Below are five MIS Bunion Surgery Recovery tips along with commonly asked questions and answers. By the end of this article, you will hopefully feel less overwhelmed and more informed about bunions and recovery!
1. Keep it dry for the first two weeks.
Your new and improved foot will be nicely bandaged up, so before bathing pop it in a plastic bag. The good thing about MIS bunion surgery is that the incisions are smaller, so you have less risk of infection. It is still best to keep it dry during the early healing stages.
2. Deep tissue massage.
After two weeks, the bandage usually comes off and then it is time for deep tissue massage. Mr Kunasingam, Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon, recommends applying pressure that turns the tip of your thumbnail from pink to yellow, massaging the small scars and surrounding areas up to five times a day.
3. Wash your foot but don't scrub it.
Allow time for any little bits of dried blood to wash away gradually, revealing a nicely healed foot underneath. Use non-perfumed creams for a few weeks so as not to irritate the skin.
4. Stretching exercises.
Hold the base of your big toe up for a count of five seconds, then down for a count of five seconds and repeat five times (so five sets) five times a day.
5. Trust in your new foot!
It can sometimes be tempting to shy away from things like massage and stretches for fear of causing harms; but these are the things that will help with mobility, promote faster wound healing and recovery. Whilst we may want to tiptoe around our foot (no pun intended), it is helpful to keep active to a reasonable degree.
Hold on a second, what is a bunion again?
Bunions, also known as Hallux Valgus, occur when the big toe moves towards the other toes. A bony lump on the side of the big toe (at the head of the metatarsal) usually comes from the metatarsal bone moving outwards. The pressure of the first toe leaning can lead to a change in the appearance of the second toe. The pressure of the lump can rub against shoes and create a thickening of skin and of course, pain. It is best to try and get this treated as soon as possible before the bunion worsens. 'But I don’t like blood, surgical knives or even the idea of surgery!' – You might say. Let’s address this fear.
Is Minimally Invasive Bunion Surgery still painful?
Minimally Invasive Surgery is much less painful than open surgery. The technique typically uses five tiny incisions rather than one long cut, resulting in less soft tissue damage and ultimately less pain and scarring. General anaesthetic is used during the surgical procedure so you should not experience any pain. Following the surgery, you may experience some mild discomfort which can be managed with pain medication. This procedure happens in Day Surgery meaning that you are up and out of the hospital the same day. Yes, you read that correctly. You will be able to put weight on your foot to walk on it more or less immediately after. Crutches are provided for balance and to ensure that no one bumps into you or steps on your foot.
How long will it take to recover after MIS bunion surgery? And when can I go back to work?
People recover at different rates. The bandage comes off after two weeks and typically, you will be back in shoes. At four weeks there is still some swelling but minimal. Some people go back to work a few days after surgery. According to Mr Kunasingam, you could even go to the gym a couple of days after surgery and use a static bike with the middle of the foot on the pedal or careful weight training. Check out Giles, a past patient of Mr Kunasingam, to see his post-surgery story, gym included!
MIS bunion surgery recovery varies between people and the overall focus is maintaining quality of life and living pain free. For more information, give us a call or fill out our enquiry form.