According to WebMD, approximately 23 percent of 18 to 65 year old Americans suffer from the pain associated with bunions. If you have these bony protrusions and are sick and tired of the pain, you might be considering surgery. Your bunion surgery will be far more successful if you care for your feet correctly after the procedure is over. Here are a few tips to help you through the bunion post-surgical process:
Prepare Your Home for Your Post-Surgical Needs
During the first few days and weeks after the surgery, your mobility will be very limited. This is why before you even step into the procedure room you need to fill your home with everything you will need to easily and successfully recover. Here is a list of must-haves that will make recovering from the surgery much less painful:
Sturdy ice packs – Purchase several ice packs, which will be invaluable after the surgery. Avoid using frozen vegetables or zippered bags filled with ice because these can easily leak and your foot needs to remain dry after the surgery.
Plenty of gauze and medical tape – It's not uncommon for your foot to bleed after the surgery. Stock up on extra gauze and medical tape and remember to change the dressing according to your surgeon's post-operative instructions.
Pillows – Keeping your foot elevated after the surgery is critical because it will reduce swelling and post-operative discomfort. Purchase inexpensive pillows you don't mind ruining because there is a chance of post-operative bleeding.
Compression dressing – Your doctor might recommend wrapping your foot with a compression dressing, which will help with the swelling and pain.
Pain medication – Fill any pain medication prescriptions your doctor provides you with before the surgery.
Crutches – Finally, you will be using crutches for several days or weeks before the surgery. Once again, pick these up before your procedure.
Additionally, make sure to stock your refrigerator with several easy-to-prepare meals and put any extraneous furniture in attic while you recover. Creating clear paths throughout your home will prevent injuries that can threaten your recovery.
Once You Get Home
After recovering from the procedure in the hospital, your doctor will release you to go home. Make sure to utilize your crutches to provide you with some extra support. As you heal, you will be able to ditch the crutches, but you should only walk on the balls of your feet until you have completely recovered.
In the first few days after the surgery, you can expect the discomfort to be intense. Stay in bed or on the couch as much as possible and keep your foot elevated at all times. Take the pain medication as directed by your surgeon. Keep a close eye on your stitches and if you notice any bleeding, cover the affected area with gauze. Change the gauze several times a day to prevent an infection.
Bathing can be tricky in the weeks after bunion surgery. Make sure to keep the affected foot completely dry while you are showering. This can be accomplished by covering your foot with plastic wrap. Remember, while you are in the shower during the first few weeks after surgery it is vital to avoid putting weight on the affected foot.
Keep an eye out for a post-operative infection, even though they are rare. Call your doctor immediately if you have a fever, there is a foul-smelling discharge oozing from your stitches, or if you are in immense pain.
If you are sick and tired of walking around in pain, you might be considering bunion surgery. Before you undergo the procedure, don't hesitate to ask a doctor like Richard Moy DPY INC what to expect and for a few tips to help you successfully recover.