have had good days and bad days. I think heading back to work really did me in. I would be great the first day of the week and then would be worse each day. Recovered on the weekends and started over again. Thank god I work with computers and can do stuff remotely, too. Few times I would do Wednesday at home. Foot is healing well, at least what I see. Big toe started to lift but, docs says this is normal. Once, I start using it, it should go down. I still have the pins and needles feeling on the toe. The second toe is the problem, still purple looking and I can not move it. Feels like dead weight. This has me concerned. Doc was not too worried. Will let you know how things go with the walking cast, boot. Maybe I will find out more on the second toe. Worried about that one.
    Thank you Julia for your excellent webpage with great advice for the foot surgery we have chosen to undergo!

    To Sharon who posted on your site. I had the same thing on my third day or so. I think it was pain killers and the pain coming through. I had an ankle block given prior to being released to go home, and that lasted about two days before the real pain was felt. Hope your recovery is speedy.

  9. swirlingleaf says:

    Hi again Tabbatha, only one week to go then before you get your cast off! Great! Count the days! I know what you mean about going back to work, it’s really tough and by the end of the week I felt tired, sore and swollen. I took some annual leave days and working at home days to help me get through. I’m so glad my blog posts have been useful to people who are deciding whether to go through with surgery or those of us who have already taken the plunge! Do keep us updated on how it goes!

    And Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you!

    Swirlingleaf (Julia)

  10. Pingback: 2010 in review « Swirlingleaf

  11. Tabbath says:

    Happy new year! Cast is off! I am in a walking boot up to my knee and only partial weight bearing but I can take the boot off to take a bath and to sleep. The first thing I did was wash the smelly thing. The amount of dead skin gross. My foot looks so small now. Saturday, all the scabs fell off and I started with scar minimizer cream. The scar across the top of the big toe is the largest and section there are the deepest. Was scared when the scab came off but, no blood! New years day, being the second day in the walker with crutches, I tried to much weight and too much pt on the toe. By Saturday night my foot was really hurting took pain pills. Only to awake this morning with pain still, I am assuming, I just was trying to hard to get rid of the crutches.

    How were your first few days weight bearing on your foot? Did it hurt? Did you feel like the tendons on top of your foot were burning and stinging?

    Thanks for all your help. It helps to chat with someone how has been through something similar.

  12. swirlingleaf says:

    Hi again! First few days of weight bearing were strange and painful. I was on a flat surgical shoe, so it felt really odd after hobbling round on a wedge shoe for six weeks. But it did feel painful as well, and I think that’s only to be expected. I still had to elevate my foot a lot to keep the swelling and discomfort down. When I started walking again (to and from work) I had bad pains in my tendons around my ankle and the top of my foot. I think the foot gets used to not doing much and then suddenly you are putting weight on it again. If you can, do it gradually. My ankle/foot pain has gone now, so it does get better!! Happy New Year to you!!

  13. Tabbatha says:

    Success! I have finally been given the go on wearing tennis shoes. The doc said only to do as much as I can handle and return to boot if painful. I know I have had my great days then a bad day! Frustrating. The scariest was when I was allowed to bear weight in the boot 100 percent. I went to work came home and my scar has like blood under it. I was told sometimes this happens. The swelling was except but, not the trapped blood. When I went to the docs they just took a surgery knife and pop open to drain the bit of blood that was trapped weird. My ankle and knee and very wobbly when I try to walk in tennis shoes. I guess this is like a baby learning to walk. I took your suggestion of the cane to heart and will be using it. Keeps the dogs off the toes too. I have to say thank you for your words of wisdom. It has made my recovery much easier.

  14. swirlingleaf says:

    Hi again! Must have been scary seeing that blood under the scar. Glad you got it sorted. My ankle was very wobbly too when I started walking, in fact my whole leg felt very weak. You really do have to learn to walk again, because your foot is a different shape and so in a way you need to relearn how to walk. It feels really strange. Excellent that you are now in tennis shoes. It really does feel good to get that shoe on again doesn’t it! Good idea re the cane – keeps dogs and people at bay!! I’m so glad you are making a good recovery, take care, Swirlingleaf (Julia)

  15. John Burden says:

    It is a very awesome information. Thanks for sharing. St. Petersburg FL back pain

  16. Tabbatha says:

    Hi it’s me again. Julia, did you keep your screws in your foot? My screw is still in and seems to be more prominent now. Not sure why I all of a sudden am feeling this more. I am now four plus months and still have limits. I also end up with pleurisy which spread to my heart lining. They say it could be the screw that caused the infection going back to surgeon at the end of the month and was just curious if you had any problems with the hardware implanted.

  17. swirlingleaf says:

    Hi Tabbatha, yes my screws are still in place. I have two, one in the metatarsal and one in the toe. I’ve had no problems with them at all. I’m sorry to hear of your difficulties, I hope your surgeon can sort it out quickly for you. Take care, Julia.

  18. Hannah says:

    Hi! I had surgery on my left foot on January 12, 2011. The doctor had to shorten the first metatarsal so I have a plate holding that bone together and he put the metatarsal back where it is supposed to be. Then he put a hook mechanism on my first toe to pull it back in place. Finally he had to fix the second toe that had been pushed off the joint and became a hammertoe.

    My question is this, I have been walking for 6 weeks, 1 1/2 in a normal shoe but I am still limping and despite the doctor telling me that I am healed and can’t screw up my foot, I find that I do not trust my foot or my leg. Any suggestions? I have been attending physical therapy and it has helped but I am tired of limping for no apparent reason.

  19. swirlingleaf says:

    Hi Hannah, I’m not a doctor, but from my own experience of bunion surgery, I found that it does take quite some time to “trust” your foot again. I started to feel more comfortable and stable about 6 months after surgery, and I had less done than you. So give it time, and ask your doctor or nurse if you have any questions about it. Good luck with your recovery.

  20. hopeforthebest says:

    I am having bunion surgery next week. I want to return to work asap. I work at a computer and have to get up occasionally. I am a little worried because I don’t want to be off of work long. It is November and we may have some bad weather anytime. I am thinking I made the wrong choice in timing of the surgery for weather possibly.

  21. Sue says:

    I’m now 7 weeks after surgery -1 week after coming out of plaster cast and surgical boot. I’ve managed to get into some old shoes but am finding it very painful to walk -it hurts putting weight on the ball of my foot and the whole foot feels unstable and “flabby”. The surgeon was a man of few words who warned me my foot would be swollen for a while but doesn’t expect to see me again. I’d just like to know whether other people have had the same experiences and how long should I expect before things improve – I’m feeling very trapped!

  22. Mary says:

    I am so grateful to all of you for this incredibly useful and realistic picture of whats ahead of me. I had a bunion and straightening of the next toe op just a week ago. I have been reading and rereading the post operative advice sheet but it is so general that it doesnt offer any reassurance on whether its normal to be experiencing some v painful sleepess nights. The big lesson I am learning from your experiences is to be patient, dont expect to start doing things to soon, and keep my foot up, no matter how irritating or impatient I get. I had hoped to start working from home 2 weeks post op but I find Im exhausted from hacking around on crutches just getting mysef a cup of tea!. At night my foot feels feels so hot – its got huge bandaging so icing reallly doesnt make any difference. I am taking a bone and nerve supplement plus homeopathic remedy of arnica and symphytum which was really effective with a previous break.
    I have to say I am a bit anxious about how long it will take to walk normally again. There seems to be different opinions as to what to wear on the foot. I am not confident that the light postoperative shoe wil protecte my foot from knocks or give any support. Is there any special short air cushioned post operative boot that has worked for any of you?

  23. swirlingleaf says:

    Hi, sorry for late reply to your comment. I hope you’re getting on well after your surgery a month ago. How did it go? Hopefully you got back to work ok and moving around wasn’t too painful. I’m not sure where you’re based, but hope the weather behaved itself as well! Best wishes, Julia.

  24. swirlingleaf says:

    Hello Sue. How are things now after your surgery? I hope you’ve had some improvement and you’re feeling more comfortable and less trapped. Best wishes, Julia.

  25. swirlingleaf says:

    Hi Mary, How are you doing now? I hope you’re experiencing improvement and finding it less uncomfortable to move around. Personally I stayed in my post-op boot while I was still at home. I managed to get my foot in a wide shoe by the time I went back to work, and then changed back into the boot when I was at work. Fortunately, my job is mainly sitting down. I think I wrote about wide shoes in one of the posts. Hope it’s going well for you, best wishes, Julia.

  26. Sue Mullen says:

    Hi Julia

    Thanks for your kind comments. Unfortunately things have not gone too well. It’s now three months since surgery -a pretty invasive lapidus procedure I’ve since found out. I’m limping around painfully still and just before Christmas the foot got even redder, hotter and more painful; I managed to get to my GP who put me on a week’s antibiotics which I’ve jus finished. So yesterday I bowled up to the clinic and waited two hours to see my consultant and told him I wasn’t happy -my foot isn’t straight, my hammer toe(which he said would right itself) has got worse and I now have a bulge on the top of my foot which he says is the plate protruding. X-rays apparently show that all is well so the only thing he can suggest to ease the pain is to remove the plate, which he says now serves no useful purpose and may be causing the problems. This means more surgery and recovery time, so I don’t know what to do…. Any one else had problems like this?


  27. swirlingleaf says:

    Oh dear, I hope you’re feeling more comfortable now and can get this sorted out soon.

  28. Angee Mantell says:

    I had my right foot bunion surgery done Nov 30th, 2011 so I am just past 2 weeks. I will say that the surgery went smoothly, havent had much pain but I am getting frustrated with not being comfortable sleeping and not being able to go go go like normal. I was just told that I could start walking on it and received my surgical shoe. I think a lot of it is fear of walking on it. It seems easier to walk on it with the shoe versus the boot. My fear is learning to walk on the shoe then having to return to work in the boot. Its two totally different feelings and elevations. I am getting nervous that I will get dependant on my crutches. Any advice on starting out in walking again? I had my 2nd bandage change on Thursday, he said it looked great, no blood on the bandage either time but my poor toes were bruised this time..I tried putting full pressure on my foot yesterday and it started to swell.. Getting frustrated, so any advice would be fantastic. I was excited to find your blog. You were dead on with everything I am going thru.

  29. The information you have all posted is very helpful and encouraging. I am on the list to have bunion surgery on both feet. i have talked to one lady who had it done and would never do it again so all your comments here encourage me. Has anyone gone through double surgery? I live in Quebec and my doctor said this is what they do. I was told it will take about three months before I can walk (properly). I imagine I will need a walker.
    If anyone has any advice for me or who has had same experience I would welcome hearing it.

  30. susan says:

    If you are 98 lbs and 5′ tall you may be able to get away with double surgery…with help from big, strong people to assist you in and out of bed…to the lav… and help feed you and manage your meds. It is very painful and you will not be able to stand or put wieght on either foot. My dr wouldn’t do both… he said,” you live on the 17th floor… what if you were alone and there was a fire… you wouldn’t make it down the stairs… I would strongly advise against it. I am hesitating having my second foot done because of the pain and bedrest needed. I hope I will have forgotten some of the first 3 weeks after surgery so I will be able to go through with the next surgery…maybe next year…

    Good luck!

  31. Thanks for the advice, Susan.
    I am moving my bed into my dining room which is on the main floor and central to everything I’ll need. I am counting on my husband for huge support. A friend is loaning me her walker. When I went for the pre-tests the nurse who counselled us said that my doctor obviously thought my bunions were not too large nor complicated to have decided to do both feet. It will be any time soon. I shall keep you posted as to how I am doing, as soon as I can climb stairs again, that is.

  32. Alison Low says:

    I had both bunions done on the 7th december 2011, they were severe and the consultant said that he would only do one but I persuaded him to do both together. I wanted only one recovery period. I used a zimmer frame for the first 2 days and after that crutches. I had one plaster off after 4 weeks and the other 6 weeks. I haven’t used crutches since about 3 weeks post op. I am now 8 weeks post op and am walking reasonably well but slow. I was told walking was my physio. I still have swelling and can’t get my normal shoes on but I bought a pair of extra wide fitting with a low opening and velcro. I have gradually increased my walking and I started driving short distances. I would advise having both done together if you get that option but be prepared to lie with your feet up as much as possible. My consultant told me “to be patient”

  33. Most helpful and very encouraging, Alison! Thank you. Do you think you’ll be able to wear your shoes (pre op) ever again?
    Am still waiting for the call for the big day!

  34. Alison Low says:

    Hopefully I will but I was told that it can take 6months to a year for swelling to completely go. I was able to go upstairs from day 1, used the bannister and one crutch. Good luck with your surgery and hope you haven’t to wait too long. It was not nearly as bad as I expected it to be so hope it will be the same for you.

  35. Angee Mantell says:

    I had my surgery Dec 30th. I was in a boot up until last Thurs and my Dr finally put me into a tennis shoe. Warning It will hurt the 1st time. I was shocked how badly it hurt but if you take your time and wiggle your foot in its less painful 🙂 I am still having a ton of swelling but havent had any actual pain per say since day one. Surgery and recovery werent as bad as I thought it would be but the waiting and being patient is the worst! Good luck everyone with your recoveries!

  36. Has anyone heard from Sue Mullen? How is Sue?

    I am still on the waiting list. i am a big walker and sincerely hope that eventually I’ll be able to resume after surgery. I do have fears about the outcome,

  37. Angee Mantell says:

    I had surgery 5 weeks ago today and it took me till week 3 to really get to walking. I wore a tennis shoe to work today for the 1st time and I am slow but getting there, Has anyone that has had surgery had issues with walking on the side of their foot? Its mostly when I am barefoot that I am doing this?

  38. I find it very reassuring that you were able to start to walk at week 3 post surgery. I am waiting to have both bunions operated and the surgeon told me not to expect to walk much before three months. I have found these comments posted here very helpful.

  39. Angee Mantell says:

    You are brave to get both done at the same time but I think that is prob a great idea, because right now I am still recovering and at this point and time do not want to get my left one done. Maybe in a few years! Walking was scary I wont lie. I think once i actually heard the words your bones have fused together I was less nervous to start walking. I think the tennis shoe is a lot easier to walk in versus the boot but I felt more protected in the boot. I dont have any complaints other than just being patient (which I am not) and not being able to work out. I did a lot of ab and arm work outs and did kickboxing sitting down (skipping kicking) just to keep moving. I wish you a well and fast recovery!

  40. Thank you for the extra tips regarding workouts. That has been a silent concern of mine too, so i will re read your comments frequently! I had originally thought I was going in for only one surgery, however it was the doctor who told me he would do both at the same time. I must say, i was kind of shocked at first, but now I’m looking forward to it being behind me. With these insights from so many people who have gone through this surgery I feel much more confident knowing what to expect.
    Many thanks to all!

  41. Alison Low says:

    Yes Angela I walk on the side of one of my feet, I really have to remind myself to put my heel down first and walk through my toes.
    I also do a lot of walking Johanna and today I went out with my walking friend for the first time since the operation and we walked, not very quickly, but for a good distance. So don’t worry about walking you will be back walking in no time.

  42. The input from all of you from your experiences with this is such a therapy. Walking is very important to me. I have a big dog, and we walk a lot together.

  43. Sue Mullen says:

    I’m now just over 4 months since surgery and am walking a lot more -it’s still somewhat painful but Im learning to grit my teeth and get on with it. I’m sticking to looseley laced flat shoes -no hope of boots yet! i’m still waiting to have my metal plate removed -it makes a big protruberence on the top of my foot and i’m convinced this is responsible for a lot of my discomfort.

    By the way, I’d really think carefully about this op if you have any kind of back/hip problem. Since the whole business of plaster and heel boot on my right foot my left lower back and sciatic nerve have become much worse and are now ironically giving me more trouble walking than the right foot itself.

    I’m just hoping that in a couple of months I’ll have had my plate removed, a pain injection in my spine and I’ll be signing up for Ramblers’ walks again!


  44. sunflower says:


  45. All the best to you, Sunflower for Feb. 13!
    I just found out from a friend who had both her feet done (separately), that she was given a fossa block when she left the hospital – I think for 24 hours. She said she experienced very little pain in this way.

  46. Alison Low says:

    Good luck with your op. It is not as bad as you would imagine it will be. I had no pain at all until plasters came off and then I had discomfort on my ankles.

  47. Maria says:

    i’m waiting for bunion surgery. i live alone and i’m worried about coping afterwards. very frightened of operation, will be having general anaesthetic.

  48. Shayna says:

    I had my bunion surgery a week ago today. I’m feeling alright but my toes keep twitching. Has anyone else ever had this happen? My foot really isn’t in pain its just more of an annoying feeling than anything. My doctor told me 6 weeks before I’m able to do anything and at 20 years old, its not an easy task. Does anyone have any advice? Also, I’m trying to do some light flexing/rotating of my foot to keep some strength up and I can only move my foot from side to side a few times but I can’t move it up or down? Any specific reason why? It’s starting to make me a little nervous and i don’t really know what to think. Any advice would be awesome right now!

  49. Angee Mantell says:

    Shayna: I had my right foot done and today is week 6. My toe kept twitching as well and I would freak out every time it did it. Its just nerves from where you arent using it. It will pass! I was told no cardio or working out till week 6 as well but once I started feeling better I did a lot of upper body and ab workouts sitting down. Keep in mind your foot may start to swell a little and that is normal according to my Dr. I just did what I could until it would swell and then I quit. I did light yoga and did mostly sitting stuff nothing on my feet. I like you could not just sit still and I think that is the hardest part of the whole thing! I was worried about gaining weight and I actually lost weight! Just cut out carbs and upped my protein (protein shakes, eggs and cottage cheese, english muffin w/peanut butter). My ankle got super weak as well and I had trouble moving it up and down the 2nd week after getting to put any weight on it. Keep working it, it will come back. Mine still shakes sometimes when I hold it up. I lost the muscle in my calf and it was all jiggly so expect that next. No worries it comes back as soon as you start walking on it. Just be patient. It will all be worth it before you know it! This blog was great and got me thru a lot. Hope you have a good and speedy recovery!

  50. Erika says:

    Had 2 neuromas removed and bunion surgery on the right foot, the same day on December 7th. It still hurts to drive and my foot is still swollen. It is tender to the touch and am still in a walking boot. If I wear sneakers and try to walk I pay for it at night when the pain kicks in. I did the surgery with the hopes I could jog/walk again 3 miles a day. I havent had such luck and hope that I can make a full recovery. I was told it could take 8 – 10 weeks to get into a normal shoe and do limited/normal activities. Hasanyone recovered fully and is able to function better after the surgery? Thanks, Erika (Florida)

  51. Alison Low says:

    I still can’t get into shoes, I am wearing extra wide fit that open low, had surgery on 7th Dec. My feet are still swollen and stiff. I walk slowly but am increasing the distance each day. I use ice packs after I have been walking and I find they do help. It is very hard to be patient, when recovery takes a long time but I was told that it could take 6- 12 months for the swelling to go completely.
    Everyone on this blog seems to have had similar issues which is very reassuring.

  52. Angee mantell says:

    I had bunion surgery dec 30th. Took longer than he initially told me it woukd take to walk. He said I’d be walking by week2 and it took me almost till week 4 to walk w/out crutches. I still have swelling when I walk or do a lot. I am now in tennis shoes but I had to go up a size just to get my swollen foot to fit and keep laces loose. I am still having issues walking on the side of my foot, esp when barefoot and afraid I am going to hurt my ankle. Any suggestions from anyone that had this issue? Just be patient and take it day by day. I know its hard. I was a runner and am a personal trainer part time so its been hard to not do things I used to do but I know it will all be back to normal soon. My Dr. Said it could take up to a year as well for swelling. Good luck and happy recovery!

  53. Tina Grice says:

    I had bunion surgery April 2011. I had the surgery on a Thursday, was ordered to be still w/foot eleveated and iced for 3 days, I was walking w/ crutches on Sunday. The dressing was changed and I got a walking boot on the following Tuesday and went back to work on Wednesday. Bad idea, I ended up having to take the rest of the week off because of the swelling (my toes looked like sausages and the pain was really, really bad, brought tears to my eyes bad. It took maybe 6-8 weeks to get into regular shoes…flats and about 4 months to get into my “cute shoes”…heels/boots. I had some pain for 6-8 months and walked on the side of my foot for a while. Even now I find myself doing that when I’m tired. I still have a little swelling if I’m on my feet for a long time or wear heels for too long. All that said…I’m having the other foot done day after tomorrow and writing this to remind myself and others of the importance of being patient and follow the Dr.’s orders.

  54. Berniece says:

    Hii , I had bunion surgury on 17th of feb, I had an overnight stay in hospital , an the first 5 days at home were very painful but took my meds an I got through it !! Unlike the feeling most of you were getting my foot was always very cold :/ ! But I am havin no problems washing etc , hang my sore foot out of the bath , after 3 weeks I got my bandages and stitches removed and another light cast on for the following 3!! My foot has one really skinny !! An I fell an hurt it on my crutches plus my cast has fallen off 3 times :0 and it was sore to get back on ! But I’m getting my cast off tomorrow , I’m only 22 so I’m hoping fast recovery and able o get walking straight away as I’m so sick of crutches

  55. Sue Mullen says:

    It is comforting to read other pople are also experiencing a slow recovery from all this. I’m now over six months since surgery and had the metal plate removed 3 weeks ago. My foot is now even more painful and the top of the foot is very swollen although the wound has healed nicely. I’m telling myself that the operation to take out the plate will have damaged the soft tissue and this will take time to heal -but i’ve no idea how long to expect.On the other hand I would like to request some kind of scan to see what’s going on inside my foot as I never imagined Iwould be limpimg along so painfully after this length of time. Unfortunately the likelihood of being able to see the consultant again is very slim so any advice/shared experience would be very welcome.


  56. beanie says:

    Hi, I had my bunion and hammer toe surgery just over 3 weeks ago and have to say that so far so good. It has so far not been painful as my doctor froze the nerve endings. I had my stitches out after two weeks and he also removed the cast as it was rubbing against my scars. I have been walking with my special shoe from day one the first week with crutches but didn’t need them after that as I was allowed heel walking.. I spend my days with my foot elevated as this helps reduce the swelling. Went out to dinner last night but couldn’t wait to get home to put my foot up. Im hoping to do more as the days pass but know that the best thing to help the healing process is rest. I can’t imagine having to go to work as I know that I wouldn’t be ready for that just yet.
    I would recommend an ice pack as this has really helped me over the past few days.
    Im really glad i had this done and will have the second done within the year. Good luck to all that are contemplating this surgery.

  57. koko says:

    Hello, I just had my bunion surgery (2 toes at the same time) 2 days ago. My doctor told me that the pain should be minimum, however I have been hurting so much. I don’t have any cast, he put bandage and surgecal shoes immidiately after my surgery. Nurse helped me to go to bathroom immediately after my recovery after surgery. Is this normal? I am scheduled to work from 6th days after my surgery,however I want to know your opinion… Thanks.

  58. Angee mantell says:

    Koko, I had my surgery back in dec. I was not allowed to put any pressure on foot the 1st week and some the 2nd week…I wasn’t into a surgical shoe until week 3. I didn’t have any pain at all but I alternated my pain meds (vicotin and IBProfen) every 4 hrs and kept ice on back of my knee for swelling. Follow ur dr’s advice but if u r in pain I would def let them know!

  59. chrissie says:

    Koko, i can’t imagine how you can be back at work so soon. I am 2 1/2 weeks post op (bunionectomy and morton’s neurectomy) and still need to keep my foot elevated 98% of the time. If I don’t, I have sever swelling afterwards and of course pain. I had no idea it would take so long. Last night I went to a friend’s for dinner and sat at the table for 2 hours thinking I would be fine..I did go and elevate it a couple of times between courses…but today am all swollen up again! I agree with everyone else…lots of enforced rest and buckets full of patience required!

  60. beanie says:

    Hi Chrissie, Im 5 weeks post op and have just enjoyed a very pleasant evening out with friends. No foot elevation tonight and although slightly swollen im in no pain.. you will get there like you said patience is whats required. 12 days and counting until my pin is removed and im quiet confident I will be able to drive with no problems. My theory is the more its rested the quicker it will heal, this is a long haul recovery but hopefully will be worth the pain and discomfort in the end. I have an ice pack that fits into the awful shoe that I purchased from boots and that really helps at the end of the day to reduce swelling, Good luck with your recovery…

  61. chrissie says:

    Thanks Beanie..that’s so encouraging. i gather you’re in the uk (oh for Boots!!!!)..I’m in Oz and not sure I’ll be able to find an ice pack to neatly fit into my shoe but will check it out…great tip! the swelling really does seem to be the biggest problem, especially on the ball of the foot. I am really trying to pace myself and try to only do little 10 minute chores…quickly folding the washing, frying an egg for lunch, hanging the washing out …and then straight back on the couch. Did you keep your foot elevated at night too? i did to begin with but eased off after the first week but have gone back to it, thinking it might is however SO uncomfortable to sleep that way! My surgeon has recommended I start swimming on Wednesday which will be 23 days post op and I can’t wait! He says swimming and walking in the pool is excellent. Has anyone else done that? Walking is probably just over 7 weeks away though according to him which is horrible! My pin is staying in although the last time they removed the pin and that wasn’t a big deal.

    I had my right bunion removed 7 years ago but don’t remember the recovery being this long (although this time had the neuroma too). I have to admit that it was the best thing I ever did, as I have been pain free ever since and was able to wear any footwear I wanted to. I’ve never worn anything higher than a 2″ heel and don’t go for very pointy toes so I’m convinced this is hereditary as even my 20 year old son has already got them and the heels wouldn’t look too good with his army fatigues!!! My daughter also has them…poor kids. I console myself that they inherited their father’s brain…I spared them that at least!

    So to anyone out there who is still considering a bunion op….for all it’s worth, I would most definitely recommend it. Most people I have met have been delighted with the outcome…not so much the neuroma…that’s another story from what I have read on the blogs and I am praying that I won’t be worse off than pre-op. There really seemed to be no other solution as the pain is much worse than a bunion. Each step in any type of closed shoe was torture.

    Who knew feet could give us such problems?!

    Let us know how you go Beanie. All the best.

  62. Hi, I had bunion surgery and 2 hammer toes 5 weeks ago. (March 16th) I have to wear a hard cast for 6 weeks. Then a walking boot for 2 weeks. I rented a scooter which I couldn’t do without it. I just can’t do crutches. I am 54 years old and feel absolutely helpless. I have never been so home bound. I had a little anxiety attack one afternoon wanting my cast off . I have never had that feeling before in my life, the Dr said sometimes that happens. Totally scared me, it hasn’t happened again. No pain really just uncomfortable. After reading all of this it makes me nervous, my son gets married in Sept. and I hope I am back to normal… Can’t wait for all this to be over with…

  63. Hi, I finally had bunion surgery on both my feet April 19, 2012. Was wearing hard casts and stayed in bed with elevated feet for the first week and most of the second. Altogether my casts were on for four weeks. The first week I experienced quite a lot of pain and discomfort but less afterwards. had my casts taken off yesterday. My feet are still swollen. I’m walking carefully. My toes hurt if I bend them too much. Otherwise I’m VERY HAPPY that I went through with this surgery – my feet look much better already. For anyone hesitating to do this, I would say “go for it; the discomfort is temporary!”

  64. Violeta Cortez says:

    Your comments are great! I am 23 days post op and finishing my first week back at work. Don’t know if this was a good idea. I come home very swollen and need to elevate my foot as soon as I get home. My scar is still red and I have notice my food gets red when I’m on my feet and is very hot.

  65. V says:

    LOL!! my foot gets red around the scar…not my food.

  66. chrissie says:

    violeta, i am six weeks post-op and still have a swollen foot. i find if i walk around too much i just get desperate to elevate. i’m amazed that you were back at work 2 weeks post op!!! i wish you well.

  67. V says:

    Thx Chrissie, I guess, as everyone posted, patience is key. My doctor sd I was ready to go back and wear good laced shoes and I am still in the surical boot. So I feel I am healing slooow. Anyone else out there that went to work 2wks post op or back to some “normal” activity? I am so tired of being in thos boot and in pain!

  68. liz says:

    hello Johanna Hentschel,
    I have had both feet done on april 23rd and although still have swollen feet I have been walking in trainers since 20th may .My feet still hurt at night and feel hot but I would not hesitate in doing the surgery again and I do believe if you have a good surgeon its best to get both done at the same time .You need lots of help for the first couple of weeks as I am sure you will agree and maybe that should be the main factor on whether to have surgery on both feet at once.Do you still get swelling?

  69. Hello Liz,
    Yes I do still get swollen feet. Some days are worse than others and more the left one than the right one. I have noticed with hotter weather that this is also a factor. My feet still hurt on and off around the incision and upper part of my foot. I have an old pair of sturdy leather sandals which can be adjusted everywhere which I am wearing but always with a thicker pair of cotton socks; this way I walk quite comfortably – not fast and not too far but I get around. I do take the time throughout the day to lie down and raise my feet with two pillows every few hours which helps a lot. As you mentioned, like me, you would not hesitate to do this again. And as you said, you do need to have someone who can help you especially the first and second week. In my case, my husband was there for me all the time.

  70. chrissie says:

    Hi Liz
    I am at week 8 tomorrow and my foot is still very swollen. I can wear trainers and take short walks but am disappointed the swelling is still so bad. Does anyone know if the swelling can be alleviated somehow or is it just a matter of time. So far ice packs don’t seem to get the swelling down. Elevating the leg definitely helps but the swelling remains.

  71. beanie says:

    Hi Chrissie, Im 12 weeks post op and its only been in the last week that I can fit into a couple of pairs of my flat shoes. My foot is still swollen although every week it seems to be better. It can swell for up to a year so I guess we all just have to put up with it. Summer is here so open toed sandals seem to be best.
    Hope all goes well for you.

  72. Heather says:

    Hi I am now 6 weeks post op after having a scarf and akin procedure on 16th April on my left foot. I am still wearing the surgical shoe and cannot imagine now walking without it as when I put my foot on the floor (non weight bearing) it feels very hot and sore. I have to keep wearing the surgical shoe until I see the surgeon this Friday. I feel anxious about my post op recovery as I have been in pain most of this period, not sure if this is nerve pain, toe feels very hot and jaggy (severe pins and needles), thought this would have subsided by now. Not back at work yet due to this pain. Has anyone else experienced this? Right now I am not convinced that I have done the right thing having this surgery. Also can anyone recommend comfy sandals to accomodate swelling and reduce pain? Thank you

  73. chrissie says:

    Hi Heather
    I still had quite severe pain at week 6 and then as if by magic last week (7) they eased and are just intermittent now but quite mild. No pins and needles at all though…I’m in Australia so it’s cool here now and I can only wear Ugg boots although they do tend to keep the foot hot, therefore increasing swelling. If you are in the northern hemisphere I would stick with open sandals. I hope you will feel a little better in the next couple of weeks.

  74. chrissie says:

    Hi Beanie
    Thank you for your input there, I had no idea that the swelling could last up to a year as I forgot to mention it to my surgeon. All this information helps us to know we are on the right track…it really does help. 🙂

  75. Heather says:

    Hi Chrissie
    I appreciate your comments as I was starting to think there was something wrong with my foot. Hopefully it will feel better soon. I think when you have normally been so fit and active you become impatient and I guess that is what I am being. My toe feels very stiff and if I try to move it I seem just to promote pain although I believe I should be trying to exercise it. Is this the case with you? Thanks again for your help.

  76. chrissie says:

    Hi Heather
    I only started moving my big toe joint last week (wk 7) after my follow up appointment and I have to admit that I felt no pain. You must be due for your follow up pretty soon and I should mention it to the surgeon. I guess we all heal differently though, so maybe you just need a little extra time. I returned to the circuit at Curves for the first time yesterday and managed to get round the circuit twice with the exception of 2 machines. Later in the day I managed a 25 minute reasonably fast paced walk with the dog…so I was stoked! I too am used to being very active and am a fast walker so have become very impatient with all this but I’m sure it will have been worth it in the end. Realistically I think it will take 6 months before I get back to normal. I can assure you that only 2 weeks ago I couldn’t imagine being able to do as much as I did yesterday…pain free….a little swelling maybe but I just elevated and was fine afterwards, so I hope this helps you 🙂

  77. Angee Mantell says:

    Hi, I had my surgery on my right foot Dec 30th, 2011 and I still have swelling. Its not as bad as it was in the begiining but my Dr. also said it could swell up to a year. He said 80% of your heeling is within the 1st 8weeks and the remaining 20% is the rest of the year. Frustrating but it just takes time. I am back into my normal routine of exercising and jumping around. I run 3-4 miles 2-3 times a week. I never thought I would get here, so be patient and take it day by day! Angee

  78. Hi Angee, I do appreciate what your Dr. said abut the healing time! I had surgery (both feet) April 19, 2012; am just now able to bear down with my toes,both feet, but still have swelling every day. Haven’t yet returned to the gym nor gone on my routine long walks with my dog.
    By reading all the comments I am under the impression that I might be “older” than most of you which I suspect also has something to do with healing: (turned 66 this past Jan)

  79. Deb Morgan says:

    I had bunion surgery on my left foot on May 24, 2012 & also had two bones shortened at the same time. I am 56 years old & I have had bunions since a child but in the past 5 years, the pain has gotten much worse & to the point that I would have to take ibuprofen to get to sleep at night if I was on my feet much through the day. My surgery was 45 min. long & walked on the foot with a surgical shoe immediately. Surgery was at 8:30 am & was home by noon. I had problems with the hydrocodone for pain so after one day of bad stomach pains, I switched to 600mg of ibuprofen which worked great for me. By 3 days post op, I was down to only taking ibuprofen twice a day. I did have a good bit of bleeding through the bandage so my doctor had me remove the bandage today & replace. The incision looks great & there was little swelling (today I’m 5 days post op). My biggest complaint is if I am up on my feet for more than 10 minutes throughout the day, my foot feels like it is swelling up & burning & stinging on the top of my foot & into the ball of my foot. This happens more in the evening than during the day. I sleep well with my foot elevated on 3 pillows. I use my ice pack most of the time I am sitting with the foot elevated. I go for my follow up on June 5. I also have a pin but not sure if it will be removed on June 5 or later. My doctor originally told me I would be off from work at least 2 weeks. I would like to know if others have had this burning & stinging in the top of the foot & the feeling of immediate swelling when on your feet & if so, how long did this last? Also, thanks so much to swirlingleaf for this bunion blog!!!!! I have read a lot online about bunion surgery & this is the best! Thanks to all who have posted. I wish I would have found this before my surgery. I would have been better prepared. Thanks so much

  80. chrissie says:

    Hi Deb
    I am 8 weeks post op and also 56 🙂 I too managed the pain without too much difficulty although I also had a neurectomy together with the bunionectomy on my left foot. The swelling was the you, I had quite a bad bleed but kept the dressing on for two weeks. 10 minutes was the most I could do for the first 3 weeks and I’d dash around the kitchen getting things done and then ouch! swollen foot alert! Elevate and ice pack for a couple of hours….I have to say that for me, I found that I was sitting with foot elevated for 95% of the time for the first 4 weeks. I am not working, so was able to do that and I think that is the key. I did get out and about – friends would pick me up for coffee or lunch and I would keep my foot elevated at the cafe…I found it just got heavy and swollen if I left it hanging. I was driving by Week 3 and was able to take the dog to the park, sit on a bench with foot elevated and throw a ball.. I did have the burning and stinging til about week 6 but then I’ve also had 2 nerves removed…so may be less for you. Mornings were definitely better so tended to get things done early. I really feel you cannot rush this…rest is the key…and huge amounts of patience! You are right, this is a great blog and has helped many I’m sure. ‘All the best.

  81. Deb Morgan says:

    thanks Chrissie! I am doing as you say. I am thinking I will probably take at least the 3rd week off from working too. I want to get the best results & remain determine to go back to have the right foot done as soon as possible. Thanks again and the best of luck to you also!

  82. Liz says:

    I had surgery May 14th and had a “drip” for first 48 hours which completely froze my leg below the knee. Has anyone else had this? Although strange feeling, like leaving the dentist, no pain for first fifteen hours, reduced pain afterwards since by day three the pain has lessened and the pills kick in. I too have rented a scooter to get around Don’t know what I would have done without it. Am curious about the boot one wears after the cast is off. Can someone fill me in?

  83. Johanna Hentschel says:

    Hi Liz,
    I had bunion surgery April 19th on both my feet and had asked my doctor for this pain treatment – fossa block – what you had. I had heard about it from a friend of mine who had it and said she didn’t have much pain post surgery for the first two days nor thereafter. Unfortunately my doctor said they did not use that technique where I had surgery. Best wishes for a quick recovery.

  84. PaulaKay says:

    I am scheduled to have both feet done on 7/18/12. I was told 5-7 days bedrest, 2-3 weeks of working from home (I can remote into the office), 10-12 total recovery time (due to my smoking, otherwise it would have been 8-10 weeks). I’ll start with an ankle boot after surgery and then transfer to shoes. I live myself in a 2nd floor condo, so I’ll be staying with my sister for the first 5 days, then my parents for 2 days, have my 1 week follow-up and then I’ll be at my home by myself. Some of my friends will help bring any groceries or anything that I may need (my family lives an hour away). After I am given the all clear to return to work, my co-workers have volunteered to help me get to and from work. I am going to check into having a “box” built under my desk so I can elevate my feet during the day (I work at a computer all day long). After reading all the comments, I have put IBProufen and ice packs on my “to get” list before I go in. Will also try and get some “easy” foods to cook – ramen, sandwich meat, etc (will have a friend get bread after I get back home). I have a super easy gliding chair that will get me around kitchen, dining and living rooms but stops short on carpet, so I’ll probably bunk on the couch and only need to walk to the bathroom. I’ll slide down the stars on my butt. This should be interesting. Piece of cake right?!?! 🙂

  85. Jenna says:

    I am 2 weeks and 4 days post-op and still non-weight bearing on my left foot. I use a knee rollering walker that I rented and I can walk on my heal with crutches now. I had a bunionectomy, the first metatarsal sawed apart, realigned and reconnected with two screws. My second metatarsal was was sawed apart and realigned with pins and I had a lipoma removed from my ankle. I am glad I did not do both feet at once, or I would not have been able to stand the pain or get to the bathroom alone. The pain was especially bad the third night, despite Oxycodone and Advil. I am now off the meds and only take them at night if needed. Before the surgery I bought an electric recliner, which was a godsend and kept my foot elevated with an additional 2 pillows and kept ice packs on my anke 24/7. I slept in the electric recliner the first 3 days, as I was fairly drugged up, due to pain. I only got up to go to the bathroom with the knee roller. Family members came the first 3 days to prepare meals for me, then after that I was on my own. This has been more painful than I expected and am already dreading getting the right foot done down the road. I just hope to god that when I can weight bear that it isn’t going to be unbearable. I am planning on buying a pair of mens tennis shoes when I need them, as they are wider in width as I have wide feet anyway. All-in-all this surgery is not for sissies.

  86. Sue Mullen says:

    I’ve just come out of my “boot”after 6 weeks – the third operation on my foot. I had a lapidus procedure done on October 3rd 2011 -the joints didn’t fuse and this was not spotted, so when I had the second operation in March to remove the metal plate which the doctor thought might be the cause of all my pain it only made matters worse! Having been told I had to wait for a further 18 weeks to have revision surgery on the NHS I’ve paid to have it done privately. My new surgeon says that a lapidus procedure was too complicated and risky an operation (up to 12% failure rate)and he’s now done a great job in fixing me up again. I had next to no pain during the 6 weeks of non weight bearing but now it’s really hit me. I realise it’s going to be a long painful process getting to walk properly again and have been heartened to read other people’s experiences. I don’t know how much of my miserable experience has been due to medical incompetence or to my bad luck but I obviously wouldn’t have contemplated having this done had I known what was in store.

  87. chrissie says:

    I do feel for you Sue! What a terrible thing to happen. I had my bunion and neurectomy procedure on 5 April this year so am 12 weeks post op. My foot is still very swollen and the big toe not making contact with the ground. I have tried to get back into walking the last 3 weeks building up to 20 minutes brisk walking but the swelling is still there. Not sure what to do…and when I read your comment, feared the worst! I can’t imagine anything worse than starting all over again. I;ve gained 4kgs and am dieting but without exercise not seeing great results. You will need a lot of patience, Sue and hopefully moral support. I do wish you all the best.

  88. Lynette says:

    I have been wondering about how much I should be exercising at this stage. I am now 7 weeks post bunion surgery on my right foot. I had 2 bones cut and repositioned. My podiatrist was very pleased with my recovery and allowed me to drive at 3 weeks. I had no pain and started to work from home on Day 3. But it really started to hurt once I walked in a sneaker. I persisted and now I can walk quite fast but the foot is still a little swollen. This week I started to stand on my toes to improve the range of motion in my large toe. It looked quite swollen after this. Tomorrow I will try water aerobics. Any advice on exercise – push myself or not? I am in good health generally – and nearly 70. Thanks

  89. chrissie says:

    HI Lynette. I am now 13 weeks post op and foot still swollen. I too thought I could start walking quite fast but feel that I perhaps pushed myself a little too soon. My physio recommends swimming and walking short distances together with some extensions to improve range. I’m glad you wrote about your experiences because I was getting quite concerned that my foot was still swollen…one thing that did help was ultrasound last week at my physio…I noticed a marked improvement and am going back tomorrow for a second session. Good luck…it sounds as though you are doing remarkably well anyway.

  90. Lynette says:

    Thanks Crissie. This morning my foot looked better but after walking for over an hour, it was swollen and it hurt so I took an Ibuprofen. I see the podiatrist in two weeks and he will decide if I need physio.

    Some time ago I decided to start exercising some time ago and my foot hurt. The podiatrist told me that as we age, our feet can stretch and that I had a bunion! I was dispatched to go and get some running shoes. I would try on a pair at the shoe store and they seemed fine. But after walking for a while my foot hurt. I was going on a lengthy vacation to South East Asia in a few weeks and I had to find shoes that would fit in a hurry. I spent a small fortune on trying to find shoes that would fit. I had shoes stretched etc. Trying to find hiking shoes was impossible for a large foot with a broad fitting to accommodate the bunion! So I asked the podiatrist to remove it! This morning I bought a shoe stretcher to try to see if I cannot resurrect some of the expensive shoes that I had to abandon because of the bunion.

    I notice that I can wear the Chung Shi shoes I bought previously. They have quite a different style of walking. Each time I go to the podiatrist I take several pairs of shoes and he passes judgment on them. He did not like the shoes I used to buy from the local supermarket!! I appreciate insights on others on this website. Thanks.

  91. Elle says:

    Hi I’m 14 and will be having bunion surgery on my left foot in 2 days. I went to the doc today and found out they were bunions. I decided I wanted surgery before school starts, even though I will be on crutches during the first few weeks of high school! It’s my first year! I will be on crutches for 8 wks. Really nervous about the surgery. I have bunions on each foot. After the first surgery, I will wait a few months before having the other bunion removed. For the most part, I’m really afraid of the whole idea of having surgery while I am awake! I’m also kind of scared of the needle used to numb my foot! –(I am still a kid & I hate needles, by the way). Will the needles hurt when being enjected into my foot? It’s summertime, and I really hate the fact that after the surgery, my summer won’t be fun at all! I’m so glad I found this site, and thanks so much for all your advice!

  92. janet says:

    Hello everyone,
    I Had my left foot done for bunion on the june 27th 2012 , i had low pain ,so no need for pain meds, but took 2 aleeves . but now on the second week i have burning hot feeling, so my doc put me on a 5 day i hope that feeling goes away soon. i will let you now what happens.

  93. Angee mantell says:

    Elle, I was nervous too.. I never had any pain just dr told me that 80% of ur healing will be the 1st 8 weeks. The otner 20% will be rest of the year. I had my surgery dec 30th, for the most part I am back to normal but still have days when it hurts and or swells. I am a personal trainer and am back to working out as normal but do still have issues when I do lunges. I wish you all the best for a speedy recovery..being calm and patiance is the best advice I can give..

  94. Elle says:

    Thanks so much! I had my surgery today! It went well. I’m just in a lot of pain now. Right now I’m just keeping my foot elevated. The medicine for pain is helping. I get my cast next week. Thanks again!

  95. Shelly says:

    I had lapidus bunion surgery with mid-foot fusion on June 26,2012 – nearly 4 weeks ago. I am still not able to bear weight – maybe after x-rays in a few days. Mostly I am happy with the surgery – little to no pain, nice straight foot, incisions healing nicely … but it bothers me that my foot swells up after being up for only a bit. Also, it turns a nasty purple, like a bruise. Has anyone else had that happen? If so, how long did it continue?
    I am glad I stumbled upon this site – kinda wish I had found it sooner 🙂

  96. Angee mantell says:

    Hi, I had surgery back in dec and I still have occassional swelling. My dr told me its takes a good year for a full recovery. Mine turned purple as well soon after my surgery…just take it day by day. As frustrating as it is, u will be back to normal in no time!

  97. Laura says:

    Hiya 🙂 I had my right foot done on the 11th July. Im not in pain as such but my toe feels heavy which is odd. I keep nearly tripping over my wedge shoe too much causes some discomfort. Starting to get frustrated at not being able to do much now….3 days until my stitches come off :D. My bandage has started to come that normal?xx

  98. Shelly says:

    I am nearly 4 weeks past surgery and still haven’t been given the OK to put any weight on it – sounds like most folks walked a lot sooner.

  99. chrissie says:

    Hi Shelley. I had my bunion surgery on 2 April this year and I can assure you that 4 weeks post op is still VERY early days! You will continue to swell up and limp and get frustrated for a while yet. I still have to pace myself…and yes, my foot did turn purple…not any more. I too have been told it can take up to a year to feel “normal” so we have to have a lot of patience. Hopefully it will have been worth it in the end. My biggest problem is the neurectomy I had for Morton’s Neuroma…has anyone else had issues with recovery after this procedure?

  100. PaulaKay says:

    I’m now 5 days post op on both feet. I’m in an aircast on both feet (I call them my moon boots!). 1st doc apt post op will be on Tuesday morning. Will see if he transfers me to the black walking shoes or keep me in the aircasts (my mom had plantar factitious surgery 3 weeks ago, so I’ll be able to use her walking shoes). I spent Wednesday until this afternoon at my sister’s and then transferred to my mom and dad’s until my Tuesday morning apt. As others have mentioned, my feet start burning if I have the boots on too long. Once I take the boots off, they are fine (it doesn’t matter if I have them elevated or not). Also, if I’m in the boots but not elevated enough, my toes start to go to sleep. I used an office chair to get around for the first few days inside my sisters house and then they started feeling good enough to walk to the bathroom or out to the deck. I used the crutches VERY little since I had the chair. I think my biggest thing is the not bathing part. I sponge bathed on Friday and attempted to wash my hair in the sink. Will do that again tomorrow before my apt on Tuesday. I followed directions and took 1 pain med every 4 hours. Yesterday I switched it to every 6 hours. All in all – not a horrible experience yet…

  101. Elle says:

    Hello . I had bunion surgery on my left foot last Thursday , the 19th. I’m 14. This has been a pretty weird experience for me. I am on crutches; 7 wks to go, and I also have a cast. Last week I was in a splint. The first 3 days were very painful for me, but now I’m pain free. When on my feet for too long, my foot tends to swell. Can someone tell me how the recovery process is? I will be starting my first yr of high school on crutches. School starts in a few wks, and I wanna be able to wear regular shoes. Hope all is well w/ the rest of you guys though. Thanks

  102. Laura says:

    Im having my stitches out tomorrow…does it hurt please? Elle I dont think you will be in normal shoes for a while….I’ve been told minimum 6 weeks but looking more at 8 – 10 weeks before I can walk properly.x

  103. beanie says:

    Sorry to burst everyones bubble here but Im 5 months post op and still cant fit into most of my shoes!! I also have limited flexibility in my big toe and a lot of swelling, doc says all is normal and it will take up to 12 months…. at least I can walk normally in flat shoes and open toed sandals now the sun has finally arrived in the uk.. Good luck to all that has had the surgery and to those contemplating it…..

  104. Laura says:

    Ahhhh Im just dreading my teaching placement in October if I wont be able to wear normal shoes. x

  105. Karla says:

    Hi all, I am at the 2 week 5 day mark in the recovery process. I had a bunion removed from my right foot. I was wondering if anyone else’s doc prescribed them a support band? I was told to keep it on except for showering. I have the band and the lovely “low profile” boot. I am still non-weight bearing and not driving! : (
    Feel better everyone!

  106. Mavis says:

    Hello, first I have to say what a relief it has been to read the comments on this site. I had a bunion op on the 10th of July 2012 with screws which are to be left in, together with my second toe straightened and fused at the first joint and a pin put in to keep it rigid. I had a nerve block in the back of my knee, then the operation by local aneasthetic. I left with an enormous bandage on my left foot and a surgical shoe and crutches. I got in a panic because later that night I not only could feel anything, I couldn’t move my foot however much my brain said ‘move’ – not nice. I phoned the doctor in the morning and he said it was normal and the block did that; it was so that I had 48 hours more or less of pain relief, I couldn’t remember being told all that. The pain was quite intense when it did come through. Putting weight on the heel after 5 days was painful so I gave up on it. I elevated and iced (frozen peas) a lot which really helped. I’m 61 and don’t work and my daughter helped me so was fortunate. My foot felt like a lit match was being held under it! The frozen peas were great once the cold got through the bandage. My skin was ‘tight’ it felt like it was pulling. The scar felt like someone was putting a load of pins in the area when I put the shoe on and tightened the velcro. For two weeks it was painful and uncomfortable. Then the bandage was taken off,(wonderful) the stitches on show cut, the rest would dissolve apparently. All looked good, a sticky plaster dressing was put over the scar and a cover over the toe with the pin in and I was warned to be very very careful not to knock the post/pin. I then was given an air boot to wear. Felt dejected about this as it seemed like a backward step. I was told my bone quality wasn’t very good…the air boot would help. I could walk with crutches with the boot on. I found though, that the weight of the boot really irritated my scar and the skin round the area became extremely sensitive, I couldn’t even touch it without feeling pain. Anyone else have that? I obviously did too much though, got the vacuum out etc etc and made the wound weep as well as lots of swelling. Went back to the clinic and had the wound redressed at four weeks and an xray and looked at by the doctor who did the op. Goodbye boot (bliss) hello surgical shoe and weight bearing with crutches. Monday, 6 weeks after the op, I get the pin out of the second toe. Not sure what happens after that, though I was told it would be 8 weeks before I can walk, 6 months before I can wear normal shoes and a year before the foot settles down without swelling. I hope to be able to drive at 8 weeks – I have a manual car not automatic. I’ve had stabbing pains in my often sausage looking toes and, ‘bunion’ area and still get a tight pulling feeling where the skins been cut. The joint where the bunion was done is swollen and feels horrible when I try and walk on the foot. The ball of my foot is painful and I also want to walk on the side of my foot. I’ve also had cramp in my foot and leg. My leg lost muscle but is starting to improve. The cramps have stopped, thankfully. Sleeping was awful at first, laying on my back all the time though I would turn right over on my stomach and put my foot in the air propped up by a pillow and sleep for a while that way. My husband bought a frame that holds the covers off the leg/foot but I found when I put pillows on the bed to elevate my foot, the frame wasn’t high enough so haven’t used it. Thankfully it’s summer so I sleep with the foot out of the covers which suits as it still gets hot. I’ve felt very nervous about whether the op has been successful and still have my moments, wondering if I’ll ever walk the dog again without pain, wondering whether the screws will come loose and I’ll have to have another op. Oh no, please not that. I really couldn’t face another operation. I was so wobbly using crutches at first I went up the stairs on my backside! Patience seems to be the word throughout and realizing that we all heal and have different pain thresholds. Thank you everyone though for all your comments, down to earth and realistic.

  107. Mavis says:

    Mavis again, just thought I’d say I had the pin out Monday. I was nervous as I thought it would be painful. Not at all painful. I was surprised it was so long. I was told I should try wearing a supportive shoe, and that I didn’t need the crutches any more. Not to get the toe wet for 24 hours and to keep it covered in case of infection. Felt soooo happy. That was 9am. At 7.30pm I stubbed the very same toe on a rigid door stop. The pain, well it was awful. The toe is now swollen, and partially discoloured. Not particularly painful but then I can’t move it. I don’t know if the toe would have swollen this much anyway (it did swell after the pin was removed) or whether I’ve damaged it…. 😦

  108. chrissie says:

    Hi Mavis…sorry to hear that you stubbed your toe. I had a similar experience wearing the supportive shoe (I still believe in plaster cast because of it) and I did damage the bone 2 weeks post op but we opted to just leave it and it was fine. i would strongly recommend you get an xray taken though. All the best.

  109. chrissie says:

    Mavis, I’ve just read your previous blog and I could relate to all you had experienced. I am 4 months post op and I can honestly say that I am only now beginning to exercise without pain and beginning to feel normal again. I can’t imagine you will be able to drive a manual car at 8 weeks though. It is a long, tough road and you will get disheartened and very frustrated indeed. Concerned too that you’ll never feel good again…but I’m here to tell you that it will turn around…eventually. My fitness is non-existent…no muscles, even in my feet..I feel like I’m walking on the bones of my feet. Still get the occasional shooting pains in the area. I now walk the dog for 40mins and can manage a couple of circuits at the gym. Normal shoes not yet possible and feel frumpy in trainers which is all I can bear.I also think as we get older it takes longer to heal maybe…I wish you a speedy recovery.

  110. Laura says:

    How long was it before anybody returned to work? It has been 6 weeks since my op and I can walk without my crutches mostly but still lose my balance occasionally. I can only wear velcro sandals but it does hurt to walk alot. I have gotten myself signed fit for work with some adjustments but wondering If I have made a mistake. I tripped up the stairs last night so got to go to physio later today. I still cannot drive, I tried to do an emergency stop and hurt my foot.x

  111. Mavis says:

    Hello Chrissie. Thanks for your reply. The toe looked more like a toe when I woke this morning, if a mottled one. Walking on it has made it swell again, well all the toes really and the ankle slightly. I should get the toe xrayed I know, I just want to ignore any problems now and just get on with it! But I will have it looked at. I’ve googled and found that after a pin is taken out the toe(s) often do swell…
    You’ve certainly described how I feel and it’s sooo good to read your experience. Half the time it’s not knowing what to expect that’s so frightening, what’s normal and the different ranges of ‘normal’ so it has made me feel better reading what you say. I’m expecting a bit too much too soon and I also think you are right, being older I’ll take a bit more time to heal! Looks like my husband will have a bit longer getting up at 6am to walk the dogs, lol. Thanks for your best wishes for a speedy recovery. And may your recovery continue and you soon get into some nice normal shoes.. Oh yes, that’ll be nice, roll on, ha ha.

  112. Mavis says:

    Hello Laura
    I am fortunate in that I don’t work but if I did I wouldn’t be keen on going back at 6 weeks. I am probably quite a bit older than you though so, as I said above, it will more than likely take me longer to heal. However, I was told, and the information I was given, said I shouldn’t expect to walk properly until 8 weeks, so maybe you are expecting a bit too much too soon especially with the driving. I do think, until you’ve experienced it, the general thought is that a bunion op isn’t much and getting back to normal doesn’t take long. My doctor told me to remember he had broken my bone so I had to think in terms of having a broken foot which is what I told my family when they thought I’d be up and doing the usual round the house jobs after a couple of weeks! Good luck. Mavis

  113. daniela Yvette says:

    Aug 13 i had foot surgery and sept 12 i get my cast off i go to highschool and wanted to know do i still need crutches because im honestly tired of them because i get to much pain in my chest. I thought i wuld be able to walk again it just feel weird. Im really fed up with the cast please help answering my question.

  114. Mavis says:

    Hang on in there Daniela. It’s difficult to say because as you know, everyone’s surgery is different and doctors and/or nurses give different advice. It’s so soon now until you get your cast off, although I know you probably can’t bear the thought of being told you have to carry on using crutches! I would think you’ll be able to weight bear on your foot so if you still have to use crutches it’ll only be to steady you after not putting weight much on your foot for so long. That should stop any stress on your chest. It’s tiring and can get you down when you don’t see an end to it all. I was where you are at two weeks so you’ve done well! Don’t forget when you get your caste off to ask lots of questions, get them sorted in your mind before you go! Good luck, best wishes, Mavis

  115. heidimich says:

    Hi, I’m having a bunion operation next week (27september), I am extremely nervous. I’ve never had an operation before or general anaesthetic so this worries me. I am also wondering how long I will need to be off work. I only work lunchtimes but this involves walking (20 mins) to and from work and all lunchtime on my feet. I don’t want to take too long off work. My bunion is hereditary and I am 41 years old.
    I am so glad that I found this page as there is so much information from others and it has been really interesting, helpful to read. Thanks

  116. Marie says:

    Hi Heidimich, Hope the surgery went well. I am also nervous but I had to make contact with my GP because my bunions have been so severe for a number of years now. Hereditary and ballroom dancing as a child/young person. My op is scheduled for early Dec. Will keep you updated.

  117. Tabbatha says:

    Hi it’s me again! Foot back to have third surgery. Have a Morton neuroma that came on. Has anyone else have this happen after having bunion surgery?

  118. heidimich says:

    Hello Marie, I had the op on thurs, I was petrified. I was first on the list which I was pleased about. I told them I was worried about having a general anaesthetic but before I knew it I was fast asleep and my operation had been done. I felt dizzy and tired afterwards but that only lasted 2 hours. By the afternoon I felt fine and my foot felt fine too. It is wrapped up in many bandages. I was supplied with a wedge (so you walk on your heel) walking shoe and crutches and home at 6.30 pm. The first day was fine but yesterday (day 2) was the worst. My foot was bleeding and in terrible pain. Walking in the shoe is so painful. I spent all day with my foot elevated. Today ( day 3) I am still in bed with foot elevated. Having to sleep with 2 cushions propped underneath my foot. It is still painful but I suppose it’s still early days. I go back on weds 3rd October to see the specialist who did the operation. I believe after reading so many articles that rest is the key to recovery :). Good luck with your operation Marie, are you in the UK?

  119. Chloe says:

    Im getting my bunion removal opertion done on the 16th of october 2 weeks tomorrow , i’m havig both feet done at the same time and im really scared , not scared for the opertion i’m more scared off the cannula being placed in my hand as i have a fear of needles. This is my first operation iv ever had and im really scared could anyone tell me if the needle hurts?? Thanks xx

  120. heidimich says:

    Hello Chloe,

    You are very brave having both done at once but I suppose it means you don’t have the worry of going back for it all done again.

    I had my first ever operation last Thursday and I was extremely petrified. I had no idea what a cannula was and all I felt was a pin prick when the needle was put in. Everything went so quick from that moment and the anaesthetists were excellent at distracting me from my worries. Before I knew it I was waking up in recovery room and only suffered dizziness and tiredness.

    I would try not to worry as the cannula bit is over so quickly.

    Good luck and all the best Chloe :).

  121. Chloe says:

    Aww wow ,yeah read all these comments and every ones saying its gone alright,i suppose im worrying over nothing really but i suppose we all get scared and plus i 13 and apparently your supposed to get the operation done at 16 ad aboe as you stop growing but iv’e stopped growing now anyways. Thanks very much for the advice and all my familys saying it dosnt hurt but im going to get some magic cream on as im petrified hehe but i hope it goes quick! 😀 xxx

  122. Emma. says:

    Hi all. Im 4 weeks post op today (friday 5th oct). I had my Bunion removed.
    i still have the padded bandage on my left foot and wearing the surgical boot during the day.
    For the first 2 weeks i was laid on my sofa with my foot on a beanbag, i wasnt able to do anything but move to the bathroom or bedroom.
    My Scar is healing well, and i get next to no pain now. Im still using the crutches especally while im out of the house, im not very fast on them.
    I can bathe my foot now but i must say the feeling i have in that foot isnt a nice feeling. It makes me feel sick touching it and also moving my toes.
    Iam told that i can wear my trainers after 4 weeks but i cant imagine even trying to put it on my foot yet, so a few more days of wearing my bandage and shoe it is.
    I cant put a cover on foot at night, the weight of the cover hurts so i tend to keep my foot out all night. I cant sleep on my right side yet as its too uncomfortable.
    Im told by my husband to keep my foot up as much as possible to reduce swelling, and if i do overdo things boy my foot hurts and swells up and also turns black. I still have quite alot of bruising on all my toes and across my foot still.
    Its such an inconvienence having to keep my foot up with a family of 3 kids but i would still opt to have the surgery given the option.
    I sit all day with my foot up and then come evening im ready to just get outside my front door. But most evening my hubby says ‘nope youve had your foot down too much your not going out’. I almost get out the door. lol.
    Well thats enough of my boredom babble ive got to hobble to the washing mashine.
    Good luck everyone. I think and am hoping the pain is worth it. 😉

  123. heidimich says:

    Hi Emma, it sounds like you are doing really well and in a similar situation to myself. I too have 3 children but luckily they are all teenagers now and have been wonderful helping with chores around the house and making me coffees when I fancy one.
    I had my bunion done last thurs 27 sept) so I’m on day 8 now. I think I’ve been really lucky so far as I only had pain for the first few days, I still get the aching foot where I have to sit down and that’s just after a short time of hobbling about. I had my bandages removed on weds, so 6 days after the operation. It wasn’t a very nice sight seeing the raw skin and stitches where one was bleeding, but having that bandage removed has made a big difference. I can hobble round a lot more with the wedge shoe and it’s so much lighter. I do have a large plaster over the stitches. I will be having the stitches removed on Monday 8 oct (11 days after op).. Do you think this is too soon to have stitches removed?
    I’ve then to go back in 4 weeks for X-ray. Is this the time that shoe is removed? I can’t imagine walking straight on it.
    I think the reason why I did so well in the very early days is because I rested and kept my foot elevated.
    I’m hoping that everything goes well.
    Good luck to everyone having bunion surgery! …. Heidi

  124. chrissie says:

    Hi everyone. I’m now 5 months post op. My problem is with my big toe. It still isn’t making contact with the ground!!! I can slide a piece of paper underneath it. I am seeing the surgeon again next week to get his opinion but was wondering if anyone else has had this experience? I cannot balance on that foot and feel quite disabled by it. Chrissie

  125. Emma. says:

    Hi Heidimich.
    Wow you seem to be doing things fast.
    I had dissolvable stitches and the ends was cut off after 2 weeks. Im 4 weeks and 2 days post op and tomorrow im not going to be wearing my bandage for the first time. Ive had a gorse slip over my wound and a padding bandage and on top of that some crepe bandage. I was told to change the gorse slip every day but to wear the bandages for 4 weeks.
    I wear the very pretty blue special flat shoe still, but managed to slip my fat foot into my very flat shoes. Going to try walking in them in a couple of days. I tend to keep my foot elevated most of the day still to reduce swelling.
    Most of my lovely scabs are falling off now revealing a lovely pink scar.

    Chrissie. I seem to be having the same problem with my big toe. I tend to walk with it in the air and not touching the ground, i also walk on the side of my foot alot.
    I dont seem to have much movement either at the moment.
    Ive got my first check up with the surgeon next week, i cant wait to hear what hes got to say and see my xray.
    Good luck everyone. 🙂

  126. heidimich says:

    Hi Emma.

    I’ve had quite a lot more pain this weekend, not sure if it’s the bone or the stitches. Going to see the nurse later today to see if stitches are ready to be taken out, it feels too sore to do that in my opinion.
    Maybe different hospitals have different procedures and the one I attend like to try speed things up, not sure if that’s a good thing.
    How long do you think you need off work after bunion surgery? I will be on my feet for a total of 2 hours a day when I go back to work, do you think it will take longer than 6 weeks?
    … Heidi 🙂

  127. Emma. says:

    Hi Heidi. Im into week 5 now i know everyone is different and heals different but at a guess on how my foot is doing i would say 6 weeks should be ok to return to work. But im not a doctor or the one wearing your foot lol. My issue at the moment is i have no shoes to fit my fat foot, but by week 6 i may just be able to fit into my trainers.
    Good luck at the nurses today. I sometimes get pain that feels like it could come from one of the bolts fitted to my bone but it may just been the bone. Its crazy what the brain tells you lol. I was also on pain killers for 3 weeks. One because i felt why should i deal with the pain and two my foot felt normal-ish when on the pills. In week 3 the nurse told me to take the painkillers until i felt i didnt need to take them.
    Today im in a bed sock and not bandage. It feels a bit funny not to have that support but its a step even if tiny in the right direction.
    ( oh my days dont i babble on )
    Good luck and take painkillers. your foot will thank you later.
    Emma. x

  128. heidimich says:

    Thank you for your support Emma, it’s really nice to hear from other people who’ve been through the same thing. I’m dreading the day when I can finally put my foot down, just the thought if it makes me cringe.
    I haven’t taken that many painkillers lately but I definitely will this afternoon.
    Those comfy bed socks are a great idea.
    I will let you know how I get on with the stitches later today.
    Thanks… Heidi

  129. Mary G. says:

    Hi, Everyone. It’s been nice reading this blog. I was sitting here wondering if some of the stuff that is happening since my recent surgery is normal. After reading this blog, I am assured that it is.

    I had surgery on my left bunion on Monday October 1 at 8 a.m. I had my first post-op on October 3. The doctor took x-rays and said everything looked “perfect”. I have my second post-op tomorrow, then follow-up visits for the next four weeks after that.

    I realize that many of the effects of surgery that I am experiencing and quite normal for this type of surgery. I also realize that there is no “cookie cutter” bunion surgery. By this I mean that each surgery and each recovery will be different.

    I looked for information on what to expect after bunion surgery after getting sharp pains in my big toe. When I examined the toe (for the first time since my surgery – I’d been afraid to touch it), I saw very dark bruising and noticed that my toe was numb from the big toenail on down. I wasn’t sure if this was normal, so I researched and found this blog.

    I have gauze and a wrap on my foot. For going to the bathroom or walking to the living room, I have a black plastic boot with Velcro straps. This has been a Godsend. I do not wear it when I am up during the day but I do for walking and when I sleep. I sit in bet with my foot up on three pillows and sleep the same way. It’s not the most comfortable position to sleep in (especially with a husband and dog in the bed), but it keeps the swelling WAY down.

    The other things that I now know are normal after reading this blog are a hot foot, swelling, weird pains, exhaustion, nausea, itchiness, and headaches. I learned that going back to work early is probably not a good idea. Since I have to climb four sets of stairs just to get to my office and have the potential to wear steel-toed shoes once I get there, I won’t be going in to the office any time soon. My company has approved me to work from home.

    My doctor has not released me to work yet, but when he does he said it will be from 2-8 hours a day, depending on how my foot feels. Because I have been at my job for so long, I get paid full pay no matter if I work or not. This is helpful.

    I had initially wanted to have both feet done at the same time but my podiatrist does not do that. I don’t know how I would manage without my husband’s constant help. He does all the cooking, cleaning, shopping, and taking care of our four dogs.

    My doctor asked me if I was bored. I said “No”. I never have an ounce of time to myself. Now I get to read, complete my schoolwork, cross-stitch, watch the baseball playoffs, watch football, do puzzles, talk on the phone, sew, watch movies, etc. I have a 25 pound Shiba Inu that has not left my side. I have two large and older labs that are content to sleep around Mommy’s bed all day. I also have an 85-pound Chesapeake puppy (8 months old) that just chewed a hole in the comforter. Oh, well. He’s still a baby. He is so large that sometimes I forget that.

    This blog is an excellent way for people who have had bunion surgery or are about to have surgery to have first-hand information on what to expect before, during, and after surgery. By the way, I am 47 years old and my podiatrist said I had some of the strongest bones he has ever seen. He thinks I am half gorilla.

    Thanks for the forum and hope everyone is recovering well. Remember that a good attitude has a lot to do with recovery. Having help is also essential.

  130. heidimich says:

    Hi Mary,

    It was nice to hear about your experiences too. I had my bunion op 4 days before you so we are similar time scale.

    I did really well the first week or so but have just started (on day 11) with awful pain when I walk anywhere in the shoe, my foot has also now swelled. I had the stitches out on day 11 and the scar looks great, had my first shower this morning! Which was nice but also stressful as I had to be careful not to put weight on the foot and not to slip!

    You are right about having a good attitude as this helps. I’ve been trying to stay positive and it seems to have helped me.

    I go on the 31october for an X-ray. Not sure what happens after that. I’m also abit worried about what shoes I will put my foot in for the first time as its swelled quite a lot and I don’t think anything will fit. The last time I wore trainers was when I was about 17 years old and I’m now 41 (42 in 2 days). I always wear wedge boots or wedge sandals in summer. Might have to buy a pair of extra extra wide wedge boots especially for my foot!

    I was never given any instructions/leaflet or anything on leaving hospital, wondering if this is normal and they just expect you to read up info on the Internet?…

    Hope you’re feeling okay and good luck to everyone!

    Yippee for this blog, such a great thing to read.


  131. chrissie says:

    Hi Heidi. I am at 6 months post op and I remember having pain and swelling on and off in the first few weeks so I think that is perfectly normal. I was unable to wear any shoes other than the post op shoe for 6 weeks and then was able to wear a very loose trainer until around 3 months post op. After that I was able to slip on wide flats but only for short periods of time. Trainers always felt comfortable. I still have to be careful what I wear and feel it will take a few months more before I can wear normal shoes. This has been mainly due to the swelling. You are right about attitude….this op would test anyone’s patience! All the best for a continued rapid recovery! Chrissie

  132. heidimich says:

    Hi Chrissie,

    Thanks for replying.

    Can you remenber how long you had the swelling for or do you still have it now?

    Thanks for letting me know about your time scale for wearing different shoes. I don’t even have any trainers so might have to look at buying them. So maybe after my X-ray (which is at 5 weeks post op) I might still have the shoe on for another week, which will be 6 weeks in total.

    I’m hoping that next summer it will all have been worthwhile.

    Thanks…. Heidi

  133. Mary G. says:

    Hi, Heidi,

    Thank you for the reply. I just saw the doctor today and will have my stitches in for another week. He gave me some toe-bending exercises to do four times a day at 10 reps each time. Not looking forward to starting those. He also confined me to bed for at least another week with my foot up. I’ve got all my sweethearts (dogs) hanging around me, so it’s not too bad.

    I have been able to use the shower. I learned this when my husband ruptured his Achilles tendon. We bought a shower seat at the medical supply store in town and bought a Shower Massage. We have a very small bathroom, so I can sit on the seat in the shower and prop my foot up on the closed toilet seat (with a towel underneath). I wear my black foot thingie and put a plastic bag over it. The shower head has a long hose with it, so I am able to shower that way.

    I can’t imagine putting shoes on right now. The drive to the doctor is 1.5 hours each way. Even though I had my foot propped up, it apparently was not high enough to eliminate swelling. I am back in bed with the foot up high. My foot is so slender now (when it’s not swollen) that it’s like another person’s foot was transplanted onto mine.

    The doctor says that the numbness is normal. The pains I like the least are the nerve-related ones that feel like somebody is sticking a burning hot nail down into my toe. I have to get my other foot done after this one. Like you, I’m hoping that it will all have been worth it next summer.

    Take care … Mary

  134. Mavis says:

    It’s quite amazing how different everyone’s experience is. I’m not such a happy bunny at 3 months after my bunion op and second toe straightening and fused on the 10th of July 2012. After getting the pin out of my second toe at 6 weeks I stubbed it badly. Two weeks after that I could bear to touch the second toe. I admit I didn’t do much in the way of big toe exercises, they hurt the second toe (as well as being painful of course). My check up at 11 weeks had the nurse saying I shouldn’t be in so much pain walking. Well limping really. She gave me insoles and said I have to go back to see the surgeon on the 25th of October. Seems the scar isn’t right either, I might need an injection or small op! It’s adherred to the soft tissue. I was advised to massage it which I had been doing but only twice a day. Now I’m doing it several times a day and it’s less sensitive to touch. My big toe has been sensitive too at the end where the toe joins the foot AND I’ve grown hairs on said big toe, ew! I’ve been worried about the foot getting hot still. I don’t see anything about anyone else having this at 3 months. It is slightly swollen, not a great deal. I can get a pair of wide trainers on ok. Walking is easier at the big toe end as I’ve been doing the exercises religiously and they seem to have ‘released’ the toe. Now though, pain in the arch of my foot, at the side of my big toe, on the other side of my foot too, is getting me down. It just goes on and on and I’m thinking I’ll never get back to normal. The ball of my foot gets sore too on walking, for me the whole point of the op was because I was getting pain in the ball of the foot. The foot still goes a reddish colour. Is that normal? It does go white again when I put it up or ice it. Why am I getting pain all over my foot, is that normal, is it just the swelling that is supposed to take 6 months and sometimes a year? Am I walking too much/not enough… 😦

  135. chrissie says:

    Hello Heidi. The ball of my foot is still slightly swollen at 6 months but the worst of it took about 4 months. The only time my foot feels comfortable now is when it is enclosed in my trainers (with orthotics)…it just feels secure and it’s not going anywhere!! But then, I had a neurectomy as well which definitely made things much more complicated so you may not take as long. Everyone is so different as I have learnt on this blog. Mavis, I also have the terrible pain in my arch and I put that down to not being able to put weight on my big toe as it’s sticking up off the floor (the surgeon doesn’t know why this has happened as is thinking of doing another op to lower the toe!). My foot also went red for a long time…now back to normal. Like you wandering if I am/was walking too much/not enough…so many questions unanswered by the medics. Non-one seems to know! It is very depressing sometimes 😦 Chrissie

  136. Mavis says:

    Thank you Chrissie for your reply. It is very depressing sometimes and for me, frightening. I’ve had myself in quite a state thinking the hot foot, redness, and pain are with me forever. I’m naturally a half glass empty sort, unfortunately. I’m trying to be upbeat and positive, no point in worrying until I have something positive to worry about! BUT I couldn’t agree with you more, there are so many questions unanswered or bits left out. I was asked if I had any questions, I asked a few but had no idea what to ask really. I had no idea I’d have a hot sore foot etc etc. I was told my bone quality is poor, but then at 4 weeks the xray showed I was doing well, in fact ahead of the game. Not now though. I looked up neurectomy. You have been through it Chrissie. I think, though no professional has told me this, that if you have more than the bunion done; it must slow things down. Makes sense to me but then maybe I’m just clutching at straws. My foot pain is now on the outer side of my foot. It’s making me limp so I’m not putting weight on the big toe/bunion area which can’t be good. Ho hum. I’m sorry to hear your big toe isn’t making contact with the ground. I had this after 6 weeks when the pin was taken out of the second toe, neither toe touched the ground but now the big toe does, still not the shortened little toe though! Good luck regards Mavis

  137. Liz says:

    This blog is very informative. I’ve booked to have bunion surgery on November 20. I’m apprehensive but figure that my current discomfort is only going to get worse without surgery. I am worried about gaining weight and losing fitness. I go to the gym five to six days a week, doing spin classes and weights (not body-building, just general toning). I’m 55.

    Has anyone gone back to the gym while they are recuperating? I am resigned to at least two weeks pretty much on bed rest – I will be in a cast which will be changed after two weeks – then a further four to five weeks in a cast.

    Also, I am having my surgery done out of town – 7 hours’ drive away or a one hour domestic flight in a small plane. Any advice on whether it is possible to travel these sorts of distances post-operation? I think I will stay near the surgeon for the first two weeks but then thought I would rather be in my own home for the balance of the cast time.

  138. Mary G. says:

    Hi, Liz,

    I understand your nervousness. I was also very nervous before my surgery. I had my surgery at a facility about three hours from home. The surgery was outpatient and we drove home the same day (my husband drove). My foot didn’t start to really hurt until a couple of days after the surgery when the numbness from the anesthesia wore off. I think the traveling will be OK as long as somebody else is driving/flying and your foot is elevated the entire time.

    I’m 47 and have been going to college online for the past four years. I am set to graduate in November. I rarely worked out during that time figuring I would start a program after college. Well, those plans will be on hold for a while. You will probably fall a little behind while you are bedbound but I’ve heard that it comes back quickly. I think exercises that do not cause swelling should be OK. When I come off of complete bedrest I am going to start doing situps, arm exercises, and anything else I can think of.

    I think that my recovery will be better because I am following my doctor’s advice and sitting on my butt. My surgery was two weeks ago this coming Monday and I think I will be able to get up more than a few minutes at a time starting after my doctor visit this Wednesday. I think it’s harder on my husband than it is on me. He is not used to doing all the cooking and laundry. The positive side is that he realizes how much I really do around the house and is more appreciative of it.

    We are all different. In my non-professional opinion, if you can exercise without compromising the healing of your foot, it’s better in the long run. Some people can handle more and some can handle less. Ask your doctor when he/she thinks it’s OK and what level of exercise you should do.

    I’m not sure if I helped. It helps me to put these ideas in writing because it gives me goals to work for. Good luck.

  139. Liz says:

    Hi Mary G,

    Thanks very much for the feedback about travel. I am meant to stay in hospital for two days and will be in a cast – that will be changed after two weeks, then the second cast will be removed about 10 January (after they all come back from holiday). I wish I could have day surgery but that’s not the way they do things here in New Zealand, seemingly. I think that it will be more sensible if I stay (with family) near the hospital for the first two weeks in case there are any issues with the cast, wound, etc and I will take the good advice to take it as easy as possible. I agree with you that it seems the people who have the best results are the ones who don’t try to weight bear too soon.

    I’ll enquire with our airline to see if they have a lift of some sort to get me onto the plane – they’re small provincial 18 seater planes, mostly. If they can guarantee a safe way of getting on and off while I’m on crutches then that will also help me decide when I can get back to my preferred home base.

    As far as exercise goes, your ideas sound good. Upper body and anything else manageable is better than nothing. I will use the lead up to the operation to try to drop some weight, eat healthily and exercise to strengthen my legs and general fitness. I’ll also contact a physiotherapist to see if there is anything in particular I can do.

    We should view these things as a challenge to be met, rather than an ordeal to be endured. I’ll be interested to hear how you progress with your recovery. Good luck!

  140. Emma. says:

    Hi all.
    Im 5 weeks post op now. The other evening i went to a shoe shop and tried on a few shoes on my now bunion free foot. Im normally a size 6 shoe but i managed to get my fat foot into a size 8 boot. It was really nice to get my foot into a shoe but 2 sizes bigger…Really lol. I have a doctors appointment this week for my 6 week x-ray and im hoping everything is ok with the bones on my fat foot.
    Good luck Liz on your op. on the weight subject im not that active normally but ive put on 5lb in 5 weeks which im told isnt that bad considering ive been sat with my foot up for the last 5 weeks all day every day.
    Keep up the healing everyone.
    Im well onto the road of recovery. I might be able to drive by the end of the week. Then no shop visits with the hubby saying ” you dont need that ” or ” what you buying that for” hehehe.

  141. Steve says:

    Hi my name is Steve I had surgery to remove a bunion on my right foot Sept. 13 2012. The bunion was rubbing against the bone next to it. I got stitches taken out Oct. 8 th. and am wearing a special blue hard shoe. My foot is always red about half way up to my knee and my toes feel like little icebergs. My big toe hurts me the worst expecially at night, and the bottom of my foot is swelled along with my toes. The Dr. said to walk but not to put pressure on my foot, I’m just so glad to get rid of the crutches. I go back to the Dr. Oct 22 I just wished he could give me something for the swelling.

  142. Joanne says:

    This is a great site and I have found it really helpful tonight.
    I had my bunion op 9th oct and am finally getting on top of the pain.
    I had the op done with local anesthsia so was awake the whole time which was interesting!
    8 days later and I am finding that my ankle really aches. I have been wearing the attractive white stockings (both legs) since the op but have had to cut the foot off the operated foot to get some circulation back! Anyone else been told to wear these? Am very tempted to take them off.
    All in all, things not too bad so far, feel sorry for the 2 little children needing my attention but who are being pulled from pillar to post.
    Also thank God for sky plus………

  143. Steve says:

    My Dr. never mentioned the socks to me, the first 2 weeks I had less pain than the weeks after. My big toe hurts real bad usually later in the day, the bottom of my foot swells. I have to take pain pills to be able to sleep, it will be 5 weeks ago I had my surgery. I agree it’s a great site also I found that my symptoms are the same as others who have had the surgery.

  144. Mary G. says:

    Hi, Steve, Joanne, and All,

    I had my surgery October 1st and got my stitches out today. I have not heard of the white socks that Joanne is wearing. My doctor told me to wear a regular sock so I put on a pair of my husband’s. I put my socks on but they were way too tight.

    My foot hurts more now than before I got the stitches out. It seems to be a combination of getting the stitches out (which did not feel great) and not having a layer of gauze under the bandage. The doctor told me to take off the bandage at night but to wear a sock under my hard boot and keep my foot elevated. I was also confined to bed or sitting for another two weeks.

    Has anyone else experienced additional discomfort after getting the stitches out? I’m going to assume it’s normal to hurt around the incision and where the screws are in my foot. I have no gauze to cushion my foot. I have been in bed since I got home at about 1:30 or so and am just starting to feel better now.

    It seems that I have similar issues to everyone else. My foot swells if I am up for more than a few minutes, it gets really hot on the bottom (where is seems to be swollen more often) or really cold on my toes. Sometimes after it is cold it heats up really quickly. I also get headaches and am having trouble sleeping. This is probably normal when having surgery.

    Honestly, I did not see how having surgery on my foot could disrupt my life so much. I now know that it affects everything I can or will do. My husband is my human nurse and my sweet little dog, Ophelia, is my four-legged nurse. She has hardly left my side since I had the surgery. The puppy tries but he’s 85 pounds of general hoo-hah and he makes me nervous when he launches himself onto the bed. My hubby takes him with on errands to help get out some of his energy. We also have two older labs that get excited when Mommy gets out of bed.

    I appreciate this forum and I look forward to reading it. I will be having a second surgery sometime in the first quarter of 2013 and I know what to expect. I want to make sure my left foot is healed before the right one is operated on. My left foot had the traditional wide look of a bunion but the right one is different. The doctor described it as “a head-on car crash”. I have little movement in that toe and I think the recovery will be longer. Not only will I have an osteotomy but also the doctor will have to clean out the joint.

    Take care, everyone, and I look forward to reading future posts.

  145. Joanne says:

    I made the decision to take off the sock on my good foot! It is day 9 and i finally managed to get into a “real” bath! Once that stocking came off, I made the decision that there was no way it was going back on! I have left it on the op foot though (as mentioned before I cut the bottom off).
    I am surprised I seem to be the only one with these,they were not discussed just put on me pre surgery and I got told to keep them on to lower the risk of blood clots etc.
    Roll on (or maybe not now I have read your posts) Monday when I get my stitches out.
    Hope everything goes well for you all, I just remember the pain I was in with my bunion last winter and know Ive done the right thing.

  146. Joanne says:

    For those of you who still have another foot to go so to speak, I have just read that ginger, edamame and hot peppers are all good (when eaten) to reduce inflammation in bunion sufferers. Cherries are also very good at reducing inflammation in general.
    All worth a try I say!

  147. Emma says:

    Hi Joanne.
    I think the socks are for when you arent very mobile. i had mine on my good foot for 2 days then i took it off. I never had one put on my operated foot. If you are moving around id say remove the other sock. It will allow your foot chance to start getting better properly, i wear soft bed-socks every day and also to bed .
    Im 6 weeks post op tomorrow and im doing really well. Walking is still funny and if im on my feet to long my op foot swells up and is quite uncomfortable. Istill try and keep my foot up quite a bit throughout the day and evening. Ive got my Doctors check up tomorrow and im looking forward to seeing my new xray
    I didnt think 2 weeks ago i would be as comfortable with my foot as i am today so chin up everyone, it does get better. 🙂

  148. Joanne says:

    Thanks Emma, I feel so much better since taking it off this morning! You sound like you are doing well. Nice to read a positive story to keep spirits up!

  149. heidimich says:

    I only had the stocking on on the day I was in hospital and that was on my good foot.
    My bandages were taken off on day 6 and replaced with a plaster.
    I’m 3 weeks post op today and doing well. Just have swelling and stiffness. It’s reassuring to know that at week 6 things might be looking up. Emma is your toe still stiff when you try to wiggle it up and down? I’m wondering when that mobility comes back.
    Go for my X-ray in 2 weeks can’t wait to see results. My big toe is still on a slant, not sure if this is normal, but the large bunion ‘ball’ has gone,
    I think every hospital must have different procedures. It looks like mine like to rush the recovery period, but this has worked well for me. I can’t imagine having that bandage on for the whole 6 weeks, 6 days was enough.
    Hope everyone’s recovering well and good luck to those having their op soon.

  150. Emma says:

    Hi Heidi.
    My big toe movement isnt great but it does move more now im walking without the padding on and just socks. I can only wiggle it a little bit so far. Ive kicked a shopping trolley wheel twice in one shopping trip. Boy that hurts lol.
    The feeling on top of my toe is still horrible and i think i need to rub it often to desensitize it. Even putting socks and my boots on is a really horrible feeling.
    My scar looks really nice too. Just a shame we cant share pictures as i have lots of my foot lol.
    Emma. 🙂

  151. Chloe says:

    Hello again i remeber the last time i posted were like a month or something before my operation im only 13 and had both of my bunions removed on tuesday i am now home still recovering. I have got the funky cool shoes (not) and on crutches i have been to elavate my feet but when i do it hurts does this happen to anyone else?

  152. Mary G. says:

    Hi, Everyone,

    Thank goodness I feel normal this morning. I talked with my husband and he said it’s normal to not feel good after getting stitches out. I feel 100% better this morning and am looking forward to a good rest of my recovery. The scar area looks good. I have some numbness in my big toe but not a lot of other pain.

    I have to do stretching exercises four times a day where I bend my big toe down. My doctor said that, among other things, this helps with flexibility and ensures that the big toe touches the ground. Does anyone else have to do these exercises?

    Heidi, I think your sock is kind of like my wrapping. I have to wrap my foot and big toe every morning and take it off at night. I am sure this is to help keep the swelling down. Good luck in your recovery.

  153. Steve says:

    My big toe is my biggest pain every night around 7:00 it starts to hurt and I can’t sleep until the pain pills start working. I don’t take any pain pills during the day at all. Tuesday I started taking 2 Aleve in the morning when I get up and a Tumeric capsul at lunch and then after 8 hrs another Aleve. That seems to help the swelling, if anyone else takes Aleve they better Ck with there Dr. first. I’m 5 weeks today and my Dr. never said anything about exercising my toe but I have been since I heard a few of you do.

    Chloe I had to keep my feet elevated for the first 3 1/2 weeks all the time and I didn’t have much pain until after the first week. Most of my pain was from the swelling and my big toe.

  154. Laura says:

    This all is so helpful and heartening. I’m one week post-op and swinging between delight and despair, to be over-dramatic about it all. Mostly I’m tired and bored. So thank you, everybody, for posting your experiences.

  155. Steve says:

    I’m not the kind of a person to just sit around all the time and it just about killed me to sit with my foot propped up for 3 1/2 weeks. When the DR. said to start walking but not put pressure on the bottom where the incision is I was real happy. I also noticed that my feet don’t get as cold as they did just sitting around. Also no more crutches!

  156. Mary G. says:

    Has anyone found his or her foot hurting where the bone was cut? I was doing my stretching exercises and noticed that the foot hurt where I saw the screws on the x-ray. Is this normal?

  157. Steve says:

    I don’t have screws in my foot the DR. just cut out some bone from my big toe bone on the bottom of my foot that was rubbing against the bone next to it. I can’t put my foot flat on the floor yet because of the incision hurting if I put some pressure on it. It’s been 5 weeks today since my surgery.

  158. Liz says:

    If any of you are looking for shoes pre- or post- operation, you might find this site worth a look. I’d also be interested in comments about shoe styles that have worked for you:

  159. Joanne says:

    Is it normal that after 11 days after surgery I can walk (slowly and on heel and side of foot) without crutches?? This is also my first day with no pain killers (knot even a paracetamol) and iam not missing them at all! Stitches are coming out on Monday so I feel I might be living in a false sense of security!
    Should I carry on getting more mobile or keep rested ( i am still keeping my foot elevated for at least 20 hours a day).
    Any views welcomed!

  160. Steve says:

    My DR. told me to stay off my foot for 3 weeks because of swelling and the deep cut in the bottom of my foot. My 1st 2 weeks I didn’t use to many pain killers until just after 2 weeks then my big toe started hurting real bad and had to start taking pain killers. I’m at 5 1/2 weeks now and am just starting to walk on the flat of my foot without much pressure on it. In the evening my big toe still hurts and have to take pain killers to be able to sleep. Depending on where your incision is you have to be carefull not to get alot of scar tissue there or you will have problems walking, I think that is why I had to stay elevated for 3 weeks.

  161. Joanne says:

    Ok thanks, perhaps I should take things a little slower (and stock up on the pain killers for next week, just in case).

  162. Steve says:

    Like I said I don’t know if your surgery was the sane as mine, Tuesday of this week I started taking 2 Aleve in the morning when I got up and another one after 8 hours and a tumeric capsule at lunch. My swelling has went down alot and the toe pain isn’t as bad this last few days. You better check with your DR. about using ALEVE so it won’t cause a problem with your other meds. I know if your like me taking it slow isn’t in my vocabulary, not one for sitting around.

  163. heidimich says:


    I think everyone’s healing process is different. My step father had his bunion done 2 years ago and he could hardly hobble around or anything. He had pain every day and even had 12 weeks off work.
    Mine has been really different to his. My stitches were removed on day 11 and since that day I’ve been able to hobble round so much more. Even managing to hobble round my bedroom on the side of my foot like you have been doing. I’ve tried getting out as much as I can in the car with my husband driving. Ive even been to the shopping centre on week 2 although I could only manage up to 30 mins hobbling then had to go back to car (I’ve always had the wedge shoe on when out and about.)
    The incision was at the side of my foot and seems to be healing really good. I do have swelling and my toe is very stiff.
    I wouldn’t put your foot down fully yet, far too early. Keep wearing wedge shoe and rest as much as you can. Hobble about to keep your joints flexible.
    I’m on week 3 now and go for X-ray on 31 October so can’t wait for that. I’m also hoping to be back at work by week 7.
    Everyone is different 🙂

  164. Chloe says:

    My pain has gone and its been 4 days since i had it and im not in alot of pain just scared to see it for the first time and scared for the stitches to be taken out.

  165. Emma says:

    Hi All.
    Me again lol. I think it would be nice to know where people are from so im from Reading England.
    Im 6 weeks post op now. Ive only been walking on my foot properly now for the last week. Im now in next to no pain only when my foot has swollen up and im coping with the duvet on my foot at night too.
    I had a check up and was discharged from my Surgeon yesterday. I was told to get my foot into my trainers no matter what the pain while putting them on. And also was told to wear a small healed shoes while hoovering. I asked why after my shock at being told to wear them already. He said if i put heals or even my trainers on im forcing my foot into the shape it should be, instead of wearing baggy flat shoes which will delay my foot getting into the shape it should be.
    I asked the dr why the bottom of my foot near the bunion bone hurt while walking on it or why it burned in the evening? He did say the burning was a good sign of things getting better but the pain is from two peanut sized thingys (cant remember the name of them) that was in the wrong place due to my bunion, he said during surgery he pulled them into place and thats why they hurt because ive never used them properly. But if i still have the pain in 3 months time i have to go back and have them surgically removed. yikes..
    I also have a smaller bunion on my right foot and was told to get it removed if it becomes painful and to do it before my muscles and tendons are in good shape rather then leaving it too long.
    I must say i got my trainers on today and it did feel nice and i also walked alot better. But a week ago i couldnt get them on.
    I still keep my foot up but im able to keep it on the floor longer every day. 😉
    Good luck everyone and hello to the newbies.
    I seem to have waffled alot again. hehehe.
    Emma. x

  166. Mary G. says:

    Hi, Emma and All,

    I live in International Falls, Minnesota. It’s a small town right on the Canadian border on about the middle of the border.

    I had my surgery just under three weeks ago. I saw my doctor last Wednesday and got my stitches out. He gave me two more weeks on my butt with my foot elevated as much as possible. I go back and forth to the bathroom, living room, and kitchen walking on my heel in my velcro boot. The only times I have been out have been to go to the doctor. I am not driving and I have not gone into town. My foot swells up if I am up on it too much, so I have it elevated most of the day. I have not walked on the ball of my foot yet, per doctor’s orders.

    The doctor took the wrap and gauze off on Wednesday. I have to rewrap my foot and toe every morning and unwrap it at night. It took a half dozen times of trying before I could wrap my toe and not turn it purple. My husband thinks I have to wrap the toe to keep me from bumping it on things. I wear a sock over my foot and the hard boot when I sleep or hobble around. I also have my foot elevated at night. It’s not too bad and I haven’t awaken with it anywhere but up on the pillows, so I am doing OK with that. I’ve taken prescription painkillers once in the last week. Other than that, take Tylenol or some other over-the-counter painkiller.

    I noticed today that I can be up a little longer before the foot starts to swell. I am still doing my stretches and following doctor’s orders. I cannot imagine driving or going back to work at this time. My office is up four flights of stairs and there is n o way I’d make it. If I was in the office, I’d be trying to run around too much and would screw something up. In any case, my company is letting me work from home, so I should be OK. I started back a couple of hours a day on Thursday and Friday (from my butt) and will be doing that until the middle of December. It’s not too bad and it helps pass the day.

    I think we all recover differently. Somebody mentioned a hot, burning sensation in the foot. I used to get that before surgery but now I notice it almost every night. It eventually goes away.

  167. Joanne says:

    I’m from Suffolk, England. After a re-think I am being more careful and am now sitting on the sofa (aka bed!) with a pile of 8 books to get through.
    Emma, I have got a small one on my right foot as well (i think it has come out in sympathy) but would prefer not to have it operated on unless it gets painful (so far so good). I am going to ask the surgeon on Monday if he can recommend anything o sow down the inevitable, fingers crossed!
    Although I was very impressed with surgery and level of care, I found that 20 mins after op was a bit quick to be discharged and that I have not really been told anything about what has happened or what is left to happen so all a bit of an adventure.
    I need to stop googling it lol!

  168. heidimich says:


    I’m from West Yorkshire. I’m 3 weeks and 2 days post op.
    The surgeon and nhs hospital I went to I would really recommend. I was never pushed to leave hospital (went in at 7am, had op at 8.30 am and I was home at 6.30 pm). The only downfall in my opinion was not having any info for post operative care etc. but maybe this is the same whichever hospital.
    It’s really interesting to hear about the shoes. I haven’t worn a pair of trainers for 24 years, but have been to ‘pavers’ shoe shop to look round. They have many different wide and extra wide fitting shoes, so think I might buy a pair from there. Shame it wasn’t summer now as ‘fly flot’ do wide sandals with Velcro fastening, perfect for adjusting to size of your foot, they have a slight wedge too.
    Did anyone leave hospital with post operative information?

  169. Steve says:

    I’m from Huntington Indiana USA when I left the surgery center they told me to keep my foot elevated and off the floor for 3 weeks. They gave me a shoe with a high heel on it with velcro to hold it on. I got there at 5:50 A.M. surgery at 6:45 and left to go home at 9:00 A.M. That was more than enough time for me to spend there.

  170. Mary G. says:

    I arrived at 7:30, was in surgery by 8:00, and left at 10 a.m. Since my foot was numb, I didn’t feel anything. I was woozy from the painkillers. My husband drove home and I laid in the back with pillows under my foot. We stopped at the drive-thru for a burger and a coffee. The worst part about the surgery was not having coffee in the morning. 🙂

    I had a long list of post-operative instructions. They included keeping my foot elevated as much as I could, only walking on my heel with my boot on, not getting the wrapping wet, taking painkillers as needed, cutting a snip out of the bandage if it got too tight, cutting down on salt (to help eliminate swelling), no driving, no stairs, and to call the doctor if I had questions or if something wasn’t right. I had post-op visits two days, one week, and two weeks after the surgery.

  171. Joanne says:

    For all ladies in the uk, Evans do really wide fitting shoes. That will be my first port of call when I’m at the stage to wear shoes.
    Mary, I didn’t know about salt, I use lots (bad I know) but I will cut it out from now on.

  172. Mary G. says:


    I am a salt hound. My husband has the sweet tooth in the family and I gravitate toward salt. I am not adding additional salt after the cooking is done. It’s a little tough but I’m getting there.

    I have a question for you. When you refer to “trainers” do you mean “tennis shoes” (like Nike, etc.)? I can’t imagine putting on a pair of shoes right now. At work, I sometimes have to wear steel toed shoes and I dread trying to wear those.

    Thanks and have a nice day.

  173. Joanne says:

    Hi Mary, trainers are like Nike etc, I think they are also known as tennis shoes.

    I managed without salting my tea today so far so good!

    Hopefully when you get back to work your foot will feel a little better, I would practise wearing the boots before you go back to work.

  174. Liz says:

    I’ve not yet had surgery. It’s scheduled for 20 November. But I was wondering if keeping the foot elevated meant it has to be higher than your heart or whether it just means keeping the weight off it and having it on a footrest? I think if I have to be flat on my back with my foot up above me for the whole day, I could get quite uncomfortable…

  175. Mary G. says:

    Hi, Liz,

    From what I understand, the foot is supposed to be higher than the heart. You don’t have to be flat on your back, but it does have to be elevated. I think it would swell too much any other way. Most of the time I am in sort of a sitting position with my leg elevated by three pillows. I also travel this way to the doctor’s office since the drive is an hour-and-a-half.

  176. chrissie says:

    Hi Liz, I agree with Mary G. I am 6 months post op and found that the best position was with leg elevated by 3 pillows day and night. You’ll soon know when you’ve done too much as your foot will swell and throb and you will be desperate to elevate! You need lots of patience…

  177. Steve says:

    I just got back from my 6 week check up, Dr. said I was doing good and I need to exercise my big toe and massage the bottom of my foot to help it heal. He said to continue to try and walk as much as I can and i’m to be off work until Nov.19. I go back Nov. 13 and he said that if I can’t move my big toe much more then he wants me to go to therapy. He said that it is normal to still have pain in my big toe and swelling in my foot yet.

  178. Liz says:

    Thanks, Mary. Very helpful.

  179. Liz says:

    Thanks, Chrissie.

  180. Mary G. says:

    Thanks, Liz. The problem is when you get antsy and want to get up and move around. You move around a little too much and wish you hadn’t. It takes way longer for the swelling to go down than it does to swell up. It is worth it being patient.

  181. Mary G. says:

    Does anyone else feel like they are getting better but then things go back to the way they were? Is this because I start to feel better then I do more than I am supposed to?

  182. Laura says:

    Yes! Exactly what I was thinking this morning as I lay flat on my back after a half hour’s time at my desk. I’ll have an energetic day followed by a crash. Healing is very demanding.

  183. Laura says:

    Is anyone else experiencing a sudden, sharp zinging pain across the top of the foot? It’s unpredictable, intense and momentary. I’m two weeks post surgery and otherwise without pain.

  184. Mary G. says:

    I get a host of odd pains in my foot, including zinging pains. I think it has something to do with nerves or tendons/ligaments. I think things get whacked around during surgery and are getting back in place. I am sure that keeping the foot basically immobile tightens things up as well. If I put my wrap on too tight, it pulls funny on my stitches but hurts in another part of my foot. I think the screws hurt sometimes as well.

  185. chrissie says:

    Hi Laura. Most definitely had the zinging pains and am now 6 months post op…and occasionally still get them and other different shooting pains and dull aches! They take me by surprise and are intense. They come and go very quickly but almost take my breath away when they strike. I still have swelling under my foot where neurectomy was done and big toe still very stiff. Saw another surgeon today for second opinion as original surgeon was considering another op to lower my big toe but he thinks we need to give it another 6 months as there could be 50% more improvement in that time and further surgery could potentially cause more trauma. I am going to try to be patient until April and then reassess. I was aware that it was a long process but the reality is only just sinking in!! Two weeks is still very early days and you may experience pain later on so my only advice is elevate, elevate, elevate as much as possible.

  186. Steve says:

    I have the same as your talking about Chrissie it’s been 6 weeks today, my big toe is my biggest problem sharp pains, swelling. My DR. told me monday to try and move it as much as possible to help in the healing process. I go back to see him in about 3 weeks and he said if I still couldn’t move my big toe very much I would need to go to therapy to help in getting the movement back in it.

  187. Janice says:

    Hello everybody
    I’ve only just discovered this blog and am eagerly reading it from the very start. I’m 54 years old, from Staffordshire in the UK, and had my surgery on 4th Sept. I had a bunionectomy and osteotomy on my right foot, with a screw inserted into my big toe. I am now 7 weeks post-op, and my main problem is pain in the ball of my foot under my big toe when walking on hard ground. My consultant says it is stil early days. I am due to resume working in 3 weeks time, so am praying the pain has gone by then, or at least has subsided a lot. I am finding that my trainers are the only comfy footwear at the moment, as the thick soles absorb the shock when walking. My scar is on top of my foot and is fine now, and the swelling has gone down quite a lot. Just need this pain in ball of foot to vanish!
    I seem to have spent a fortune on shoes since my op, as nothing I had would accommodate the swelling at first. I bought wide fitting ones with plenty of room in the toe box, with flat soles. But I do think that after 7 weeks, wearing totally flat shoes are probably not the best thing to wear, as they can strain your calves and make you walk quite flat footed! Best to wear something with a very small lift at the heel, to get your foot used to bending a little.

  188. Steve says:

    I had the same problem when I was told to start walking, I put my walking shoes on and it hurt my foot to much because it was to soft and made things in my foot move that wasn’t ready. So I took the insole out so that the shoe was firm and more like walking on the floor. I can walk better that way and my foot doesn’t seem to swell as fast.

  189. Janice says:

    Hi Steve
    I’ve told it’s all the soft tissue not yet healed….I’ve even had to put extra insoles inside mine! The frustrating thing is that it’s not a problem when walking about inside the house, as I’m walking on carpet all the time. Plus I think when you walk outside, you automatically take bigger strides, so there is more of a jarring action when your foot hits the ground?

  190. Mavis says:

    Just goes to show Chrissie, with the second opinion you had, that this really can be a very long healing process indeed since your second opinion has suggested you could have a 50% improvement in the next 6 months. I do hope it does go that way for you. I bet you really don’t want another operation. Have you been given more/different exercises? Were you told how much walking you should do or should you stop when pain kicks in? My second toe doesn’t touch the ground, the big toe does, just. But I read what you said about balance and I definitely stagger a lot more now! It’s as if I’m learning how to walk again as well, weird feeling, as I don’t seem to know, unless I don’t think about it, where to put the weight on my foot! Sounds daft. I still, at nearly four months, have pain. When I get over one area of pain it starts somewhere else. The second toe which was fused, is causing pain too now since the big toe has become more flexible and I can bend it more. I see the surgeon tomorrow again. I’m interested/apprehensive as to what he’s going to say. I still have the hot feeling which now goes up my leg, usually after walking and having pain in the foot. Still have a reddish foot. I haven’t had much at all in the way of swelling which seems to be a problem with most people. It’s this ball of the foot pain/ache and now the inner arch pain with accompanying pain in the joint where the bunion was, that’s wearing me out now! (With the pain in the second toe of course!) I can’t believe how well on nearly everyone is though, and how quickly most people seem to be able to walk without much pain it seems. I appear to be so far behind.

  191. chrissie says:

    Hi Mavis. I haven’t had any direction at all re exercise apart from pulling the toe down whenever I’m sitting down for long periods and just generally keeping it mobile by walking etc, which I do. I can relate to what you are saying about “staggering”. No, I really don’t want another op if I can avoid it as I can’t bear the thought of starting all over again but luckily won’t have to think about that again until our (southern) winter…I want to enjoy being out and about enjoying our West Australian summer! I also have the pain in the arch that you mention…very painful and am awaiting new orthotics which I hope will help ease that. A fortune has been spent accommodating this new foot one way or another as Janice discovered! My foot is still swollen and the ball of the foot still tender/swollen. It really is quite disappointing but I have to remain optimistic that 6 months from now I will see some improvement. I did not have all this trouble 7 years ago when I had a bunionectomy on my right foot and think that perhaps age is a factor here…I am 57. Healing probably takes longer. This blog is very helpful, thanks to Swirlingleaf because the amount of info you can glean from your surgeon, in my experience, is very limited. They are so busy and have very little time to sit and discuss your particular issues and as we have learnt from this forum, they are varied indeed! Wishing everyone a very speedy recovery! 🙂

  192. Mavis says:

    Hello Chrissie, how lovely that you have summer ahead, always easier when the sun is shining for most things.
    My surgeon confirmed what my physiotherapist said, they think I have Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome, CRPS. He says I don’t have all the symptoms, my foot isn’t sensitive to touch, and maybe it’s been caught early. It is hot though, red and gets more sweaty than my other foot. I’ve also had black hairs grow on my big toe which I pulled out! I had another xray and am going to be referred to the pain clinic. He told me I should take painkillers and walk as much as possible. He confirmed that I should not be having pain in the foot at nearly four months. I’m feeling very anxious about this CRPS as I have looked it up on the net and it’s horrible. So… my bunion op has turned into a nightmare but CRPS is rare apparently so I’ve been unlucky. Redness is usual in the early stages by the way. I don’t want to worry anyone with this, as I said CRPS is unusual.
    Good luck to everyone else in the healing process.

  193. Chloe says:

    Hello Guys,it’s been 10 days since my operation but yesterday i fell over and went right on the side of my foot where the stiches is and things,i feel like i’ve broke something but don’t want to go to hospital as they will undo the bandages and i dont want to see the blood,stitches and scar so do any of you guys advice me on what to do because its so painfull since i banged it although it could be a bruise forming over the bruise from the op? i dont know lolxxx

  194. chrissie says:

    Chloe…I would definitely to and get it checked. Believe me, you don’t want to go through all this for nothing. You;re at the crucial healing stage and it would be a shame if you have done some damage which could be corrected now. Chances are, they will xray you to make sure and all will be ok. Just look away 😉

  195. Mary G. says:

    Hi, Chloe,

    I agree with Chrissie. I would go in and have it checked out. The only way you will know for sure is to have a doctor or other medical professional look at it and/or x-ray the foot. Things happen sometimes and we have to admit that something might be wrong, fix it, and move on. You can’t go back and change what happened but you can make sure that everything is OK. Good luck.

  196. Laura says:

    Chloe, I fell a week after surgery. I telephoned the doctor’s assistant who talked me through what to do and what to watch for. As it turned out, I was OK and didn’t have to go in to the clinic, but if there had been bleeding or a lot of pain, I would have made the trip. You’ve gone through so much to get this far. Don’t risk it. Telephone the doctor or hospital and ask what to do.

  197. Laura says:

    Two weeks and two days post surgery, had the sutures and staples removed yesterday, and feeling a bit more like myself at last. My new foot is reddish and tender and the incision and staple holes have me calling it my Frankenfoot. But it’s narrow and cute and I hadn’t realized that the big toe is supposed to go straight. I’d had bunions since I was a teen (I’m 62 now). So I’ll plan on doing the other foot once I’m active enough.

    So much good advice has been posted here, I want to add just a couple suggestions to anyone contemplating bunion surgery. One: Get into the best shape of your life before surgery. I’m dependent on, and grateful for, my balance, strength and agility. Two: Learn to use crutches, before you need them. I insisted my doctor have his physical therapist show me how.

    From Louisville, Kentucky, thank you Everybody. Your posts have been keeping me from feeling alone in this.

  198. Heather says:

    I’ve just found this blog & it’s great reading everyone’s bunion story.
    I’m from Cumbria (UK) and I’m due to have bunion & hammertoe surgery on my right foot on Friday 2nd Nov. I’m scared stiff, can’t sleep & feel sick at the thought ! I just hope I’m doing the right thing !
    I won’t be in plaster but will have a wire in the hammertoe for 4 – 6 wks.
    I don’t really have a lot of pain from the bunion, it’s all from the hammertoe. It feels like there is a hard marble in the ball of my foot all the time & walking barefoot is very uncomfortable. The reason I’ve opted for surgery is to get rid of this “marble-like” feeling. I used to love doing Body Balance (like yoga) at my gym but had to give it up due to the discomfort of bare feet & lack of balance on my right foot.
    If there are any gym bunnies out there I’d love to hear how your recovery has been. I go to the gym 5 days a week and do “All over Body” workouts, Body Pump, Spinning and CXWorkx (core training). I used to also do Zumba, Step & Body Balance classes but had to give them up due to my foot.
    My surgeon has told me lunges are out of the question & that there is a 30% chance of recurrence. Not sure if that was for the bunion or hammer toe.
    I’m dreading not being able to exercise for a while. I hope I’ll be able to get back to my classes eventually.
    Has anyone been able to do lunges after surgery ? Has anyone got back to doing their gym classes after surgery ? Any fitness instructors out there who have had surgery ?
    I look forward to hearing from you !

  199. Laura says:

    I understand your worries! I’m not a gym bunny, but I work out daily at home — elliptical, bike, jump rope, Pilates, weights. Since my surgery two and a half weeks ago, I’ve done whatever stretching I can (more as mobility increases), a lot of core work, propping my feet on a rolled blanket or exercise ball, some dumbbell lifting and modified (knee) push-ups. Yesterday I rigged up a stretchy band to do some rowing and today I’m going to see if I can get a cardio workout with it. Maneuvering on crutches does use arm muscles. But I can see the muscle atrophy in my leg and I know that at my age (62) rebuilding muscle and endurance is going to be hard. My goal is to heal, get the other foot done, and be able to go rock climbing with my daughter. Grit, patience, creativity, ibuprofen, supportive family and friends, and time. And this blog!!!

  200. Heather says:

    Hi Laura, thanks for your reply. Wow, sounds like you’re working out alot already after only 2 & a half weeks ! I’m impressed & encouraged.
    I have some dumbells & my physiotherapist says I can get a Thera-band from her.
    Were you confined to bed at all ? How soon after surgery were you up & moving about ? Are you in any pain now ?

  201. Laura says:

    Every surgery is different, so listen to your surgeon. For me, it’s three weeks of no weight bearing, elevating foot almost all the time. I spend my days on a futon in our family room, sometimes lying down with the foot on a stack of pillows and sometimes sitting with the foot on that stack of pillows. I quickly got tired of lying down all the time, but I do find that when I’m up too long, my body says Rest Now. The pain pattern took me by surprise. I wasn’t greatly uncomfortable the first two weeks. Now I’ll be hit with sudden brief pains and I ache enough at night that I take ibuprofen before bed. All in all, I find it tolerable, especially when I look at my foot and see a big toe right where it’s meant to be.

  202. Jean says:

    I have been reading this blog for a few weeks now.
    My name is Jean I am 65, I live in Merseyside (UK) and have had my op cancelled twice now, I am due to go in this Thursday 1st Nov, keeping my fingers crossed, I have had bunions as long as I can remember, I have put it off for many years always putting other people first, so now it is my time, I have found this web blog very reassuring, I am not worried about having it done, just want to get it done and over with, I had not realised how long the recovery would be, as you all say everyone is different and in the past have healed very quickly, thank you all for your posts, I look forward to the weekend and be able to say one has been done, keep up all the good posts,

  203. Mary G. says:

    Hi, All,

    As much as I’ve wanted to exercise, I’ve been following my doctor’s recommendations. I’ve gained about five pounds and have softened up a bit in the past month but I figure I’ll be able to get it back when I get cleared to be up and around. I had my surgery October 1 and am still confined to lying down or sitting with my foot elevated. Like some of the previous posts, my foot tells me when it’s time to sit down again.

    I also had not realized how long this recovery would be even though I had first-hand accounts that it would be. I see my doctor again on Wednesday and hope I will be cleared to start walking on the ball of my foot. Currently, my ankle gets sore if I walk around too much.

    Jean, I had also put off my surgery because it was always somebody else’s needs before mine. I was also nervous before my surgery but now wish I had done it sooner. I have never seen my foot looking so good. My surgeon, besides being very competent, also cares about how the foot looks afterward. I am thrilled with the results and cannot wait until my other foot matches. Having the surgery done is well worth the recovery.

  204. Jean says:

    Thanks Mary I should like you have had it done years ago, my Dr wanted me to have it done 30yrs ago but we put everyone else before us, I had my first appointment on 28th Sep that was cancelled, if it had gone ahead I would be well on the way by now, never mind, as I say hope it goes ahead this week, I have taken all the advise on board, I have a very good family and will be more than well looked after.

  205. Mary G. says:

    Support is the best thing you can have in your recovery. If you are anything like me, you do a lot of things around the house that people do not even realize. My husband has said more than once that he did not realize how much he appreciated all I do around the house until I wasn’t doing those things any longer. Don’t be afraid to sit on your butt if that’s what the doctor tells you to do. I felt guilty at first but then I realized if I wanted to heal properly, I had to do what the doctor said. I was never bored because I NEVER have time to just sit and do nothing.

    In the first few weeks, I still had schoolwork (I graduate in two weeks!). I also read, watched movies, watched sports, worked on cross-stitching and puzzles, played electronic Scrabble, and snuggled with my dogs. My hubby did all the cooking, cleaning (such as it is – a little different than mine), wash, taking care of the dogs, etc. He is ready for me to be able to take on some of these responsibilities again. I also got cleared to work from home, so that is keeping me occupied as well. I am not back to working 8 hours a day but am up to about 4.

    Take advantage of it while you can and learn to enjoy the down time.

  206. Liz says:

    I, too, am interested in your experiences, Laura. I’m due for surgery on 20 November and will be in a cast for two weeks, then it’s changed for another cast until 10 January. I thought about using a Theraband. Is it possible to hook it under the heel of the cast and do resistance pushing? or is that equivalent to weight-bearing and therefore to be avoided? I also know some surfers who use a device similar to the old chest expander. You can hook one end on a door handle and pull or do tricep extensions. Will have to find out where to get them. I’m in New Zealand…

  207. heidimich says:

    Hi All,

    I was wondering whether anyone else’s big toe is still ‘bent’ after bunion osteotomy?.. I am now 4 1/2 weeks post op, surprisingly I’ve had hardly any pain or complaints. The large ‘bunion ball’ has disappeared for definite which I am really pleased about and was the reason I had the surgery done. Even though my foot is swollen and stiff I can still notice that the big toe is bent.
    I go on Wednesday 31 October for X-ray.
    By the way, welcome to all new people!

  208. Laura says:

    Liz, About exercising with therabands — I wouldn’t recommend looping them around your feet. What I have are SPRI xertubes. They have handles at each end and I also have a door attachment that fits into the door frame and allows me to fix the tubes at any height. Today, I put a tube about a foot from the floor, sat on a non-skid mat and simply pulled the handles as if I were rowing. I bought my first set at a store that specializes in athletic equipment, and I bought more bands through The whole family uses them. They’re a great way to work out when you’re traveling too.

  209. Liz says:

    Laura, these are the very thing. What resistance band did you use?

  210. Laura says:

    I think the brand I have is SPRI Xertubes. I have medium (red) and heavy (blue) ones. I don’t know if they are available in NZ, but there is probably a line that is.

  211. Chloe says:

    Hello guys i didnt damage my foot when i fell over btw!,and yesterday i went to the clinic to get my bandages removed it has been 2 week sine the op and yesterday was the first time i saw my feet without the bunion wow! i have a massive scar though but its definitely worthit! so now i have dry plasters over the scar and them weird shoe things:)xxx

  212. Janice says:

    Hello folks
    I’m now 8 weeks post-op, and can now get into some of my normal “flat” shoes…hurray! I’ve discovered the best way to put them on is by putting the shoe onto the foot, rather than putting the foot into the shoe- if that makes any sense! Still got some discomfort in the ball of my foot under the big toe when walking, but using metatarsal gel half insoles does help a bit. The only swelling I have now is just my big toe – it looks quite fat compared to the one on my left foot, and it is quite stiff still. It is much easier to flex the toe upwards rather than downwards, probably due to the screw I had inserted into the joint. Walking up and down stairs is no problem. Walking uphill is a bit uncomfortable , once I have to do the “toe off” bit, but walking downhill is a breeze! I almost feel like I’m learning to walk properly again, heel to toe, although the temptation is to let my left leg and foot do all the hard work! A few people have mentioned therabands – when I had my appointment 2 weeks after the op, and all dressings were removed, I was given a thin stretch band thing, to wrap around my big toe, pull towards me till I felt some resistance, then keep my ankle still while just trying to bend the big toe only. Quite difficult at first. I’m hoping that this stiffness will improve, but to be honest I think it may largely be due to the swelling. You know what they say: patience is a virtue !!

  213. Mary G. says:

    Hi, All,

    I had a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday. He chastised me for not stretching my toe enough and said he would have to do surgery again if it didn’t loosen up. I did exactly what he told me to do but apparently I am just supposed to know that the stretching intensity has to be increased. Also, I should have been walking around more, but he did not tell me that either.

    Anyhow, now that I am stretching more and am up and around, the foot is swelling a little. Does anybody have tips for how to lessen the swelling? The doctor said to eat a banana every day, drink lots of water, and cut down on salt. Is there anything else I should be doing?

    Thanks and have a good day. Mary

  214. Janice says:

    Hi Mary
    It’s interesting to read that you were not told about stretching your toe….all I was told was to use the Thera band, and gradually increase the amount of walking around. If I had been told to stretch it, I would definitely have done so! Looks like different consultants give out different advice! My only swelling is in my big toe now, and trying to flex it upwards can cause a tight burning sensation underneath it. That makes me reluctant to do it too often. I have read on this blog that some of us have been advised to try going up on tiptoe of the affected foot…..but that is a step too far for me at the moment, as its too painful!

  215. Emma says:

    Good evening all.
    Im now 8 weeks post op today (friday 2/11/12).
    I must say my foot is doing really well, almost like normal but without the bunion pain.
    I can spend most of the day standing, and driving isnt that painful either. Im now walking my 2 dogs for upto 40 minutes a day which is nice. I do tend to have some swelling at the end of the day if iam on my feet all day but its not uncomfortable.
    I ordered myself 3 pairs of lovely comfy leather shoes from they are like ive been wearing them for months instead of a few days. I still get a bit of discomfort from the nobbly bit at the bottom of my big toe but i was told that will get better the more i walk on my foot.
    Im glad i had the bunion removed and went through the long recovery, i have a small one on my right foot but unsure if i will have that one removed?
    Hi newbies, keep that foot up and rested.
    Emma. 🙂

  216. Janice says:

    Hi Emma
    You and I seem to be having identical issues in our recovery! The niggling pain under the big toe is a real bummer isn’t it! I also mentioned it to my consultant a couple of weeks ago, but he never mentioned any thing about further surgery if the pain carried on….don’t like the sound of that!
    We’re both at 8 weeks now…I go back to work on nov 14th and had an appointment with occupational health today. Just ticked boxes really, and told me to carry on doing what I’m doing! I’ll be going back to work just doing 3 half days a week instead of 3 full days.
    I have the beginning of an arthritic bump on my left big toe, but as long as it doesn’t hurt me, I think I’ll leave we’ll alone…now I know how long the recovery is likely to take! Keep posting your progress! 🙂

  217. Mary G. says:

    Hi, Janice and Emma,

    It was nice reading your posts. Emma, at first I thought your surgery was in February before I realized the the month goes first in numerical dates (e.g. 11/2/12 in the U.S. is 2/11/12 elsewhere).

    My surgery was October 1, so I am at about 4.5 weeks out. My doctor just cleared me to walk on the ball of my foot with my boot on and wants me to wear a shoe starting next week. I am having a little swelling but nothing too bad. I haven’t had my dogs out for 40 minutes but have taken 5-10 minute walks.

    Janice, I’m glad I’m not the only one staying out of work for a while. I am able to work from home and have been working half days trying to build up. I go back to work December 18 (at least I’m supposed to), so I am trying to do my best to get back to normal. I love the fact that my bunion is gone and want to do everything right in my recovery. I realize that everyone is different.

    I will be having my other foot done in January. Not only am I having an osteotomy but also need the tendons loosened up. I have no flexibility in that toe.

    Good luck in your recovery.

  218. heidimich says:

    Hello everyone

    Emma, it was nice to hear of your progress. Did you have to buy a larger size from hotter shoes, or normal size?
    I went back for my 5 week X-ray last weds (31 oct) and they said it hadn’t fully healed yet. I asked why my toe was still bent and he said they couldn’t get things 100% perfect but at least the bunion ball was gone.
    I’ve got another 4 weeks off work and have to have another X-ray in 6 weeks.
    He said I can take the wedge shoe off at week 7 and start to try and walk on my foot again. So I’ve got just under 2 weeks to wait. I need to start trying to find shoes or boots that fit that I can buy, especially as I have to walk to and from work and I’m on my feet all lunchtime with little kiddies running round. I was hoping to go back in 3-4 weeks time.
    I’ve never been given or told any exercises to do, but I have been quite mobile in the shoe.
    I never realised how long the recovery would be, so I don’t think I would ever do this again. Although I’ve hardly had any pain whatsoever, just swelling and stiffness.
    Hope you’re all okay.

  219. Emma says:

    Hi all.
    I did buy half a shoe size bigger then normal. Its really nice putting shoes on without having that dredded bone sticking out of the side of my shoe. lol
    I can now get my size 6 trainers on without much pain so decided to try a size bigger. The shoes from Hotter are sooooo comfy on the first wear.
    Ive just read my doctors letter and found the bit at the bottom of my big toe is called Sesamoid Apparatus, i was told that if that still hurt after 3 months i have to go back and have it surgically removed. yikes..
    Its taken me 3 weeks of walking my dogs to be able to walk for 40 minutes. I did start of walking around my small block. A normal walker would take about 3-5 minutes, i took about 30 minutes for the first week. I tend to walk until my foot tells me its had enough lol. And yesterday i managed my first 40 min walk, unsure about today lol.
    I wasnt given any toe excercise’s from my doctor, he told me at 6 weeks to get off my butt and try and get back to normal. Easy for him to say that the cheeky bugger. :-@.
    Im a stay at home mum so i dont work, but if i was working i think id be ok to return to work.
    Happy Saturday People 🙂
    Emma. x

  220. Janice says:

    Hi again Emma
    I too have bought some shoes half a size bigger than usual, and wider fitting ones. You do what you have to!! At least you have a very good reason to buy more shoes ha ha! Last week I burrowed into my wardrobe and tried on all my boots, just to see which ones I could actually get into. Ashamed to say I found ELEVEN pairs in there!! Disgraceful! Anyway, 2 of the pairs had quite high heels, and haven’t been worn for a couple of years anyway…..tried to bend my foot to get them on… chance……so they had to go on eBay, along with another pair of high heeled shoes! Sold them all yesterday, so at least I’ve made a little bit of money out of all this discomfort!! The other ….ahem….NINE pairs I think I’ve still got a very good chance of being able to wear again really soon.
    I hope your sesamoid pain settles down, I panicked when I read that bit as if I end up in the same boat I REALLY don’t want any more surgery, like you! Fingers crossed for both of us, then!

  221. Jean says:

    I am now 4 days post op, I am so lucky no pain just a stretching feeling, I have exercises to do, I have to flex my foot back and forth and ankle rotations and try to wiggle my toes back and forth, it is swollen but not to uncomfortable, I have it elevated and my family are like the police, all your tips have been helpful, thank you all, it was my birthday yesterday so lots of pamper in bed, I am sure it is nice for now, but it will get boring, keep up all the posts. Fingers crossed the pain stays away.

  222. Chloe says:

    Same as me Jean it didnt hurt me on the 4th day and asif u have to do stretches all i had to do is keep them elevated for two weeks:)xx

  223. Jean says:

    Hi everyone it is 6 days post op, still not in pain apart from when I lower my foot it feels like Chinese burns, between my toes and my ankle, which I assume is the blood going in to the foot, has anyone else had this feeling, once I start to walk on it it goes, I have my next appointment for next Monday to remove and replace the dressings, good luck to you all, keep posting it is comforting to know, we are all able to pass on our own experiences

  224. Janice says:

    Hi Jean
    Yes, I had the same feeling at first when I got up in the mornings. It does pass, as you get more mobile! I also had to wear surgical stockings for 2 weeks post-op, to help prevent DVT due to being immobile. They were extremely uncomfortable at night-time….hope you’ve been spared those!
    My first dressing appointment was 1 week post-op, and it was replaced with a much smaller one. The second one was a week later, and I was expecting to then be given a removable cast to use. But I saw a different consultant, who sent me home without anything! Very scary…I felt vulnerable without anything to protect my foot!
    Anyway, I’m now 9 weeks post-op, returning to work on Nov 14th, doing mornings only for a while. I work in a library, and will have the opportunity to sit down for most of the time, luckily.
    However, I’m still having ball of foot pain, and am going back to see the consultant tomorrow afternoon, as this has now gone on for 4 weeks, and I was told to go back if I was still suffering with it. I’m not sure what to expect…whatever happens, I’m determined to go back to work. Good luck with your recovery, you’ve a long way to go yet!

  225. Mary G. says:

    Hi, All,

    I also had the burning feeling for the first few weeks after my surgery. I was given a velcro boot that I wore for the first four weeks and I just started wearing a shoe this week. The first two shoes I tried gave me a putrid headache by the end of the day. The third day I found a shoe that is wider at the front and seems comfortable. I still have a headache, but it’s not as bad. Has anyone else experienced headaches as a part of the recovery?

    My surgery was five weeks ago Monday. I have a little swelling and a little pain in the ball of my foot, but overall I am happy with everything so far. I stretch my foot out several times a day and keep it up as much as possible. I am working from home and do not have to go back into the office until mid-December. It’s nice to work from home because the walk is 1/4 mile to my office from the front gate of the mill and my office is four flights up. I’d never make it! 🙂

    Thanks for the posts. It helps to know what is coming up.

  226. Jean says:

    Hi Everyone
    Thank you for your reply’s, I did wear a DVT stocking for my op but was not told to keep it on, I took it off on second night at home, as you say they are most uncomfortable, I have been lowering my foot to the floor in stages, then when standing wait a few seconds before walking, this has helped a little, but no regrets, looking forward to Monday for the change of dressing, the boot is not very pretty but hay ho it works, I still have the marker pen on my leg and my granddaughter said “grandma I did not think you where the type of person to have a tattoo” we all had a good laugh. I am now retired from full time work, but help out with the child care for my children, so under no pressure thank goodness. I already have wide feet, I wear ergonomic shoes they take the stress out of walking with massage points in the innersole, I am hoping they will work when I do start to wear a shoe again, they are from The Shoe Taylor anyone needing a wider shoe they do have a good range of shoes, boots and trainers, I am only putting this in because I had a visitor yesterday and she had not heard of the company, hope this helps someone looking for wider fitting shoes.
    Keep well everyone and thank you.

  227. Laura says:

    Hello, Bunion Survivor Friends,
    Fourth week and I’m allowed to walk with some weight on the foot. Either because of that or for no reason I can figure, the intense electrical shock pains are back. I’m not sleeping. Pain meds and anti-inflammatories aren’t helping. Does anyone have advice on getting through this stage? I will telephone the doctor’s assistant, but I’m pretty sure she’ll tell me to try pain meds. Thank you all.

  228. Mary G. says:

    Hi, Laura,

    I didn’t sleep well for about the first month or so (I’m in Week 5). I finally decided to embrace it and spent my time reading, doing puzzles, cross-stitching, and watching movies. I figured I wasn’t sleeping because I was sitting around on my butt all day not using much energy. I’m still not sleeping great, but I am sleeping better. I wake up several times during the night.

    It seems to me that the electrical shock pains are from nerves. Those should settle down as you recover. Some of the things my doctor told me to reduce swelling are to eat a banana every day and drink lost of water. Other things that have helped me are to eat spicy food and use tumeric. Since I love both of these, this has not been a stretch for me.

    Good luck and keep your spirits up. I think this will all be worth it in the end.

  229. Laura says:

    Thank you once again, Mary. It’s frustrating that I had been sleeping better till this wave of pain started. Turmeric and cayenne are about to go into every soup and stew. Bananas, potatoes, white beans, greens, squash, dried fruit – all of which are high in potassium – are already on the menu. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll calm down and stay off the foot a bit more. It will be worth it. Eventually. Then it’ll be time to do the left foot. Onwards.

  230. Mary G. says:

    Good luck. I had eggs and green beans with tumeric, curry, and hot peppers for breakfast. It was pretty good. I’ll have a banana for a snack and will put potatoes and white beans on the menu for tonight.

    It’s tough to stay off the foot when there are things that need to be done. My husband did a good job of keeping the house picked up but like most men I have known, he picks up but does not clean. I finally vacuumed yesterday … we have four dogs so you can imagine how much better it looks in our house. 🙂

    My doctor scared the crap out of me last time I went in. He said if I didn’t start stretching my toe harder he would have to do surgery to loosen it up. The problem is that he did not tell me I had to stretch it that hard. I assume I was supposed to know just by plucking the information out of the air? Anyway, I have been stretching it quite a bit and soaking my foot in epsom salts and water. It’s supposed to be good for the swelling. In any case, it feels good.

    Thanks for the update and good luck with the swelling. I think the turmeric acts as a stomach soother as well. I just looked it up. Here is a link if you are interested:

  231. Jean says:

    Hi everyone, I am on 7 days in so, early days for me, however many years ago, after a broken wrist my Dr told me to massage comfrey oil as it will soak in, it is a herb but is called knit bone, I don’t know if it would help but I have a bottle ready when the dressings come off, as it did work on my wrist, it can’t do any harm it will also help with the dry skin, we had quite an old fashioned Dr but he always give good advice.
    While looking around the web pages I also found a web page The Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS, A Patient Information Leaflet, Scarf Osteotomy, I have printed off a copy to read,,1139,5,1,Documents&MediaID=cc1ca707-8aa2-4ee9-8b52-4a46133ab675&Filename=Scarf+Osteotomy+10090732_246w.pdf
    Not sure if you need all this to find it.

  232. Liz says:

    The link makes for very interesting reading, Jean. Thank you. My surgeon here in NZ will have me in a plaster cast, so perhaps the recovery treatment will be a little different. I intend to post information as I get it, for others who may be undergoing a similar procedure. Due to happen on 20 November. Gulp!

  233. Jean says:

    Hi Liz, this blog is real, that is what helps, I am now 8 days post op, no pain from the wound. You should still be able to wiggle those toes, even in a cast I would think, not sure if they use plaster cast in the UK. The only discomfort for me has been lowering the foot, that is when the blood is looking for it’s way back into the foot after elevating and I know it is looking, but lowering the foot in stages has helped me alot, I ge that sudden rush, which is not very nice, but I have had lots of support from my lovely husband of 45yrs,he is looking quite tired now, he is a super star, not many about these days, the nurse and physio both said the same in the hospital, if you want the gain stay off it for 2 wks give it that help and you will reap the rewards. Keep up with all this helpful advice.

    Good luck, Jean

  234. Liz says:

    Thanks so much, Jean. Very positive advice (:

  235. Heather says:

    Hello everyone,
    It’s now 12 days since my op to correct bunion & hammer toe. I had my big toe broken in 2 places (Chevron & Akin) & have a wire sticking out of the hammer toe. I also had soft tissue release. I think I have 4 incisions under the huge dressing ! Even my excellent surgeon said it was complex surgery ! The general anaesthetic was no problem & I had no ill effects from it either. I spent 1 night in hospital & was fitted with a velcro boot. I don’t have a plaster cast as my surgeon says this delays healing by 4 weeks.
    I don’t have crutches either as I don’t need them. I have been up & hobbling around the house from day 1. My surgeon told me to be as mobile as possible as if you lounge around you risk thrombosis. I am surprised that some people are staying in bed for the first 2 weeks. I find I can spend the morning up & about but then rest with my foot up for a few hours in the afternoon.
    I haven’t had much pain. The worst pain was a couple of days after the op when all the nerves in my foot woke up ! I just took pain killers & it quickly subsided. I found I only needed painkillers for the first few days & don’t take any now. My foot throbs a bit but not bad enough for pain killers.
    Other people mentioned headaches & constipation ! I have had a couple of headaches but I put that down to being in a room with a gas fire on all day. A bottle of syrup of figs soon sorted out the constipation !
    I was worried about lack of exercise as I’m a gym bunny ! However, I’ve found that I can do upper body exercises with dumbells. I’m also able to do leg exercises lying down and abs & core work too. I’ve been doing an hour’s workout every day since day 4 post-op. I feel alot better for it & haven’t got fat or flabby !
    I go to get the stitches out tomorrow & a new dressing put on. Wire stays in for another 2 to 4 weeks. Don’t think I want to look at my foot as I’m sure it won’t be pretty ! Bye for now.

  236. heidimich says:

    Hello Heather

    Wow it sounds like you are doing absolutely fantastic! In a way you sound abit like me as I was able to walk about from very early on (I’m 7 weeks post op tomorrow). I thought there must be something wrong with me as I have been able to do so many things from early on, I’ve even been doing sit ups! I’ve been very mobile and my foot is healing just as it should. The swelling has even started going down this week which I am pleased about as I’ve been out for the first time in my boots that I wore before the op! This week is the week that I’m allowed to start walking on it again and I’m doing good.
    I think a lot of the healing and recovery is positive thinking and following how you feel. As long as you keep your shoe on and don’t do anything with the foot then you are capable of doing every day tasks (except walking far of course).
    I’m hoping to be back at work in 2 weeks time, I’m using these next 2 weeks to practice walking in my normal shoes every day.
    I bought a pair if shoes from pavers last week (ready for this week), but can still get in my boots that have a wedge that I wore prior to the op (these definitely didn’t fit at week 5). maybe I’ve just been lucky or someone watching over me, or maybe it’s because I’m determined.
    Even though I know the operation has been worthwhile, and ive hardly had any pain, I don’t think I will have it done again, the only reason being is the recovery time, I thought I would be back at work at 6 weeks post op and its going to end up being week 9! ..
    Hope everything goes good for you, all the best!

  237. Jean says:

    Hello everyone

    I had my stitches out and a clean dressing last Monday 12days post op, I did rest it for 10days, being 65, I was being causes in case it did swell up, but good news the nurse said it looked fab, she could tell I had rested it, I have had no pain at all, apart from the blood rushing in my foot when I put it down, but that soon went, I have been doing a lot more this week and can hobble about fine without crutches, I took some photo’s without the dressings on, to show my husband and granddaughter, my poor granddaughter was horrified, but it is not a pretty sight, what would you expect when you have had your foot sliced open, bone shaved off and broken in two placed as she say’s, a good job done though, I can take the new dressing off tomorrow and let it breath a little and give it a wash down, no soaking, then start to moisturise it with E45 cream, she said gentle stroking on the scar tissue will help it heal, if you leave it, it can become very tender, no padding on from tomorrow only the dressing with a cotton sock over, we shall see, I have to keep the Velcro boot on till I see my consultant on 17th December, hope we don’t get any early snow, I have been out in my yard today and pegged out some washing, my husband knows I am on the best side now, do most of you use E45 or any other suggestions’.
    Best of luck to everyone

  238. Christine Barnes says:

    Nov 15 2012

    Hello everyone
    Fascinating reading all the experiences. I live in France and had a bunionectomy and procedure to shorten second toe because of severe metatarsalites on Oct 8th. Have ended up with several screws in foot. Had a morphine nerve block in my spine instead of general anaesthetic and found that fine. Stayed in hospital till the third day, no pain until second day when it was quite intense despite lots of painkillers. Returned home instructed to keep foot elevated 90% of the day for two weeks and take regular doses of tramadol, paracetamol, and anti-inflammatories. No real pain from then on apart from shooting pains like little electric shocks mostly in the evening and at night and pins and needles when I put the foot to the floor. Had to walk with a surgical boot with foot hanging over the front and a walking frame for four weeks. Got an infection at the end of week one, apparently due to very fragile skin being blonde and blue eyed and aged over 60. Loads of antibiotics took care of that, plus here post surgery nurses come to your home every day to give anti bloodclot injections for a month and do dressings either daily or every other day as required. Second complication was at end of week 2. Foot swelled up so went back to the surgeon and told had to spend another two weeks with as little walking as possible. After that, it has settled down and now can walk with crutch and shoes. Very difficult to find anything to go on the foot, it will not bend and buying a huge size for one foot seems ridiculous so have found a pair of walking shoes I can just get into but not for too long. In the middle of 15 sessions of physio with blown cold air and massage treatment. Six weeks post op would not like to have to go through it again and expect it will take some months to get back to normal dog walking, etc. At the moment my main concern is trying to find shoes I can wear with generous padding in the sole, advice from physio, but also enough room to get my stiff and unbending foot in, while the other foot is swimming in the second shoe! May have to give in and buy two pairs of the same shoe in different sizes, probably trainers of some kind.

  239. Heather says:

    Hi everyone,
    I had my stitches out yesterday, 13 days post op.
    There were far fewer stitches than I expected & it wasn’t too painful apart from 2 which were very tight. My foot did bleed a little from the stitch holes.
    Anyway, my foot looked great. I expected it to look like a car crash but it was fine !
    There was no bruising or redness & only slight swelling. The surgeon & nurse said it was healing very well. The nurse put sticking plaster over the wounds & a tubigrip. I still have to wear the wedge surgical sandal. I go back in 5 wks time to have the wire removed from hammer toe. Hammer toe is now straight !
    My foot starting hurting alot last night & is still very sore today. Back on the painkillers. I think this is a result of having the stitches removed & only a light tubigrip protecting my foot. The discomfort is far worse than anything so far post op. I’m hoping this will subside in the next few days.
    Anyone else had more pain after having stitches removed ?
    I seem to have developed permanent indigestion too….. anyone else had this ?
    Got a sick note for 6 more weeks off work….. hurray !!

  240. Mary Genell says:

    Hi, Heather,

    I thought I was going crackers with the indigestion. I’ve never had it before and it started a couple of weeks ago. I think it’s brought on by a combination of inactivity and laying flat for a period of time. I have been trying to mitigate this by eating less fatty foods, drinking more water, avoiding carbonated beverages, and consuming ginger (either in a tea or candied ginger). This seems to help with the heartburn.

    My foot hurt more when the stitches came out than before they came out. Maybe it’s because it’s a couple of weeks past surgery and the numbness is wearing off.

    My biggest faux pas in my recovery was that I was kind of weirded out when I touched my foot. It was (and is) still numb and I didn’t like the sensation. As a result, I wasn’t stretching it as much as I should have. A couple weeks of vigorous stretching brought my foot to where it should be.

    I am wearing tennis shoes now. I went to the doctor on Wednesday and my travel time is 2+ hours each way there and back. I got up at 6 a.m. and did not get home until 4 p.m. My foot swelled up a little more than usual. The next day, I wore my “firm” tennis shoe all day and irritated the foot even further. Last night I soaked it, rubbed some triple-antibiotic ointment on it, and let it rest. Today, I massaged it (this really helps a lot), stretched it, put ointment on, and wrapped it. I have been sitting with my foot up and no shoe on to get it back to where it was. I think there is a “two steps forward and one step back” philosophy going on with recovery from bunion surgery.

    Overall I am very satisfied with the look of my foot and my recovery rate. I am really a nervous nellie about the recovery and I worry about every little thing that is happening to my foot. My husband makes me feel better and worry less, but I still worry. This is completely new, so a little worrying is not bad. I am having my other foot done in January. My workplace is kind enough to let me work from home, so I can keep up with things. I had my surgery October 1 and don’t have to go back until December 18 at the earliest.

    Keep your chin up! 🙂

  241. christine barnes says:

    Hello other bunion op survivors. On the subject of shoes, Hotter shoes have a 3 for 2 offer on till Nov 18. You can order and pay and then there is a 90 day exchange on them so if they don’t fit/suit you can swap them, have to return by post and exchange that way but in the meantime you can go into one of many shops in UK and try on different styles/sizes and then decide what to go for. Just an idea. I need to buy two different sizes of the same shoe so it works out as only paying for one pair even if I have had to buy a third pair, which is not such a bad idea as it will take some time for swelling to go down and everything I have from before op is not suitable for the time being. Have ordered them today to get in on offer and will check them out when they arrive. They are expensive but leather, made in UK and have different width sizes.

  242. Stacey says:

    I’m getting my right foot done in a week and I’m extremely worried. How bearable is the pain? Did you feel the need for your pain meds or did u end up with leftover cause it was bearable?

  243. Mary Genell says:

    Hi, Stacey,

    For me, the pain was very bearable. I did not take much of the medications I was given and still have at least half remaining in the bottles. I don’t like taking prescription medications anyway, so it worked out well. I was given a pain med and an anti-nausea med (because the first one makes me nauseous). I took them every other night for the first week or so then only took them a couple of times after that. I did not take them for the pain but I took them to help me sleep.

    The worst part of the recovery for me was not being able to sleep very well. I only got a few hours a night and did not nap during the day. I assume this was because I am generally a very active person and my body was not used to sitting or lying around so much. I think the pain might be less because the first two weeks I was bedbound and only walked to the bathroom. You might experience additional pain when your stitches are out or when you are stretching.

    I wish you the best of luck in your surgery. Mine was more than worth it and I am getting the second foot done in January. Hopefully this will put all of my issues with foot pain, swelling, and shoes not fitting behind me.

  244. Stacey says:

    I’m getting my left done in January as well, just as soon as the first is healed and I’m cleared for the second. This is my very first surgery ever so I don’t know what to expect, and I don’t like taking pain medication at all. So I was hoping I could deal without it.

  245. Jean says:

    Hi Stacey

    I am now 17 days post op, I only took meds for 2 days non since, I have been great, it is still a little swollen and my big toe is still numb, I am trying to wiggle and stretch my toes and foot, my daughter is a Pharmacist, took a look at it today and said it looked great in such a short time, that was very good news, I am only sorry I did not have it years ago, do rest as most of us say and elevate when you are resting.

    I have been out for the first time today apart from hospital appointments, I took my own foot stool with me, it was great, I am walking fine and no pain, around the house no crutches, but outside I did take them with me.

    Fingers crossed my healing continues.

    All the posts have been a help to me, there has always been answer to a question that has reassured me.

  246. Heather says:

    Hi Mary G and Stacey,
    Mary thanks for your reply. I’m still suffering from the indigestion but it’s wearing off slowly. I don’t really know why I’ve suddenly got it as I try to spend alot of the day on my feet or at least sitting upright. I also spend an hour a day exercising but I can only assume I’ve got the problem because I’m not as active as I normally am. I can’t wait to get back to the gym, but I think that’s a long way off yet.
    It’s only just over 2 weeks since my op & I’m only managing to hobble around. I can still do alot of the housework though !
    Mary, you seem to be doing really well if you only had your op on 1st Oct.
    I also worry all the time about my foot ! This is such a long recovery you just hope it will be worth it & that you’ll be able to do all the things you want to do. Right now walking normally would be an achievement !
    Mary are you in the USA ?
    Stacey, on the subject of pain medication I’m not taking any now. I did need it for the first few days after the op & I don’t think I could have done without it. I did have complex surgery though on a bunion & a hammertoe. I mainly took Ibuprofen at night so that I wouldn’t have any pain whilst sleeping.
    I’m not one for taking tablets either. I only take them if really necessary.
    Good luck Stacey. You will be fine. It’s nowhere near as bad as I thought it would be. Infact, I will be getting my left foot done in the future. Nothing so far has put me off getting the other foot done.

  247. Mary Genell says:

    Hi, Heather,

    Yes, I am in the USA. I assume you are not since we call tablets “pills” in the U.S. 🙂

    Like you, I don’t think it’s as bad as I thought it would be. I think I over-babied myself for the first few weeks. When I was wrapping my foot yesterday, my hubby asked why. I said it helps keep the swelling down. He said it’s better after a certain time to not wrap the foot any longer.

    I started going without the wrapping and I do have less swelling. The problem is that the sock/shoe combination irritates the scar on my foot. To resolve this, I put a large band-aid on it and that seemed to cure the irritation issue.

    Speaking of scars, mine is not too bad. I got a little scared before the operation because a guy I work with showed me the scar on his foot from his operation. It was huge and ugly. I went ahead with the operation anyway because I needed to. My scar is not huge or ugly. In fact, I think it will fade really well. I have been massaging coconut oil and anti-biotic ointment into my foot. I read somewhere that Bio-Oil would also help. I happen to have some in my medicine cabinet, so I will be giving that a try as well.

    I am getting my other foot done as soon as I can so I can get this behind me. I am looking forward to a summer and spring with good-looking and pain-free feet.

    Good luck to you.

  248. Heather says:

    Hi Mary,
    You’re correct…. I’m in the UK. The Lake District in Cumbria to be exact.
    My week of heartburn & indigestion is over thank goodness !
    I’m in my 3rd week post-op now. The weird thing is that I find I’m fine during the day when I’m up & about but I wake in pain in the early hours of the morning. It’s usually about 5am & I experience burning & throbbing where the bunion scar is.
    This morning it was enough to drive me to tears & I had to take painkillers. Did you (or anyone else) experience anything like that ? It’s a bit worrying as you just hope everything is ok.
    I don’t get much sympathy from my hubby as he just says what do you expect after only 3 weeks !
    I had a good day yesterday & spent most of the day on my feet pottering around the house so it’s frustrating to be in pain today.
    When I was in the US on holiday in September I got a box of Naproxen pills as they were recommended by a friend. Naproxen is only available on prescription in the UK. Unfortunately they don’t do a thing for me & I’m back on Ibuprofen which works well for me. My husband has also tried Naproxen & it has no effect on him either !
    On the subject of scars, a friend of mine had a bunion op 3 years ago & his scar is virtually invisble. It’s just a thin white line & you have to look closely to see it.
    He’s got a metal plate in his big toe. He goes to the same gym as me & he’s able to run on the treadmill & do all sorts things at the gym. And he’s older than me !
    I’ve still got sticking plasters & elastic bandage over my foot. However, I bought some Bio Oil in readiness for when the dressings come off. I too am looking forward to Spring & Summer with a comfortable foot !
    Good luck to you too.

  249. christine barnes says:

    Hi Heather, had the same problem with burning and like little electric shocks during the night. They have now almost gone, 6 weeks post op, but still get swelling in the evening and some pain where scar is. Maybe you should spend more time with your foot elevated during the day, it makes a difference. Drove for the first time yesterday, great relief to be independent if only for a short trip to nearest town to run some errands. Hope to have final apptmt with surgeon today and be allowed to travel back from France to UK for the winter. Still got some pain in big toe but walking slowly without canes. What a long recovery!

  250. Heather says:

    Hi Christine,
    Thanks for your note. I also get those electric shocks, but not at night. They make my foot jump & twitch ! I think it must be nerves healing.
    You may be right, perhaps I need to rest more during the day. Trouble is I’m an active person & sitting still drives me nuts ! I’m trying to stay active & on my feet as I found being inactive was giving me headaches, heartburn & constipation ! Looks like you can’t win what ever you do !
    Sounds like you’re doing well & driving too after only 6 wks ! I wish I could get out & do some shopping ! It’s a pain having to rely on hubby & my mum.
    You’re right…. it’s a long recovery. I’m sure other people think it’s only a toe operation & you’ll be up & about in a week ! I’ve just handed in a sick note at work for a further 6 weeks…… they probably think I’m swinging the lead !
    My surgeon told me it would be 6 months before I could wear a normal shoe & a year before I could go fell walking !
    Best wishes to you & lucky you living in France !

  251. heidimich says:


    I’m due back to work next thurs (29th) which will be exactly 9 weeks after the bunion operation. I feel so guilty for having 9 weeks off but also I really don’t want to go back now.

    There is hope on the shoe front. 2 days ago the swelling on my foot has started to go down a little, I can now see what looks like a normal foot with no bunion! It looks like a completely new foot. I’ve also this week been able to get my foot in my boots that I wore before the op! And I’ve been out and about in these. If was so nice to walk without the surgical shoe on when shopping and to not get the stares, even if I’m very slow walking. My leather boots were ‘stretched’ by my bunion so I think this is why I’ve been able to wear them again so soon. The bunion did me a favour in the end!

    I’m nearly 8 weeks post op and I would say it was week 7 that things got so much more easier. (The swelling going down a little, wearing my old boots again).

    Good luck to you both things will get easier :).


  252. christine barnes says:

    I agree that it gets easier. Two weeks ago, 4 weeks post op, I couldn’t imagine getting my foot into any kind of shoe when I was told I could leave off the surgical boot. But now I can just about get into walking shoes and some round toed shoes I bought when I had orthopaedic insoles before deciding to have the op. Still a bit tight with an ordinary insole but wearable for a short time. Still can’t imagine getting into boots. I walk very slowly and my balance on uneven surfaces is not good so have to be careful but walking with a crutch makes me limp when I don’t really need to so have given that up. I am making the most of my husband helping out but it is worth resting the foot as much as you can and shortening the convalescence. My scar is very good except where I had a haematoma that got infected and it is a very small area so should heel up properly soon and then it will just be a line. Foot still too red for my liking but almost resembling a normal one and you can see improvements day by day.
    Keep up the good work!

  253. Mary Genell says:

    Hi, Heidi and Everyone,

    Yes, I did experience the pain you are talking about. I think it’s just the foot healing. I also get electric shocks in my foot at weird times that really hurt (but only for a moment or two). I’ve mostly used Ibuprofen during my recovery and that seems to be good enough. I’ve used Naproxen (generic, over-the-counter) and that also seems to help.

    I also don’t like that my foot is still red but I’m glad to know that it is normal. Sometimes it turns purple around my scar after a shower but that quickly goes away. My husband said he had this after his Achilles tendon surgery. I can see the swelliing slowly but surely abating.

    I haven’t been out much but we plan on going to some friends’ house for Thanksgiving. We’ll see how that goes.

    I have been wearing a firm tennis shoe. The first day was pretty bad but I like wearing it now. It helps keep the swelling down. I am supposed to go back to work in mid-December, so we’ll see how that goes. I have to be able to wear steel-toed shoes because I work in a mill.

    Thanks for posting, everyone. Hearing about others having the same issues as me helps in my mental recovery. Have a good day.


  254. Steve says:

    I’m glad to hear that everyone is doing so good, it’s been a while since i’ve been on hear so I thought I would drop a note. 9 weeks after my surgery I went back for a check up because i’ve had pain in my big toe every night and had to take pain med. The Dr said that I had a pinched nerve going to my toe caused by the swelling and scar tissue in my foot.
    He gave me a cortisone shot in my foot on the 13 th and had pain all the way to Monday morning when I got up. No pain since then some swelling has went down daily, still some discomfort in the toe but manageable. Dr. said that if the shot doesn’t fix the problem then I will have to have surgery to remove scar tissue around the nerve. I’ve been able to get around in my worn shoes that were streched out from walking on the side of my foot for so long before surgery.
    My foot still gets red up past my ankle when I take a shower. I’m off work until 12-13-2012 when my next Dr. visit is.

  255. Laura says:

    Whenever I check in, I find encouragement and wisdom here. I’m six weeks post-surgery and healing nicely, but for the rigidity of my toe and forefoot. Doc says stretch it and I do, several times a day, and that hurts and increases the swelling. Any advice on increasing mobility?

    To those of you earlier on in the process, just know that every day is different. On some you have pain and on some you feel ready to dance (don’t, not yet anyway). Just look at those lovely straight toes and dream of the new dancing shoes in your future.

  256. Mary Genell says:

    Hi, Laura,

    Stretching was tough for me. I have been looking around on the Internet for advice since my instructions in this area were kind of sketchy. Stretching the toe down is going pretty good (I’m at about 7 weeks) but stretching it up is going a little slower. I usually have good flexibility in my toes, so I have a goal of where I need to be. I try to stretch it as often as I think about it. I was too gentle at first because I did not want to wreck anything. I didn’t wreck anything but now I’m playing a little catchup.

    Like you, I find encouragement and wisdom in this forum. I also find kinship and reassurance. Anything I have encountered has also been experienced by someone else. This give me peace of mind. Take care.

  257. Stacey says:

    My surgery was supposed to the 23rd but had to be pushed back to the 30th, so I’m forced to wait yet another week. I cannot wait until I start down the first road to relief, they have been killing me so badly that I haven’t been able to walk for more than five minutes at a time. I am very thankful to have found this blog, it offers me some great advice and gives me ideas on what I will need. Makes prepping for he surgery to come a lot easier. As soon as I’m post op I’m sure I will be on here posting about how things are going. I have hyper mobility as well, so stretching is extremely crucial for me, or so I’ve been told.

  258. Liz says:

    Hi all. I’m in Day 7 following my operation in Auckland, New Zealand. All seems to have gone well. I have had a Lapidus procedure and first and second tarsometatarsal fusion – there are now several screws in my foot. I am in a slipper cast, which means I can flex my foot at the ankle and wiggle my toes which protrude from the end of the cast. “Wiggle” is a generous word – more like little tremulous spastic clenches and releases? I can touch weight-bear on the heel of my left foot for balance while on crutches. Instructions are to keep the foot elevated as much as possible and do some leg exercises in bed to prevent clots, mainly. I can shower using a bath board (yay!) and have been given a plastic sock shaped bag to put over the cast.

    For the anaesthetic, they gave me a local in the top of the leg and general anaesthetic. I was very pleased to come to without feeling or being sick (which has happened in the past). I felt quite perky until the next morning when the numbness wore off. Then I had a morphine pump and Panadol. Day 2 was the worst, mainly because the morphine made me so groggy that I could barely keep my eyes open. It was like some ghastly surreal protracted “Nana-nap” when you bob up and down in consciousness, not helped by my room-mate’s well-meaning, overstaying visitors. The other things was the need to use a bed-pan. Was very glad when I was able to get up and to the loo on Day 3!

    At home, I am taking Panadol regularly with a dose of Tramadol morning before shower to reduce any discomfort from being upright for a more extended period, and night (to help me sleep). No problems sleeping and no real discomfort apart from a numb bottom from sitting down a lot.

    I will have the cast changed on 29 November and get to see the actual foot then. It will be interesting. Then I have to fly back home – an hour’s flight – and that will be another adventure.

    I’m happy to answer any questions anyone might have, and do appreciate reading of others’ progress. Kia kaha koutou katoa! (Maori for “Be strong and brave, everyone!”)

  259. Chloe says:

    Hello Guys im only 13 and had my operation on the 16th of october, i got both of my feet done at same time.Its now 30th of november so its been over a month been to hosp last week and now in normal shoes.I’ve had a reaction to the disolvable stitches but the surgeon said nothing to worry about and also my big toe goes numb and weird its an awful feeling but im sure it will sort its self.By the time im 25 which is like in 12 years he wants to do another operation to straighten my big toes even more. But so far so good and i wouldnt regret getting this done it feels amazing to be pain free from the bunions.I would reccomend this to people who have them to get it done!!!!

  260. Liz says:

    Well done, Chloe. Since joining this blog and having my own operation, I am surprised how often I hear stories about young women having this procedure done, usually 16 year olds. You have the benefit of youth on your side and I am sure you will make steady progress. I’ve had knee operations before and the numbness from the trauma to nerve endings sometimes takes up to a year or more to resolve, but it does improve. Even though it may feel icky and strange, the best thing is to massage the area with something like Bio-oil or Lucas’ Papaw Ointment. It helps minimise scarring. It must be wonderful to be in normal shoes. I’m 10 days post op and have a slipper cast. I won’t be able to try the shoe world again until I’m out of the cast on 10 January. It may be a hot summer here in NZ so I’ll have to try to keep my foot cool in the shade.

  261. I found that strategically putting a series of stools around in each room helped immensely. I would come in on my walker or crutches with the operated foot bent off the floor, and it was totally exhausting. Kneeling that leg (think right angle) on the stool helped tremendously, and I was not only able to rest but to pivot around and get things I needed. In the kitchen this was incredibly helpful, both in terms of cooking and also in setting and clearing the table, etc, and as someone alone I could not have survived without these various help stations! Also, placed by a couch, a low foot stool allowed me to leave the couch, kneel on it and get myself up to the walker.

  262. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi everyone, firstly I agree that this blog is the best!
    I have a double bunionectomy and hammer toe op scheduled for 17th Dec 2012. One and a half weeks to go and I am very nervous 😦
    I am concerned abu the post op period as I am worried about the possibility of developing DVT. They say it is rare but it still worries me greatly. Can anyone suggest a way of excercising to help avoid DVT having had a double foot op where you have to lie down a lot for the first ten days?

  263. Chloe says:

    Thanks Liz and i know its very strange for me to have had them but it were genetic from my mum and you get the cast taken off a day before my 14th birthday i wish you all the luck!!! Thankyou yet agin xx

  264. Janice says:

    Hello Christine
    You’ll probably be put into very tight surgical stockings after your operation, if you’re anything like me. I had to wear them day and night for 2 weeks, and the worst time was at night in bed….unbearably hot, but I did have my surgery at the beginning of September, well before the winter cold! I was also told to “draw the letters of the alphabet”, by rotating my ankle, several times a day…’s surprising how long it takes to go from A to Z !! Seriously though, as long as you follow the hospitals advice, I’m sure you’ll be fine. Good luck!

  265. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Janice, Many thanks, I assumed I would get the stockings but they were not mentioned to me at the pre op assessment. I was wondering how mobile the ankles will be and also, the pelvic area. I attend regular Pilates classes and have run it by the instructor, she seemed to think I can move anything above the affected area but having read the blog and your reply, I am not sure how mobile anything will be 🙂

  266. Janice says:

    Hi again Christine
    I seem to remember I was advised to keep my leg at right angle to my body….. I had no mobility problem with my ankle, and was able to move it quite freely. It’s also a good idea to make sure you are sitting up as straight as you can, otherwise you might get indigestion when you eat! I was advised to take some deep breaths regularly as well, as it helps to keep your lungs clear when you are tempted to sit hunched over. Another good way of exercising your legs while you are not moving around, is to bend your leg at the knee, then draw your knee up towards your body. It will help to work the muscles in your calves, hips and thighs.

  267. Liz says:

    I like Janice’s advice about the A-Z ankle exercises. Have just tried it and it adds variety and purpose – and (pathetically?) a little bit of fun!

  268. Janice says:

    Well Liz, I think anything that injects a little fun into our recovery has got to be a good thing!! Glad you’re finding it helps!

  269. Emily says:

    If I keep having this pain tomorrow, I’m going to call my doctor. It has been a little over 2 wks since my bunion surgery. Last night after being startled, I jerked my poor foot (was lying on the couch at the time). The area of the cut tingled for awhile, and I had a little throbbing. Today, all day, I have had the sensation of having stepped on a nail (worst when walking, but will feel it when foot is elevated, as well). The area is about in the middle of the length of my foot, on the big toe side, on the sole.

    Is this normal? Did I just aggravate a nerve, need to wait it out? I was starting to feel so much better until I did that. 😦

  270. Christine Shelvey says:

    Thanks again Janice

    I think I am worrying too much about everything at the moment 😦 I am sure things will be easier than I think. I will keep you posted!

  271. Jean says:

    Hi everyone

    I am now 5wks post op, still got a numb big toe but apart from that the wound is looking great, I have been putting The Body Shop vitamin C skin reviver on the wound and it makes the skin nice and soft, I can now also put on my own shoes, this in its self is fantastic.

    Not being able to drive is the worst, has any one driven before the 6 wk period ends, only I more wk to go.

    This blog has been such a big help, I still elevate my foot when I am sat down, also wiggling my toes and exercising my ankle, I seem to do it automatically now when I sit down I stretch my foot and toes then circle my ankle.

    Back at the hospital on 17th, then I still have to have my other foot done, my consultant won’t do both feet at the same time.

  272. Mary Genell says:

    Good Morning.

    I had my surgey October 1, so I’m at about 10 weeks post-op. I drove before the six-week mark but only once or twice. Also, the surgery was on my left foot, so driving didn’t irritate the foot. I have mainly been at home (I’m allowed to work from home) with my foot elevated. Like you, I automatically stretch or rotate my foot when I sit down. I’m working on stretching my toe back and am getting close to 90 degrees, but it’s not easy. I’ve been using Vitamin-E oil or Bio-Oil on the scar and foot.

    My doctor would not do both feet at the same time, either. I have an appointment this Wednesday and hope to set an appointment to have the second foot done in January. Since my doctor is 90 miles away, somebody goes with me on the drive. I have an awesome friend that enjoys the trip with me. I can’t say that I’m looking forward to going through the process again, but I am looking forward to the day when I have bunion-less feet. I assume I won’t be driving for a while after that one. I have the good fortune of having a very attentive husband that has made the process easier for me.

    Good luck and keep up the good work.

  273. Emily says:

    So, my podiatrist gives leave for her patients to start driving a week after surgery, even on the right foot. (One has to be more cautious there, however. And no stick shifting for left-foot surgeries.)

    I have driven almost every day since my first wk post-op – I have to take DS to parks so he can play – and I have no trouble. A little swelling at first, but not so much now. And I never drive more than 15 minutes one way.

    Anyway, RE the complaint I posted earlier: I rested my foot, and it was much better the next day, and even better the day after that. The trick is not to do anything stupid. But sometimes you just do. My main thing is accidentally stretching my foot and toes in the a.m. just after waking up. This will cause me some level of discomfort for the next several hours.

    But I have concluded that unless you’re doing something dangerous, like running, pains you incur are generally just a reaction to the unhealed tissue, a warning that you are overdoing it. The answer is, of course, to stop overdoing it.

    This has been a most frustrating time, and I have decided that if religiously wearing supportive shoes will keep my right bunion from getting any worse (my podiatrist said that is a good possibility), I can live with it much better than I can live with being laid up for six+ more weeks.

  274. Stacey says:

    I’m barely over a week post-op and unfortunately I have been having to move and take care of a household on my own since day three. Sometimes it kills my foot and that’s when I’m thankful for the medication. And I had a few bumps which sent me over the edge from cleaning and cooking. Got to see my doctor about four days ago and finally saw the incision and thankfully everything is going well regardless of my circumstances. Wish I could be one that had people to take care of me during this, maybe in a dream world I would. But this limited mobility is really a strain. I’m already to the point where I can’t wait for the next month to go by in a flash. I need this foot more than I realized I supposed. Atleast it’s a good work I suppose. I go back to the doctor in four days, and I’m again curious to see how things look. Wish me luck.

  275. Emily says:

    Good luck!

    I am blessed that we have barstools, so since day 4 I have been washing dishes and since day 5 added cooking back in, only because I can put my wounded foot up on the barstool while I maneuver around on my right leg (or sit in one barstool and put my feet on the other). I could never have done it if I’d had to keep my left foot on the floor! So I can empathize with your pain!

    It’s funny, though – I have lost most muscle mass in my left leg, but my right is as strong and firm as it’s ever been b/c it is forced to carry all my wt much of the time. But my legs don’t match, LOL!

  276. Heather says:

    Hi all,
    It’s now 6 weeks exactly since my bunion & hammer toe surgery.
    I had the wire removed from my hammer toe yesterday which didn’t hurt at all.
    I also had dressings removed from my big toe which hurt like **** ! I don’t know why it hurt sooooo much. Whether it was because it pulled on the scar, or dead skin or pulled my toe I couldn’t tell. It just hurt !
    As of today I no longer have to wear the wedge sandal but the only shoe I can get my foot in is my husbands canvas pump ! Can’t get my foot in any of my gym shoes. More tears this morning ! Feeling sorry for myself !
    I bathed my foot for the first time this morning & it didn’t sting although the scars are red & producing fluid. Ugh ! I massaged Bio-Oil on my foot & on the dry scars. I’m still wearing Tubi-grip too, which my surgeon said will help with the swelling.
    I’m supposed to start gently moving my big toe up & down but at the moment I think the scars need to heal a bit more. It feels as if my big toe won’t move at all.
    My surgeon said I have arthritis in my big toe so I must exercise it as much as possible. in fact he said you can’t exercise it enough. He’s referred me for physiotherapy which I’ll start after Xmas. I don’t think i could bear anyone touching my foot just yet. Also I don’t think it’s healed enough for physio just yet.
    I’ve been signed off work until the end of Jan. which will mean I’ve been off for 3 months. My next appointment with the surgeon is in 2 months time, in Feb.
    Can anyone out there tell me that this gets better ? Does it become easier to do the Range of Movement exercises ? I realise it’s early days yet but I would appreciate some reassurance !
    Anyone else struggle to do the exercises at first ?

  277. Emily says:

    I am only 3.5 weeks post-op, but based on the fact that yesterday I was able to walk a bit faster and stay on my feet noticeably longer than I could just a few days ago, I can confidently say that it will get better. From what I’ve read it just seems to take forever for your foot to get back to normal, and just b/c you are allowed to put your foot in a real shoe doesn’t mean everything becomes immediately peachy-keen.


  278. Christine Barnes says:

    I am 11 weeks post op, no pain in foot but it still looks like Frankenstein. Massage and icing make a huge difference to appearance and treatment from osteopath to loosen everything up. He suggests plunging foot into ice cold bucket of water as long as wound completely healed (mine is not yet, tiny bit left) after massaging or any activity that makes it swell up. I have been advised to try small heels for a few minutes at first, then for longer, walking on rougher surfaces, just pushing things along carefully bit by bit before the foot solidifies into a solid lump.

  279. Gina says:

    Hi! I am 9 days post op. I had my big toe shaved down as well as my pinky toe in addition to being cut and moved. I have a screw in the big toe and a pin on the pinky or outside of my foot. These are permanent. I also had a bone spur taken off in the big toe. I ALSO had ligaments and tendons loosened I guess. This has been the worst pain I have ever had and I have had five children! I’ve never taken painkillers before and I’m 46! I have started putting weight a bit on my foot with the crutches. Now, My biggest complaint is the swelling. It hurts to have my foot down even after 9 days. It has lessened but its like a burning sensation and a knife ripping through my foot. I get sharp pains where either the stitches are or the bone cutting occurred. I am an art teacher. I am super concerned about going back to work. I would totally consider not getting the other foot done but my feet are completely different now! No choice! I can’t wait to get the stitches out! I know it’s early in the recovery process but I hope this happens quickly! At my first post op visit, my doc put me in a soft cast with a zinc oxide wrap to reduce swelling. It’s not working…… Please tell me it gets better soon!


  280. heidimich says:

    Hello Gina

    You are still very early days and it sounds like you have had a lot done to your foot. Take things one day at a time as every is different (well it was for me). Some days I had pain, some days nothing. I did keep mobile wearing the wedge shoe and I think this helped recovery process. If it swells a lot keep your foot elevated.
    I am 42 and everything seemed to go smoothly for me. I also work in a school and I went back to work 9 1/2 weeks post op. I managed to get into my old boots (which were stretched from the bunion) and I am still wearing them now. I do sometimes still get the odd pain but mostly I have forgotten about it now. I am 12 weeks post op.
    things do improve I would say around week 6. So you’ve a few more weeks to go yet, but chin up and think positive, you will be fine. Take each day as it comes.
    Good luck

  281. Emily says:

    Gina, I don’t get podiatrists who put their bunionectomy patients in a cast on crutches, as that makes the swelling worse. Your doc should talk to my doc, who has been removing bunions for 26 yrs. My doc had me walking right out of the surgery (in a surgical shoe with a well-bandaged foot). My foot still swelled quickly 9 days post-op, and I couldn’t be on my feet for more than a couple minutes at a time (and foot elevated the rest of the time), but I was off pain medication 2 days post-op (which is normal for my doc’s patients). The swelling is what usually aggravates the pain – that, and accidentally stretching the foot…OUCH!

    That being said, I agree with Heidi (I am 42, too, 4.5 wks post-op right now), every day is different. On days when I would overdo, I would have that feeling of having stepped on a nail (commented on it here a couple wks ago, in fact). It is normal at your stage when you get too much swelling/movement going on, but nothing to be alarmed about.

    Yes, it does get better, and a lot quicker than it feels like right now. I thought by the end of 2 wks that I would never get my life back, but around wk 3 (I guess b/c that’s when the bone starts healing) I started to be able to move a little faster and stay a little longer on my feet every day. And I stopped having that tingling/nail-in-foot feeling after overdoing it. About a wk ago the bruising stopped bothering me, so now the only irritation is the swelling if I am on my feet too long (or early in the morning/late at night, when my foot seems to be more ornery from tiredness).

    There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is coming more quickly than you think. 🙂

  282. Christine Shelvey says:

    Are you ladies (Emily and Gina in the US or the UK? I ask as I would not be seeing a podiatrist post op, I am still uner the care of the post operative Osteopathy team who carried out the surgery. I have no cast but two Darco wedge shoes (I had a double bunion and hamer toe operation last Monday 17th Dec) I have screws and a plate in one foot and svrews and a wire in the other. I have not experienced agonising pain at all and neither of the ladies who had their op on the same day did either. The first night was painful when the anaesthetic block wore off but nothing like having five children! The post op team issued us with information regarding what to contact them about and one of them was increased pain. This is obviously abnormal. I would suggest you speak to your post op people and let them know. I had my op done on the NHS so no special treatment. It seems to vary considerably as to the post care of these procedures. I hope you feel better soon Gina

  283. Emily says:

    I am in the US. Darco, yes, that’s the shoe I am wearing. You had both bunions removed at the same time? For real?? Are you not experiencing any swelling?

  284. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Emily
    Yes I had a Scarf and akin bunion op on my left foot and a hammer toe correction. I had a bunion op on my right foot (both feet were pretty bad). I had swelling at first but this is day five (not counting the op day) and I have had no swelling for two days. I know when it’s time to site down but there is no real pain.

  285. Christine Shelvey says:

    I think it is down to the op team and how they advise on post op care at home. I have crytches but I don’t need them with the Darco shoes

  286. Emily says:

    Okay, I changed my mind. MY doctor and Gina’s doctor need to talk to yours!! I still have swelling (diminishing, but still an issue) 4 weeks post-op. And I am told that this is “normal.”

    Where are you at, Christine? If I had your doc, I might actually consider getting my other bunion removed!

  287. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Emily, I am in the UK, I had a long fight to have my bunions doen on the National Health Service but I have been told that the consultant I had is one of the best. His name is Mr Callum Clarke and he is an Osteopathic surgeon and not a podiatrist. Here a podiatrist is what used to be called chiropodist and they do not operate nor do they advise on post operative care. I am not saying I am out of the woods as far as swelling is concerned but my swelling seemed to stop two days ago. I hope it does not come back however it is very early days right now 🙂

  288. Emily says:

    DH offered that maybe severity makes a difference in post-op experience – my left bunion was to the point where it was causing the third toe to get pushed over, and was threatening to overlap the other one – but I’ve no idea how severe yours were and anyway, not sure the amount of bone to shave off would make that much difference.

    Perhaps I am better off seeking an osteopath for my other one…food for thought, anyway. Thanks for chiming in; so glad you feel so well. 🙂

  289. Christine Shelvey says:

    Sorry Emily, I made a typo! I meant to type Orthopaedic surgeon!

  290. Christine Shelvey says:

    I had a fairly severe bunion on each foot as well as a hammer toe, I have screws and a wire in one foot and screws and a plate in the other. Again I hope you can get your issues sorted out as I have nothing but praise thus far for the sugical team. It’s very early days for me so I will keep you updated.

  291. Gina says:

    Hi again. I wrote this huge comment and POOH gone…..

    Let me start this again. So this is Day 11-10 days post op. I feel as if no change has happened. I am probably doing too much. My kids are tired of waiting on me I am sure. My kitchen is a disaster and I can’t stand it anymore. So today I am washing dishes and trying my best to sweep. Not sure if that is going to happen! I think on my knees may be the only way! My knees have rug burns from crawling around. My bedroom is upstairs so I crawl up the stairs and either crawl to my room or use my crutches. I just want to walk! I am putting some pressure or weight when walking with the walker my friend brought me.

    I have been out several times already. Probably not good either. Surgery was last Wednesday and since I have attended my oldest daughters college graduation (fell on concrete that day), went to my youngest daughters Holiday Concert on Tuesday, went to the nail salon yesterday and in the evening went to dinner and a movie for the youngest daughters birthday.

    My foot burns and feels like it is going to explode when I am up. It has improved in the sense that I don’t need Oxycodone anymore just to go to the bathroom. I wish I could just squeeze this fluid out! I am allergic to Ibuprofen which sucks cuz I know it helps with swelling.

    When I went for my 1 week post op appt the doc put a soft cast on my foot. The inner most layer is a zinc oxide wrap used to reduce swelling. It is not working. He told me I can start putting weight on my foot when I am ready. I wasn’t ready 3 days ago but now am. I think I over did it last night. Crutch walking in the movie theater almost killed me. My foot was on FIRE! I am only allowed to ice my ankle not the foot in fear of infection. I bet if I could ice the actual foot it may help. I would assume after the stitches come out on Wednesday the 26th I can.

    My neighbors made my a foot sling from a towel and rope. This has allowed me to take a bath as needed. The first four days I did nothing but lay in misery!

    My foot is so different now that I can’t imagine not doing the other. There is no way shoes will fit even after I am recovered if left different. This new foot is super skinny from what I saw at the doc appt. I really didn’t even like it!

    I am impatient. Not a good quality. I am willing to work hard to make a quick recovery. I am an Italian Folk Dancer and want to dance this summer for our big Festival in July. So the plan is to be able to do that after having both feet done!

    FYI: I live in Milwaukee, WI. USA

    I look forward to hear about everyone’s recovery! I would love to see pics!


  292. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Gina
    I am not expert but it sounds like you are doing far too much. By what I have been reading on this very helpful blog, 80% of the healing happens in the first 10 to 14 days. the other 20% will happen in the next 6 or 8 or more weeks. Even after that, people have reported swelling up to a year after surgery. I was told the first 10 days should consist of resting at least 3 or 4 times per day and that is with the foot or feet raised. Raise the feet when sleeping and as soon as you feel any throbbing or sign of swelling,sit down and raise your feet. I would say you need to slow down if you want to be healed for your festival. Get the kids to clean the floor, this is your time to heal x

  293. Gina says:

    Christine you had no swelling after a few days? I would give anything for that! Well, I did sweep the floor. I used the broom as a crutch. I have almost completed 3 days of dishes. I am going to attempt to wash the floor. Maybe be on my hands and knees. My adult children can be a blessing as much as pains in my ass! I have 5 kids. 4 adults-two live with me and I have a 7 yr old! I had a lot of help the first week but I think that ride is over! I think I am going to start icing the top part of my foot as see if that helps. Can we share photos on here? I had thought about staring a blog but it may be too late. I think I will post pics though!

  294. Emily says:

    Gina, I agree with Christine. If when you were out you were not putting your foot up, that is why you are having so much discomfort. I do things in the kitchen by propping my wounded foot (yes, I consider surgery a wound, even if intentional and for good purposes) on a barstool and hopping around on my other foot.

    I went to a store for the first time yesterday, 4 wks post-op, (thank God for a DH who is willing to do my grocery shopping!), to buy a Xmas gift for DH, and even though I was in a scooter most of the time my foot still complained at me much of that afternoon for having it down on the ground for about an hour straight.

    I understand you hating the mess in your house – exactly how I felt at 2 wks post-op. I started taking the small broom and dustpan and sweeping while sitting on the floor! Took a lot longer, but it was something to do, my foot didn’t swell up and I didn’t have to look at the mess any longer.

    Icing should help, if only temporarily.

    Here’s a link to one of 2 blog posts I’ve put out about my experience (it has a photo):

  295. Christine Shelvey says:

    Thanks for sharing Emily
    I notice you too said you had an appointment with a podiatrist, as I mentioned before, here in the UK orthopaedic surgeons are the only people to carry out these procedures. The post op follow up is handled by the orthopaedic team. A Podiatrist here would deal with things such as corns and callouses as well as orthotics and general foot care but not surgery.
    My feet are aching and buring at times (this is the 7th day after surgery) and maybe I am getting some swelling to the main foot but I can’t seethem as they are covered with the padding and bandages. I could see swelling around the ankle area but that is what has gone. Any swelling I do have is not causing sever pain and the kind of discomfort poor Gina has.
    I have my first bandage change next Thursday so I will find out then.

  296. Gina says:

    I am sure I am doing too much. But with Christmas I just can’t avoid it. My foot is so swollen that I had my mom cut my bandages a little but it’s still not helping. I want to cut them off completely and might just do that. My foot feels like it is being strangled! There is no rest in sight. I am having Christmas Eve at my home! I baked cookies all day and tried to keep my foot up but it just wasn’t enough. Hopping around back and forth to the oven. My kids are tired of waiting on me. They are helping but not like last week.

    Can I ask those who are farther in recovery: will I get rid the crutches when the stitches come out? I am so ready to start walking! The more I put weight on it the bigger my foot gets but I think it has something to do with the bandages. I want them off off off!

    I wish everyone a happy holiday!!!!


  297. Liz Minogue says:

    Gina, you are getting sucked into the madness of trying to be a super-Mom. Button off things immediately and surrender to the fact you need to keep that foot up. The swelling is occurring because you are on the foot too much. The bandage is there to help protect and shape the foot. I’m in a plaster cast which is the recommended approach here. You are running the risk of your bones not knitting well if you keep putting pressure on them. I see you have four adult children. Let them do the Christmas prep this year. It might not be the way you do it, but you might like it. I would not be removing the bandage without first getting the go-ahead from the surgeon. Did you pay for this operation? You want to get the best result for the money. Remember, that Christmas is a time to celebrate family. Let them look after you fr a change!

  298. christine barnes says:

    I agree with the comments from Liz. The last thing you need is an infection or serious inflammation in your foot, could be serious. Not keeping your foot raised is one way to really get into trouble. I had my op Oct 8 and am still having small problems, found help from a brilliant osteopath to remould my foot about three weeks ago when I thought I was going to be left with a stiff ugly lump of a foot. You need to really work at recovering, it is frustrating and maddening to be so dependent on others for so long but patience will pay off.

  299. Gina says:

    Thanks ladies! I had to cut my bandages last night. My toes were blueish in color. My doctor office is not open today. I was hoping it was. I wrapped it back best I could so the incisions are not exposed. I didn’t cut all of it but it feels like I should. My foot is itching like mad. My doc put a zinc oxide wrap on and I think it dried up or something. Not sure. I have a busy day ahead. Cooking and cleaning. I’m going to keep it up as much as possible!

    I think I said this in an earlier post. I’m worried about working. Being an art teacher, I don’t get to sit much ever and I run around the room a lot.

    Please post updates on your recovery!

  300. Hi everyone. So happy to report the stitches are out and with swelling is slightly better since the super tight bandages are OFF! I am walking without crutches as well!

    How is everyone else?

  301. Chloe says:

    Aww thats great news to hear Gina,im 13 years old and had both feet done in October and now its been 2 months its the best feeling ever getting shoes to fit however heels is a big no no! I wanted some wedges for Christmas but because they were high and your toes bend,well iv got a staple where the toes bend and it hurts once the toe is bent so don’t wear heels!

  302. Marie says:

    Hi all. It has been 13 days since scarf/akin osteotomy. Had bunions on both feet for 22 years. Left foot – big toe crossed over! Operated on that foot. Very nervous about operation. This site/comments helped. Operation fine. Complete rest for 2 weeks. Advised walk to bathroom once every hour with crutches during day. Hospital appt after 1week to remove bandage. New lighter dressing. Very painful first few days but eased with painkillers. Won’t put me off having right foot done. In walking shoe now. Limited walking – throbbing a bit. Trying to do exercises with therma band around big toe as advised. Like other bunion buddies I am scared doing harm! Thanku for comments and confidence.

  303. Heather says:

    Hi All & Happy New Year !
    It’s now nearly 9 weeks since my bunion & hammer toe surgery. I had the wire removed from the hammer toe after 6 weeks & also came out of the wedge shoe at the same time. I had to buy a pair of trainers 2 sizes larger than normal as my foot was very swollen. I can’t believe the progress in the past 3 weeks. The swelling is rapidly going down & I can wear my normal slippers in the house & today I was able to wear my normal sized trainers. I was told to exercise my toes as much as possible by my surgeon. I have also started having physiotherapy once a week which includes massage with a stimulating oil & toe mobilisation. My toes are now pretty flexible & the scars have healed really well. I can stand on my tip-toes now, something I couldn’t imagine doing 3 weeks ago ! I massage my foot with the oil at least once a day too which really helps reduce swelling.
    Today I started swimming & doing various exercises in the water. I intend to do this 3 times a week until I have to return to work at the end of January. My excellent surgeon signed me off work for 3 months so I have plenty of time to recover & do exercise & physiotherapy. I’m also continuing to do an hour’s workout at home every day with weights which is helping me feel normal & sane !
    I can’t wait to get back in the gym & on the exercise bike !
    I have been out shopping to the January Sales & managed to walk round shops for 5 hours with no problem, other than a slight limp ! It was wonderful to go shopping after being virtually housebound for 6 weeks ! I took a walking stick with me which I didn’t need but was useful as people gave me a wide berth. People don’t notice a sore foot but they notice a walking stick & are more considerate.
    My next appointment with my surgeon in Lancaster (UK) is in February.
    I hope my comments here will encourage anyone newly out of surgery. There were times when I cried as I didn’t think I would make progress & improve but I have. Everyone does. I’m still limping & can’t wear my normal shoes yet but fortunately I haven’t had the severe pain that some people seem to have suffered. I think if you persevere with the mobilisation exercises & are determined to get back to your former active life style, then you will !
    Best wishes to everyone for a pain-free 2013 !

  304. Christine Shelvey says:

    Thank you for your encouraging post Heather. I am nearly three weeks post op and aprt from the first night when the anaesthetic wore off, I had no real pain until two nights ago! I had both feet done and I have a wire in my left foot as I had a hammer toe correction. I am not sure what caused the pain but my partner seemed to think I was on my feet too much during the day.
    I am now experiencing a pulsing sensation in the left foot so I can only assume it’s the nerves healing. It is not uncomfortable just a bit odd!
    I have the darco wedge shoes and crutches but I don’t need the crutches in the house. I have only been out once nd that was for my first dressing appointment o I am getting a bit of cabin fever.
    I was told I can remove the bandages from the wired foot this week (tomorrow) but I am a bit scared of not having the padding so I may leave it a few days.
    I am looking forward to the full recovery but I have to say, it has all been a better experience than I had feared. I have a great ortho post op team at Heatherwood hospital in Ascot.

  305. Good Morning! I just wanted to update on my progress. I am 3 weeks post op today. As soon as those bandages and stitches came off last week, much of the swelling and constant pain decreased. I have been walking without crutches since. I have been out a lot, cleaning and cooking. The wound is healing nicely although the wound on the big toes was opening slightly so I put butterfly stitches on at home. I can go up and down stairs and walk at a reasonable pace. My family is shocked in the difference between now and Xmas. I have not been icing for days now. I don’t have to put my foot up as often. I don’t like the way my foot feels when it is not wrapped so I keep it wrapped in an Ace bandage that the doc gave me. I also keep gauze over the wounds. I wear my surgical shoe only when walking or out. I can wiggles my toes a bit. My big toes hurts like hell if I wiggle it too much. My skin is numb all around the big toe wound. I have more pain from walking on the outside toe than the big toe. To me it feels like the pin. He will not take out any of the hardware. He said he buried the pin in the pinky toe except for the part that wraps around the bone. I am pretty sure that is what I am feeling. I am worried about my scar tissue attaching to my tendon. I had severed a tendon in my fight foot 20 years ago and the is a problem. I have limited range of motion. So I pray it doesn’t happen from this surgery. In fact, when I have the left foot done he is going to release that scar from my tendon. I have decided to have the left foot done ASAP. I had no idea how long the recovery is until I started reading others stories. My doc sure didn’t tell me! He told me I would be back dancing (I dance in an Italian Folk Dance Group) by summer. I just realize that I want to only give up one year not two for this feet! I tried to wear a flat shoe the other day on other foot and my bunion killed me! I have to get it done! The first two weeks were horrible for me but I can see it is getting better and hope it is worth it!

    I can start driving today. I am scared! I also have to think about what kind of shoes I should get during recovery. Suggestions?

    I hope everyone had a great new year!

  306. Laura says:

    Hey Mary G, have you scheduled your other foot yet? You and I are on similar schedules. Your first surgery Oct. 1, mine Oct. 11. I’m having the left foot done Feb. 4. Not that I want to go through it all again, but I figure if I’m going to be sore, it might as well be over and done in months rather than years.

    Sending you, and everyone going through this, loads of encouragement. It does get easier. The foot does emerge from gauze and bandages, swelling and aching. And there it is — straight as it was meant to be. Happy and foot-healthy 2013!

  307. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Gina

    I am glad to hear you are feeling better despite the original frustrations!
    It is only three weeks (same as me) so do take it easy and you will heal faster.
    My post op nurse said to take a pair of trainers (I think you call them tennis shoes in the US) half a size larger than your normal size. She suggested the ones with a velcro fastening. Not very pretty but at least a shoe you can walk in!
    I have another four weeks to go before my bandages are off completely on one foot (I had different procedures on each foot) and I too am nervous of walking in the surgical shoe when they are off.
    Please remember that it takes a few weeks for bone to heal properly so still raise your foot whenever you can to aid the healing x

  308. Emily says:

    I am now six weeks out, and can’t believe the improvement I have experienced in just the last week. Have done a tad bit of grocery shopping, but used a scooter-cart.

    Swelling has gone down considerably – I am able to keep both feet on the floor while I cook and clean.

    Life is looking so much better than just a couple of weeks ago!

  309. Hi Christine! You had two different procedures? If I had both feet done I am sure I would be taking it much slower. I am going to go back and read you older posts. I would love to see photos of everyone’s feet to see if mine are comparable.

    Thanks for the encouragement! I also hope everyones has a speedy recovery!

  310. Emily are you still in a surgical shoe?

  311. Christine Shelvey says:

    I took pictures at the first post op check when they changed the dressings, my feet look a lot better than they do in the photos for some reason. I don’t know how to post a photograph on here, does anyone know how please? Maybe our host can help?

  312. Mary Genell says:

    Hi, Laura,

    We do seem to be on the same schedule. I am having my right foot done on January 28. I don’t mind having the surgery, it’s the recovery that I am not looking forward to. My left foot is getting pretty good but I still have some swelling if I stay up on it too long. I am also working on improving the flexibility in the toe. I’ll have plenty of time to stretch it when I am bed-bound at the end of this month.

    I learned a lot of things the first time that will make things easier this time. For example, my husband was a great caregiver and was cooking full meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The food was great but the extra calories combined with the inactivity caused some weight gain. I am working on that now so the same thing does not happen again.

    Also, my back went out from laying around so much. I got things kind of straightened out at the chiropractor and he gave me some stretches I can do to help with that. I will also be purchasing a set of lighter weights that I can use while laying around.

    To Gina J: I was wrapping my foot all the time before my husband told me that the swelling would go away quicker if I quit wrapping it (this was 8 weeks after the surgery). I didn’t believe him but I quit wrapping it and, sure enough, I had less swelling.

    When I was wrapping my foot, I found that Ace bandages caused swelling in my foot. The doctor recommended using something called Co-Flex. It’s a surgical wrap that is used on horses. I switched to Co-Flex and quit turning my toes purple. I ordered it on and it was not expensive. I got the 3″ for the foot and the 1″ for the toe. I bought a case, so I have plenty left for my other surgery.

    Good luck to everyone. Mary

  313. Lilly says:

    Hello everyone,this is my first time joining to this website.I wish I had learned about this page 3 wks ago before my surgery to be more preapared.I had my both feet’s bunions done 3 wks ago with a horrible experience.I went through the experience of almost passing out 2 times the same night of my surgery with an unbearable pain.I was told later that I was not given proper painkiller by the doc,however,the worst part of my surgery was when my doc opened my bandages 7 days after the surgery and realized that he had forgotten about my severe allergies to adhesives.My true pain,burining and itchting started since then with huge blisters on all over my stiches and around .I forgot all about my pain and bunions while they put me on strong medication(Steroids) for the past 10 days.I ‘ve had my both feet kept into crushed ice all the time while crying and I thought I would not servive the pain.It caused me emotional and physical pain.Hope these days will end up to my normal life again.With 2 little kids ,I feel depressed and want to go back to my normal life soon!

  314. Christine Shelvey says:

    Where are you Lilly?

  315. Emily says:

    I am sorry you had such an incompetent doctor! OMG! I feel for you.

    If it helps you feel better, I had a much better experience but I still got seriously depressed weeks two and three. It feels like you will never be able to walk again, that your foot will always be swollen and hurting.

    But you will recover! Between the fifth and sixth weeks, you will be amazed at the progression of healing. Chin up! Life will get better soon. 🙂

  316. Christine Shelvey says:

    I too have the two to three week depression after experiencing pain in the early hours of the morning. The pain seems to be a result of the hammer toe correction where I have a wire. I called the nurse and she said this is normal and it’s part of the healing. I agree with Emily, we will all look back on the not so good times and remember why we had the operation done 🙂

  317. Liz says:

    In response to Lilly’s terrible experience, I send every sympathy. I also have an allergy to certain tape adhesives which has given me trouble in the past(no problems with my recent surgery as I kept stressing to every health professional involved at every opportunity that I had this allergy). When my skin erupted in the past, I found that an antihistamine tablet helped to relieve the itching and swelling. I was prescribed Zyrtec which eased the discomfort within 24 hours. I found that sometimes steroid creams exacerbated the problem – but I may have had another allergy with that. I also found that damp tea towels placed in the freezer and then laid on the reacting skin gave some relief. Be careful not to freeze your skin for too long by immersion in crushed ice. There are recommended time limits for this which you should be careful to observe so that you don’t damage the skin further. It does eventually resolve. I also hope that you will make a formal complaint against your surgeon. Not sure where you are, but in NZ we have health advocates that can advise on complaints procedure and the hospital should have some contract information for you. Advise the insurer, too, if you had this done under medical insurance. I wish you all the best. As others have said on this blog, it does get better. I’m at the 6.5 week mark and am much more mobile and comfortable even though I’m still in a slipper cast. Due to the holiday period, I have to wait until 10 January to get it removed, but I feel that the longer my foot is protected and has time to heal, probably the better. Take care and I wish you all the best.

  318. Lilly! OMG, how horrible! I hope everyday brings you relief!!!! I would also make a complaint! Those of you who have done both feet at once-I would have never. One was bad enough!

    Christine, I am so sorry you became depressed. I was not in a good way those first two weeks. I can see how that can happen. I hope you are feeling better.

    Heather, keep us up-to-date on therapy. I will find out next week if I need it. I am really interested in this. I will do it at home if anything.

    I am also surprised how long many of you are in a cast or some other wrapped protection for so long. I am driving now and only wearing a shoe. I took Mary’s advice and stopped wearing the ACE bandage and I can see I am walking better since my foot is flatter in the surgical shoe. I even walked around a bit without the shoe one just to see if it felt any better. It did.

    I see my Doc in one week. He said I may be able to start wearing a reg shoe at 4 weeks post op. I also am going back to work on Monday or Tuesday. As I said I worried about the two block walk from the parking lot to my classroom as well as my students hitting or bumping my foot.

    I have been putting a very thick lotion on my feet. The dead skin or scabby skin is peeling away and I can’t believe how good my scars is after only 3 weeks.

    My back and hips is are killing me from walking cockeyed. After having major foot surgery I am super shocked how much better I am than I thought I was going to be!

    I really appreciate this blog.


  319. Mary Genell says:

    Hi, Gina,

    Glad to hear you are feeling better. Are you still wearing some type of bandage? I went from an Ace to the Co-Flex bandage before I stopped wrapping it entirely. I guess I just want to make sure your doctor is OK with you not wrapping your foot.

    I went back to work a couple of weeks ago and a lot of walking is involved in my job. I also have to put on steel-toed shoes and the combination can make me a little sore. I’ve been trying to do 30 minutes a day on the treadmill. Sometimes it’s a little more and sometimes it’s a little less but I usually stop when I get sore.

    For my 2nd surgery at the end of January, I plan on getting some hand weights and will exercise from a sitting or lying position when I feel good enough to do it. I’m trying the weight I gained after the first surgery and firm up before hitting the bed again. Any exercise suggestions would be welcome. 🙂

  320. Ann Griffiths says:

    I had my op on 1dec 2012’i have found yoga and the rowing machine don.t involve the toes!! I am 76,had bunion ,arthritic second toe,joint removed and 3 hammer toes done!still have screws in and bandage on,hopefully,it will all come off on 14 Jan20013 ,then I will see what it looks like..I have kept it elevated as much as possible,my husband has taken over the cooking and housework,so I am lucky to be able to rest.

  321. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Gina
    I am glad to hear things are going well for you after your horrendous start! I do think it’s still early days for you as bone takes a good 6 weeks to heal so don’t over do it eh?
    I feel better today as I reverted to taking a Tramadol before bed last night and had no pain 🙂
    I have been doing pilates since my op 3 weeks ago, I do Pilates regulary at the gym so I know many exercises all of which are floor based and don’t use the feet. You can look up some of these online.
    Great advice re the rowing machine and yoga and it sounds like you have had a lot done so all the very best for a good recovering, well done to hubby 🙂

  322. Charlotte says:

    Hi Christine
    I am 5 weeks post op, left foot has had a proximal bunionectomy and I too lie on the floor and do Pilates on my right side, abs and upper body. Really love Pilates. However, you have to still be careful because you can still put strain on the operated foot if you do too much as I realised yesterday.

    I am pretty fed up though with being in the special shoe and still have to elevate my foot most of the time! Is this normal after 5 weeks?? It gets sore and swollen although much better than it was 3 weeks ago I guess. I have read lots of posts on the internet and it seems that the recovery process is really long which worries me as I am meant to be performing in a show as the leading lady in March!!…don’t think this is going to happen now!

    I am out of the special shoe in 2 weeks, god know what it will be like then!??
    Writing from the UK 🙂

    Anyone else in a similar position to me or have any POSITIVE stories to tell me, don’t want to hear anymore negativity really!?

  323. Charlotte says:

    I have much appreciated this blog though as the comments here sound much more genuine, hope to hear from someone soon and hope people are recovering! 🙂
    I am a Pilates teacher and yes there are lots of floor exercises you can do without using your injured side/ leg raises on the other leg and side leg work, ab work and upper body, but go easy!

  324. Gina says:

    Charlotte! Give us some tips! I lost 5 pds the first week and now gained that back plus a few more! We should skype an Pilates class!

  325. Charlotte says:

    Hi Gina,
    How many weeks are you post your op? Did you do both sides or just one and how are you getting on with all this?!

    I had my left foot done and so for general exercise I am lying on the floor doing leg raises with lower abs/tummy controlled and pulled in whilst bad foot is stretched out on a pillow!!
    You can do this more easily with a theraband.
    Also lying on side and lifting good leg/foot up a little way and holding and then pushing leg backwards to exercise your bottom/glutes and legs etc…you can also do lots of abdominal work on the floor without harming the bad foot!!
    Stretches for your lower back and upper back are a must on the floor too as everything gets really tight and your back hurts walking in this bloody special shoe doesn’t it!!!? 🙂

  326. Emily says:


    I am now 7 wks post-up and still have to put my foot up, but apparently that is because I did not do my range of motion exercises rigorously enough starting week 4. My dr. told me that as soon as I have my range of motion back the swelling will stop.

    You have to really hurt yourself in order to make any progress. I don’t mean to be negative, but apparently that’s the way it is. I’m hoping that between the essential oils I’m using and the joint support supplement I’ll be taking soon I can end this self-torture in the next couple of weeks.

    Will also be talking to my chiropractor today to see if she can do anything to help move things along.

  327. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Charlotte and all

    I have been doing Pilates since day one (my op was three weeks ago today) I had both my feet operated on, bunion and hammer toe on left foot and bunion on right foot. I have the Darco wedge shoes and have found that they completely protect my feet whilst doing the Pilates exercises. Gina, you can find many Pilates exercises on the internet but take it steady if you have not done Pilates before, It is subtle exercise and needs to be done slowly and in a controlled manner.
    My feet both swell at the end of the day and I don’t expect this to change much until at least another 4 weeks or so as it’s the body’s way of protecting the injured site. I have been icing my feet on occasion but I have not been told to by the post op team.
    It is very apparent from all the comments on this wonderful blog that the advice given by the medical / surgical teams varies greatly. I was not given any range of motion exercise advice as my team said that wearing the wedge shoes is enough for mobility. I have however been drawing the letters of the alphabet with each foot (I got this tip from someone on this blog) This will exercise the ankles and help avoid the risk of DVT.
    I have now been allowed to remove the bandage from my left foot (the one with the toe wire) as I do not have a plate in this foot. The right foot which does have a plate has to stay bandaged for another three weeks when I have my next appt and X Ray.
    We all experience different frustrations etc but I keep positive by remembering why I chose to have this procedure. I fought for three years to be accepted by the NHS and suffered a lot of pain whilst trying to work with tw huge bunions and a hammer toe which I taped to the third toe to try to stop it rubbing on my shoes.
    However long the recovery period is for us all, let’s stay positive and keep the tips and info coming 🙂

  328. I am having surgery to both feet in 2 weeks time and the thing I am most not looking forward to is becoming unfit during the recovery as I am a mad fitness fanatic. Any hints on exercises etc would be greatly appreciated. PS. I have loved reading this blog.

  329. Emily says:

    I did upper-body strength training exercises starting my 2nd wk post-op, then some resistance stretching exercises (that didn’t require being on my feet) a la Bob Cooley. Some ladies here are doing PIlates moves. At least do leg lifts so your hips don’t atrophy.

    In my 6th wk, I dared to start squatting again and was pleased to find that although I have backslid some, I didn’t totally go back to where I was before I started doing squats.

    Modify your caloric intake as you feel necessary for a period of inactivity.


  330. Emily says:

    I forgot to say that my upper-body strength training way back then was done sitting on the floor, not standing.

  331. Diana Champion says:

    Thanks for that Emily. I have been experimenting with some of the exercises I already do to see if I can manage without using my feet too much!

  332. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Diana,
    I agree with Emily, do the strength exercises whilst lying down, I am three weeks post op (both feet) and I try to do Pilates exercises every day or at least every other day. I have found my muscles in my legs have atrophied however I am walking about on the wedge shoes so I am mobile but using different muscles.
    I have not gained weight, in fact I have lost a bit but I put that down to muscle loss and the subconcious effort involved in getting around!
    Six weeks sounds a long time but as I am half way through now, it’s really not that bad.
    I am sure we will be back to our usual muscle tone pretty soon once we are walking properly!
    Goos luck with your op and please keep us updated x

  333. Laura says:

    Hello everyone, I’m reading back a ways, catching up, and preparing for my second surgery. Had the right foot done in Oct. and left will be a month from now.

    For you exercise enthusiasts, during the first weeks, when I was pretty much on my back with foot on pillows, I did Pilates ab work, lots and lots of leg raises, and a modified shoulder bridge (mostly just to keep from getting achy and cross). When more mobile, I created a rower by fastening an exercise band to the doorframe, sitting on my mat with the end of the mat rolled just enough to support my bandaged foot, and working the upper half of my body.

    My best support (aside from husband and daughter who were splendid) was my tea cart. Also known as a wheeled server. I kept sweater, magazines, computer, phone, chargers, tissues, meds nearby. Then, when I wanted tea or a snack, I could make my way to the kitchen on crutches pushing the cart along ahead of me. A backpack works for toting a book upstairs to bed. As does the daughter.

    I’ll be looking to all of you for that utmost support that only a fellow-endurer can provide. And to those of you recovering, I’ve found that it’s quicker than I anticipated and slower than I wish.


  334. Charlotte says:

    Hi All,

    Gosh there are so many of us out there all having this operation and I have found this blog very supportive!

    As I wrote earlier and Christine and others have written, Pilates has certainly been a popular exercise to do on the floor, moderating and adapting exercises to suit our current situations! And yes, Pilates does need to be done in a very controlled and subtle manner, but has such excellent results. We all seem to be doing very similar exercises to keep the rest of us mobile and strong, which is so important as my left side has weakened enormously in the last 5 weeks!

    I am however starting to feel that the operated foot is generally feeling far more settled and less swollen when walking around so that is some good news after what seems a very long 5 weeks.. I am wearing the Darco wedge shoes also Christine. Next week will be 6 weeks and I will coming out of the special shoe, a little apprehensive about this but also can’t wait!!
    I have to say I am impressed Christine that you have had both feet done at the same time, very brave indeed!…not sure I could have coped with that. Good luck to Diana also having both feet done..

    Thanks Emily for your advice on the foot exercises, but my surgeon hasn’t told me to do anything other than wriggle my toes and walk on my heel whenever I can. To be honest in the very early stages I couldn’t even manage wriggling my toes without the whole foot swelling up and being unbearably sore, however now is much better and so I am wriggling away! You are right though to do some rehabilitation as the foot and calf becomes siginificantly weak, I guess I will be doing more of this next week and thereafter.

    Good luck to all fellow endurers, it has been a tough few weeks but I think it will be worth it and every week that goes by you see some progress! 🙂 I even went to my rehearsals last night!


  335. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Laura

    Many thanks for the exercise tips, I do have one question re the band, how did you attach it to the door frame?
    I also find that to have things close to hand makes life so much easier and I have taken to carrying small items in a plastic bag up and down the stairs, I can carry the bag on my wrist and therefoe have two hands free to hold the stair rail.
    I also have great help from my partner but I like to be as independant as possible so I have made it a kind of hobby working out how to do things for myself.
    I agree with your statement Laura, it’s not as bad as I thought it may be but I am counting the days to full recovery!
    I will be here for you when you have your other foot done as I am sure we all will x

  336. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Charlotte
    We are all given such different advice from our post op teams it seems. I was told at the first post op appointment (one week after surgery) to NOT wiggle my toes as they needed the bones to be kept still whilst they were healing. I have to say that I do wiggle them or my feet would totally go to sleep!

  337. Heather in York says:

    You will never know how relieved I am to have found this blog tonight, I go in for surgery tomorrow. I do hope I will be able to follow the blog during my recuperation, initially at my daughter’s, it is very re-assuring to read of other’s experiences.

  338. Donna from NJ says:

    Heather, you will be in my thoughts and prayers tomorrow.!!!!

    I too am very grateful for finding this blog, although I wish that I had found it sooner so that I would have had more realistic expectations. Knowing the experiences of others has helped me cope with my own recovery. On Nov 27, 2012 I had surgery for bunion, 2 hammertoes, a 2 1/2 ” Mortons Neuroma and a correction of a deformity from a childhood accident on my right foot. (Which is what caused all of the above). Yesterday I had the 2 pins removed and now look forward to physical therapy and recovery. I now am walking without crutches, in the lovely Darco shoe, very sloooowly. I have a combination of numbness, pain, swelling and red/purple coloration. All of the above is normal and I am relieved. Thank you everyone for taking the time to post your difficulties and successes. My best advice is ice, ice, ice!

  339. Diana Champion says:

    Thanks Christine, I will definately keep you all updated once I have my op. Pilates is not something I have done …..anyone have any suggestions for good Pilates DVDs I can look into? Thanks.

  340. Christine Shelvey says:

    Type Pilates for Beginners into Google Diana, there are several for sale at good prices. I started many years ago with a DVD called Pilates Weekly Workout by Lynne Robinson, it’s easy to follow and it explains the priciple of Pilates which even some teachers don’t do!

  341. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi again Diana

    I have a very long wire in my toe from the hammer toe correction, I find it very irritating as it is pulling my toe so far back that it’s sore especially at night. I have been told that having the wire out is not painful. How was yours when they removed them?

  342. Diana Champion says:

    Hi Christine, I haven’t had my operation yet! …getting them done on the 23rd Jan .

  343. Diana Champion says:

    PS Christine……thanks for the info on the Pilates. I will check it out.

  344. Christine Shelvey says:

    Ahhh sorry Diana I misread your post!
    Our clinic has just told us NOT to wiggle our toes. It’s odd how some paople are told to do toes exercises and we have been told definately not to. Again, listen to your op and post op teams for your particular procedure as it varies from one team to another!

  345. Christine Shelvey says:

    I see where I went wrong now, it was Donna who had her pins removed,
    Donna, how was the pin removal after your hammer toe op?

  346. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi All
    I just found this little gem on another bunion blog and I hope you find it as amusing as I have enjoy!
    . FASTER BONE HEALING? I’m told bone heals in 6-8 weeks and today I read that toe bones heal faster with screws in it. I wonder if that’s similar to baked potatoes that cook faster with nails pushed through the middle from end to end the long way? 🙂 Whatever the case, feet are amazing and healing energy is a miracle. Go feet!

  347. Donna from NJ USA says:

    I had my two 4″ wires removed on Jan 7 and it was not painful. However, there was a lot of uncomfortable pressure. Not too bad though.

  348. Charlotte says:

    Yes we are all given such different advice from the surgical teams…I’m not wiggling toes that much anymore as it definitely feels worse when I do! Just keep everything still early on that seems to be the best advice until it settles down after about 5 weeks ish..
    Interesting comment Christine about bone healing time with or without screws. Yippee I have screws, so I hope it is true that I’m healing quicker, nearly 6 weeks now can’t wait!

  349. Christine Shelvey says:

    Thanks Donna!
    Yes Charlotte, best keep everything still to be on the safe side.
    Six weeks eh? that’s wehn my bandages come off and I am tried in a proper shoe, I can’t wait either, let us know how you get on x

  350. Emily says:

    Charlotte, since you are nearly six weeks you should be wiggling your toes. Yes, it hurts like the devil when you first start, but if you do it several times a day after a couple days it doesn’t any more. I say, anything you can do to get your feet back to normal quicker, do it. You certainly won’t injure yourself, although I know it feels like you might! 😉

    FYI after doing range of motion exercises for 5 days I have made significant progress and it doesn’t feel like “self-torture” anymore. 🙂

  351. Charlotte says:

    Yes I will definitely Christine. I think I may need the support! How are you getting on with both feet??! 🙂
    It seems that here in the UK we have a slightly different procedure to the States. We come out of the Darco shoe after 6 weeks if you’ve just had the normal bunion procedure and only have a bandage around the foot…

    Diana – You may want to check out the Pilates Foundation website also which tells you all about Pilates if you’re keen to understand the exercise. It is a very reputable site –

    Heather from York – hope you’re not feeling toooo bad after your op?! it gets easier eventually 🙂


  352. Laura says:

    Christine, about exercise bands — the ones I use are Xertubes, by SPRI, with handles at each end. They came with a door attachment that slides into the space between door and frame. Alternatively, I loop a band around the base of a very heavy piece of exercise equipment or over a chinning bar fastened in a doorway.

    Emily, I’m three months post-op and it still hurts like heck to do my toe stretches. I can see the progress, though, so it’s worth it.

  353. Emily says:

    Charlotte – in the States it totally depends on the dr’s belief of what is right. My podiatrist had me in a bandage with a Darco shoe right away; other podiatrists here put their patients in soft casts and crutches for the first week or so.

    Laura – I can see the toe stretches still hurting after 12 wks, but I was just talking about wiggling toes. 🙂

  354. Charlotte says:

    Thanks Emily for the advice. I can see that my big toe is looking very stiff and so I am assuming when I see my surgeon next week she will give me some more exercises to begin with!…gosh it’s quite scary I hope the movement returns so I can walk!! 🙂 And yes my surgeon has told me to wiggle my toes.

  355. Emily says:

    Charlotte, my dr. told me to start range of motion exercises wk 4. I did, but wasn’t aggressive enough. Last Fri, when I finally got to get out of my Darco at 6.5 wks, I could not move my toe.

    Both the nurse and dr. scolded me – in a gentle, but firm, way. So I REALLY started pulling my toe back. And like I said, man, it hurt so bad I wanted to cry the first couple of days.

    But today, five days later, I can wiggle and flex my big toe to a much greater extent, I’m walking much faster and doing stairs without hardly any trouble, and the exercises, while they still hurt, are tolerable. And today for the first time I can put my shoe on and take it off without my toe screaming at me about it! 🙂 I have a ways to go, but I am very relieved and happy with the progress.

    All that to encourage you – the movement can return much more quickly than it seems it might when you first start exercising. So, chin up! You will do it. 🙂

  356. Just a thought, how about we start a Facebook page for you to communicate on? Then we can share photos? I really want to see how everyones feet look compared to mine. I have way more to say but I will save it for the page if everyone agrees. If you like the idea, you can leave your name and I will add you?
    Whatcha think?

  357. Thanks Charlotte..I will check out the Pilates stuff

  358. Charlotte says:

    Thanks Emily! That was really useful and encouraging information. I guess I will be going through the same process over the next couple of weeks…! How are you coping with just standing and walking?? I am a singer and in a show in March and I will have to do a fair bit of standing up! 🙂

    Gina -Yes sounds a good idea, I will go to the link in a mo.


  359. Emily says:

    Charlotte, I still have some swelling when I just stand for a while, or have my foot down while sitting. I can go longer if I’m walking, but I can walk maybe fifteen minutes or so before I feel like I really need a rest.

    March is a ways away – you will probably be fine. If you are going to be backstage at times, if I were you I’d elevate my foot whenever possible.

    Gina, will check out your link later. Good idea. It’s getting kinda cumbersome communicating through this comment thread.

  360. Charlotte says:

    Hi Gina,

    Not sure if I have joined your facebook page or not?? I did try. My name is Charlotte Brett! 🙂

    The blog seems to have gone a little quiet so perhaps people are using the fb page?! How is everyone getting along?


  361. Donna from NJ USA says:

    Hi Gina,
    I am not sure if I was successful in joining FB page. It looks like I survived my first physical therapy appointment. 🙂 I am so very happy to have found all of you for only because of this blog do I feel hope. Thank you all.
    For FB my name is Donna Prouse Lentz-Lickliter. (I know signing my name is akin to writing a novel. :).

  362. Julie D says:

    Hello everyone, I’m soo happy to have found this blog, I’m scheduled for bunion surgery (left foot) on Thursday Jan. 17, 2013 and feeling anxious. I live in Quebec city in Canada and work as a Flight Attendant and have 2 young girls ( 4 & 7). All your comments are helping and thank you for keeping ur posts updated.

    Gina, I have request to join the group on ur Facebook link, awaiting acknowledgment

    My surgeon , told me that I would be in a boot for 6 -8 wks and off work for 4 months, as I’m on me feet 90-95% of the time and for 10-12hous a shift, plus the swelling of altitude… Just wondering if anyone with a job requiring as much time on their feet as mine does with any post comments? Will keep the follow up and following ur post. Again , thank you everyone, and best recovery to all

  363. swirlingleaf says:

    Gina, I’ve put a link to your facebook page on the blogroll as well. Best wishes, Julia.

  364. Maggie D. says:

    Hello everyone. I am a 30yr old female and I had a bunionectomy on Dec. 19, 2012. I have had bunions since i could remember my feet. I decided to have my left foot done first so that I would not be impaired to drive with my right. The surgery went fairly quick and it is definitely an odd feeling to be awake one minute wondering when the anesthesia will take effect and then all of a sudden I’m being awakened to find the surgery has been completed. I wish I had come upon and read this forum beforehand but it has been quite helpful these past few days.

    While my surgery has been successful, I’ve stumbled on a few challenges. First, I had nausea and vomiting the first three day until the podiatrist prescribed Phenergan. That quickly helped but I was weak from not being able to keep anything down. The podiatrist/surgeon tried switching me from Oxycodone to Hydrocodone, to help with the stomach sensitivity, but I was in a world a hurt because apparently Hydro doesn’t quite works as well as Oxy. So I went back on Oxy for pain.

    Then a week post-op I developed a DVT in my left calf. Totally unexpected. I don’t drink, smoke or use birth control, nor do I have a blood disorder. After surgery, I did rest for the first few days, but I did stay somewhat mobile and tried to wiggle my toes to keep the blood moving thru. So now I have to be on Coumadin and inject Lovenox (2x) daily to anticoagulate my blood and pray the clot does not dislodge and travel to my lungs or heart. Hopefully I will be done with that in three months.

    I have also fallen a couple of times and the second fall, which happened about 2 weeks ago, was pretty bad. I bruised my right knee and hand really bad. I suffer from reoccurring episodes of Shingles and the breakout always happens on my right hand. A few hours after the fall, I had horrible nerve pain and painful sensitivity to the slightest touch. The next day the rash developed and blistering began. I was just able to see my physician and went back on Zovirax. Should clear out in a few days. Unfortunately, the postherpetic pain will not be so easy to manage. It never has been.

    I am 3wks4days post op, and I am not walking on my foot yet. I have it bandaged still and have not gotten it wet yet even though the doctor said I could. The stitches were taken out at 3wks. Pain throbs usually occur at night, so I have switched to taking pain meds only at night before going to bed.

    I can see the size difference and atrophy in my entire left leg. Muscles tone is so squishy.

    I took a shower for first time since surgery a couple of days ago and it was glorious. It is really cumbersome to get into my tub since it is really high, so I put did sponge baths until i felt strong enough to be able to hobble into the tub. My husband bought a cast/wound protector to put over my foot and leg for a waterproof seal. It is a thick but soft plastic bag with a tight plastic band to seal off at the lower thigh area. About $12 at walgreens. I had my husband put a metal chair in the tub and help me in. Maybe it is because I have a blood clot in my leg but I could not wait to get the bag off my leg. It does constrict blood flow and my leg and foot felt tight and itchy painful. Once I finished showering I pulled it off and the itch, pain and added redness dissipated.

    I wish I had done this sooner. I always think about others first and I finally put my foot done (pun intended). The younger you are the more your body can handle. These past few weeks have tested my everything but I am finally seeing the light. I wish I had a better support system but I have managed. I totally recommend to all who have suffered and continue suffering from bunions to please look into getting the surgery done. I am really happy I finally got this done, despite the challenges.

  365. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Maggie,

    Wow you have been going through the wars! I am sorry to hear about the issues you have experienced, DVT here in the UK is rae with bunion ops and when I asked the the house surgeon, she told me it was because the op is on the fore foot and we are put directly into the wedge shoes and have to walk about. I am not sure if you have the shoes or a cast.
    I would take some fish oil and do some floor exercises to get the blood moving around well.
    The operative teams here in the UK give something to stop nausea after anaesthetic so we don’t get the post op vomitting.
    I am amazed that even after your challenges, you are able to give a bright view of having the surgery, you are a truely positive person!
    I had both feet operated on two days before you and I have the Darco wedge shoes so I am very mobile, I do have to raise my feet regulary even after four weeks but it’s a small price to pay compared to having painful, uglt bunions and a hammer toe for all those years!
    I hope you continue to improve and have a better expereince when you have the other foot done!
    Christine (UK)

  366. Christine Shelvey says:

    Julia (Swirlingleaf)

    Please update us on your foot as you are now over a year post op. I would like to know how long it has taken for your foot to feel normal again 🙂

  367. swirlingleaf says:

    Hi Christine. My foot is fine. I do jogging on a treadmill now and don’t have any problems. I still find that the side of my foot and toe feel more sensitive than the other foot, but it doesn’t cause me any issues. Fortunately I don’t have a bunion on the other foot so never had to make the decision about whether to get the other one done. I’m very glad I had it done, and wish every one all the best as it is a difficult operation to deal with due to the recovery time and discomfort, both physical and mental. Best foot forward! 🙂

  368. Christine Shelvey says:

    Many thanks for the update Julia!

    Yes it is a difficult recovery time with so much uncertainty for so many reasons. Thank you for starting this blog as it has helped so many people.
    Take Care

  369. Donna from NJ USA says:

    Julia, I also want to thank you for this blog!!!!!! It saved me much anxiety and my sanity. Oh! And my husband THANKS you…….he tried so hard to understand, but was so relieved when I found this blog. Awesome support and great sharing of experiences. So happy for your recovery!

  370. swirlingleaf says:

    Christine and Donna, You’re welcome, glad you find it helpful 😀

  371. Mary Genell says:

    Hi, All,

    I am getting ready for my next bunion surgery on January 28th. My doctor told me not to take aspirin for two weeks before surgery. I have not had any aspirin for two months. Tonight I took an Alka Seltzer Nighttime Cold Medicine before realizing that it contained aspirin. I am going to talk with my doctor tomorrow, but should I worry?

    Thanks for the blog and I enjoy reading the responses and advice.

  372. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Mary

    I would call the Dr and tell them. We cannot advise you on that but as long as they know, thats the main thing x

  373. Emily says:

    I shouldn’t think that taking it once would ruin everything. 😉 Remember that medical doctors are (and need to be, due to liability issues) super-paranoid about everything.

  374. Christine Shelvey says:

    The reason they tell us not to take Aspirin is it thins the blood. They need the blood to clot well during and after the surgery. Again, tell them so they are aware but I agree with Emily, one dose a few days before surgery probably won’t be a problem. Only they can advise you.

  375. Mary Genell says:

    Thanks, everyone. I will call my doctor today and let him know. Did you know that there are different types of Alka Seltzer? The one I took has aspirin but it’s also made with acetaminophen.

    I would love to join you on Facebook but I am one of the few humans in existence that do not use Facebook. Thanks for the invite.

    I’ll let you all know what the doctor says. I agree that it probably will not postpone my surgery but I am really a worrywart at heart.

    I learned a few things in my first surgery and have purchased a few things to try and make the recovery easier for both me and my husband. Here are a few of the updates:

    1. Purchased a chair-like backrest that has arms, a cup holder, and a magazine rack. This will help keep things close at hand.
    2. Ordered a wedge that I can put my offending leg up on. This will help eliminate pillows slipping all over the place.
    3. Stocked the freezer and shelves with breakfast bars, soup, and frozen meals. My hubby was cooking three meals a day and he was exhausted after about a month.
    4. Bought several pairs of loose pajamas for comfort. It’s cold up here (-30F yesterda morning). P.S. I got them all on clearance. I hate paying full price for anything.

    Thanks again for all the support. Will be posting again soon …

  376. Charlotte says:

    Hi Julia (Swirlingleaf)

    Yes, I also thank you for starting this blog!!

    I see you have posted how you are feeling now which is great to hear, but can I ask at what stage did you feel that you could walk around and stand fairly comfortably within that recovery process? I am 7.5 weeks and struggling with swelling and stiffness. In March I am in a big show (Opera) and I have to be able to stand/sing/act!!..hope it will all be possible!

    Thanks and I hope you don’t mind me asking you.

  377. Emily says:

    Charlotte, I am at about 9.5 wks now, and can say things are notably better than they were 2 wks ago, where you are now.

    Are you doing range of motion exercises for your toe? Or seeing a physical therapist? The stiffness, as I understand, won’t go away on its own. My dr. told me that once I get full range of motion back, the swelling will disappear. And the swelling is much less now, I believe because I have been doing the exercises religiously.

  378. Charlotte says:

    Hi Emily,
    Thanks very much for replying, nice to hear from you again! I am doing some range of motion of exercises, pulling my big toe backwards and forwards and trying to walk on it as much as I can. It hurts like hell!

    Can I ask what exercises you have been doing please and how much are you walking on it now? I have not been given a physical therapist as such.

    Many thanks.

  379. Emily says:

    Sounds like we’re doing the same kind of exercise. I do ten reps 3x/day (I don’t use a PT either). I read somewhere else where after the fifth week you “should” do it 6X/day, but my dr. never said as much and I’m afraid my toe would hurt all day if I did!

    Make sure you you are pulling your toe back as far as you can. I’m not saying you’re not, but even if what you are doing hurts like hell you may be able to pull it back further still. At last appt. on the 18th my dr. was pleased with my progress, but told me to continue to be “very aggressive” with the exercises.

    All that said, I think you will be pleasantly surprised (and relieved) to see how much progress you will have made in the next 2 wks. And like I said before, March is still a ways away!

    I probably am on my feet as much as thirty minutes at a time two or three times a day (housecleaning and all that), usually shorter periods of time and after supper have to be on it less b/c that’s the worst time of day for swelling.

    Also, I am now in ToeSox ( – just got them yesterday) and try to remember to wiggle my toes as much as I can throughout the day

    HTH! 🙂

  380. Charlotte says:

    Thank you for your advice Emily 🙂
    I have walked quite a bit today and done the exercises, I also looked on that website, how brilliant, must order some toesox they look fab!

    Let me know your progress x

  381. Jackie says:

    Hi everyone…I’m new to this blog, but found it to be VERY insightful and encouraging. I had my first bunionectomy 7 years ago, told myself I’d never have it again. Here I am, 10 months post op, having had my right foot done with a subsequent non-fusion. I had the classic chevron bunionectomy and am scheduled to go in again on February 6th to have it re-done with a bone graft from my hip bone. Ugh.

  382. Heather in York says:

    hi all, I am now on day 18 post surgery. Had an airboot fitted on day 6 when the dressings were first changed. Second follow up on day 13 was told I can weight bear wearing boot of course, which I do using elbow crutches for balance. I can take the plastic front off the boot when in bed which makes for more comfort. Surgeon said I can shower but haven’t tried that yet. But been using plastic stool in shower and sticking leg out of door with foot placed on another plasic chair – works for me!! Still spend most of time with foot elevated and during this time can unwrap it. Can’t say I am without pain but manageable with paracetamol and naproxen which I believe is similar to ibuprofen. Toredness I would say is my big enemy as I try to do more each day and am then shattered. Kind friends have taken me out to lunch several times, I was going to have a go at the supermarket today but heavy snow has put paid to that.
    I have been recommended arnica tablets for the swelling/bruising……anyone any experience of these please?
    Good luck to all about to start on the journey, and thanks to everyone who takes the trouble to post, it is so encouraging.

  383. Emily says:

    Hi, Heather,

    One remark about arnica: I have heard that if you don’t start homeopathy right away, it generally doesn’t do a lot of good. But I am not a homeopathic expert, so take that with a grain of salt. 😉

    That being said, the swelling and bruising is normal. You should see the bruising start to heal up around week 4 or 5, and the swelling will start to diminish around then, although that could hang out at some level for a while.

    Are you able to get hold of a cast protector? I am in the US, and my podiatrist sold me one for $35 – I was able to shower right away because of it.

    Sounds like your progression is normal – I remember wk 3 wanting to do so much, and trying to do more, and suffering from pain because of it (actually, that was why I originally found this post and commented).

    Things will get better faster than it seems now. 🙂 (I am 9.5 wks post op now.)

  384. Liz says:

    Hi Heather,
    Just a further side-note about arnica. I have heard from others that homeopathic arnica (drops/tablets) help with swelling. I have taken it myself but not consistently so cannot vouch for its effectiveness. However, I do have personal experience of topical arnica cream used once scars have healed. We have a product in NZ called “Anti-flamme” which many physiotherapists use. It is a combination of arnica, calendula, bees-wax and peppermint oil. It is amazing for reducing bruising, swelling and pain, but should not be used on broken skin. I have played field hockey for years and received plenty of cracks on the shin and legs from both stick and ball. If I massage this cream on the affected area there is no pain the next day and the bruising subsides rapidly – plus it smells nice. Now that my scars from the operation are sealed, I am using it on my foot and it is certainly helping remarkably well, especially on those days when I have overdone the walking and not been able to elevate as often as I still should (now nearly 10 weeks post-op – 2 weeks post-cast removal). Good luck!

  385. Heather in York says:

    thank you for that all that information Liz, my local pharmacy is getting some arnica tablets for Monday and I will certainly investigate the cream you mention for later. I am reliant on my friends to shop for me and one problem at the moment is we are knee deep in snow, so I am reluctant to ask anyone to go further than our small range of village shops. I can have a look what the internet offers.

    Next question…does anyone know how long to keep the elastic stocking on the good leg for, I forgot to ask.

    Are you hoping to get back to hockey playing? So pleased you are making good progress, scars all healed and walking quite a bit….roll on the day.

  386. Ashley says:

    Hi – it’s so good to be able to read about others’ experiences with their surgeries. I’m hoping someone can help me, or at least help me be patient.

    I am about 6 weeks post-op from a Lapidus Bunionectomy on my left foot. Everything with the surgery and recovery has gone very well so far. I just got out of the cast this week and am now using a cam boot to walk. My doctor has given me exercises and stretches to do at home, but I’m getting frustrated and sad that I’m not seeing any improvement. My big toe is still significantly lifted when I place the foot on the floor and it’s affecting how I’m walking. I’ve been doing massages, stretching until it hurts, and rotating it about 3 times a day for 20 – 30 min. each time. I know I’m being silly for expecting to see results 3 days out of the cast, but I’m almost in tears each time I hold the stretches, and I’d like to at least see something.

    What is a reasonable expectation for seeing results?

    And, if anyone reading has any extra tips, I’m open to doing as much as I can to get my foot back to where it needs to be. (I did soak in the tub today and did some stretches underwater and it felt much looser while I was in the water, so I think I’m going to add that to my routine.)

    Happy recovering!
    – Ashley

  387. Liz says:

    Hi Ashley,

    I also had a Lapidus procedure with fusion of the first and second tarsometatarsal – 5 screws in the mid-foot; a slipper cast for about 7.5 weeks (courtesy of the Xmas/New Year period). It’s now about 9.5 weeks, post-operation and 2 weeks out of the cast. I have five screws in my mid-foot. I find that my big toe is still a bit stiff although it does move up and down and it is tender to walk, but I’ve been alternating going to the gym – very cautiously pedalling on the stationary bike – and going to the pool – swim two laps, walk two laps. It seems to be improving each day. I think we just have to keep at the mobilising and keep elevating and icing when we’ve been on our feet for a while. The pool is definitely a nice change from full-on weight-bearing. Aqua socks (neoprene slippers) protect my feet in and around the pool, giving me more confidence. Where are you? I’m in Gisborne, New Zealand.

  388. Ashley says:

    Hi Liz –
    I’m in Washington, DC in the US. Thanks for giving me an idea of how much progress to expect in the coming weeks. Are you in a walking boot of any sort? Or just with sneakers? I will say that coming straight out of the cast, my ankle was very sore and I need the boot to help me learn how to walk again. All the padding also helps to cushion the ball of my foot where its still a bit sore.

    Hopefully at my next appointment, I’ll get cleared to start going to the gym. Has that been as helpful as the pool?

  389. Liz Minogue says:

    Ashley, I am wearing my brother’s Nike Freefit trainers one size bigger than my usual size when I go out. My ankle does get sore as well but is getting stronger, too. Around the house I am wearing padded slippers or a sock and a canvas Velcro cast protector to cushion the ball of my foot on tile and kitchen floor etc. it’s like a long oval sole with canvas sides that velcro across the foot – extremely ugly but does the business. I wear Aqua socks at the pool. I’d say the pool is possibly better for recuperation than the gym as you can get a cardio workout with no jarring of the foot whereas the stationary bike does still stress the front of the foot a little. However, by alternating, I feel I am getting variety and can do more efficient Ab work at the gym. I’ve put on weight and lost condition as the only activity for weeks consisted of shuffling from bed to chair to toilet, etc. A constant ‘battle of the bulge’, I’m afraid….

  390. Emily says:


    Calm down. 😉 Three days is a bit early to see results, but they will come. Do what you need to do, and if you are indeed stretching enough you should start to notice good changes in about a week. That said, I actually need to stretch my toe beyond the point of hurting to see progress.

    Liz – Cut back on calories and get some quality whey protein (Jay Robb is one of the few truly healthy whey proteins out there that is easily available both from health food stores and in you – it helps you build lean muscle mass and burn fat faster, even when you’re not working out.

  391. Heather in York says:

    If anyone else is interested in antiflamme the soothing rub to bring out bruises etc, talked about by Liz, I have found out it is marketed in the uk as ‘Nature’s kiss’ You may be able to buy it locally, or it is available online. I ordered mine from Hargraves Cycles, £8.09 including postage. (no affiliations etc. – if any probs I will post up details)

  392. Laura says:

    Dear Mary G, wishing you a smooth surgery tomorrow and a speedy recovery afterward. I’m just one week behind you.

  393. Charlotte says:

    HI Heather. I am from the UK and the Nature’s Kiss cream sounds wonderful. Can you please tell me how you ordered this as I have looked up Hargraves Cycles and couldn’t find anything..??? I would like to get some of this for my foot too. thanks x

  394. Heather in York says:

    Hi Charlotte, sorry I got the name slightly wrong. it is Hargroves cycles and the product is called Natures kiss herbal rub Hopefully this is the correct link Rub

    it is under the clothing section under creams and muscle rubs. Liz speaks highly of it for our purposes, but if I don’t use it all up it definitely won’t be wasted as my grandchildren play cricket, tennis and football, so plenty of bruises to repair there.
    Good luck with your recovery and thanks to Liz for the tip.

  395. Donna from NJ USA says:

    Yes, Mary, may your surgery go well and your recovery be quick. Let us know how you are when you can.

  396. Mary Genell says:

    Hi, Laura, Donna, and everyone else,

    I just got home from my second surgery. It was easier than the first one … probably because I knew what to expect. After the surgery, my doctor warned me not to try and do too much right away. He said people remember the end of recovery from their first surgery and apply it to their second surgery. This causes problems with the recovery.

    I am better prepared this time. I got a great “chair back” from Brookstone. It was about $100 U.S. dollars and has a headrest and armrests. There are pockets on the side for paperwork, the TV remote, cell phone, etc. I also have a cup holder, masssaging backrest, and a moveable light. I put an extra pillow behind it and it is very comfortable. I also have an adjustable table that rolls under the bed that I can angle. It is perfect for the computer or crosswords. I adjusted everything that plugged in before I left to ensure I’d have somewhere to charge the computer and the Kindle. I think I’ll read Les Miserables before watching the movie on pay-per-view. I’ve read it twice in my life and think one more time won’t hurt. Heck … I have the time.

    I ordered a leg wedge but it hasn’t arrived yet. This will help with the slippery pillow issue. I have an adjustable back brace, small hand weights, and a stretchy band with handles when I feel good enough to start exercising from my butt. My hubby bought me a bike horn at the dollar store. It’s cheap but makes a loud enough noise so he can hear it in the living room while, at the same time, driving the dogs nuts.

    I also have lotion, my Leatherman (like a fancy Swiss Army knife), my Kindle, a stack of magazines, and a hairbrush handy along with my meds and plenty of water. I am in a bright airy room and my hubby yells if I try to get up. The doctor said to stay in bed for two weeks like this and I intend on following his instructions.

    I have not take any pain pills yet but I expect that I will have to in order to sleep tonight. I am still very numb and have not taken off the Velcro walking cast yet. I’ve only been home an hour and am still pretty comfortable. My hubby (Bill) said I was a little pale and I am a little nauseous, but I’m doing alright. I intend on working on my first foot while I am sitting here. I am at about 80% in bending my foot back and figure I have the time to dedicate to it.

    I will be working from home again – probably will start after I am done taking pain pills. I was able to accomplish a lot last time and have even been given projects. I have a project that involves comparing various aspects of our 8 Unions and the mill. I also got the OK to study Spanish as it will come in handy in my workplace in the future.

    I know everyone is antsy to get working out again but I think it is better to keep the foot elevated as much as you can and minimize excess swelling. I think that being in shape will come back once the foot (or feet) are recovered. I should be able to get on the treadmill (comfortably) in a couple of months. Until then, I plan on using my bands and hand weights. I bought breakfast bars, yogurt, honey, and fruit so Bill does not have to cook me full breakfasts every morning and I can control the calories a little better. I have four dogs that are more than happy to help me finish meals. I think this helped on my left foot because the scar is very faded and, while I still have swelling, it’s not terrible. One of the biggest things I learned is not to be afraid to touch the foot (after the doctor OKs it). I think this helps with the recovery.

    I am thankful for this blog and all the caring people that write in it. It is my first resource when I have questions because I find that usually somebody has written about it at some point. Thank you to everyone and I look forward to hearing your stories and maybe providing some comfort.

    Take Care.

  397. Donna from NJ USA says:

    Wow! Mary, I am so happy that you are home, doing well and and are so prepared. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers…..this is a long journey, and I am grateful to share it with such brave souls. May God speed your recovery.

  398. Christine Shelvey says:

    Well done Mary and yes, I agree with Donna, you certainly have got everything prepared!
    Please remind me when you had your first surgery x

  399. Emily says:

    To everybody and especially Liz, if she sees this:

    Excuse my ignorance! Turns out I had a tube of arnica gel in my pantry. I bought it several yrs ago, and didn’t even think to try it on my post-op foot, partly b/c I forgot it was there, partly b/c I wasn’t sure it would work.

    I wish I would have started applying it WEEKS ago! The swelling and soreness are down considerably, right after I started using it a couple days ago! (I’m 10 wks post-op now, but still get swollen when I overdo). (I had been using therapeutic-grade essential oils, but except for brief pain relief after doing my exercises they didn’t seem to relieve the swelling.)

    So thanks, Liz, and to everyone else: find some arnica gel or cream to use. It works!

  400. Heather in York says:

    HI all I promised to report about Hargroves cycles .. I ordered the cream containing arnica etc (natures kiss, herbal rub). Ordered it Sunday evening, got an e.mail yesterday to say it had been despatched by Royal Mail as a trackable item. Arrived this morning. Certainly has a very pepperminty fresh smell and feels light to rub in. Now to see if it works. Encouraged by Emily’s findings.

  401. Liz says:

    Fantastic, Emily. So glad the arnica is working for you. I look forward to hearing if it (and the Nature’s Kiss brand) is successful for others.

  402. Laura says:

    Now I know what I’m doing on Sunday: buying arnica cream, filling the fridge with washed veggies and fruit, and setting up my healing room. Pillows, of course. Rolling cart with all my communication, grooming, and comfort necessities so I can reach what I need. Full spectrum lamp to ward off the winter blues. A flowering plant for uplift. The dog on his cushion nearby. Throw rugs put away for the time I’m on crutches.

    Surgery on Monday. Thank you, Mary, for the reminder that we begin healing at the beginning. Again. And thank you everyone for being there.

  403. Donna from NJ USA says:

    Laura, don’t forget to set up your access to the internet so we can encourage your progress. I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Please let us know how you are doing when you can.

  404. Mary Genell says:

    Hi, All,

    It’s 4 days post-surgery for me. This is my second bunion surgery. I had the first one done on my left foot on October 1st and it went well. I am still working on the flexibility in bending my toes back. I’m at about 85% or so.

    This surgery (on my right foot) is more of a stinger. The doctor said I had calcified muscle in my foot (probably from repeatedly kicking things in 15+ years of karate). He cleaned out the calcification as best he could but had to leave some of it in there so my foot would have some structure. I have a different kind of pain. The doctor said it would hurt more because of what he had to do. I have been using the pain medication more than last time but it really does make a difference in the pain level.

    Like my other foot, I have two screws in this foot. It might take a bit more therapy to get this foot to where it should be. The preparations I did before the surgery sure helped me this week. I was told to take it easy and I am trying to do just that. Everything I need is close at hand and I am trying to take it one hour at a time. I have faith that this foot will turn out just as good as the other one. My foot hurts but I also know that is the first step in wearing smaller shoes and having pain-free feet. I should be ready to go just about when I have to start my gardening. Nothing like planning ahead … 🙂

    Good luck everyone and keep posting. I love this blog!

  405. Charlotte says:

    Thanks to Heather, I have ordered the Natures Kiss tub of Recovery cream with Arnica and it arrived yesterday so applying it now. It certainly smells nice!!! 🙂

    Emily – how are you getting along?

    Good luck to everyone else in the very early stages. I am now nearly 9 weeks but still a long way to go it feels!!


  406. Heather in York says:

    Hi Charlotte and all…just for the record I bought the nature’s kiss herbal massage, and though the ingredients are very similar to the Recovery cream you got, it was the fact that the herbal massage spoke of being anti-inflamatory that attracted me to it. I have been using it for a few days now and find that although the swelling is about the same, the bruising is fading. I am 3 weeks and 2 days post op and been weight bearing in my air boot for about ten days. I still find I can only manage about 30mins before I need to put my foot up, but it makes all the difference.

    Best love to Laura and Mary, right at the beginning of their bunion-path!


  407. Charlotte says:

    Oh no I have bought the wrong one then!…damn!! Let me know if you really think it makes a difference to the inflammation please…

    thank you x

  408. Heather in York says:

    Hi Charlottle, there seem to be three or four different ones, which is quite confusing The ingredients seem very similar however and I don’t know if I am correct here, but with all those natural ingredients, you surely can’t come to any harm. I am quite disappointed at my very swollen toes, and will let you know how I get on. We are probably all far too impatient.

  409. Charlotte says:

    How many weeks are you??
    I am 9 weeks nearly and still get sore and swollen but slow improvement for sure…

  410. Emily says:

    Heather, you are faring better than I – I couldn’t go anywhere near 30 min. at 3 wks post-op with my foot down! The serious swelling in all your toes is going to start to diminish in the next wk, and you will see incredible progress by wk 6.

    My bruising started to go down around wk 4, and I wasn’t putting anything on it. FYI.

    Charlotte, I am noticing much better flex in my toe, and swelling is much less (though still need to keep it up while sitting), but I am so so so DONE with the range of motion exercises! 😉

  411. Donna from NJ USA says:

    Laura, best wishes tomorrow! May you surgery be safe and successful and your recovery quick. Let us know when you are feeling up to it. 🙂

  412. Mary Genell says:

    Hi, All,

    It’s a week past my second surgery. I learned very quickly that every surgery is different. With the last one, I had a lot of swelling. With this one, I don’t have as much swelling but have pain in my big toe at night. The pain wakes me up from a dead sleep and will go away if I walk down the hallway and back (well, gimp down the hallway).

    I talked with my doctor about this and he thought I was sleeping with my foot elevated too high. I was sleeping that way, so I lessened the pillows under my foot. This helped some but I am still waking up 2-3 times in the night. I tried loosening the bandages, loosening the straps on the shoe, wearing a thinner sock-thingie, and rotating my ankle. I see my doctor on Wednesday (weather permitting) and will ask him to take a look at it.

    I thought maybe there was a circulation problem. Has anyone had issues with circulation or know of anyone who has?

    I like this blog because I was able to search and found out that pain in the big toe is not unusual. This is a good reference. Other than the big toe pain, the recovery has not been too bad. I think it was easier knowing what to expect although I was a bit apprehensive because I knew what was coming.

    Keep the comments coming. Hope everyone is doing well.

    To Laura, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I think today is your surgery day. I wish you the best in your recovery.

  413. Laura says:

    Hi everbody, I’m home from surgery, foot swathed in bandages and ice, on a pile of pillows. I knew enough this time to set up my space with what I need. I’m still muzzy from the meds, so I won’t try to say anything more. Thanks for being there.

  414. Terri in MO, USA says:

    I am so happy to have found this blog….I just found it last night and just finished reading all of the posts…I just wish I had found it prior to my surgery.

    My post-op seems different than the others that I have read…I had same-day surgery but was put out for it…was initially in a splint/half cast for 5 days, then a regular cast for 2 weeks….cast and sutures removed and am in another regular cast for another 3 weeks….NO weight bearing at all per my instructions and not to put my leg down except to use the rest room. I did have a plate and several screws involving my big toe and second toe and my incision is larger than the more common procedure as my joints are very flexible…in addition, he tightened up the tendons/ligaments as they would be loose after moving the big toe over…he indicated that he could do the ‘normal’ procedure on me but that in 10 years he would likely see me back because of the way my joints are and just wanted to take care of it at once.

    Pain was intense when I woke up after surgery, they pushed pain meds, was still in pain so they gave me a pill…first 3 days I was taking pain meds every 2 to 3 hours….by the time they took the first cast off I was down to one pain pill at night to help with sleeping. My foot feels better if I sleep in the recliner (we have one that goes way back) than in my bed and that is where I have everything from my computer to a cooler set up.

    I attempted to go back to work part days on day 11 and it was epic fail…too much swelling….even now (24 days post op) swelling becomes painful if it is down for much over an hour. 16 days until I get cast 2 off and then hopefully will go into a boot of sorts…fortunately, I have extremely understanding bosses and they have allowed me to work from home and only come into the office a couple of times a week for the necessities (we are a small firm and I have no back-up and for some reason vendors and staff like to be paid!).

    My biggest concern so far as been with this second cast….the top of the big toe seems to have pain even though I can tell nothing is touching the skin….if I gently push it down just a little it seems to subside but than comes back anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours later.

    I am interested to hear if anyone else has been casted this long? I use a knee scooter to get around the house and crutches when I go into work and am still keeping my foot up on average 20+ hours a day. I’ve taken pics at each step and am hopeful that by the time baseball season starts up that I’ll have a chance at being able to wear regular shoes.

    And a shout-out to Mary in International Falls….I was born in Fort Frances and raised in the Falls and graduated there…currently in central Missouri USA.

  415. Julie D says:

    Hi Laura, happy to hear from u and hope all went well. Now simply try to relax enjoy the meds and take care of yourself and don’t forget to ask for help :). Happy recovery

  416. Mary Genell says:

    Hi, Laura, Glad you’re home and recovering. You’ve already been through one surgery, so you sort of know what to expect. This one is the same in some respects and different in others. Take care and I look forward to hearing from you.

    To Terri in MO: I also wish I would have found this before my surgery. Guess I just didn’t have time to do that until after I was confined to bed. I grew up in the Minneapolis area of Minnesota but have lived in I. Falls for the past 12 years. I met my current husband here. We live on an island (where Bill is the property manager) with our four dogs. I work at the mill in the Falls.

    I’m sure you heard that the Fort Frances mill is all but shut down. 240 people just lost their jobs and I think only a skeleton crew is on now. That’s too bad. I can’t imagine that happening here.

    My work is also very generous and lets me work from home. Since I don’t do anything critical like paying people, I can sit and look at the lake while working. I have several projects lined up (including studying/refreshing on Spanish) for this go-round and I expect to be home until mid-April. My surgery was on January 28. On my last surgery, I didn’t move around much for the first six weeks. My doctor said the more I could keep my foot elevated, the better it would heal. He must have been right because it healed well and I love the results!

    For this surgery, the pain is different. Like you, I have pains in my foot when nothing is touching it. I think this is probably nerve regeneration. Sometimes the pains shoot through my foot and make me yell out loud. Also, I have pain in the big toe and corresponding knuckle in the middle of the night that wakes me up. I think the toe is cramping up from lack of movement with the Velcro boot on. It doesn’t hurt like that during the day.

    I have much less swelling with this surgery but the bruising seems the same. I am looking forward to spending the spring and summer in the garden and will be working hard to be fairly mobile by then. As you probably know, the Zone 3 growing season up here is not very long but it sure is worth it.

    Good luck with your recovery and hope to read another post from you soon.

  417. Laura says:

    Hi Foot Friends, I just woke up! Surgery was yesterday. I went to bed at 10:00 last night and slept 14 hours, crutching my way to the bathroom every 4 hours. Though I’ve been through this before, I don’t seem to remember it well. When I woke just a few minutes ago, I couldn’t understand how it could be midday. Then I couldn’t remember how to get to this website on my IPad, and it’s one of my bookmarks!
    Anesthesia and pain pills, what an Alice in Wonderland experience.

    My profile: Louisville, Kentucky. Rabbi, currently working with a huge Catholic health care system to help us remember why we’re there. Husband, 17-year-old daughter, small white dog.

    Lovely being part of this bunion community. Happy continued healing to all of us.

  418. Donna from NJ USA says:

    Hi Laura,
    Thinking of you today and pray that you are doing well. Yes, Laura, I have been so thankful to have others to “walk” with through this ordeal. May you have a most speedy recovery.

  419. Heather in York says:

    So pleased everyone has got the worst over …the surgery day… things hopefully improve from here. Especially interested in what Mary and Laura have to say about their second time around. I am four weeks post op now and only need pain killers occasionally although I am stlll taking the anti-inflamatories. As Laura predicted swelling is somewhat reduced, especially when I do a lot of sitting down. Goodness there is a lot of dry skin. Has anyone got advice as to whether to apply cream – perhaps something like E45 in UK or whether it is better to leave it dry until it flakes off?
    Nice to be showering again, even though still sitting down . more secure that way.

  420. Laura says:

    Hi everyone, now that I’m out of the painkiller fog, I’m able to write something more.

    Heather, yes, use cream. Last time, once my stitches were removed, I massaged my foot daily with foot cream. That helps with the dead skin and also, I’m told, reduces the build up of scar tissue.

    Hey Mary, here we are healing in tandem again. My husband has lots of family in Minneapolis, but I haven’t been as far north as Int’l Falls yet. It looks beautiful there.

    Most significant learning the second time around: I’m less nervous about doing something wrong. If three pillows are uncomfortable, then I’ll go with two. If the prescribed pain pill makes me sick, then I’ll use a different one. When I’m tired, I sleep. When I’m restless, I crutch around. The kitchen isn’t as pristine as I like it, and for now that’s not my problem. For better or for worse, the world will still be here when I’m ready to return to it.

    And now, back to bed.

  421. Sharon says:

    Hi everyone

    I’m from Chesterfield in the UK. Had my bunion op a week yesterday at the local hospital. Was very impressed for the time it took to going into theatre at 8am to arriving back home at 11.30am. Was initially nervous in the theatre beforehand (hadn’t been up to them) at having general anaesthetic but was under in no time. The op took approx 45 mins to 1 hour. I had some pain for the first day and night and a little the next day but have not had pain since then. I took the painkillers, ibruprofen and an ant acid pill for 5 days and not taken any since. I’ve had 2 dressing changes at my GP practice and due to have my stitches out next Tues (13 days post op) back at the hospital. I have a blue velcro shoe and use crutches to get about. If I want to walk anywhere in the house or when I do get to go out in the car I use the shoe otherwise I sit with my foot up minus the shoe. Everything seems to be going ok so far and I’ve managed 2 baths up to now with my foot dangling over the side so at least I can keep relatively clean. I’m not sure when I’ll be able to start driving again but do intend to go back to work in 3 weeks. As I sit mostly and only get up now and again to fetch patients to my room (I work in a surgery) then I think I should be ok by then and I can also get my partner to drive me in. I had been putting off surgery for probably the last 3 years mainly because I am a competitve runner and didn’t want to have to take a lot of time off but over the past year the problems and injuries it was causing in my other foot and leg (probably compensating for my left foot) were getting so bad and affecting my quality of life I decided to bite the bullet and go for it! I just hope in the long run (excuse the pun!) it will be worth it and I may be able to start running marathons again which is what I used to do a few years ago! I will keep you posted on my progress. Oh, by the way I’m 51 years old and had my bunion for approx 12 years.

  422. Heather in York says:

    Hi Sharon, goodness, you are doing really well. I am over five weeks now and still get swelling when I have my leg down a lot. Good luck with it all, Heather

  423. Donna from NJ USA says:

    Sharon and Heather, how are you?

  424. Heather says:

    How kind of you to enquire Donna . I feel I am doing quite well,having been out and about quite a lot this last week (six weeks now). indoor shopping centres have been a boon. I walk without a crutch indoors, and just the one crutch outdoors helps me feel steady. No painkillers for several weeks now. Back to the hospital next Tuesday.
    Had my physiotherapist daughter staying this week and she gave me a good tip,,, I was saying how tender the side of my foot was where the bunion used to be. Helen said you need to touch it more to de-sensitise it. That has helped a lot and now I can massage it whereas before I couldn’t even bear to touch it. I am using Neil’s Yard unfragranced body lotion for my massage cream and find it very cooling.

    Hope you are all doing o.k. And doing more and more each day. Heather xx

  425. Donna from NJ USA says:

    So glad to hear that you are doing so well, Heather. Many of us are still struggling after six weeks but continue to move forward. Best wishes for your visit on Tuesday.

  426. Heather says:

    Oh wow so there is light at the end of the tunnel! Saw surgeon yesterday the x-ray showed him that all was in place after my osteotomy,tenotomy and akin procedure. Now he is happy for me to begin to swim, drive and cycle. I have managed to get a really wide pair of lace up shoes on but.walking has produced plenty of swelling so I think it will literally be one step at a time. Driving is my main aim… But maybe not today. Am investigating physiotherapy. My question to those who are further on than me…. Would this be worth it (I will be paying for myself). . . And how many sessions do you think I would need?

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  428. Charlotte says:

    Hi Heather,

    how are you getting on? Are you joined to the fb page that we all talk together on and share experiences?

    I have not had physiotherapy as it was not recommended. I am now 3 months on and still have swelling unfortunately but have been doing exercise like swimming, walking, Pilates..

    Charlotte x

  429. Hi Charlottte, thank you for your message. I am sorry you are still having swelling with your foot after 12 weeks, but it gives me heart to know I am not so different and am about four weeks behind you. My surgeon said you could have physio ‘if you felt it would be helpful’ which was neither here nor there so I decided to see how it went. I would love to join the fb page, can you tell me how to do that?

  430. Emily says:

    I am two weeks ahead of Charlotte, and still experience swelling, especially if I overdo it or have my foot down while sitting too long. I was told swelling could last up to eight months.

    Good news is at week 13 my doc was happy with my toe’s flexibility and told me I could stop the range of motion exercises. But the toe still is not as flexible as the other, so I do try to remember to do a couple of the exercises at least twice a day.

  431. Dani says:

    Hi…I’m a new girl to this blog when looking for post op shoe advice……and have found it very helpful. Thank you to all who have added their comments. I live in the UK and have had both feet done 2.5 weeks ago. Bunions and hammer toe. It has been much less painful than I thought it would be and am now walking around the house without crutches and on minimal pain killers so I count myself very,very lucky. Having my next check up this Friday to remove bandages and check pin on hammer toe… I have to say I’m so pleased I had both feet done at the same time…so far! As I can’t imagine I would want to do 2 lots of recovery. I’m 53 and always busy with businesses and family but would suggest to anybody due to have surgery to call in all your favours and get lots of help and just learn to lie there and be waited on if you can. Not only have I enjoyed being looked after by family and a few friends but I have read books,watched tv, caught up with all my pals by email and organised my photo album. I have a straw bag with all my essentials by my side day and night and pop the recommended pills regularly before it hurts. Still wondering what to do about shoes in the next few months!
    Sending positive vibes to you all.

  432. Natalie says:

    Hi All

    I’m a 23 year old Londoner – 7 weeks post op today and thought I’d share my experience as it has been so much more positive than I expected! I only had my right bunion corrected and currently have two little screws in my foot but I have had very little pain throughout the experience.

    I too had a day surgery, went in at 7.00am and walked out of the hospital wearing a boot, on crutches in no pain at about 7pm. Following that I was given codeine and paracetamol but stopped both after 3 days as I didn’t feel I needed it (NB: the codeine gave me awful constipation too). One thing not many people seem to have experienced is pressure sores. I had a really painful one under my little toe which has now left me with a scar but it seemed to heal naturally once the stitches were out and the bandages were off after 2 weeks.

    I started moving my toe back and forth (holding it above and below the joint or you’ll stretch the wrong place) 4 times a day after that and have been massaging the scar religiously with bio-oil. Think it paid off because at my 6 week check up last week I was told i had really good movement AND i was able to get my foot into a pair of fairly new trainers in my usual size first try!!

    This has felt like the laziest 6 weeks of my entire life! I’ve never watched as much tv or sat on the couch as much as I had to during the 1st couple of weeks but my advice is to persevere and beg whoever you can to move in with you while you recover!! This week I return to aqua aerobics and unfortunately public transport – watch out world!

    P.S. I had mine done on the NHS at the RNOH in Stanmore to anyone who gets the option I would absolutely choose that hospital the surgeon and nurses have been amazing!

  433. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Dani, welcome to the blog! if you wish, why not join us on Facebook? however you say you have had a double bunion op and a hammer toe correction, same as me, please let me know how you progress, do you have a wire in your toe?

  434. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Natalie, welcome to the blog, do you want to join us on Facebook? we found it easier to communicate. For you and Dani:

  435. Heather says:

    Hi Dani. I have found shoes tricky. I was in an air cast knee high boot until 7 weeks post op and since then my problem has been swelling, not width ways but top of foot puffiness. I do have a pair of Camper lace up shoes and some lace up boots which are good. in Tesco I found a pair of men,s cord slippers with a Velcro fastening and these are good for indoor wear. I don,t want to buy anything as I expect my fitting will alter as the swelling reduces. I can recommend Hotter and they have an online catalogue, if you need to buy. Heather, now nearly 9 weeks post op and considering having foot no 2 done later in summer.

  436. Dani says:

    Thank you for getting back to me. I do have a wire in my toe which actually has been the most painful and scary part of my op. I caught it once and wow that hurt! The rest is a niggle but not real pain….compared to childbirth!
    I’m sleeping so well at night…..better than before the op so I’m a bit confused…..maybe the hot flushes I had are overwhelmed by the feet recovery…strange! Thanks for your shoe advice……I’ve also found another shoe site in the UK that does shoes in very wide sizes called shoe tailor so im going to get some in soon to try out.
    Anyway the snow has stopped here and the sun is out…rare….so feeling good.

  437. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Dani, Where in the UK are you?
    I foud that until the wire was removed, I could not try any shoes on, it was quite frustrating. I am a size 5 normally however I bought a pair of cheap trainers (size 8) from Asda and they served me well for about two weeks. I am now 13 weeks post op and my feet are back to normal size.

  438. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi again Dani, is the toe with the wire the toe next to your big toe like mine?

  439. Natalie says:

    Thanks Christine! @Dani I had a scarf and akin osteotomy so quite different to you but I’m in week 7 with naturally very flat (and thus usually wider than usual feet) and the trainers I’m currently living in are also from ASDA so cheap and cheerful could be worth a try if you can get your foot in!

  440. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Natalie, I also had a scarf and akin osteotomy on my left foot with a hammer toe correction and a bifocal osteotomy on my right foot. I bet you have the pink and white trainers am I right? 😉

  441. Natalie says:

    Lol! Got it in one! I’m not really a trainer girl but got these from asda the week before surgery – never expected to fit into them so quickly!

  442. Christine Shelvey says:

    ha ha I knew it! they were the only ones they had when I still had my wire in and a bandage on one foot!

  443. Dani says:


    So a trip to Asda is on the cards soon I think.
    How long was it before you had the pin out? Mine is indeed next to my left big toe. The right foot wasn’t as bad so no pin. I am impatient to think about shoes but obviously at only 2.5 weeks in there is no rush. I’m going to the surgeon on Friday and presume he will take the bandages off but leave the pin for a while longer?
    Do you suggest doing any foot exercises at this point? I can easily rotate my ankles and stretch out my toes. Any advice welcome. Thanks

  444. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Dani, is the pin for a hammer toe correction or part of the skarf akin operation?

  445. Christine Shelvey says:

    scarf akin even 🙂
    where in the UK are you?

  446. Christine Shelvey says:

    do you and Natalie have a Facebook account as it’s easier to respond on our group page, no one else will see it apart from the members

  447. Dani says:

    Sorry not on Facebook….The pin is for the hammer toe. I’m in Dorset.

  448. Christine Shelvey says:

    Ahh OK, my pin well it was a K wire around five inches long, was in for 6 weeks. It did not hurt when it was removed, in fact I did not feel a thing. I then had to keep the toe taped for a further 6 weeks.

  449. Christine Shelvey says:

    There are other ladies who had hammer toe corrections and they did not have to tape their toes. I like you found the hammer toe correction and the wire the worst part of the whole procedure. I felt the toe dragging down when it swelled, it was horrible. The toe was fine for the first day after the wire was removed and as soon as I soaked my foot which was heaven, the toe swelled up like a little pig.. It has been uncomfortable to say the least but they said it was normal as the blood had got back into it. When I went for the 12 week appointment, the surgeon said the top of the toe was malleting that is bending down and they would keep an eye on it whatever that means. I have an open appopintment for the next 6 months so I assume I need to call them to check it, not sure really.

  450. Dani says:

    Thanks for info. I must remember to write questions down before I go to my appointment as when there I expect I will forget everything I wanted to know.

  451. Coreen says:

    Found this blog a few weeks ago and read thru all…very helpful. I am 5.5 weeks post Lapedis/2nd toe reconstruct and frustrated with continued swelling! I have been working and ignoring it – until yesterday when doc says the swelling prolongs recovery! No more pushing to do more each day. Hope to do right foot later this year so have been looking for more posts from Mary G. and Laura who were going for round 2 in late Jan. Have you all migrated to FB? I am on FB and would like to request to join your group. I have a few ideas to share that worked for me too – and some that didn’t. Thanks to Swirlingleaf for starting this blog.

  452. swirlingleaf says:

    Thanks Coreen. I’m very glad that so many people have found my blog helpful. I wrote it partly to pass the time when I was laid up and never imagined it would strike a nerve (so to speak!) with so many people. The Facebook group is not connected with this blog, but I’ve put a link to it in the links list if anyone wishes to join. Best wishes to all for a speedy recovery! Julia – @swirlingleaf

  453. Christine Shelvey says:

    Thanks again from all of us for starting your wonderful blog Julia. It has and still is helping ladies from all over the globe, well done, it proves that more than corrected feet can be a product of this sometimes frustrating procedure!

  454. Coreen says:

    Thanks for the FB link Christine. As a rather non-savvy FB user, I believe I successfully asked to join the group. It looks like I wait for a response or acceptance from the group.

    For the non-FB types, if you find this blog before surgery you are off to a better start! A few things that I can add to the info already here to those who are planning ahead for surgery –

    Make sure you know how much pain med you can take before your block wears off – I ended up “chasing the pain” because of ignorance of how much I could take until too late.

    Practice before surgery on your crutches or walking device getting in to and out of cars, houses, steps, showers, etc. It can be tricky, and you don’t want to find out what doesn’t work when you have a recently cut bone and screws in your foot. I did this since I’d never had experience with leg/foot injury prior. If you have good balance, the “I Walk Free” contraption lets you walk around on a peg leg – not covered by insurance but I think it was worth the money – found it on Amazon when researching cast covers for showering. For my 2-story house I got crutches for upstairs and down and used the peg leg to do the stairs and to fix meals, etc., since you can be hands-free with this device.

    A stable shower bench and dual shower head with the hose head having a suction cup device to hold it at bench level is a godsend for us shower-lovers. Cast covers are better than plastic bags to keep foot dry and the inexpensive Curad covers worked well – used a rubber band at the top once it got stretched out a bit from multiple stretches over the cast/boot. Just in case – I still taped (blue painter’s tape) a small towel underneath the cover around my cast/ankle which caught a little water on occasion.

    I placed an “Odor Eater” foot pad in my Darco boot to absorb sweat and keep the boot from getting stinky since I had to wear it for 5.5 weeks. I used 2 and switched them out a.m. and p.m. to let them dry/air out.

  455. Terri in MO says:

    Hello all –

    As always, reading the blog makes me feel like my recovery is within the ‘normal’ range….I’m in the facebook group as well and that is great for pics…I’m now almost 9 weeks post op…still in the surgical boot for at least another 3 to 7 weeks…I see my doctor in one week, so we will see what % my bones are healed by then. I am finally down to one crutch for short distances (within the house or office) and hope to be off crutches completely soon! My scab is mostly off (the largest part finally fell off last night) and I just a small speck left…I’ve been using some skin therapy oil on it in hopes of minimizing the scarring (fair skin and scar easily)…I haven’t started driving yet….the ‘official’ word from the doc is no….but then he said, that many patients are able to successfully drive after a few weeks in the boot….either way, I will start with very short distances in case I get stranded….the school is only 4 miles away so that is a good week will be a test…some son plays baseball and he has 3 games….so need to get there early so I can take up a good section of the bleacher so that at least my foot can be at butt level….Hope all are heaing well..


  456. Dani says:

    Hi…good to hear the latest news thanks…..I’m 2.5 weeks gone now. Had my bandages changed today and amazed to see my feet without the bunion bumps…very excited. The pin in the second toe has to stay in for another 4 weeks so that’s a bore as my other foot looks so normal. Very little swelling and very easy to wiggle my toes. Apparently my surgeon says the key is to stay off your feet with them up almost continuously for the first 2 weeks and having bandages rather than plaster is much better.Really glad I had both done at the same time as I had no choice about not moving around much! Am now walking around without crutches at home in my Velcro shoes so feeling half normal but not very elegant!

  457. Pam says:

    Hello All! I am having my surgery on my right foot (lapidus bunionectomy) on 29th March. I plan to visit this blog often during my recovery. The posts I have read have been very helpful.

  458. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Pam,
    Good luck on 29th, are you able to join us on Facebook as it’s easier to communicate, if not, we will be here for you anyway x

  459. Pam says:

    Yes, I will! Thank you for letting me know, Christine!

  460. Pam says:

    I sent a friend request and am now waiting for someone to accept it. Thanks!

  461. Laura W. says:

    I am 9 or 10 weeks post op…this is my second bunion surgery…right foot done in May 2011. I have had moderately severe bunions since i was a young woman (I am in my mid-40s). I was off my foot completely for 8 weeks, then gradually moved to bearing full weight on my foot. this weekend was the first time I was allowed to wear sneakers. I am in PT, working on gaining ankle and toe muscles back…to all those who have a toe that won’t lay flat…give it time. Lots of time. Months. Swelling will take months to fully disappear. The only reason I had my left foot done this year is because every time I look at my right foot – which looks totally normal now – I know the pain, the healing, the PT, the tennis shoes, the semi-exercising, etc. is totally worth it. My only reminder on my right foot is that my scar, while flat, did not completely fade. I am starting to use Bio Oil in the hopes it will fade more. Otherwise, I will be using scar makeup whenever I wear a shoe that shows the top of my foot. COVER YOUR SCARS FOR A GOOD SIX MONTHS POST OP, ESPECIALLY IN THE SUMMER!
    I have enjoyed reading all of your comments. It is nice to know I am not alone in my bunion world!

  462. Jackie Reid says:

    I’m 63 and am 10 weeks post op. I had a scarf osteotomy for a bunion removal, had the middle knuckle removed from my 3 middle toes and then toes pinned. And also had three naviculo-cuneiform fusions in my mid foot due to arthritis. I had 3 nights in hospital and then blissfully home to my own bed. One really good tip I have is to learn to use crutches before you go in for your op. I find it really easy to get around on them now, but at first it was totally and completely exhausting. I had a plaster cast for two weeks. When that came off and I saw my foot (not counting the 3 pins sticking out of my toes – which were gross) I was amazed at how beautiful it looked. Anyway the plaster cast was ditched and replaced with a pretty pink fiberglass number. This stayed on for a further 6 weeks. Whilst the casts were on there was very little pain, more discomfort and funny twingey, shockey things. The pins in the toes caused a fair bit of annoyance, and of course I was paranoid I was going to thump them on something. This only happened once, and when it did, I thought I had died and gone to hell. Two weeks ago I got the fiberglass cast removed, and the pins taken out. I was absolutely petrified at the thought of the pins being pulled out. But my doctor tricked me and told me to cough. I had my face in my hands and coughed away. Eventually I asked when he was going to start, and everyone cracked up and said it was over. The relief!! I didn’t feel a thing. So my new foot was before me, and looked even more beautiful than it did before. Now I’ve been in a moon boot for 2 weeks, and during that time have started weight bearing. Today I step up from one-third of my body weight to two-thirds. It feels like an awful lot of weight to take, but am managing and have little or no pain. I still have to sleep in the boot, and take it off for my stretching exercises and showers. At first my toes refused to move, but now they’re doing okay, though the big toe is very very stiff still. For me the procedure has been frustratingly slow, but much less painful than I thought, and I’m very very hopeful that the end result will be a more attractive and less painful foot. I have another 4 weeks in the moon boot and then return to the doc and hopefully will be allowed to try real shoes. I was lucky to have my partner around for the first 4 weeks and was waited on hand and foot. When he went back to work I managed by carrying cups of tea, etc, by sitting in my dad’s old wheelie walker and pushing myself backwards. I got quite speedy at that. Other than that I was lucky in that I work on line and could manage to still do quite a lot of work from home. All in all I’ve – so far – been really pleased with the procedure and just hope that the end results will be all good.
    Thanks for all the wonderful tips and information you guys have posted on here. It’s such a huge decision to make, and I guess I will get up the courage to return for the next foot, when this one is fully recovered.

  463. Heather says:

    Hi Jackie, good that you are doing do much after all that surgery. I am eleven weeks now, and feeling that the worst is over . I think the time you are immobilised and none weight bearing is the part that really drags. After that I could see little bits of progress almost daily and that gave me a terrific boost. It is magical to be driving and walking – though still in short bursts. Shoes are a bit of a problem though it is still cold here in the U K so managing mainly in boots. Like you I have to decide about second foot… Shall we go together? Lol!! Hope you keep up your amazing progress.

  464. Jackie Reid says:

    Hi Heather,

    You lucky duck being able to drive. I can’t wait for that moment. I’m actually off to the dentist this morning being driven by my lovely neighbour! I have my niece’s wedding in four weeks, but unfortunately, doc says I’ll still be in my boot … that will be attractive. I’ve just emailed my doc this morning to make sure that it’s not unusual for my foot to turn rather purple when I get out of bed in the morning and start getting ready for my shower. Whilst it’s snug in its moon boot, it becomes a little wayward out of it! I know what you mean about the non-weight bearing bit … the first six weeks seems so far in the past now. It’s good to hear some positive stories. I must admit the thing that scared me most was the pin removal, and I would like to emphasise for anyone else worried about it, that if you follow the doc’s directions and don’t weight bear – and that means the foot doesn’t touch the ground – then you shouldn’t feel a thing. I’m in Australia, so it’s the opposite here – hot!…At least I’m not freezing getting dried and dressed after my showers!
    Anyway, Heather, I have definitely decided I will get the other foot done – the pain in it is worse than in the one I’ve had surgery on…haha…probably won’t feel like that once I get into a real shoe. Thanks for your reply and good luck with your recovery.

  465. Mary Genell says:

    Hi, All,

    I have been religiously reading the responses but haven’t gotten around to posting for a few weeks. My second bunion surgery was January 28, so I’m just over 8 weeks post-op. The second foot has gone smoother than the first, probably because I am less anxious.

    I still have some swelling in the 2nd foot and only occasional swelling in the first foot (done in October 2012). I’m glad I got both feet out of the way rather close together. I thought that if I didn’t get it done now I never would.

    I am wearing my regular shoes and only have to widen the laces a little wider than usual to get the shoes on. I haven’t worn high heels on a regular basis for some time, so I don’t have to worry about that. I have some weddings and special occasions coming up this summer so I will be looking for nice shoes in a flat style. If anyone knows of any brands that fit this criteria, I sure would appreciate a reference. Since I live in a small town, I order most of my things on the Internet.

    I go back to work in mid-April and I’m working hard to get my foot to a point that it can handle 8+ hours of not being in an elevated state. While I am driving, running errands, and getting some stuff done around the house, I still keep my foot up a lot of the time. I am working reduced hours from home, so I have plenty of work to keep me busy.

    I hope everyone is doing well. Haven’t seen a post from Laura for a while. Hope you are doing well, Laura.

  466. Heather says:

    Hi Jackie, just wanted to say that I have the same problem as you with my foot being rather purply especially in the morning. Even during the rest of the day that foot , and to some extent the leg as well,is more of a pinky-red as if I sat out in the sun. I presume it is normal, but would be interested to know why.
    Had quite a lot of walking to do yesterday – shopping with my daughter. We have a wonderful indoor warm shopping complex here in York. Pleased to say my foot held up reasonably well, even better I found a pair of suede mules that seem comfortable. A big bonus! Interesting what Mary said about timing between ops. I agree maybe best to go for the second one sooner rather than later, so much to think about. Meanwhile off to bake ready for Easter visitors. Heather

  467. Mary Genell says:

    Hi, Heather and Jackie,

    My foot was quite purple for some time when I was up on it too long. Usually it turned purple when I first started showering. I think this was just the body’s way of getting the foot used to being worked again. The foot always faded to red and then pink after being up for a short time. I think purple is normal … at least it was for me.

    Good luck to both of you.

  468. Ali says:

    Hi there,

    This blog is excellent. So great to read about everyone’s experiences and to see such a supportive environment.

    I am 28, from London. I had an osteotomy to remove a bunion on my left foot on March 15th. I now have 2 screws in my foot. The recovery has at times been extremely painful, though I am now much less reliant on the painkillers, only taking them before bed, if at all. I’ve mainly rested with my foot elevated (so boring!) but getting about on crutches when I need to. I haven’t put my foot down yet at all – and find the wedge boot extremely hard to walk in!

    My bandages were reduced down last Friday, revealing a lot of bruising but not a lot of swelling. I then had a follow-up appointment with the surgeon yesterday (26th Mar, 11 days after the op) and now only have a large ( sticky) plaster covering the wound.

    He said from this Friday I can begin to weight-bear (25% of my body weight), increasing the weight on foot by 25% each week. I can still use the boot and crutches for support for a few more weeks. He’s also told me to remove the 1 remaining bandage that is covering the wound on friday, allowing me to bathe. I’ll also need to begin the range-of-motion exercises too – which he demonstrated on me, much to my discomfort!

    I now won’t see him now for another 5 months.

    I know everyone’s recovery is different, but this is all a lot quicker than I expected. Did anyone else have this sort of recovery?

    Any help and advice is very much appreciated.


  469. Dani says:

    Hi Ali,

    I found this blog after my surgery and have found it interesting that there seem to be many differences in treatment and speed of recovery.
    I’m 53 and have had a double bunion plus hammer toe operation just over 4 weeks ago but am surprised how quickly things have been moving on. One thing that people have mentioned on this blog is being non weight bearing. But having both feet done you have to weight bear otherwise you would never get up!
    I have had bandages and Velcro boots and on day one, 6 hours after surgery the Physio taught me how to get up and down stairs with crutches…for support but not to take my weight! I’ve been walking around, balaced on my heels in these velcro boots since then. At home I don’t use the crutches now. My right foot is all healed up and I just wear a sock. My left foot I still have the pin in for 3 weeks and so I wear a thin bandage cover. I haven’t been told to do any exercises yet but no doubt will on my next visit. So just interested if anybody else weight bearing out there on both feet?

  470. Terri in MO says:

    Hello everyone…I’m much better about posting in facebook than here…feel free to come join the group, she has put a link on the front page of this blog…

    I am 11 weeks post op on Friday…was released from the surgical boot a week ago and have been to 3 physical therapy appointments. I was happy to read the post about the toe not lying down flat….mine is slightly raised and I’m having quite a bit of pain when I try to bend the foot down…my PT is helping but the exercises can be a little painful. I also started driving just yesterday…now that I have appts I need to get to, it is wonderful not having to depend upon a multitude of others that ‘might’ be in town to get me from point A to point B and then home. My hubby is out of town this week so the surgical boot release (2 weeks early) has been extremely helpful.

    The purplish tone is definitely ‘normal’…my doc thought that I probably still had about 6 weeks of significant swelling based on the color of my foot…he said that once it is more of a normal color when it is down, then you are about 4 weeks away from having nominal swelling…I see him in another 4 weeks, after my script for PT is done…he wrote it for 2 or 3 times per week, so I’m gong for the 3 times…he does electro-therapy and ice after the exercises and has helped to loosen up some of what I think is scar tissue.

    For shoes, I am wearing the only ones that fit me which happen to be athletic sandals with velcro! They don’t look to great with my dress pants for work, but my employer understands and has been really great about this whole process.

    Good to hear from you Mary…I was just thinking about you today when I tried to call my sister that still lives in the Falls…her hubby works at the mill as well…

    Happy healing…

  471. Mary says:

    Hi, Terri,

    Nice to hear from you as well. Out of curiosity, what are the names of your sister and brother-in-law? I’m not from here and I wonder if I know them. I am not on Facebook, so I am missing those conversations.

    I just saw my doctor yesterday. He told me I am healed and to really work on the stretching, so that’s what I am doing. I have very little pain in either of my feet, almost no swelling in the left foot (done in October) and some swelling in the right foot. I will be fitted for orthodics in about a month. I think these are shoe inserts that help keep my foot on track.

    Also, the doctor said that as long as I wear good-fitting shoes most of the time it’s OK to wear something nice and not orthopedic-like to a wedding or other special occasion. I have a couple of events in June so I am working toward being foot-ready by then.

    Glad you are well.

  472. Jackie Reid says:

    Hi Heather and all,

    I emailed my doc about the purple and he said it was normal. Phewww!! I’m getting so excited reading about everyone’s good experiences and can’t wait for the day when I can try a real shoe. Of course, the drawback will be one beautiful foot and one ugly foot – that is until I screw up the courage to go under the knife again. Haha!! I would do it in a heartbeat – I love my doc. He has done an amazing job.

    Happy Easter to all.

  473. Laura says:

    Hi Mary G and all,
    It’s 8 weeks since surgery on my left foot and I’m amazed at how smooth this has been. I’ve healed well and am quite mobile. I did know the right foot surgery last October was the more complex. There was more cartilage damage to deal with. So the good news is the left foot is in good shape. The bad news is the right foot isn’t. It gets more and more painful. I’m not eager for a third surgery so I’m going to look into physical therapy, give it time, and see if I can learn to live with what I have.
    Wishing you all speedy and full recovery!

  474. Terri in MO says:

    Hello all –

    Three months today! I am starting to be able to get around much better…been out of the boot for 3 weeks and been doing physical therapy 2 to 3 times a week since…I have to miss tomorrow due to a rain-out baseball game for my son that got rescheduled for tomorrow….so I can’t get back in until Tuesday….which simply means I have to be REALLY good about doing all my exercises! Still not quite up to 40 hours AT work, by about 3 in the afternoon, it is swelling pretty good even with putting it up at lunch.

    Mary – my BIL works in the Mill as well…Tony Johnson and has for well over 20 years….my sister, Dawn, works in the design center at the lumber yard…their youngest just graduated college.

    Glad to hear everyone is doing well.

    Take care!


  475. Tiffany says:

    So I’m 15 and I just had surgery yesterday. I was wondering if it was normal for my toes to be numb? I had screws put in and everything, even some of that long bone on the top of my foot cut off to straighten my foot a bit. But is the numbing normal at all?

  476. Dani says:


    Well done. The worst is over I’m sure. I had both mine done 7 weeks ago and they are still numb in places but feeling is returning. I get electic type of tingles now. The good news I’m back walking nearly normally just a bit slow. Driving and wearing shoes. So it won’t be long before you are skipping around. Just keep your feet up as much as you can especially at the beginning and lie back and enjoy the peace! Good luck.

  477. Mary says:

    Hi, everyone!

    To Laura: Our feet are just the opposite. My left foot (1st surgery) was the lesser of the two evil feet. My right foot had calcified muscle between my first two toes that had to be removed. The recovery has been different but I’m coming along. I’m supposed to return to working in the office next Monday. It will be nice to get around a little and shake off some of the “Inactivity Fat” that my body seems to embrace.

    To Terri: I know Tony Johnson. It’s a small world, isn’t it?

    To Tiffany: Numbness is completely normal. I had the same type of surgery done on both feet. A piece of the bone was cut out to shorten the overall length and the bones were screwed back together. I had my 2nd surgery January 28th and my big toe is still numb in places. Don’t be weirded out by the numbness. It should go away eventually. I learned after the first surgery not to be afraid to touch the foot (once the bandages are off and the stiches are out) even though the sensation is different. I think it helped my foot get better faster. I was worried about the numbness after my first surgery but was used to it by the second one.

    To All: Sorry I can’t join you all on Facebook. I am not on Facebook and don’t anticipate being there any time soon. I know I must be missing out on some good conversations. 😦

  478. Toni says:

    I’m having my surgery in two weeks. I plan to be back at work full duty(able to wear leather boots and walk, run, jump, climb) after 6 weeks. Are my expectations too high??
    After reading the preceding comments, I am doubtful.

  479. ssce11 says:

    I would have been lost without this blog when i had both feet done in march! Ive started my own blog if it’s any use to anyone to read? Hope that’s ok x

  480. Dani says:


    I think you are being optimistic but you never know!
    I had my surgery 8 weeks ago on both feet and can walk around but not far and not fast. I started Physio last week and its made a big difference to the swelling. She really massages the area which is quite painful but afterwards it feels great. I’m able to wear large ugg type boats and wide trainers but nothing more.
    So good luck and I suggest you get plenty of help for the first 3 weeks

  481. ssce11 says:

    I could never have gone back to work at two weeks! Wow! It will affect the healing process surely, not having your feet up.

  482. Emily says:

    Toni, yes, your expectations are too high. My dr. told me not to even think about running until 8 wks post-op, and even then I only recently stopped having a sore toe/swelling from running (I am 5 months post-op).

    Walking and climbing will be doable after 6 wks, but you will find that your foot still swells pretty quickly and will need to be put up whenever you are sitting.

    I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but I wish somebody could have given me a better heads-up about what to expect RE recovery. I feel like my podiatrist misled me; I got much more help from places like this blog and health forums for understanding the real process of healing and developing realistic expectations.

    (PS – I am extremely health-conscious and picky about what I eat, and hoped that that would make me heal faster than the norm. Alas, it has not. You might want to look into taking Arnica right after surgery, and/or other homeopathics that help to heal surgical wounds/injured bones.)

  483. Mary says:

    I agree with Dani. Your expectations might be too high, but you never know. Every person is different. I had my first surgery in October and my second one in January. I was able to work from home after both surgeries and did not get back into the office until almost 3 months after each surgery.

    I am able to wear all of my normal shoes on both feet but both still get sore when I walk around too much. Once the snow melts here, I will try to ride my bicycle around the block to get started on a fitness program. The flexibility on my first foot is pretty good but I am still working on the second one.

    A lot of the recovery from surgery has to do with the individual. I can’t imagine running or climbing after six weeks … in fact, I had just gotten out of the surgical boot at six weeks. You may be able to do these activities after six weeks but doing them might also slow down your recovery or it could cause complications. Your doctor or physical therapist is the best person to let you know your limitations or lack thereof. Good luck.

  484. Mary says:

    ssce11 … Loved your blog! I didn’t comment but you are a wonderful writer. Don’t worry about being 30. I’m nearing 50 and life only gets better as you get older.

    Good luck with your continued recovery.

  485. ssce11 says:

    Thank you kindly Mary! I started it inspired by this wonderful blog, which I honestly can say has been better than any info Ive gotten from my docs!! Thanks swirling leaf 🙂

  486. Toni says:

    Thank you Dani, Mary, Emily and ssce11 for your input. I appreciate the tips and advice from someone who has been there/done that. I am doing my left foot in May then my right foot around December.

    My doctor told me I’m looking at a 6 week recovery and I would be back to work full duty and able to play soccer. I was hoping to play soccer for the fall session then do my second foot. I just want to heal and will take my time in doing so… although I’m afraid I will get completely out of shape. I am very nervous about this whole ordeal.

  487. LadyPennyworth says:

    HI Toni
    SSCE11 here (under new alias!)
    I know it’s worrying before you’ve it done and I do think s few adjustments and allowances have to be made; if you already play football it seems you might be in ok shape? Just be wary that your foot muscles will need time to be built up again (Ive found the same with my calves actually). You will be okay, as long as you mind yourself and dont rush back into anything. Im just over the six week mark now (but had both feet and pinkies done) and I wouldn’t feel confident walking fast or even too far without my stick. I guess it’s all case dependant but don’t rush.
    You’ll have built up an army of supporters here 🙂
    Good luck

  488. Emily says:

    Toni, I have a series of videos up on YouTube about what to expect RE post-bunionectomy, and also one about the range-of-motion exercises. I’ve received several comments from viewers saying that they found the videos encouraging and helpful; you may, as well. Go to and you’ll be able to find the series on my channel.

    In one or more of the vids I also give ideas on how to stay in shape during the recovery process. I was worried about it, too, but you can do more than you may be thinking and build back up what muscle mass you lose pretty quickly.

  489. says:

    Don’t forget that the weight loss products. These drugs included in some weight loss scheme, whether it be purchasingexercise equipmentfrom a late night infomercial or purchasing some bogus diet pill. Before you consider combining green tea or green Coffee Diet. In fact, the only FDA-approved weight loss pill provides two varied means of diet supplementation as it enhances your metabolism along with repressing your appetite.

  490. Dani says:

    Good Luck Toni….I think it’s about now you are having your surgery.
    I’m now 8 weeks in and walking fairly normally but not fast and not for long as the swelling makes my feet hurt, especially the left one that had the hammer toe as well as a bunion.
    I’m having physiotherapy twice a week which helps hugely afterwards but is pretty painful at the time but it has defiantly helped with flexibility.
    My physio reckons that rushing to move around too quickly eventually leads to it taking longer to heal….so just try and chill and take it one day at a time.
    Let us know how you get on.

  491. Grace Gray says:

    Thanks to everyone for all the help and info about the surgery. I had both feet done yesterday, so still in a state of not knowing what awaits. although I’m as Impatient as most people for results. Also, everyone else seems so happy to look at their feet and scars and so on. I can’t bear to think of ‘investigating’. This worries me a little but not enough to make me look!

  492. Lis Harwood says:

    Hi and a massive thank you for this blog which I have just found, a week and a day after my scarf and akin surgery. I shall now spend my time reading other posts and comments. I seem to be making good progress, pain wise, but was shocked to receive no post-operative information from my hospital other than a physiotherapist showing me how to use a crutch and being given the usual following a GA list, hence trawling the internet. Up until now I had been relying on the patient information leaflet at but that has little about what to expect post-operatively.

  493. Toni says:

    Thanks for all the advice… And helpful tips! Thanks for thinking of me Dani.
    I am a 38yr old female from southern California.
    My surgery was last Friday so tomorrow will be one week post op. I have almost weened myself from the pain meds(morphine, oxycodone). My left foot is the one that had”work done”. Now that I’m pretty much off the meds,haven’t taken anything since midnight, my foot feels heavy and is starting to feel sore but not in pain. Well, maybe a weebit of pain. I don’t know if I should be off my meds after just 1 week. I have not been staying off my feet either. The “worked on” one has a huge cast on it so I cannot walk on it. Ive been using my crutches to get around and that includes hopping on one foot and getting up to grab a bite or do something chore-like since today I was alone all day. I don’t know if my foot is swollen because of the large heavycast or from being up and about. I cant see it even if it is swollen. I am very sleepy. I will have this monster cast on until my post op on the17th…one week from tomorrow.
    To all of you out the recovering, keep your head up, this will get better each day.

  494. Pam says:

    Hi Toni,

    I think one week is too soon to be off meds. I used all of mine. You should join our Facebook group. It’s called I Survived a Bunionectomy. Good luck to you.

  495. Mary G. says:

    Hi, Toni,

    I took about half my meds when I had my surgeries. I was also trying to wean myself off my meds. A doctor friend was over one night and said to me, “Don’t be a hero. The meds are there for a reason. If anything, they will help you sleep”. I think how much you take is up to an individual rather than a set pattern. My meds were a painkiller and Vicodin (for nausea). I took one of each 3 or 4 times a day for the first few days. I cut it down to taking them twice a day then cut out the Vicodin. I think it was just over a week later that I was only taking the painkiller at night to sleep and I discontinued that after about two weeks. I do not have an addictive personality but it sure was easier to sleep with the pills. I didn’t want to take any chances. I generally do not take anything unless I really have to.

    He also told me that feet and hands take a long time to heal because everything rushes downward. My guess is that your foot is swollen because you were probably up too much. I was lucky enough to have my husband around, especially in the first surgery. This enabled me to sit on my butt for many weeks. I think this helped me heal faster. While I was sitting around, I opened a cottage cheese factory on my thighs. My next goal is to slim down a little.

    It’s been about 3.5 months since my second surgery. I still have a little swelling and pain but it’s getting better all the time. Unfortunately I cannot join the Facebook group but I really enjoy this blog. I searched the blog many, many times when I was recovering to see how others reacted to pain, swelling, numbness, etc. This blog was a lifesaver for me.

  496. Lis Harwood says:

    Hi Grace Gray, I hope you’re starting to get over the anaesthetic and relaxing into a long period of rest and recuperation. Don’t even think of looking, it’s way too soon!
    Toni, I can’t imagine being on my feet as you are, I think you need to rest more to allow your foot to heal. Have you have advice from the hospital?
    I’ve got my follow-up appointment on Monday, 12 days after my op and am looking forward to the reveal but now know, from this blog, that I’ll be wrapped up again and have several more weeks mainly off my feet. I’ve just been looking on Amazon at lightweight wheelchairs, what does anyone think? I expect to have my other foot done at some time and so I’m thinking it’s better to buy than hire.
    I’m now down to two paracetamol+codeine in the morning and the same at night, this seems to be enough to keep the pain away and to help me sleep but the pain is quite erratic. After a good sleep last night, all the way through to 6.30 for the first time, my foot hurts a lot this morning, I wonder whether I slept with it twisted or something.
    I have to say I am very fortunate to have my partner with me 24/7 and so am being waited on and am able to rest, it must be very difficult to have less support.
    Off to look at Pam’s group on Facebook.

  497. Toni says:

    Thanks Lis! How do I join the Facebook group?

  498. Lis Harwood says:

    Go to the group on Facebook
    and click “join” on the right and one of the co-ordinators will let you in (it’s a closed group). Otherwise send me your email address and I’ll send you an invitation to join. See you there 🙂

  499. Dani says:

    Hi all. I’m 12 weeks post op and luckily am nearly back to normal so am going to sign off now as off travelling. Am really pleased with both feet and scars are fading really well. Thank you for all the advice given on this blog and I wish everyone well.
    The only advice I would give is take it very slow at the beginning and keep those feet up. I had both done at the same time with a hammer toe on one foot also. That has been the worst part…so if considering an op I would say have it done before the hammer toe sets in. I would def have both feet done at the same time as after 12 weeks …for me…it’s nearly all over. No cast if you can get away with it. After 8 weeks I started Physio twice a week and that has been the most painful part but I’m sure it has speeded up recovery as my toes are really supple now and not much swelling. I’m back to walking, bike riding and normal life….but no heels for me for 6 months as I don’t want to take a step back. My surgeon was Heath Taylor down in Poole, Dorset in the UK. He is a full orthopeadic surgeon but he only does feet and I would highly recommend him. All the professionals I have seen since think he has done a good job. Good luck everyone. Have a good Summer.

  500. Im ten weeks post op (bilateral akins and baby toes too). Slow but back to work. Have to buy some new trainers today as Ive found im no longer a size 5 (or rather i prob always was a size 6 but my squishy toes fitted in a 5!). Good luck to all of ye, Ive some pics and tips on my blog which you’re welcome to peek at x

  501. amg says:

    I’m thankful I found this blog been very helpful with the given knowledge. I’m 61 yrs and had bunions remove from both feet Tuesday,May 7,2013,Princeton,NJ,US
    The information I read has given me some peace of mind and I’m thankful for that. The first couple of days were hell but each day gets better…reading the blog give me some comfort and seeing the giving between the readers were heart felt

  502. Emma says:

    Hi all. I had my surgery back in september 2012, all went well with that with the normal recovery time. ive posted on here before around that time.
    well now heres my problem… i went back to the surgeon a few weeks ago,ive been having pain in the sole of my foot since surgery. it turns out that the problem is my Sesamoids. he suggested i have a steriod injection before possibly having more surgery to remove these. well i had the injection last friday (its monday today) im wondering if anyone has had the same problem or injection?im not sure if the injection works straight away or i have to wait? im left wondering if i shouldnt have messed with the way i was made!! apparently 98% of people never have trouble after but it seems im the 2% lucky me. lol
    any advice would be nice.
    Thanks Emma.

  503. Shelly says:

    Hi Emma! I also have had trouble with my sesamoids. I had surgery last June and it has been an uncomfortable year. I went to a second dr who said that there is no way she would remove the sesamoids – they are crucial for balance. She did say that maybe they were rounded instead of flat discs and would need to be cut in half. I am thinking I might get them cut, but am not looking forward to being off my feet again 😦 please keep me informed as to information you learn and I will tell you if I hear anything new. is my email. goodluck!

  504. Terri in MO says:

    Hello all –

    Going to see my surgeon tomorrow so I’ll keep you posted on how it goes…

    Mary – I hope you were one of the lucky ones in the Falls…and of course hope that you are continuing to heal well.

    Reading the posts about the sesamoids, I’m wondering if mine are out of place or something…seems very painful when I walk.


  505. Emma says:

    Hi, Its been 2 weeks since my steroid injection and its worked really well.
    I now have no pain in my foot yay and to top it im now walking normal instead of on the side of my foot.
    Anyone with sesamoid pain should consider having the injection.
    Shelley like you im not keen on being off my feet again and have also been told about the balance thing and also that i would have a more deformed foot/toes then before surgery.
    Good luck to everyone reading on here and posting. X

  506. Nikki Terra says:

    Hi, I am having my surgery on both feet this week but using keyhole technique so the healing process is different to what you are describing here, I am very nervous after reading your comments.

  507. Cindy says:

    Hello, I just found this blog and have read all of your posts. I had bunionectomy done and pins put in my big toe to straighten it as well as a metal plate to extend the metatarsal bone. My surgery was Monday June 3 it will be one week tomorrow. First 4 days I was in bed foot elevated and only got up to go to the washroom with crutches. Day 5 I moved around a lot with crutches, my foot is still wrapped and my toes are black and blue. I have not taken any pills for pain since Friday as I didn’t like the side effects. I’m a 30 year old mother of 2 boys, not being able to do things I normally do is tough. My doctor wrote me off work for two months to start as I am always on my feet at work ( I work with seniors and do home care) today I managed to clean the house with the assistance of a wheel chair and crutches but now my foot is burning and throbbing I can feel the incisions and it really hurts. I’m wondering if maybe I’m moving to much. Should I stay in bed and elevate it a few more days? My post op appointment is on Wednesday I’m not sure what to expect as my doctor has not said much to me.
    I am getting married in January in Jamaica on the beach and my stag and doe is in sept my only fear is not being able to walk or be comfortable for test dates.

  508. Mary says:

    Hi, Cindy,

    I know it’s tough but the more you can stay down now the better it will be later. I had both my feet done at separate times. I stayed down as much as I could for the first one and have virtually eliminated the scar. For the second one, I was up and about earlier and am still working on minimizing the scar. My flexibility is much better on the first foot. From experience, I can say that it is better to stay down as much as you can. Although I don’t have children, I can imagine it is very difficult with two boys at home to lie prone for any extended period of time. Do your best and you have a very good chance of being comfortable by September. I’m not sure about high heels but normal shoes should be on your agenda. Good luck. 🙂

  509. Emily says:


    I second Mary’s comment. Sit down as much as you can, and when you do keep your foot elevated. If you have to be on your feet, see if you can keep it up somehow – I used a barstool we have and hopped around on my other leg. Do chores in fits and starts – two minutes here, five minutes there, with a lot of sitting with your foot elevated in between.

    I empathize with your frustration. It takes an unexpectedly long time to recover from this surgery, but you will be much more comfortable if you take it easy as much as you can. You will be doing much better by September, and by January you may still be experiencing a little swelling but you should be able to make it through a wedding just fine.

  510. Pam says:

    Cindy, join our bunion group on facebook. It’s called I Survived a Bunionectomy.

  511. Melissa Clark says:

    Thank you so much for this site! Lots of great info and would love to join you all on Facebook. I 4 days post op and miserable at the thought of this long recovery. Is it really worth it?

  512. heidimich says:


    Hope you’re feeling okay. It’s still very early days for you but things will get easier as time goes on. Just keep your foot raised in these early days.

    I had my operation just over 8 months ago so this is my first summer in sandals with no bunion! Yippee, it is amazing and so nice not to have that unsightly bump and deformity on my foot. I’ve even gone down half a size in shoes and don’t have the embarrassment of trying shoes on only to find I can’t get my foot in. It is definitely worthwhile in the long run.

    I do have the scar but this can’t be seen when wearing sandals. The only thing I find is that now and again my toe will go stiff and hurt but as soon as it ‘clicks’ back the pain is gone. I don’t know what or why this is. I’m sure it won’t last forever.

    I couldn’t bear the thought of going through another bunion op as the recovery was far too long and having 9 weeks off work was not good for myself, but I’m really happy with the results.

    It is worth it in the end so keep in there, think positive and things do get easier as time goes on.

    Good luck


  513. Toni says:

    Melissa I’m so glad you found this site! It has helped me tremendously not only dealing with what I’ve gone through but also to know that there’s others out there dealing with the same types of problems. Also in reading through the posts there’s many questions that I never would have even thought of asking or getting answers to. I really hope you join the facebook group. If you scroll up you can find how to access the site and just wait for them to grant you permission to join the group. I’m looking forward to seeing you on there! This is crazy that we reconnected like this!

  514. Anna says:

    Hi everyone! I spent 2 hours reading everybody’s posts and really appreciate this website. I am 2 weeks and 2 days after my right foot bunion surgery. My procedure is called SWISS TEQUNIQUE. Have anybody gone through such procedure?
    Here is more info about it:
    I I am still in the AIRCAST boot and nothing hurts. Will keep you posted about weight bearing process.
    Tonight I will be sending a lot of healing energy to everybody recovering.

  515. Lisa says:

    I’m new on this forum. I would like to thank you all for you help and your advice.

    I’ll have the Lapidus procedure, the left foot on October 7th, 2013, the right foot a few months later and I’m afraid. I would like to ask the ladies who had this Lapidus procedure how you are today.

    When were you able to drive ? Can you walk properly now without pain ? Can you go hiking ? Or visit a city for hours ?

    The surgeon who will do the operation said to me I could drive after 6 weeks. But another surgeon I met this morning said it will only be possible after 3 months. What do you think ? What is your own experience ?

    I don’t do any sport but I like rambling in the forest and walking in cities. Is it still possible after the surgery ?

    I’m very afraid of the future. I’m 48 years old.

    I thank you in advance for your answers.


  516. Mary G. says:

    Hi, Lisa,

    Your upcoming lapidus journey almost exactly mirrors the journey I just went through. I had a Lapidus procedure done on my left foot on October 1, 2012. My right foot was done on January 31, 2013. I am also 48 years old.

    I think when you drive depends on you and your doctor. I think I was driving short distances at about six weeks after the left foot. I waited a little longer for the second one.

    I usually walk without pain but still get swelling and some pains in my feet on occasion. I can do a fair amount of walking as long as I am wearing sturdy shoes. I am picking up my orthotics (shoe inserts molded specifically for my feet) this Wednesday. They are supposed to make walking even more comfortable.

    My first scar is flat and fairly faded. I am still working on the second one. My doctor said that people usually have more issues with the second surgery than the first one. I got very antsy during the recovery for the second surgery and probably got moving faster than I should have. I’m hoping this scar fades like the other one.

    I understand your worries because I had all the same ones. I think each recovery is unique depending on the doctor, the patient, and the patient’s obligations. If you do everything your doctor says, you should have very few issues.

    Best of luck to you. 🙂

  517. Lisa says:

    Hi Mary G.

    Thanks for your reply and for your support.

    What bothers me is that I can’t imagine being stuck at home with a cast and crutches and no weight bearing for 6 weeks and then partial weight bearing with a surgical boot. I thought I would have the regular surgery, both feet done at the same time and take only 3 months with all that stuff ! The thing also is that at the moment I’m looking for a job. But I don’t have the choice, I have to do this surgery on both feet.

    You’re right, each recovery is different and I intend to do my best and follow the instructions of my surgeon and your advice to get out of this as soon as possible !

    I hope the best for you and that your scar will be ok very soon.


  518. Mary G. says:

    Hi, Lisa,

    The unfortunate part of these surgeries is the inactivity. I think the recovery is inordinately long for such a short surgery but it sure was worth it for me.

    I’m sure my scar will be OK. I can’t seem to remember how long it took for the other one to flatten out but it was probably six months or so.

    Let us know how the surgery goes.

  519. Liz says:

    Hi Lisa,
    I had a Lapidus procedure on my left foot on 20 November 2012. I had put it off for at least two years through fear of pain, but decided to proceed because it was becoming more and more difficult to walk, or to find shoes. I also acted on the advice of my podiatrist and after talking to a much older woman who had had both feet done at once (!) while living on her own. She did very well – super organised – had prepared frozen meals and had friends come in to help – a district nurse helped her with showering, etc. She was out walking her dog within three months after the surgeries. They were less involved than a Lapidus, but she was still in slipper casts on both feet for six weeks.

    I started driving again soon after the cast was removed. I had the cast for nearly 9 weeks as the Christmas vacation meant hospital staff were away and I had to wait a little longer. Not a bad thing, probably. I drove again very shortly after the cast removal, but I’m in NZ with an automatic car. Most pedal operation is with the right foot. I had some problems later when doing a long trip for school driving a manual van – depressing the clutch with my left foot was not a great idea! So listen to your doctors on this one.

    I also had a lot of swelling at the end of the day (I’m a school teacher and it was a hot southern summer!) but my foot is much better now. I am still only truly comfortable in Asics trainers. Style and fashion have been sacrificed for sensible comfort. I swim rather than walk for exercise. Long distances and hours tramping around a city would not be possible at the moment, but I think by the end of the year it should be totally achievable. My surgeon told me initially six months, but that it can take up to a year to fully resolve. The thing is that I now have a straight foot, I was in more pain before and it wasn’t going to get better on its own. I had the surgery so that I could be a tourist in Italy and France and I am determined that I will be soon.

    What I would do differently next time (and there may have to be a surgery in future on my right foot) is that I would use dynabands and do chair yoga or some form of Pilates regularly for exercise during rehabilitation. I have put on a lot of weight and it is hard to shift! I should add that I am 56 years old (gak!)

    All the best for your recuperation. Keep watching the blog. I found it incredibly informative and supportive. But also be aware that there is a huge variety in types of procedures and personal experiences. Above all, be guided by the advice of your surgeon, podiatrist and/or physiotherapist.

  520. Lisa says:

    Hi Liz,

    Thanks a lot for your encouraging message.

    I live in Switzerland, the small country which has borders with France, Italy, Germany and Austria. France is at 6 km from my home.

    France and Italy are beautiful countries and I hope you will soon be able to visit them. That’s a very nice challenge ! I like travelling and Paris in France will be my first achievement, I hope just before Christmas 2014. I can’t go there anymore because of my feet.

    My car is a manuel one and the 2nd surgeon said it will take 3 months for the left foot and a little more for the right one because I need to be able to make an emergency stop without pain.

    At the beginning of the year I had decided to postpone the surgery because I’m actually looking for a job (in an office). But it went worse, the pain while walking and to find shoes. I have to wait until October because they don’t make surgeries in summer because the scars are not healing well when it’s hot.

    So here I am. I was very surprised to hear I need the Lapidus procedure. I thought I would have both feet done at once and 3 months later be back in regular shoes. I’m not allowed to wear tennis shoes in the offices I’m used to work.

    My surgeon also told me 6 months for walking in the nature but for cities I think it will be one year.

    Dynabands is a great idea, I will by one. I hope I won’t put on weight. Walking quickly is my way of staying as fit as possible !

    Thanks again for your help.

    Keep your determination. I will try to do the same.

    I wish you all the best.


  521. Julia says:

    I am 2 weeks post op, and so glad to find this site! I had bunionectomies on both the big toe, and the little toe, and a Morton’s Neuroma removed between the third and fourth toe. So I have three incisions each about three inches long on my right foot. My surgeon was great, and I think he did a really good job at the surgery, but I went home with almost no post-op instructions, and am not sure how much activity I should be doing. So I am trying to figure this out on my own. Most people seem to have been told to elevate or stay in bed for many weeks. I know this sounds silly, but I was under the impression it was only for a few days. I was also only given a velcro surgery boot, no cast, no crutches, and told I could walk on it immediately. At my three day post-op visit, the surgeon told me to start stretching the big toe. Could I be causing damage if I walk on it or manipulate it too soon? It certainly doesn’t feel like I should be up and around yet. I can feel a weird and painful popping in my big toe knuckle when I do move it. I had a previous neurectomy, really an identical surgery to part of what was done this time, and was told to keep my foot above my heart entirely for 6-8 weeks. I think I have one of those surgeons who is really good at what he does, but not very good at communicating.

    Since I’m only 2 weeks post-op, I’m not wearing regular shoes yet, but since my foot has been made so much more narrow with the removal of both bunions, I can already fit it into shoes I haven’t been able to put on since before my first baby. But I still have lots of pain, all different kinds, achey deep bone stuff, and burning, and bee sting pain all over the skin, and electric shock type in the toes. How long are most of you staying on prescription painkillers, like Norco or Percocet? Is it a matter of weeks, or months?

    Since I’ve had a couple of foot surgeries already, and have to have the matching surgery on my left foot in a few months, I have invested in a couple of post-op gadgets that have been really helpful. First is the Drypro cast cover. It works with a suction balloon, making it completely watertight, so you can take showers immediately, (a shower stool, and another stool to prop your foot up on helps a lot). I can even go swimming in the cast cover and my foot stays entirely dry, and it feels great to be able to move without a limp in the pool! If you are going to use it in the pool, put a loose cotton stocking on underneath the cast cover, and below the seal, to absorb any perspiration.

    I’ve also found that a cold water therapy machine works wonders, and is a thousand times better than those bags of frozen peas. But stay away from a website called Heliohealth, you can see why if you google their customer reviews.

    We are supposed to take the kids to camp next week in the mountains, and I don’t know if I am even ready to be out of bed. In a desperate attempt to get mobile, I am renting a knee scooter, but I don’t know if it can handle the inclines of the camp. I am also trying out an Iwalkfree crutch. The kids call it my Pirate Leg. I still don’t totally have the hang of it, it’s hard to keep my balance, I have tipped backwards a couple of times. But people have used it to run 10Ks and carry their babies. It does keep the foot elevated to at least knee height, and give you free hands and mobility. I hope I will improve with practice, or better yet, improve as quickly as my surgeon seems to think I will, and not need it!

  522. Josie says:

    Hi I had a bilateral scarf and akin procedure 3 days ago; didn’t actually realise that was what it was called until I saw the name on my discharge notes and then came across this blog/forum today. It’s been nice to see other people’s experiences.

    My surgeon and all the hospital staff were lovely and I have lots of help at home. I thought I was prepared but its proving more difficult than I expected! I’m really having to keep up with pain relief, it’s so hard not to be able to do anything and I’m a stupid mass of tears.

    Also it’s June for heavens sake! I was supposed to be recuperating in the garden not sat indoors watching the rain.

    How do people manage to keep clean? I have both feet in bandages so have just had a flannel wash the past couple of days and no idea what to do with my hair. Surely my feet will be stinking by the time the bandages come off in 2 weeks?

  523. Mary G. says:

    Hi, Josie,

    I wish you the best of luck in your recovery. To answer your question about cleanliness, I put plastic bags over my feet and sat on a stool in the shower. I have a shower massage type of shower head, so I just used that to wash up my hair and other essentials.

    Yes, your feet will probably stink a little after two weeks. You will also probably experience the sloughing off of dead skin when you first wash your feet, so don’t be alarmed. Think of it as exfoliation.

    Where do you live? I live in International Falls, Minnesota, and we have had a lot of rain this spring/summer.

    For everyone else, I would highly recommend getting orthotics (shoe inserts) as soon as your doctor says it’s OK. I had my first surgery last October and my second one in January of this year. My lower back went out about a month after the first surgery and was still out until this Wednesday. I got a pair of custom-made orthotics and my back problems went away. I did not realize that I was probably walking on the insides of my feed instead of flat.

    I will be ordering additional pairs so I can wear them in a variety of shoes. What a relief. Whew.

    Hope you are all doing well.

  524. Terri in MO says:

    Josie, there is a dry shampoo that can be picked up at Target/Walgreen’s/Walmart that I used between taking the showers…I only had one foot done, but had a cast on and wasn’t able to bear weight…so I only got a shower every 5 or 6 days until the cast came off at 6 weeks…

  525. Julia says:

    Hi Josie, I had Morton’s Neuromas removed from both feet last year and couldn’t stand at all for six weeks. For showers, I got a Drypro cast cover for each foot. You can order them on Amazon. They are big enough to cover a cast, but work with a suction bulb, so can fit over wounds that don’t have casts, and are completely water tight. I even go swimming in it. Then I got a shower chair to sit in, and propped my feet up on a Home Depot bucket, as it hurt to much to leave them down, even when they weren’t bearing weight. A plastic garden chair would probably work as well in the shower. This time around for my bunion surgery, I splurged for a second shower stool to rest my feet on. Oh, also, I had my husband switch out our shower head for a hand held shower nozzle. He’s not the handy type, but was still able to do it pretty easily, and it made a huge difference in showering.

  526. Josie says:

    Thank you for your comments Mary, Terri and Julia.
    I’m going to order some of the waterproof coverings so hopefully I will be able to have a proper shower soon. In the meantime I’m getting quite good at sitting in the shower with a bucket of water to have a wash! Also I find I’m able to stand in the heel boots for a little longer without so much discomfort so at least I’ve been able to wash my hair over the sink.
    I live in the UK. We’ve had a few days of sunshine at last over the weekend, though it was a bit to windy to want to sit in the garden for long.

  527. Sarah says:

    Hello everyone! I am so thankful to find this blog…all of your comments are very helpful!

    I had a scarf osteotomy and have three permanent screws in my foot (two in metatarsal bone and one in the big toe joint) on June 25 (1 week and 5 days ago). My doctor has encouraged me to do some foot exercises 25x a day. One is to flex my ankle up and down, which is easy for me with little pain. The other exercise is to curl my toes down as if to pick something up with my toes and I am having a lot of pain and trouble doing it. He says it is more my mind than the actual pain that is preventing me from doing it….but I just can’t get past it! I am able to barely bend my toe down, but it begins to twitch. Does anyone have any tips on how to “convince” myself to be able to do these exercises? I know it is important to do them for the long run…it is just so hard!

    Thanks so much!

  528. Ashley says:

    I had a lapidus bunionectomy 6 months ago. When I was allowed to begin stretching it, I found that it helped to do some stretches during my bath or immediately following my shower. If not, the pain was too much for me to really stretch the toe and muscles. After doing this for a bit, my muscles had regained their range of motion and i was able to do stretches without warming the muscles up (though it still helped!). I’m not sure if you have the same type of pain, but I hope that helps!

  529. I am 54 years old and had surgery on June 10th to remove a large bunion and repair the second hammertoe on my right foot. I have another bunion on my left foot, though it is much smaller and doesn’t give me any problems (yet). My mother has bunions on both of her feet and never had surgery. At 80 years old, she can barely walk now. I teach school and put off the surgery until the summer so I would have several months to recover. I will have stitches and the pin out on Wednesday, July 11th, four weeks post-op. The knee scooter has saved my sanity. I had to be on complete bed rest during both of my pregnancies (my children are six years apart because of that) and I knew it was going to be difficult keeping still. I’ve also broken my foot twice and was very familiar with boots and crutches. The scooter (with a basket) allows me to get around quite freely inside and out. I did purchase some knee pads to wear as my right knee that is propped up on the scooter can get very sore. The extra cushion seems to help. You can rent these scooters for around $60.00 per month and most insurance plans will pay for most of it. Hope this helps some of you going through the confinement of non-weight bearing bunion surgery!

  530. Sarah says:

    Thanks for the tip, Ashley! As of right now, I cannot get my foot wet. So I’ve been sort of massaging my foot in the areas around the incision before doing the stretches…which sometimes helps. I’ve also timed my exercises an hour after taking my pain meds to help…which it has only sometimes.

    This week at my appointment with my doctor we are supposed to be getting my foot wet (I had dissolvable stitches so I assume that is why I have to get it wet at the doctor’s office rather than at home). I cannot wait to take a normal bath…or better yet, a shower!

  531. Josie says:

    Hi Sarah
    I’ve had pretty much the same operation as you (but both feet) on the same day as you! One foot was worse than the other so I also have an external pin on the second toe of my right foot. My feet are padded and bandaged so I am only able to do ankle exercises at the moment. I have crutches and some special boots which make me walk on my heels and not put any weight on the front of my feet. We also hired a wheelchair from the Red Cross.
    I am going back to the hospital today to have my bandages replaced so this is the first time i will see my new feet. I’m a bit nervous; it’s probably going to be painful and I expect my feet will look hideous with bruising and stitches. I’m a bit squeamish about stuff like that!

  532. danielle astin says:

    I had the same op but both feet and second hammer toe 4 months ago. My doctor said don’t do anything that hurts just rest and feet up at the beginning. I had 6 sessions of phsio which were brilliant, stopping last week and I’m 95% back to normal now…running and playing golf and normal shoes. So don’t rush it. Pain is not good. Discomfort maybe. Good luck.

    Sent from my iPhone

  533. Sarah says:

    Wow! I don’t think I could manage having both feet done at the same time….you all are amazing! I am also in a wedge boot thing that only allows me to walk on my heel. I am actually having a lot of pain on the outside of my foot (opposite from where they did surgery) because of all the weight being put on that one side due to the dressing around my big toe. So this week I’m hoping for a smoother dressing to equally distribute my weight so I’m not walking on the outside of my foot all the time.

    Last week is when they removed the dressing and I got to see my foot for the first time….I was so scared! And I definitely got light headed looking at it…I don’t do well with injuries or wounds on myself. I didn’t even recognize my own foot! It was amazing. But now it won’t match my right foot, which I don’t plan on getting done unless I end up having problems with it like I did with the left.

    I may ask to have a few sessions with the physical therapist for my foot. He said he doesn’t normally recommend it (which I don’t understand at all) but I already see them for my back and neck so it wouldn’t be too much of an issue.

    Thanks so much! And I hope you all are healing well 🙂

  534. Chloe says:

    Hello everyone!! I am so thankful to have found this forum. I am having huge anxiety about this surgery. I can’t get it out of my mind about the dr cutting into my foot ( I hate blood–makes me sick) and how much pain there will be after. I am terrified!!!.. I do have a great circumstance for being able to have this done. I am currently on severance with extended benefits. My surgery is July 18th and my benefits expire the end of August. Cutting it very close I know. I have exactly 6 weeks and 2 days. Question. How many doctor appointments are needed after this time frame? I’m trying to figure out if I should continue my medical coverage on my own for a few extra weeks just so I’m not hit with a huge bill. Also, I will be starting my new job on September 2nd. Another question. I am a retail store manager so I will be required to be on my feet for the majority of my shifts. Is this going to be possible or will I need to further extend my start date? Just trying to dot all my i’s and cross all my t’s… In one post I read about someone who has a dog. I have 2 (4 years old and 1 1/2). I live alone in my house and will be bringing my bed downstairs into the living room. What do I do about my dogs? They need to be walked. And I don’t want them to accidentally jump on my foot. Any precautions I should take? What was everyone’s appetite like? I am going to miss my morning walks with my dogs and my nightly run. When will I be able to resume doing these 2 activities? Okay I think I’m done. Thank you so much for reading my post and for the future responses…

  535. Christine Shelvey says:

    Hi Chloe
    I assume you are in the US so some of your questions I would not be able to answer. You will need six weeks for the initial recovery, you will probably be given a surgical shoe which will stop you walking on your fore foot. This will mean that standing up at work for long periods of time will be difficult although if you can have a chair to hand and take regular rests and raise your foot you should be fine.Here in the UK, I had the first hospital appt one week after surgery for the bandages to be changed. The second appt was six weeks post op (I had the second bandage off and a wire removed from the second toe as I had a hammer toe correction). I had both feet done by the way. The next appt was at 3 months post op. They will give you pain relief so don’t worry too much about pain as this varies from person to person, it is bearable belive me and the only blood you will see is when they remove the bandages but it will be minimal and dried so don’t fret about that. Are you having one or both feet done?
    Christine Shelvey

  536. Camila says:

    Absolutely loved your tips! I had bilateral bunionectomy 5 days ago and can relate to every little bit!
    I’d like to add that I had pretty bad constipation because of the meds and went to the chemist and bought Coloxyl with Sena to help me go. Opioids slow down the peristaltic movements and the intestines almost don’t work, it’s normal when taking that kind of drugs to give your intestines some help 😉
    Again, thank you so much for all the detailed information you posted here!!!

  537. Sarah says:

    Hello again everyone!

    Camila, I too had problems with constipation due to the pain medications. Here in the US I used Miralax once a day in my water to help. It did wonders and I only needed to use it for the first week because of how much I was using the medications (around the clock!)

    Chloe, a lot of these questions you may want to ask your doctor. Are you in the US? Some things to ask them would be what kind of stitches will you have (dissolvable vs ones they need to remove), will you have any pins or other hardware that will need to be removed a few weeks after surgery? Will you require crutches, walker, etc.? My doctor told me I wouldn’t need anything to help me walk, but I am so thankful that we had a spare set of crutches. I could not put any weight on my foot for the first week because it was so swollen and painful.

    As I’ve learned in this blog, many doctors do the same surgery many different ways. For me, I had a scarf osteotomy on my left foot. I have a wedge boot…and it makes moving around difficult. I can’t imagine walking two dogs with this boot on…but maybe a short walk. Do you have any friends or family that could walk them?

    My doctor is having me come in once a week until my foot is healed. I’m asking this week if he has an end date in mind. I also have a job that requires me to be on my feet (I am a behavior technician for children with autism) and my doctor said that I will require at least 6 weeks off work. You definitely don’t want to be on your feet more than the doctor recommends because the bones won’t heal right and may require another surgery.

    I’m not sure what to recommend about your dogs accidentally jumping on your foot…I have a shih tzu who would rather NOT be near me so I didn’t have to worry about it. You will be needing to prop your foot up on pillows to elevate (I literally elevated my foot 24/7 for the first week and a half!) so they might not be able to jump on top of your foot…but I don’t know your dogs 🙂

    As far as my appetite, I didn’t seem to be as hungry as often because I wasn’t moving around at all. I had smaller meals throughout the day. I actually had to set up a bunch of snacks on an end table in the living room where I was staying because I was alone during the day and couldn’t easily make it to the kitchen.

    I feel like I’ve been rambling, so I am going to stop! I don’t know if I answered all of your questions…but I hope I at least helped!

    Take care and good luck!!!

  538. Sarah says:

    Has anyone had a reaction to steri strips over their incision? I am now two weeks post op and a few days ago my foot was getting so itchy under my dressing. I was at the doctors today and he told me that I can remove the dressing to shower (yay!). When I removed the dressing, I noticed that my skin was red, puffy, and extremely itchy at the base of my incision. I’ve read that some people have a type of allergic reaction to the steri strips, have any of you put anything on it to relieve the itch?

  539. Ashley says:

    Oh gosh Sarah! I had my left foot lapidus done in December, with no problems with the steristrips. Three weeks ago, I had my right foot lapidus done – and kept noticing that my foot was super-itchy and warm. I assumed it was just the weather and me having to use more energy to compensate for my dominant foot. I couldn’t figure out what was going on, as I started to show allergic reactions on other parts of my body too, and went to my primary to get a prescription to prednisone which did seem to help with the itching.

    I ended up getting a HUGE blister on my big toe and a blood blister that developed under the splint. At my last appointment, my doctor looked at my foot and immediately concluded that it was an allergic reaction to the steristrips and removed them. She’s allowed me to stay in the splint to apply vitamin e oil on the incision and to help with the residual itching, and also told me that I could take Benadryl as needed. Honestly after the steristrips were removed, it hasn’t been as itchy (just itchy from the skin being dry now I think).

    Now that I know, I look at my foot and there is a clear outline in red, scaly skin where the steristrips and blister were, so it definitely seems to be an allergic reaction. I’m kind of happy it worked out this way – because of the blister, she says she’ll keep me out of the cast. I can use either the splint or my walking boot – but still remain non-weight bearing. I get to get my incision wet next week (which is 3 weeks earlier than my left foot), and I’ve been able to apply the vitamin e oil to help with the itching and scar healing.

    Good luck with the itching, and I hope it ends soon!

  540. Ashley says:

    Oops – I want to add two more things:

    1. It also helped when I put a wrapped ice pack on it. For some reason, cooling it down was a natural way that seemed to help me with the itching.

    2. I teach children with autism! I think summer is an excellent time for school-related staff to get the surgery done!

  541. Sarah says:

    Hi Ashley!

    I called the doctor today and he thinks I am having an allergic reaction to the steri strips, ace wrap, or compression sock. I think it is the steri strips…but he said to take all of them off. So for the past three hours, my fiancé has been helping me remove the steri strips. We used vitamin e oil to help loosen the strips. SO PAINFUL since my skin is very itchy and swollen. The doctor said that I can also apply hydrocortisone cream 1% around my incision. I never imagined that I could have a reaction like this! From now on, I am saying that I am allergic to tape!

    As far as using the summer to have surgeries done….it is a bit easier than the regular school year but the school I work for goes year round. We have a few break weeks over the summer so I chose to do it over them. My doctor didn’t tell me the whole time frame I could possibly need off so now I am missing work longer than I had planned. Oh well though…there is not much I can do about it now!

    I hope your healing goes well!
    Thanks for all of the tips 🙂

  542. Chelsea Mckenna says:

    Hi everyone 🙂
    My name is Chelsea, im 22 and im from the UK. I have recently just had my bunion surgery (4 weeks ago) which I had done on both feet (at the same time, im brave! 🙂 ) im peeling all over my foot but im not sure if this is normal?
    I went for my bandages changing last week and the nurse said I could take my bandages off after a few days, is this ok to do this? I feel like its too soon and dont want to damage any healing. I still have to use the silly rocker shoes though 😦
    Luckily iv had no pain at all and am comfortable to walk without the shoes at home. Just wanted to ask you guys if U think I should take my bandages off now?
    I have another appointment with the nurse next week but im unsure what to do? If I take these bandages off will it affect my healing?
    Thanks guys for sharing your stories! Its nice that we support each other, I hope you all recover well 🙂 xxx

  543. Sarah says:

    Hi Chelsea! Are you able to get your feet wet yet? My foot was peeling like crazy before I could wash it. My bandages were off as of week 2. My doctor took the bandage off and replaced it with a sort of compression sock and ace wrap…and I still had the steri strips on. As I posted previously, I had an allergic reaction to the steri strips so I had to remove all of them. Now I just have a sterile pad over my incision and I wear a sock to keep it in place (since I can’t use any type of tape).

    I know what you mean with feeling like it’s too soon to remove your bandages. If your doctor says it’s okay, then I would go for it! I don’t like the feeling that there is nothing covering my incision, so I always have the sterile pad over it.

    As for an update on my status, I am now developing tiny blisters where the steri strips were. And it is still itching like crazy! I am a bit worried about my incision though….it seems like it is coming apart in the middle. I don’t believe it is infected because there is no colored fluid coming out of it, it just doesn’t seem right. So I am calling the doctor in the morning to see if I can get it checked out.

    Hope all is well with everyone else!

  544. Chelsea says:

    Hi Sarah 🙂
    Thank you for replying! I think im going to try get an appointment today to get my bandages off, buggar it il just go for it! Lol
    Yeah il ask for just a small covering as iv not been able to wash my feet yet! I feel so gross! Luckily I’ve never had smelly feet so that’s a plus 🙂 lol
    Im sorry to hear about your allergy I hope it goes okay, try not to worry though im sure everything is fine 🙂
    I have dissolvable stitches in my feet so im unsure when and how they come out im guessing they just come out when there ready
    Do you think I can wash my feet whilst my dissolvable stitches are still in?
    Thanks so much for your help 🙂
    I hope doctors goes well for you xx

  545. Chelsea says:

    P.s you guys are awesome! Hope we all get back on our feet soon 🙂 x

  546. Gill says:

    Just getting geared up for my consultation for my bunion op. This site has given me a lot of information. Seems to be a long haul, so thanks for the prep.

  547. Sarah says:

    I am able to wash my feet and I believe my dissolvable stitches are still in. I would ask your doctor or nurse if you can wash your feet 🙂 It’s a possibility that some of my stitches may have come out when my fiance so kindly removed the steri strips for me. I’m not sure how long they take to dissolve, but as I understand they just dissolve and don’t necessarily “come out.” But I’m not sure…as this is my very first surgery and the first time I’ve had stitches!

    Gill, welcome to the club! I’m 3 weeks post-op and I couldn’t have imagined everything that I have gone through…glad you found this BEFORE your surgery 🙂 Good luck!

    I wasn’t able to get an appointment with my doctor today, but I have one tomorrow afternoon to check my incision. I just don’t do well with wounds and things like this so I just need peace of mind at this point. I really don’t want an infection!

    Hope all is well with everyone 🙂

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  549. Gina says:

    I just got bunion surgery yesterday, my foot (right) is still a bit numb though. It feel tingly and I have only gotten up to the restroom a couple of times and went to the store for like 5 min. The rest of the day & night I stayed laying down with my foot elevated and once in a while I put the ice pack that was given to me. I have my foot wrapped in a bandage gauze and was given a boot and crutches… I’m worried though because there is a spot of blood on top of the bandage are the size of a thumb… Should I go see my doctor ? I’m a bit afraid that something bad happened or might happen.

  550. Chloe says:

    I am now 6 days post op. My experience has been good so far. My foot stated numb for over 36 hours. The Dr must have gotten to a great nerve. I wasn’t complaining at all about that. I stayed ahead of the pain and took my script at hour 36. I never had any pain whatsoever. I discontinued the pain pills and just took acetiminophren every 4 hours I understand that this helps the body heal things faster. Plus a lot of sleep. I had my 1st post op appt 4 days after surgery. The nurse removed the bandages and splint. I shrieked with joy. “My toe is so straight”!!!! The doctor came running in and we high fived each other. I then thanked him a million times. I can’t wait to get my other foot done. I just can’t believe how seamless everything has gone. Barely any pain. Guess I have a high tolerance to pain. And found out I have the best foot doctor in Las Vegas. Dr Cade cheers to you and your team. On a side note: these are the things that were most useful to me: knee scooter, pillow wedge to sit up in bed, lots of ice packs and my 2 dogs. My girls haven’t left my side. They have been so sweet!! Unconditional love at its finest.

    So all in all a very positive experience.

  551. mish says:

    I’m 22 and i had my surgery 4 weeks ago today on my left foot. I had my stitches and bandage off on week 2 and had steri-strips and medipore dressings applied. I’ve been walking on my heel in the silly boot since the day after my op (as i had a terrible reaction to the General and was unable to function normally so i stayed overnight in the hospital). My heel and ankle are now becoming extremely sore and i still have swelling around the top of my foot and toes. I’m quite surprised to hear so many of you walking on the ground without the boot. I Don’t have much pain generally, only when any pressure is applied to the front of my foot but i am becoming extremely frustrated now as i am generally a very active person and my inability to get my foot wet is driving me barmy!! I don’t have any steri strips on now just the medi pore dressings. I don’t think my foot is protected enough by this what do you think??

  552. Josie says:

    Hi Mish
    It does seem from reading everyone’s comments that there is a lot of different advice/post-op care. I had both feet done 4 weeks ago with an external pin in one toe. I had the bandages taken off and replaced after 2 weeks and they will come off again in week 6. Under the bandages I have dissolvable stitches with (I think) mdipore dressings over them. I have the boots and crutches to walk, though I can get around with just the boots indoors over small distances. Like you, I can’t imagine walking without the boots though and I so would like to wash my feet. They don’t seem to be too swollen but the bandages feel tight by the end of the day and my feet tingle. I’m sure if your doctor feels that you don’t need bandages this is ok: I had quite severe surgery and I think the bandages act more like a splint for me rather than protection. Can you maybe wear some soft thick socks to give a bit of a cushion between your foot and the boot?
    Has anyone else had an external toe pin? I’m starting to get a bit twitchy about what it will be like when it is taken out. It had to be adjusted after surgey but I still had a lot of anaesthetic floating around and didn’t feel a thing then.

  553. Sarah says:

    Hi everyone! I have a question for those of you recovering. I had a scarf osteotomy five weeks ago and am still experiencing some pain. I am currently in physical therapy because I’m still unable to bend my toe.

    My question for you all is if anyone has ever experience pain in their feet when taking a deep breath. It is the strangest thing, but every time I take a deep breath I have this pain in my foot where I had surgery. It is similar to the pain/pressure that you feel in your hand when a blood pressure cuff is on your arm. I keep forgetting to mention it to my doctor or physical therapist.

    I hope everyone is healing well!!

  554. Karen Dyer says:

    I am booked to have both feet done in two weeks time! Dr said I will be signed off work for minimum of 6 weeks as I am a teacher and won’t be able to stand or manage the stairs. My Mum had the same a few years ago so I know a little bit what to expect, she used to come and use our downstairs shower by sitting in it with her feet sticking out so I know I will at least be able to have a shower. How long after having two feet done were people able to drive? swim? and also when will airlines/Dr let you fly? Can you tell I am not very good at sitting around :0)

  555. Sarah says:

    Hi Karen,

    I am about 5 1/2 weeks post surgery and I only had my left foot done. I still haven’t gotten the okay to go swimming yet. My incision still isn’t completely healed (I had some complications) and I’m not allowed to soak it yet. Although it is mostly closed with a small scab in the middle, so I’m probably going to just go swimming soon. I can’t wait anymore!

    I was able to drive at about 2 weeks I believe. Since it was my left foot, I was okay as long as I wasn’t taking the Percocet! I haven’t flown…I’ve actually only ever flown twice in my life so someone else will have to answer that one for ya! 🙂

    Best of luck with your surgeries!!!

  556. Josie says:

    Hi Karen,
    I am nearly 6 weeks post surgery. I had both feet done; pins in big and second toes on both feet with an external pin in the right second toe as my bunion was so bad it had dislocated (I hadn’t realised!)
    My understanding is that you have to be able to do an emergency stop to get back to driving. I drive an automatic but my right foot is my worst foot and I certainly don’t feel I am able to drive yet.
    My feet have been bandaged for 6 weeks (bandages coming off and external pin out next week – I am counting the days) and I have the boots which make you walk on your heels and crutches. I can get around the house with just the boots now if I need to carry anything. Stairs are difficult but can be done.
    I can’t get my feet wet and have bought some plasticky covers which will fit over my boots (made by Limbo) so I can shower.
    I’m not sure what guidelines are with regard to flying; I suppose the main worry would be the risk of thrombosis on long flights because depending what bandaging/cast you have it is not always possible to wear compression stockings as you normally would after surgery.
    Good luck with your operation.

  557. Karen Dyer says:

    Hmmmm, will have to ask some questions at pre-op appointment on Monday. I shouldn’t have any pins that need removing unless they find something unexpected, just getting a nasty feeling that things are going to take longer than I hoped. Have been loaned a wheelchair and a wheeled walker with a basket so I can get out and about and move around the house and I have saved lots of art and jewellery making projects to work on. Need to be back looking after the horses etc by the time my daughter starts uni !

  558. Camila says:

    Karen, I just had both feet done (05 July) and had to be off my feet for 23 of the 24 hours of the day for the first 18 days when I had my first appointment, til yhen my feet had bandages and Darco shoes. After that appointment bandages were taken off and I could wash my feet! Before that I used a shower stool to sit, another one to prop my feet up outside shower curtains and plastic bags around feet.
    From 3rd week and on I Could drive short distances to drop kids off and pick them up (50km /h areas) and hobble for distances greater than couch-toilet-bed.
    The 4th week started and I can start to bear some weight, but have to be very careful and do it slowly, increasing the time I walk every day. My feet were never too swollen but bear in mind I rested them above my nose for 18 days!
    Yesterday I started bearing a bit of weight and felt pretty good. No pain.
    The scar is healing well, still stings and I feel chock / shooting pain on both feet, but not more than a big discomfort.
    So far, I’m very pleased!
    There is a Facebook group called I Survived a Bunionectomy and its been a life saver because I can see before and after pictures, share my experiences and learn from others that went thru the same surgery.
    Hop in the group and if you don’t like, hop off. I bet you will like!
    Hope that helps 🙂
    Ah, I didn’t fly but I believe if you can sit on the first seats and put your legs up it wouldn’t be a big problem
    I believe by 6 1/2 weeks time when I have my next appointment and first x-Ray ill be free to drive higher speeds (because of emergency breaking I’m still 50km/h) and wear regular shoes.

  559. Karen Dyer says:

    That sounds pretty good! hopefully mine will be that straightforward. Still think both at once is the best plan, just hoping my 4 teenagers and hubby learn some housekeeping skills !!

  560. Camila says:

    I’ve never thought my kids (8 and 10) would ever say no to pizza and 2 minutes noodles, but we got to that point! Don’t worry, you will all survive Lol
    And I know for sure my hubby is a great engenneer and a hopeless housekeeper!

  561. Jean says:

    I am four weeks out having surgery on my right foot; ended up with a small screw that I didn’t expect. I live by myself with a dog and one bathroom upstairs but have two great kids and friends. I was very concerned about the pain since I’ve never had any surgery, broken bones, etc. in my life. My surgery was at 9:30 and I was home by 12:00 with a big toe and foot wrapped in gauze and a wrap similar to an ace bandage, in a wedged surgical boot and directions to walk on my heel. My doc told me ahead of time that I would not feel any pain for the first day because of anesthesia she would put right in my foot. I had no pain for two days! I had a script for vicodan with directions that I could alternate between that and ibuprofen. Only took 4 vicodan (for four nights) just in case it woke me up and ibuprofen sporadically the first two weeks. Used the boot whenever I walked and did not go anywhere the first week. Directions were ice and up for that week. Showers were dicey, covered foot in boot with garbage bag and duct tape. Doc also said that my foot would tell me when I had done too much; she was right–it would ache, but I never had acute pain. First appt. post-op was one week; there was dried blood but was told that is normal. Changed the dressing–I went back the following week to have stitches that were sticking out snipped (I had dissolvable stitches.) There was more bruising and swelling week 2 but doc said that was normal. At this appt. I went from the big wrap to three band-aids across the incision and a compression sock with directions to take the sock off about 7:00 each evening until the next day. Could shower normally too!! I only have to wear the boot when I go outside. My next appt. is next week (week 5). There was a big difference in pain between last week and this week. Each day the swelling gets better; I am only swollen under my big toe and my pad on the bottom of my foot . . .along with big toe. My foot was numb and prickly until the bandage came I started to walk with the compression sock, that disappeared. The only numbness is around the incision site now. Of course, because I am a teacher and have the summer off, I am able to sit most of the day with my foot up. I try to do what I need to do in the morning when my foot is the least swollen. I’m getting out to shop, bank, and socialize thanks to friends and family. My next appt. is next week and I am hoping that I can drive. The worst thing about this whole ordeal is sitting and not being able to drive or take my dog for a walk. I’m amazed that some people are putting shoes on so early . . . I’m thinking I wouldn’t be able to do that yet and am happy it is sandal weather for another month! The best thing is my left foot is fine so this will be it!!

  562. Josie says:

    I’m now 6 weeks post surgery, bandages off, pin out, lovely shaped feet, told to try to start walking normally now. I expected the whole skin peeling issue, having read everyone’s comments but I am really grossed out by it! What have people found the best remedy? Should I soak the feet? Moisturise? I still have to keep the right foot dry for a couple more days due to the dressing where he pin was and though I’ve tried to wash the scar with water and cotton wool pads I still can’t even get the dried blood off. Bleugh!

  563. Sarah says:

    Josie I feel your pain!!! I passed out the first time I cleaned my foot because it was disgusting and painful! Did your doctor say you could soak it? If so, I’m sure that would help. I was better at removing dead skin when my foot was wet rather than dry. But be sure not to remove any attached scabs. I kept my foot moisturized with lotion, but I had to be careful not to get it in my incision since my incision took forever to close. Good luck!!!

  564. Josie says:

    Ah thanks Sarah you made me laugh! Glad I’m not the only one to be so grossed out by my own feet! Also I’m glad you said your incision took a while to heal because I can see mine is still not totally there, which surprised me. I guess I keep forgetting that I actually had quite extensive surgery and its all going to take a while.

  565. Heather says:

    It’s now 9 months since my bunion & hammertoe surgery & I thought I’d post an update for anyone just starting on this procedure. Yes, things do get better ! The time has flown & I haven’t been on this site for 6 months. It’s interesting to see that the blog is as popular as ever & some of the original people have continued to blog over the past months !
    I’m happy with my “new” foot. The scars are barely visible, just fine white lines, infact you would not know I had had anything done. I used Bio Oil every day for a few months.
    The swelling went down months ago & does not come back regardless of what activity I do.
    My foot is pretty much comfortable in all types of shoes provided that they are well cushioned. I can wear low heels but I tend to keep heels for dressy occasions & just wear flats for work. All my shoes are more comfortable now, some are even too big now that the bunion has gone !
    I can now walk barefoot which I couldn’t do before because my foot was too painful. It was like walking on a hard marble all the time.
    My big toe is stiffer than it was but I think that is inevitable after surgery. I can bend it easily with my hands it won’t bend much on its own ! I would be amazed if anyone said their toe was more mobile after surgery. As my physio said to me, you are never going to have the foot of an 18 year old !
    I find my big toe is a little stiff first thing in the morning but it soon loosens up.
    Heidi….. I also find if my toe hurts a bit, if I wiggle it & get a “click” then it’s fine ! Weird !
    I’m back at the gym doing all the classes that I want to & I’m a keen outdoor cyclist.
    I don’t do any running or high impact classes. I do toning classes, pilates, Body Balance, Body Pump & Spinning. The only move I still struggle with is lunges ! I think this is because my big toe just doesn’t have the range of movement necessary for lunges. I tried a Zumba class recently and was fine during the class but noticed that my foot was a bit sore the following day. Too much on tip toe I think.
    Would I go through it again for the other foot ? At the moment I would say no. I do have a bunion on my other foot but it doesn’t bother me so I’m leaving well alone. If it ever got as painful as my right foot then I would be prepared to go through it all again. I have no regrets at all, it was the right thing to do.
    I’m going on holiday to Florida in a few weeks & it will be wonderful to walk barefoot on the beach for the first time in years !

  566. Jean says:

    Heather . . . thanks for the update 9 months out . . . there is light at the end of the tunnel.
    Dry skin issue . . . it is gross and yesterday after my shower I used a dry washcloth when my foot was wet and rubbed it all around, except on my incision; also rubbed it in between my toes. What a different today–try it:) Used lotion after my foot was dry; just the lotion each day was not working. I’m very excited about how much the callus on the bottom/side of my foot is disappearing!!

  567. Jean says:

    oops . . . meant callus on the bottom/side of my toe:)

  568. gladNo3feet says:

    I am starting my third week post op on my left foot. I had my right foot done on March 12th and from that experience I know I will be almost normal at 8 weeks only some swelling still after 5 months on my right foot, After 3 months I could say I was almost back to normal: no lymping or pain in the ankle, but I expect to have the swelling up to 12 months. The only difference this time was the next day after surgery, I felt a lot of pain due to starting on the prescribed meds too late, then I took too much and got sick to my stomach, but everything was under control the day after that. The blood on the bandages before the first post op visit is absolutely normal. This surgery requires a lot of patience due to the necessary down tome.

  569. gladNo3feet says:

    try curling your toes as hard as you can stand it after the 4th week, it will help a lot with the flexibility of the toes. I had PT after the 8th week and it really made a difference, only 4 sessions… since I did excersices at home even before PT.
    (curl and dont relax until it becomes painful) no pain no gain, true in this case.

  570. Heather says:

    Just wondered if anyone has gone back to high impact exercise after bunion & hammertoe surgery ? It’s 9 months since my surgery.
    I tried Zumba a few weeks ago & my foot was a little sore after the class. So no more Zumba.
    I tried a Body Attack class yesterday & took most of the low impact options. I was fine during the class but after the class the ball of my foot under what was the hammer toe was really tender. I ended up putting ice on it.
    My toes were fine, it was just the ball of my foot that was sore. Has anyone else had this problem ?
    My surgeon did say that I should not do high impact exercise but I don’t know whether he meant temporarily or forever. Anyway, I don’t think I’ll be doing any more high impact classes, as it’s just not worth it ! I’m annoyed with myself as I now wish I hadn’t done it ! Sometimes though you just want to prove to yourself that you still can do it ! I’ll stick with cycling & toning classes in future !

  571. Josie says:

    I was wondering what are people’s views/experiences of physiotherapy after surgery? It would seem from reading everyone’s comments that some surgeons recommend physio and others don’t. I had some advice from the hospital (NHS) physio after I had the bandages off at 6 weeks, but that’s it. I could always organise some private sessions but I just wondered how useful they might be?

  572. gladNo3feet says:

    Hi Josie,
    I think PT is useful. Sometimes they show you movements that speed up mobility. If you get started at Home, for example: standing/balancing on the operated foot and standing on your tip toes, you will be ahead and wont need but a few sessions (3-4)

  573. Sarah says:

    Hi Josie,

    From what I understand, physiotherapy is what we call physical therapy in the US…right? If so, physical therapy has helped me (although I am only at 7 weeks) because of the hands on things (massage, stretching specific muscles in my foot/toes) and I get to use their ice circulating boot thing at the end. The stretches I have learned at physical therapy are ones that I can do by myself at home, but the most beneficial things for me are the hands on. My suggestion for anyone who is not sure whether they could benefit is to go for a few visits and see for yourself. They have a lot of tips to help healing. 🙂

  574. Jean says:

    Five weeks out on my right foot . . . can finally drive again, back to shoes (only sandals right now, not sure I am ready for a closed shoe altho dr. said I could. First day without the compression sock and it is swollen more than it has been in four weeks; will be icing it in a bit. So good to be driving again:) Two and one half weeks before school starts–this should be interesting since the floors in my classroom are cement with a thin carpet covering the cement and they’ll be little sitting down with my third graders. Already planning on icing during lunch!

  575. Josie says:

    Many thanks for the replies regarding physiotherapy. It seems that the exercises you mention were the ones the hospital physio told me, so that’s ok. I know someone locally who had bunion surgery last year so I’ll have to see if I can contact her to see what her advice was.
    Jean I’m in a similar position to you. One week out of bandages and feet are very swollen now. I find it quite difficult to appreciate just how swollen they are because they look so much better than my “old” feet! Can only really get Velcro sandals on but at least it’s summer.

  576. Anita says:

    I am 5 1\2 wks post-op right foot lapidus procedure and hammertoe correction. I have not had any complications. This blog has been very helpful. I’m glad I found it. At 4 wk follow-up, the doctor started therapy on my toe. Stretching it up and down, holding for 30 seconds at a time and then I push against the pressure (my teenage daughter has been helping with this). We do 6 reps, twice a day. It really hurt the top of my foot around the ankle at first. I was worried but I checked the posts here and discovered that was normal. And now it is much better and I can wiggle my toe on my own.

    I have still been wrapping my foot each day per doctor but going to try just a sock under my walking boot today. I am tired of the dry itchy skin. I am not allowed to drive yet and that is frustrating as well and also only allowed to walk on heel. I have been following Dr.s orders closely. I have read too many others on internet that didn’t and have had serious pain and more surgeries. I don’t want that. I will need to have left foot done but I will have to wait a couple of years.

    I have tried several of the bloggers advice and they have worked wonders and I have a little tidbit to share:

    I have had trouble with the covers at night touching my toes. My doctor told me that he had several patients that slept with a box over their foot. This works great. It has also protected my foot my cats when they jump up on the bed and from my husband which has restless leg syndrome.

    I go back to Dr. on Monday so I am hoping to be able to walk on entire foot and drive.

  577. Hey im 27 n im havin bunion surgery in both feet tomorow mornin im scared out of my mind ….the red cross have given me a wheelchair so I can go outside with someone pushing me…..the nurses at the pre-op were horrid and kept tryin to convince me there feet were worse than mine an I shouldnt get it done cos of that they reduced me to tears but the specialist surgeon said I need it or they wil get worse 😦 my house has 3 main levels and two half levels so im doin some last minute rearranging…..bathrooms arnt on the same floor as the living areas 😦 I also am allergic to anti inflammatory meds so im expecting my recovery to be a bit more painful than usual 😦 any tips??? Xx

  578. Camila says:

    Hello Loveecoliving
    Don’t worry! I had both feet done 6 weeks ago and couldn’t be happier. In 10 days I was not taking any kind of drug and in 20 days I was driving my kids to school (just driving short distances in 50km/h areas)
    There is a Facebook group called I Survived A Bunionectomy and they were my “manual” on how to deal with the post op. I’m 38 and would do that surgery all over in a heartbeat! It’s so worth it!
    It’s a long recovery but not as painful as I anticipated. I was more bored than in pain.
    Hope you have a good and quick recovery 🙂
    Ah! Go up and down stairs in your bum. That was the easiest way I found!
    Good luck tomorrow 🙂

  579. Josie says:

    Hey loveecoliving
    Oh I feel so sorry for you having a bad experience pre-op. I had bunion surgery on both feet 8 weeks ago, which I was really scared about but walking was painful and my big toes were so out of alignment that the 2nd toe on my right foot had been dislocated for about 2 years, which I hadn’t realised!
    I was in surgery over 2 hours, screws in big toes and 2nd toes and an external pin in the dislocated toe which came out at 6 weeks. Some people seem to be lucky and have very little pain but my surgeon warned me that my op would be painful (presumably because of the amount done) so at least I knew what I was experiencing was normal and I wasn’t being a wuss! I didn’t realise that after the op they usually put in some local anaesthetic so initially I had no pain. Got to the evening (I was in hospital 1 night) and it all flared up, so I would say even if you can’t take some meds, keep up with whatever is ok for you. I have to be honest and say I needed pain killers for about 2 1/2 weeks, then maybe just a night to feel a bit more comfortable.
    Also my feet were bandaged and when the bandages were changed at 2 weeks I thought the nurse and surgeon had been really gentle, but my feet were so painful again that night, so just be aware that can happen. Mostly after that I tended to get more of a tingling pins and needles or hot sensations which stopped as soon as the bandages came off at 6 weeks. So I was relieved to be rid of the bandages, but then I was totally grossed out because All. The. Skin. Peeled. Off. My. Feet and the scars were a crusty mess of scabs. Now at 8 weeks post op all the scabs are gone and I can concentrate on getting the scars nicely moisturised. My feet are much more swollen than they were in the bandages but they look so much better already. I was told they would probably keep swelling for about 3 months so I am wearing Velcro sandals at the moment.
    On a practical level, the wheelchair is good – I also had one from Red Cross. I had some Darco boots which made me walk on my heels and crutches for 6 weeks until the bandages came off. I wasn’t allowed to get my feet wet for 6 weeks so I got some Limbo leg covers which fitted over my boots so I was able to have a shower. But some days I couldn’t be bothered and just sat in the shower with a bucket of water! Stairs are hard. Basically I came down in the morning and didn’t go up again until bedtime. It’s useful to have a little table set up next to where you are sitting and also I had a bag to keep meds, water bottle, make up, jewellery, book/kindle, iPad, phone, and all essentials together.
    Good luck with everything tomorrow. I can honestly say that even though I am not walking quite properly yet, every day gets better. I used to have painful callouses under my feet but they are all gone and I can walk barefoot, which I haven’t been able to do comfortable for ages. So it’s well worth it and I hope you meet some nicer nurses tomorrow.

  580. Thanks for the fast reply 🙂 really nervous for the morning im breaking my back doin housework and cooking lots so theres meals in the freezer as my husband and family arnt too good in the kitchen so itl make things easier for them… long does it take to be able to get out and hike? I love hiking but I dunno how long it will be till I can plan one 😦 xx

  581. Heather says:

    Hi, I had a bunion/hammertoe op. 9 months ago. My surgeon told me it would be 12 months before I could go fell walking. However, I actually did my first fairly gentle walk in the countryside after only 5 months & I was fine. I was able to walk into town, a distance of about 2 miles after 3 months.
    I have found that I can now do most things I want to do outside & at the gym. However my surgeon also told me not to do any high impact gym work. I tried Zumba recently but my foot hurt afterwards & I also tried Body Attack, taking only low impact options & the ball of my foot hurt for a few days afterwards. I am learning what I can & can’t do ! You need to have realistic expectations & take your surgeons advice. Also, make sure you have physiotherapy afterwards.
    Good luck tomorrow.

  582. gladNo3feet says:

    In my opinion you might be able to hike after 10 weeks. 😦

  583. Heather says:

    Hike after 10 weeks ? I don’t think so !
    At 10 weeks my foot was still swollen. I could manage short walks albeit with a limp. My main exercise at that point was swimming….. as recommended by my surgeon. At 12 weeks I was able to use the exercise bike & X-trainer.
    It can take 6 months to a year for your foot to heal properly. I’m at 9 months now & my foot feels about 90% normal.

  584. Camila says:

    I’ll be hiking! Today was my first day with regular shoes and I walked about 3km. Feeling great!!! Doctor was VERY impressed with my recuperation and said I could do light stuff (walk, swim, bike) now (I’ll be 7 weeks Friday, scarf and akin procedures in both feet, 2 screws and one staple each foot)
    I’ve been very fortunate with my recovery and I’ve been doing all ROM exercises, plus massaging and desensitising the scar, … I believe it’s not been easy but I’ve trusted my feet, if they “told” me I could do a bit more I did, if they told me to stop I’d stop.
    Hopefully you will be hiking at 10 weeks!!!
    High intensity stuff is only allowed after 12 weeks. So if at the 12 weeks mark I feel good I’ll do a Zumba class 😉
    Until 18 days: foot up, @3 weeks: bandages off and hobbling around, @4 weeks: start to bear weight, @5 weeks: bearing weight to a comfortable level, @6 weeks: still only wearing the Darco shoes but I was barely limping, @6 weeks and 5 days: today- tennis shoes! And all light activity my feet accept.
    That was my lifeline lately. Hope that serves as a possible guideline.
    Cheers Loveecoliving! Hope your surgery went well today!!!

  585. ana jones says:

    you are right, we all don’t heal the same, I did my right foot 5 months ago and I’m 95% normal, at 3 months I was 90% normal, and now I’m into my 5th week with my left foot and I’m already excercising, The doc was surprised how the X rays hardly show where he broke the bone to straighten the bone. I must say that compare to some of the things that other people in this blog have done… my procedures dont seem that invasive. My advise will be follow the doc’s intructions.

  586. Karen Dyer says:

    Well, it’s exactly midnight, last bowl of cinnamon grahams before surgery!! both feet being done together, nice private hospital, getting it over and done with. Got a nice wheelchair and a wheeled walker with a seat that some kind people have lent me, house is all sorted, horses are all sorted, even got a beautiful new king size bed and mattress delivered yesterday. just got to hope it all goes smoothly now, slightly complicated by severe latex allergy (but at least I get to be first on the list!).

  587. Sharon Linda says:

    Hi, I had left foot surgery (hallux valgus & hammertoe correction) on Monday, Aug 12th. My post-op app’t was Monday, Aug 19th, the bandage was changed and x-rays were taken. This coming Monday, the plan is to remove the stitches. My concern is about going back to work the next day, Tuesday, after the stitches are removed. I work 4 intense days- 10 or so hours a day. The doc recommended I do a half-day on Tuesday, though I’m not sure about working Wed-Fri, 10 or 11 hours a day; he may not be aware of the intensity of my work. I sit down though do lots of documentation, computer work and can’t see how I’ll find the time to ice and elevate. Also, my job is fast-paced and my mind is in a fog! Any suggestions? Should I discuss with my doctor the possibility of doing half-days throughout my first week back?

  588. If I were u I would have a little more time off work….u dont want to pusg urself too hard and if ur on painkillers you won’t be able to concentrate 😦

    I cant bear walking with my walking frame to the toilet its agony and mt hubby keeps havin to carry me 😦 its not good 😦 im still in allot of pain even with the mophine, cocodemol an tramadol that I take 4X a day in big amounts 😦 im finding that im not hungry that often….I wanted Scottish bread and butter for breaky then jusy had grapes and a couple of chips for dinner my hubby got me a large bag of chips from the chippy and some pickled onions I ate the onions but only 5 or 6 chips 😦 is this normal cos im in allot of pain? Iv never been a meal skipper I love food an even when I had ecoli I would eat toast with butter a cheese slice ontop and quavers ontop of the cheese thats all I ate for a couple months so I never go off food 😦 xx

  589. Sharon Linda says:

    Thanks, LoveEcoLiving, I’m off my pain meds, except on night when the pain is the worse. If I return to work this Tuesday, it would have been 2 weeks and 1 day since my surgery. My work schedule is Tues- Friday 9AM- 7PM which usually turns into 8PM. I wear a surgical boot and am able to walk on the heal of my operated foot, though tire easily. When that happens, I elevate and ice. I live alone so not much help during the day. I do have friends in case of an emergency. LoveEcoLiving: maybe you don’t have an appetite due to the meds? When I was on meds more regularly, I ate bread or cheese in order to get them down. Maybe you need more bland food?

  590. Hey yeah I think its defo the medicine iv been eating grapes an tangerines and had some toast and a few chip shop chips yesterday… I want a slice of toast but I also want a green juice so my hubby is gonna make me one that will probably do me till dinner time x

  591. Sharon Litwin says:

    Loveecoliving- I read up and see you just had your surgery Aug 21st- both feet and you live in a multi-level home. You’re a brave woman. I’m happy to see you have support in your hubby. I’m a newbie on this blog though I think it’s best to listen to your tummy. You’re on lots of meds & probably can’t tolerate rich foods. Your appetite will come back, I’m sure! Love your food blog, by the way.

  592. ana jones says:

    I think that all the meds are making you lose your apetite, but some meds require to be taken with food. I had my left foot done july 23 and I still couldnt stay on my feet several hours at a time, will be able after 10-12 weeks. If you have to go back to work I’d ask the doc to write a note to only work half days.

  593. Terri Trickel says:

    Donna – I’m not sure what you had done, but I think you are the exception rather than the rule…I was in bandages for a week, then a CAST for 5 weeks…and a boot for another 4 weeks.. At nearly 8 months I still have some swelling in my foot and most people that have had extensive surgery know that some swelling can be expected through the first YEAR…so perhaps yours wasn’t nearly as invasive as some of the procedures that some of us have been done. I drove about a week after my boot came off….so at about 12 weeks….I haven’t read through all the posts but I’m not really sure what you were referring to, but when I seen yours come across my e-mail, I felt I needed to reply. Happy Healing to everyone and understand that there are MANY different procedures, some weight bearing some are non-weight bearing for various amounts of times and that everyone heals at different rates.

  594. ana jones says:

    Terri, I agree with you. Im on my second bunionectomy this year and the recovery process has been the same for both my feet, I also was able to go to kitchen and bathroom on my own with the shoe provided, but I needed to have my foot elevated for at least the first week, you can do this in bed or on the couch, after the first week I wasn’t able to be on my feet for long periods of time, so I sat a lot trying to put my foot up everytime I had a chance. Donna is such an exception, good for her!

  595. Lisa says:

    Terri, thanks for your reply I also will have the first of my two Lapidus procedures in October, with a CAST for 6 weeks, non-weight bearing for at least 3 weeks and I don’t want to be considered as lazy by persons who don’t know what they are talking about ! This prodedure is difficult and we all would do an easier one if we had the choice ! Best regards. Lisa

  596. says:

    There is a lady at my church who thinks she had bunion surgery when all she had was micro surgery to shave a little off a prominent bone. We all know that there are some minor and lots of major painful procedures too. It isn’t too helpful therefore when someone mistakenly thinks they have had the same as you when they are jumping about after a couple of weeks. Good luck to all recoverers.

  597. Josie says:

    Oh goodness Donna! You certainly put the cat among the pigeons!
    The trouble is that it genuinly seems that 2 people can have exactly the same surgery, but be given totally different advice by their surgeon. Add to that people’s different healing rates.
    I too had both feet done, screws in big and 2nd toes of both and external pin in one. Surgeon kept referring to my feet as “severely malformed” -thanks! Bandages, heel boots and crutches for 6 weeks, with advice to keep feet elevated as much as possible for the first 2 weeks.
    Nearly 9 weeks post surgery now and there is no way I can get shoes on. It’s velcro sandals or nothing! My surgeon said it would be perfectly normal for feet to be swollen for 3 months at least.
    I started driving again (automatic car) this week. Probably I had sufficient strength in my toes to drive before this but I felt that the swelling round my toes would prevent me being able to brake quickly enough in an emergency until now.
    So I would say to anyone reading this last set of posts, if you are one of the lucky ones who heal quickly and are up and about in a relatively short time, give yourself a pat on the back and be grateful. BUT if you are like me and this is all a long process, don’t get downhearted and do appreciate that there are tiny improvements every day.

  598. Mish says:

    Maybe Donna got infected because she was up doing all those things , just saying

  599. Josie says:

    Sometimes even the most independent, confident people can feel a little vulnerable after surgery. It’s good to be able to find, or offer some support.

  600. Sharon Linda says:

    Thank you Josie . I’m new here, though under the impression this blog was meant for support. We all heal at different rates and have varied support from family and friends.

  601. Anita says:

    This blog has been very helpful to me by wonderful people that have great suggestions to help ease the recovery of this procedure whether it be considered minor or major. If this blog is not needed then don’t subscribe to it and tear people down. We all know there are people out there in worse shape buts it’s good to have others that are kind and compassionate whether it be from friends and family or a blog with strangers.

  602. Right from what I can see your quite a mean woman….I dont see why you have to put people down and “poopoo” people’s individual experiences this is not the place or the time I came here cos I litterally cant walk I keep trying an ended up in a&e….I do not want to be in all this pain and I do not want to be told that im basically being lazy its been 4days and im in absolute agony thru the painkillers its very scary when your usually fine with pain I mean I dont like pain but iv tattood myself and pierced myself all over not to mention all the other surgerys iv had and breakin both arms and sholder at one time an those I delt with but I thot they wrre sore but this is unreal I dont think its normal and im here to see if anyone else whos had both at once done have had the same… very emotional right now cos I have no freedom and im not even in my own home….I keep trying im not just lying down Iv been doin things in my wheelchair and tryin my crutches or zimmer but my feet are stuck pointing down so I cant get my heels on the floor I dunno what the problem is but I dont imagine you have anything to say to help or anythin so if u dont have anything nice to say then piss off your clearly a super fast healer or just a pain in the butt so id rather not be told im not helping myself when I am!!!! Goodbye have a nice life donna!

  603. I have had a reality check my doctor had to check my feet as I have deformed bones in my feet as I have a condition whrre my bones grew wrong when I was really little so I didnt ask for this I didnt really have a choice but it basically was bunion surgery on both feet but it was not called a bunion what I had the surgeon said it was called “infintile” something……I totally get that ur recovery was fast an thats fine but u shouldnt be makin folk feel bad cos they arnt on there feet as fast….I personally feel like you think im being lazy and not wanting to get around and you think im attention seeking but im not that person im tryin to see if what im goin thru is normal but your makin me feel like im bein a drama queen which infact is what the a&e people were saying and my gp is putting in a complaint about them as hes disgusted……if u dont feel like blogs like this arnt “support” then why did you come here in the first place? If you know it all and think were all at it then dont read it your clearly gettn aniyed with us…… in a shitload of pain to the point im shivering an gettin dizzy an hallucinating my gp knows me well and hes worried as I have other conditions too so im just not wanting picked on thanks I have enough onbmy plate 😦 just dont get why your here tbh I wish and I actually believed that I would be like you and when I felt the pain I was scared an didntbknow what to do….i came here to get support from folk who have had it nit be basically told to man up!!!

  604. Josie says:

    Hi Donna,
    I’m glad to hear you have such a positive and determined attitude to life.
    Yes obviously in the grand scheme of things there are far more people around who suffer far more than I have done and have to live with their pain or disability all the time with no prospect of improvement. And most definitely my having to put up with the inconvenience of using crutches and a wheelchair for a mere 6 weeks has made me appreciate the problems that others have to live with on a daily basis.
    We all need to motivate ourselves but just because there are others worse off than ourselves doesn’t mean that our “smaller” worries are not important.
    Life’s too short not to be compassionate and supportive to someone who’s feeling anxious or worried, however insignificant you may perceive their worries to be.

  605. Josie says:

    Hi Loveecoliving,
    So sorry to hear you have had such a tough time since your surgery and I hope that things can improve for you soon. Let us know how you get on.
    I was interested in what you said about your feet problems being caused in childhood. Although I did have bunions I suspect they were caused by issues with my skeleton which weren’t picked up when I was a child. I can remember being about 7 and being told I “walked oddly” but it was never investigated. About 10 years ago I found out I have one leg shorter than the other and my hips are out of alignment. Not surprising my feet have suffered over the years! I’d really like to get to the bottom of all this to avoid any chance of the bunions reoccurring.
    Anyway, I really hope you can get whatever medical help you need to get you feeling better. I know anaesthetics can have quite a weird effect on some people, even if you’ve had them before with no problem, so don’t worry if you feel weepy or emotional, it WILL get better.

  606. Rude….and as I said before the surgery was that of bunion surgery but it wasnt caused by the normal causes like bad footwear choices or whatever im not quite sure how u get them but iv been told its cos if heels an such likes……I didnt mean to give you my life story I just dint like to be judged I read yiur comments and was hard on myself cos I cant do thsoe easy tasks you can do so didnt help me ay all it hindered me….im tryin my best and want to do things without help im tryin to stand an my legs go like jelly an I get stabbing excruciating pain up my feet an legs….some folk are up an fine and other folk with other medical conditions may not be but u dont make them feel bad cos thats just mean 😦 im sorry to have anoyed you I can clearly see that as im so slow on the recovery you think im bein dramatic so id rather be with people who can help me an give me support cos I dont actually know anyone in person who has had this surgery (bunion surgery of any kind) so blogs and groups help me….you may jot see it that way but I do and each to there own 😀

  607. Josie says:

    Hi Loveecoliving again
    Right I am definitely going to bed in a minute but I just wondered what kind of dressings/stitches you have have because sometimes you can get really unpleasant reactions or allergies to them.

  608. Hiya I have no idea whats goin on under my dressings when I got out of surgery they woke me up and got my bag, I ate my packed lunch I brought of a hummus sandwich and drank water then seen the physio walked with crutches for a few mins and then they sebt me home I didnt see the surgeon and I wasnt even told what they did or how they did it…the surgeon told me as I was geiing put to sleep but I dont really remember much appart from him wiggling my toes like this little piggy went to market and sayin what hes gonna do and why he didnt want to do hammertoe surgery too even tho there really bad he said 9x out of 10 it doesnt work 😦 dunno if ill see him on the 29th or not……feel like I was rushed out and left to my own devices an when I woke up I had a headache so they gave me paracetamol so later I took cocodemol and tramadol an diazipam but nothing worked an I ended ip in a&e…..its crazy how fast it all happened. …..hopefully today is a new day and my hubby is takin me out for an adventure in the wheelchair to get some air so im excited about that but my feet are sooo soore ill just be so glad to get actual clothes on lmao xx

  609. Josie says:

    Hi Sharon Linda, I hope you get on ok with your return to work this week.
    And Loveecoloving – hope you managed a trip out in the wheelchair and your husband isn’t like mine. He seemed to think it was hilarious to push me round making Neeeeeooowwwww noises.

  610. Karen Dyer says:

    Well, I had both feet done on Friday, private hospital and stayed in for one night. I have found before that codeine based painkillers don’t work for me and it took a while to get meds/pain sorted but the hospital staff were amazing. I will have an appointment later this week to check the wound and an x ray in 6 weeks, the surgeon has signed me off for 6 weeks and after that may only let me go back if I can stay on ground floor, guess it depends on what your job is how soon they let you go back. I am usually quite tolerant of pain (having had various accidents with horses and given birth 4 times!) but this hurts like crazy !! I think we just have to say well done to those who heal fast and manage to do things quickly and give a virtual hug to those who feel really rubbish :0)

  611. Sharon Linda says:

    Josie, you have a way with words and did a great job putting good vibes back to this site! I’m deciding to return to work half time since starting with 10 hrs a day (which can turn to 11 or 12 hrs) is a bit too much, considering it’s only been 2 weeks since my surgery. Five hrs (which will turn into 6 or 7) is more my speed. The following week I’ll work my regular schedule, 4 tens. Thanks, Karen- a virtual hug is what we need and a big one goes to you! I had the option of doing both feet, though decided one at a time since I live alone.

  612. Jean says:

    Have been busy getting my classroom ready for school to start so haven’t had time to comment recently. I’m eight weeks out from surgery and see improvements weekly alto I definitely see that swelling will take a long time to go away. Icing and massaging help immensely–thank you for those suggestions:) I’m able to wiggle all toes and when I’m sitting move my foot with no pain . . . I’m very happy about that. However, with that said, when I walk–still wearing sandals (I did manage two hours with a pair of skimmers yesterday but that was it.) . . . the only pain I have seems to be right below my big toe–can’t tell if it’s tendon, bone or what . . . causes me to limp and I wonder if I’ll ever walk without a limp while wearing shoes. The funny thing is that when I’m home, I’m bare foot and I don’t have any pain–love having the calluses gone:) Has anyone else experiences this? I can’t tell you all how appreciative I am of all the information that is shared on this blog. It has guided and helped me these last eight weeks to monitor my progress. Thanks to all who have been supportive of each other and glad to see that the blog is moving back to that:) I totally agree that everyone heals differently; just like it appears that different doctors have different advice for recuperation! One last thing . . . since school starts next week and I am a bit worried about my eight year olds stepping on my foot and being on my feet for seven hours, I did buy heavy socks and a larger size sneaker that I may resort to . . . we’ll see, as my doctor said, I can always return to the boot alto I’d like to NOT do that–haha! I also plan on icing during my break and lunch time to help with the swelling. I would welcome any other advice. Happy healing to all:)

  613. I, too, teach second grade and am ten weeks out from bunion/hammertoe surgery and am experiencing all the symptoms you are facing. Can’t wear a real shoe, only the boot or sandals (occasionally, for short periods of time). My foot still swells and turns purple, especially by the end of the day, and I still elevate and ice. I still have a limp and can walk barefoot at home fairly well. At school I use a scooter with a basket to navigate the hallways and this sends a huge visual message to all if the students that my foot is still healing. I wear a thick sock under my boot, and I admit…it’s hard to keep the foot from being stepped on due to so many bodies in one room. To prepare them, the first day when we talked about what we did over the summer, I wrote about my surgery and showed them before, during, and after pictures to go with the story. The “during” pictures really got their attention because I admit, they were kind of yukky/interesting. I think the images made an impact in them because they are all very careful around me. Here’s to a wonderful new school year and a brand new foot for us both! Hang in there!

  614. Josie says:

    I really like your idea of using a scooter round school and telling your students about your surgery!
    I was wondering what creams anyone might recommend for the scars? I’ve tried E45 and bio-oil and they both make my skin feel a little tingley and sore. Maybe I should just leave things a little longer to settle down but I feel it would be good to get some moisture into the scars.
    How is everyone else doing this week?

  615. ana jones says:

    Jean, I am on my 5th week of my other foot and I also noticed that the bottom of my toes are softer. I also noticed all the skin peeling, plus I use a lot of vitamin E oil all over, I don’t know what caused the softening of my calluces but it happened to me too. I also feel better each week. from experience my breakthru point is 8 weeks, but the swelling could be up to one year (this is also from experience with my very first bunionectomy 20 years ago) in March this year I had to do the same foot again because it came back, and july 23rd i did my other foot. So, the foot I did in March is 5 months out and it is 97%, not 100% due to tiny swelling.

  616. ana jones says:

    Leigh and Jean, I forgot to mention that my foot which is 5 months out stopped turning purple after 3 months, Im not sure if it went completely back to normal because I dont have my other foot to compare it since I did my other foot 5 weeks ago and that foot turns purple when I stand up. I still try to keep this foot elevated as much as possible. I dont need to elevate the foot I did in March, although I still have some swelling. with that foot, I went to sunny Phoenix when I was 2 months out my first surgery and wearing sandals and my incision got very dark. I use Mederma and vitamin E oil, but I dont think it helps with the color. I’d appreciate any suggestion on getting rid of my dark scar, Im latino, not sure if that has anything to do with it. Thank you all for all the support.

  617. Amanda says:

    Hi Everyone
    I had a scarf and akin procedure on one foot. That was back in March. I am still in a lot of pain. It is OK in the morning but once I have done any walking or standing my foot gets very tender and swollen and I am limping quite badly. At my last hospital visit I saw x-rays that show that there is a piece of bone floating in between my big toe and second toe. My GP has explained that this was caused by a tendon snapping and breaking off a piece of bone. I have to go back to the hospital towards the end of October in the hope that it has settled down. If not, I will have to have more surgery.
    Have any of you had an experience like this?

  618. ana jones says:

    Sorry to hear that Amanda. I had a bunionectomy in March also but I’m almost back to normal. So, I hope the dr takes care of your tendon. Good luck.

  619. Amanda says:

    Thanks for your kind words Ana

  620. Anita says:

    I’m 7 weeks post surgery and I noticed last night a place in the scar on top of my foot at the big toe joint where it bends that looked more red and spreading out more like something wasn’t right. This morning after my bath I noticed it was bleeding. Has anyone else experienced this? Should I be worried?

  621. ana jones says:

    Anita, I,m 6 weeks out and my incisions are pretty well healed, I don’t think they should be bleeding. Make an appt with your doctor asap.

  622. Josie says:

    My feet were bandaged for 6 weeks. When those came off my scars were still mainly thick scabs which gradually came off over about the next 10 days. There was one tiny section which bled a little when the scabs were still there but nothing after that. Probably worth getting things checked out as Ana suggests. Maybe you have just stressed an area which wasn’t quite as healed as the rest?

  623. Josie says:

    Amanda that sounds really painful. I hope you are able to get things sorted without further surgery.

  624. Anita says:

    My scar looked really good until a couple of days ago. Will be calling doctor on Tuesday. Thanks Ana.

  625. Anita says:

    Josie, you maybe on to something. The doctor told me this past Monday I could drive. He also gave me some physical therapy exercises to do as well as walking with boot on. I will update on Tuesday since Monday is a holiday. Thank you!

  626. ana jones says:

    my 6th week appt is Tuesday, Dr said he”ll take me off boot then. On my 4-week appt he started me on excercises like curling my toes. PT might be recommended on my tuesday appt. I am able to curl my toes to match my good foot, not too much pain, tolerable.

  627. Anita says:

    You’re doing great! At 4 wks my Dr had me bending just my big toe and then at 6 wks he added bending all my toes. I can wiggle my toes good now. I should get my boot off at 8 WK appt. Dr has kept me in it longer than usual because he had to do more extensive work.

  628. Kelly says:

    I had my bunionectomy on the Aug. 23rd on my left foot and I have to say I haven’t had pain like that before and I have a pretty good pain tolerance. I had to go to the emergency room the night of my surgery for better painkillers. After about 4 days it started feeling much better and yesterday I actually went the whole day without any painkillers. My foot is bandaged very well and I have a cast shoe and crutches, still sitting with my foot elevated 98% of the time. Cannot put weight to even walk on my heel as of yet but yesterday I stumbled and was on the point of going to fall and had stepped down on my foot (natural reflex) and it hurt pretty bad after, I just hope I didn’t do any damage to my recovering toe. I don’t go back to see the surgeon until Sept 12th so I hope everything will be okay then. My foot still has a numb and pins and needles feeling and I can see just under my toenail is pretty purple.

  629. Anita says:

    Kelly, hang in there. I kept my foot elevated about that much for 2 weeks and ice. I was advised by dr. to put ice under knee and it worked great. All the symptoms you are having are normal. I’m 7 wks and still have a small bruise on the bottom of my foot. Still have numbness and tingling sometimes. I have a plate and screws in my foot. I also lost my balance about 2 wks and accidentally put weight on it and it was okay. Hope this is helpful.

  630. Kelly says:

    Thanks Anita! I knew the first few days would be pretty intense, I just wish that I could go see the surgeon earlier but my initial appointment which was to be Sept 5th got switched to the 12th as he had to leave the country for a family emergency so I just have to pray that everything will be just fine when I am able to see him.

  631. Anita says:

    I wondered why so long. I will say a lil prayer for you too.

  632. Josie says:

    Oh that’s interesting about putting ice behind the knee I’d not heard that before. I know some people are out of bandages after a couple of weeks so just presumed they were able to ice their feet. I was in bandages for 6 weeks and swelling has only really been a problem since they came off.

  633. Anita says:

    I was able to see dr today about the scar opening up and bleeding. This can be normal. He checked everything and seems to think it is a suture in there causing irritation. The suture can take up to 180 days to dissolve. Anyway he said my foot seemed really swollen and told me to ice a little bit more and if I need to wrap it, I can. He also gave me Celebrex since ibuprofen is no longer working.

  634. Karen Dyer says:

    Kelly I had both feet done same day as you ! after 6 days the doctor took all the bandages off and just left a dressing over the wound (which surprised me a bit!)and I now just have tubigrip bandage. Have to walk in the inflexible boots for at least 5 weeks so have bought a load of fluffy socks as I found the boots were very harsh. It will be two weeks tomorrow and I have tried to be really good about keeping my foot elevated, I have a wheeled walker with a basket and a seat which has been brilliant as I can carry things and sit down to make a cup of coffee etc. Can’t stand anything touching the scar or any direct pressure on the joint of the big toe yet but I can slightly move my big toes now. Doctor said there was more damage to the big toe joints than he was expecting from the x-rays, so I am very glad I had this done now.

  635. tiffanylot says:

    I had a bunionectomy/sesamoidectomy/second hammertoe surgery (which was also done to allow a small tear in my plantar plate ligament to heal) on April 24th. I have had MANY ups and downs since… I seem to have “bad cycles”, then make slight progress… I don’t have a ton of swelling, but I still have quite a bit of pain and stiffness. I am in PT, swimming/aquajogging a ton, but walking is still very uncomfortable most of the time. I push myself to do it, but it doesn’t feel normal. That said, I had 8 months of injury leading up to my surgery… I didn’t really “choose” the surgery–it wasn’t exactly optional by the time I found my wonderful surgeon. I had a severely arthritic sesamoid bone, which was causing many of my issues, so that had to come out, and I knew the bunion would only get worse if we did not repair that at the same time… The hammertoe had to be fixed due to the plantar plate tear. Also, I am excessive scar tissue producer, lucky me! My scars *look* great, but internally, I just overproduce tissue… My mother is the same, so clearly, it is a genetic issue! (It also happened when I fractured my knee over 14 years ago.) So, the pain and loss of mobility from that is causing me to be “off kilter” in many ways–biomechannically, I still feel like a disaster! I am waiting to get in to see my pedorthist so I can be re-fitted for orthotics. Hoping that might help. It’s hared to believe my foot might ever be less painful again! Is anyone else grappling with scar tissue problems? When I return for a follow-up in a couple of weeks, I might discuss a cortisone injection… I hate having them, but my surgeon’s PA mentioned it might aid in “unlocking” my big toe joint a bit… It feels SO painful and stiff, as though I have arthritis in there already. My bones seem to have healed wonderfully, so I believe this is definitely a fascia issue, plus other soft tissue problems, such as tight tendons and muscles!

  636. Angji says:

    I am so glad that i found this website to read different experiences that people had during recovery and after. In a way it does encourage me for my big day which is coming very soon ,BUT really scares me and makes very nervous about the recovery. I hope i wont change my mind as i really need to do something about it but cant think of being a year and not settled with pain and normal waking. Thank you to everyone who posted their experiences and opinions x

  637. Angji says:

    Can Not believe some people consider doing both on the same time. Very brave!!

  638. Josie says:

    Hi Angji
    Don’t get too scared or worried! It’s good in a way to know about other people’s experiences but I’m sure you’ve already put a lot of thought into your decision to have surgery.
    I had both my feet done 11 weeks ago and really wish I’d gone for it maybe about 2 or 3 years ago. The surgery would have been less complex. I didn’t realise that I had been walking around with a dislocated toe for the past few years!
    I had both feet done at once because that meant even though things might be more difficult, there would only be one recovery period. Also I didn’t want to have one nice foot and one ugly foot.
    I so scared about the whole idea that I didn’t do any research until after the operation, which is when I found this blog. I think I have had a pretty normal experience. Feet very painful for 2 – 3 weeks, then only really needed painkillers at night. Bandages, heel boots and crutches for 6 weeks. Once the bandages were off I was able to wash my feet. Yey! But the scars were still scabby and all the skin fell off and I was so grossed out.
    So now it’s 5 weeks since the bandages came off. Feet are generally more swollen than they were before so I am wearing Velcro sandals with sports socks. Hardly an elegant look but who cares? Walking is slow but not painful, more uncomfortable because of the swelling along my toes mainly but that is improving a tiny bit every day. Even better is that all the thick calluses under my feet which caused me so much pain before the operation have gone too.
    So yes there have been tears and depressed times along the way and I don’t know how much longer it will be before I am walking normally, but I am so glad I had this surgery. Good luck with yours.

  639. danielle astin says:


    I had my op 6 months ago now and wanted to reassure any others looking that it can be a great thing to do. I had both feet done at the same time and a 2nd toe hammer toe too.I wish I had gone for the op before the hammer toe set in so if you are considering bunion surgery go for it before you have a hammer toe if poss. Having both feet done at the same time was no problem for me and I’m now back playing tennis and wearing normal shoes. I suggest really not doing too much too early and having Physio regularly to stretch everything out. The scars are almost not visible at all because they are on the side of my feet. So all in all a positive outcome and the discomfort and anxiety of the first months are a distant memory. I’m mid 50’s and could have had this done 10 years ago and I wish I had. Good luck all.

    Sent from my iPad

  640. Angji says:

    Thank you Josie and Danielle for your advises!!

    yes in fact i have put lot of thought into my decision ,is just when you hear people that they are still recovering even after 9 months, like still having pain and not being able to walk as they used to, then that makes me think even more . I am not too worried about the pain during first few weeks ,which i know it is hard to cope but i know its quite normal. Thinking thats gone go on for months makes me feel really uncomfortable as I have a family to look after and i work on the same time. I would be prepare for few weeks but i do panic when i think for longer. However still consider going through with it. I have to decide this week as if i change my mind need to let them know as soon as possible. cant change my mind last minute. Will let you know how I get on as it seems i will have plenty of time in front of lap top 🙂
    Wish everyone all the best

  641. I am three months post-op from surgery to remove large bunion and repair a hammertoe on my right foot. I teach school and so am on my feet a lot. My foot is still too swollen and sore to wear anything but a surgical shoe and I am discouraged that I’m not farther along in my recovery. I met with my surgeon Thursday and I asked him about physical therapy. He assured me that I didn’t need it and my foot would just get better on its own. His nurse then entered the room and after manipulating my toes and checking for mobility, recommended physical therapy! It appears that scar tissue has built up around the joints and plate and that I am going to need pretty intensive (painful) therapy to loosen everything up. Thank goodness for the nurse.

  642. Angji says:

    Well thats my main concern as well , I work in a school to and i don’t want to to be pain at work and keep complaining about my condition even after i start work. It sounds that it takes long time to be back to normal if ever the same . So confused right now. Can anyone please tell me that if the metal stays there for ever or do they remove it ??

  643. Karen Dyer says:

    Ok, not sure whether most people posting on here are British (I am) or American or other nationalities, but having read the variety of experiences on here I asked my physio about the differences in footwear/bandaging etc. I know there are many different types of surgery so will need various treatment but what she said was interesting! I had both feet done, chevron osteotomies with permanent pins and large bunions removed, never had bandages around my ankles/heels and even these were removed after 5 days (was just left with dressing over wound). The shoes I have are called DONJOY and are very stiff but have NO WEDGE, and since 1 week after surgery I have had just those with fluffy socks ! at first I was shocked but now I can see the benefit, at 3 weeks post op my scars are great because they have had the air to them and I have been able to use the foot spa and rub oil into them, only a couple of small scabs left. I have even been told that as long as I can wear my ‘special’ shoes to the edge of the pool I can go swimming!! yesterday I went round the supermarket with my wheely walker, was tired but no pain.I asked about the difference between the wedge/non wedge shoes and she said they have done a huge study comparing the two using pressure monitors all over the inside of the shoes. Apparently the wedge shoes which tip you backwards cause huge pressure and they see many people months later who are still experiencing hip, knee, ankle and foot pain. As you walk they actually put MORE pressure on the painful toe joints than the flat shoes !! Especially as once you have only walked in those for 6 weeks all your muscles etc have adapted to that unnatural position so it really hurts when you have to walk in ‘normal’ shoes again. Have to say, I know everyone heals differently but I have gone back through loads of these posts and those who have healed and got back to normal faster do seem to be the ones who have had less bandaging and less severe booting/bandaging. I certainly don’t advocate taking things off without consulting doctors, and if you have had extensive surgery you will have wounds in extra places etc, but I would say if you are still considering any of these procedures it may be worth asking your doctor to look into any available studies. keep going everyone, it’s worth it !

  644. Josie says:

    Karen that’s really interesting. There seem to be a small variety of operations but a huge difference in after-care. Certainly I felt the bandages I had contributed to continued pain/burning sensations once the initial pain of the operation had died down and it was a real relief to be rid of them.
    I had scarf, akin and weil osteotomies on both feet. Bandages (not around heels or ankles) and Darco wedge boots for 6 weeks. Operation on NHS but surgeon also works privately half the week.
    I felt the Darco boots did keep the pressure away from my toes and I’m lucky not to have had any problems with any other joints since using them. I thought I’d walked around in them a reasonable amount but I have been surprised to realise that the reason I’m still fairly slow going upstairs is due to my thigh muscles being weaker, not my toes! So I guess I have some work to do there.
    The other thing I find frustrating is that some surgeons recommend physiotherapy and others don’t. What did you have Karen?

  645. Josie says:

    I had pins/staples in big and second toes of both feet. They will stay there. I also had an external pin in one of the second toes because it had dislocated, which came put after 6 weeks. I got in a real state about it being taken out, but it didn’t hurt and the hole healed up in a matter of days.
    Are you able to schedule your surgery for the longest school holiday?