I'm writing this blog for anyone that is interested in the surgery for Bunions and Hammer Toe. I know that those that might be considering this surgical procedure or if you are just interested. But it comes with a warning. It has pictures that might upset some people. If you are one of them, stop here. This blog is NOT for you!
This is the before picture:
This is the after picture:
I chose to have the surgery because it was getting more and more difficult to buy shoes that fit and didn't cause blisters. I'm a walker and each morning I walked about 3.5 miles. So good fitting shoes with good support is important. If I added orthotic inserts, that made the toe area even more snug on the bunions. The crazy part is that if I wanted a wide width shoe, my choice was a cheap shoe that didn't have good support and didn't hold up with my walking. But good support has a narrow toe area. I'm willing to pay the price for a good quality shoe. A doctor told me that all I had to do was cut a hole where the bunion is. I'm in Montana. We have snow! A hole in the shoe is a poor option.
On December 6, I had the surgery on the worst foot, the left. The first 2 weeks are the worst! As I was told, I woke up with my foot bandaged and a boot. I called that boot my open-toed sandal. It caused me to walk more on my heel. My toes were raised. So I had a limp. But for 2 days (because of a nerve block in my foot) I couldn't put that foot down. After that, I could walk on it at least in the house. I was also doped up with pain medication for the first few days. Jeans would not fit over the bandaging. I wore a skirt most of the time.
After 2 weeks, I saw the doctor again. After the bandaging was removed, I was a little surprised at how my foot looked. The incisions were bigger than I thought and there was a lot of swelling. But the nurse assured me that it looked really good. I chose to believe her because she sees that sort of thing all the time. If you look close, you can see a pin sticking out the toe next to the big toe. That pin was with me until January 16, 6 weeks after my surgery. At all times, I had to protect that pin. I kept a Band-Aid on it all the time. I could take a shower with it, but had to keep it dry. The doctor was worried about snagging it on my socks. I found that I was more apt to catch it on the hem of my jeans. But I learned to be careful at all times.
This X-ray shows the pin. That part is removed.
On January 30, after almost 2 months, I was allowed to take the toe guard off my boot. I still had to wear the boot. I was told to exercise the 3 toes (little toe and the next 2 toes) to get them moving again. On February 13, I saw the doctor. and walked out of his office with shoes on both feet! The doctor was impressed with the movement I had on the toes that I had exercised. He told me to exercise the big toe and the toe next to it to get them moving. At this point, I feel little or no pain. I can move the big toe, but not the toe next to it, unless I move it with them fingers. They've been immobile for a long time. The doctor told me that I could do anything I wanted to do, but to be cautious at first. I know I can't just take of on a 3.5 mile walk at the same speed that I did before. For one thing, I have to wait for the snow and ice to melt away. I also know I still have to build myself up again.
Am I glad I had the surgery? Yes! Will have the other foot done? Yes, but I'm waiting until next December. I don't want to be laid up during the summer. I want to be active when the weather is good.
I wish I could have read this blog before my surgery.