How Long Do You Wear Boots After Bunion Surgery? Treatment and Recovery

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How Long Do You Wear Boots After Bunion Surgery? You can rest assured that you’ll get immense relief from pain, soreness, and discomfort after your bunion deformity correction surgery. You’ll be able to step out of the surgery room without assistance and also drive back home yourself following minimally invasive surgery. At the same time, you’ll recover adequately within 6-8 weeks to be in a position to walk wearing normal shoes.

On the other hand, the recovery period for an open bunionectomy or conservative bunion surgery is longer, about 10-12 weeks. If you’ve received open bunion surgery, you’ll need surgical boots and crutches following the surgical process for a speedy recovery. You’ll have to wear surgical or orthopedic boots for 2-3 weeks, based on your recovery rate after which you’ll need a brace.

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Additionally using a bunion splint, orthopedic shoe insert, orthotic arch support, and night splint socks will help restore correct toe alignment.

Dealing with Bunions: Different Treatment Options

Dealing with Bunions

You can deal with the bony deformation associated with a bunion by resorting to a few changes in your lifestyle. For instance, you should stop wearing tight-fitting shoes and try to get into the habit of putting on wider shoes. Wide-sized shoes allow you to wriggle your big toe, keeping the toe well-padded, and also letting your feet breathe.

Other conservative remedial measures include inserting an orthotic insole inside the shoe, taking painkillers, performing various foot exercises, and so on. Make sure you choose shoes made from lightweight and breathable materials such as neoprene and spandex and have broad soles for providing steady support. However, a surgical procedure is the last option if the traditional methods of therapy do not relieve pain and uneasiness.

You should opt for hallux valgus or bunion deformity correction surgery only if the condition keeps you from leading a normal life. Keep in mind that it may take up to 5-6 months to recover sufficiently to live an active life.

Bunion Surgery: Bunion Removal Processes

Bunion surgery involves removing the bony protrusion that develops at the big toe’s base. Various surgical procedures conducted for doing away with the bunion are largely successful, offering relief from intense pain. You’ll be susceptible to numerous other foot conditions if you continue to defer the surgery despite suffering from acute pain.

An effective surgical procedure will not only give you relief from pain but also relieve pressure on the foot. Additionally, the surgery will restore the natural toe joint and reinstate natural foot alignment. 

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The majority of bunion correction operations are carried out by administering the patient a local anesthetic known as ankle block. Though the local anesthesia will leave you with no sensation beneath the ankle, you’ll remain conscious during the operation. Your surgeon will undertake any one of the following surgical methods for doing away with the bony bump:-

  • Resection arthroplasty: Resection arthroplasty involves removing the damaged sections of the first MTP (metatarsophalangeal) joint for increasing the gaps between the bones. This type of bunion surgery is ideal for older patients with arthritis, for whom the other bunion surgery methods may not be effective. The biggest drawback of a resection arthroplasty is that the process greatly reduces the big toe’s functioning capacity.
  • Arthrodesis: This bunion surgery technique works best for those with an advanced form of bunion or arthritis. Arthrodesis entails eliminating joint areas affected by arthritis, and thereafter keeping these areas united through surgical wires, screws, and plates.
  • Exostectomy: This is a bunionectomy procedure in which the surgeon gets rid of the bunion formation on the big toe. Exostectomy is usually carried out in combination with other forms of foot surgery like metatarsal osteotomy. If exostectomy is performed as a standalone procedure, there’s a high possibility of the bony lump redeveloping. 
  • Osteoectomy: Osteoectomy is similar to arthrodesis where the orthopedist makes incisions into the big toe for positioning plates, screws, or pins. More often the orthopedic surgeon has to take out a small section of the big toe bone to properly place the tools.

Bunion Surgery: Recovery Procedure and Revival Period

The type of bunion correction surgery you undergo determines how soon you’ll recuperate. Those going for a minimally invasive surgery can walk almost immediately following the surgical procedure. On the other hand, those undergoing more complicated surgeries have to wait for about 2-3 months before they can walk.

Though clinical recovery usually takes about 6-8 weeks, it takes nothing less than 6 months for patients to convalesce fully. You’ll have to schedule an appointment with your surgeon or podiatrist every 3 months post-surgery to keep track of your progress. After your surgery, you’ll be provided with surgical boots that you’ll have to put on several times a day.

You’ll have to put on the boots for at least two weeks following the operation. These boots act as a waterproof cast protector, guarding the big toe’s bone structure and preventing the sutures from soaking. You’ll need to ensure that the surgical dressing stays intact and does not get wet when you shower.

Related: How to Shower After Foot Surgery?

Using a plastic bag for covering your treated foot during showering will help keep the operated area clean and dry. The doctor will inspect the treated area after 14-15 days, and based on his observation, will remove the cast. Now you’ll need to put on a brace or a bunion splint for keeping your foot steady during the healing period.

The doctor will advise you against putting weight or stress on your operated foot initially, and you’ll have to walk with crutches. Try to rest and relax as much as possible for allowing the foot to heal speedily. Wear a night splint before going to bed, put on lightweight and breathable shoes, and place an orthotic insert inside your shoe for restoring proper toe alignment.

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Remember to put on wide-size shoes with sufficient room for enabling your toes to breathe and stay comfortable. Women should not wear high heels or stiletto heels until and unless their operated foot recovers completely. Performing different types of foot exercises will also go a long way in expediting the healing process.  

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