Today marks six months since my foot surgery. The bunion and bunionette (the small chic French bunion on my fifth toe) of my left foot were removed and the bony alignment corrected – at least, that’s what I think happened. I frankly didn’t want to know the specific details. Despite being a health professional (who considered taking medicine!!), despite studying anatomy and doing cadaver dissection in university (I mention this strictly for street cred), I didn’t want to think too much about what was being done to my own body; it was just too surreal.
I made the decision to get the surgery because my feet hurt constantly – no matter the shoe or activity. My bunions developed because of how my feet are designed – in short, genetics. That plus years of walking = bunions. Contrary to popular belief, they are not caused by poorly fitting shoes, at least not in my case.
It’s not a decision to be made lightly. I could care less how my feet look and looks alone are NOT a good reason to undergo this surgery – or any surgery if you ask me.
After the surgery, I spent 7 weeks in an air cast…
And I did my best to stay off my foot and let it heal…
This was a major adjustment. I’m not used to needing help and I’m not used to rest (though I certainly didn’t miss pants!). I thought I would accomplish all kinds of things during that time, and being a
typical recovering type A, I wanted to excel at healing. That led me to push myself too much too soon and I paid for it in pain. Luckily I have amazing friends, including an experienced physiotherapist, who reassured me that everyone makes this mistake after ortho surgery. More importantly, she assured me that this common, seemingly mundane surgery was in fact a big deal and would take time to heal.
After the 4 week check-up, the surgeon taped an anchor to the proximal part of my foot and used that to tape my toes into position. For 3 days and 3 nights, I was in excruciating pain. I took as many meds as I was allowed and watched Netflix all day and all night to distract myself from the pain. It was about 2 in the morning when I finally decided enough was enough and I cut the damn tape.
After the pain of removing the stitches, I was TERRIFIED of getting that pin pulled at my 7-week check-up.
My nerves hit the roof when I arrived to the appointment only to discover that the surgeon had cancelled her clinic without notifying me. Needless to say, I was not impressed. I wanted out of that cast. I wanted that pin out! I was due to go on vacation with my family and had already camped once with the cast and didn’t want to do it again. Thankfully, another doctor came around, yanked the pin and sent me on my way. It didn’t hurt at all, I didn’t feel a thing!! Hallelujah!!
There was still a fair amount of recovery to go. There were scabs and dead skin and swelling and loss of muscle mass.
Sounds like a good reason to put my feet up and paint my nails!
I saw improvement bit by bit…
I have been going to physiotherapy for a few months to gain strength and range of motion (and chat with my Physio!) and have ordered orthotics to support my foot and prevent recurrence of the bunions. I had no sensation in my forefoot and big toe for months but it’s *almost* back to normal. My scars look pretty good, I rarely get swelling and can manage a few hours in heels!
My end goal is to be able to wear any shoe for any length of time with no more foot pain than any other woman in heels. If you’ve been following along with my thrift hauls, you know that I have been collecting shoes!
I might have to give up a few more pairs – time will tell. For now, I’m content to wait and build up my tolerance and ponder when I might get the right foot done!
The difference is remarkable! (And time for a pedi I would say!) I have had bunion pain since I was 18 years old. It is quite something to be able to walk around in freedom from pain!
This might be more than you ever wanted to know about bunion surgery but it was a major part of my life this year and I think sharing my experience might help others that are considering surgery. Now let’s resume regular business and start looking at my face and thrifted outfits – much nicer than my feet!