If your podiatrist has recommended that you consider bunion surgery, you might be a little bit nervous about the idea. After all, any kind of surgery on your feet can be intimidating. The good news is that bunion surgery is usually an outpatient procedure, allowing you to go home as soon as the anesthesia wears off and your doctor deems that you are safe to care for your wound until your follow-up appointment. Here's a look at what you need to be ready for.
Right After Surgery
For the first five to seven days after the surgery, your doctor will recommend that you minimize your activity so that your body can rest and heal from the procedure. You may also be advised to apply ice to the area to help keep swelling at a minimum.
Keep the dressing dry at all times. This means that you should ask your podiatrist about how to cover the wound dressing when you shower. Getting it wet can introduce bacteria into the surgical site, putting you at risk of infection.
After Your One-Week Follow-Up
After the first week post-surgery, your doctor will want to see you for a follow-up appointment. During this appointment, he or she will change your dressing and check the way that the wound is healing.
Once he or she confirms that your physical healing is on track, you'll be advised that it's time to start slowly putting weight on that foot. You'll need to start out with some help and support when you try to walk. Your doctor might suggest the use of crutches if you don't have someone around full-time to help you move around.
Somewhere around the end of the second week or the middle of the third week following your surgery, you may have your stitches removed and be advised to work your way off the crutches.
Your Full Recovery Period
The first few weeks after your surgery are the most concerning, but they are not the only ones to worry about. You should take the time to talk with your podiatrist about the full recovery schedule so that you can familiarize yourself with what's ahead and what you will need to do.
Full recovery from bunion surgery can take up to six months, though you should feel close to normal within about six to eight weeks. Make sure that you heed your doctor's advice from the days leading up to surgery throughout your entire recovery period.
For more information about bunion surgery, reach out to a doctor.