What You Need to Know After Your Bunionectomy



In order to remove or to excise a bunion, a bunionectomy is performed by a surgeon. A bunion is basically an enlargement of a person’s joint right at the big toe’s base. This enlargement is composed of soft tissue and bone. Bunions usually result from ill fitting shoes. When a bunion becomes too painful, a bunionectomy may be performed.


Normally, prior to a bunionectomy, the doctor will ask the patient to try conservative means to tackle the bunion. A change in shoes is the first thing the doctor will require of the patient. Padded cushion is often added right against the joint for comfort. Orthotics is also worn by patients with manageable bunions. To address the inflammation, anti-inflammatory medication is given. If these conservative methods do not work, then a bunionectomy is the next possible course of action.


A plaster cast is placed on your foot right after the surgery. To minimize the pain, the doctor may inject you with an analgesic. He will also prescribe pain medications for you to take at home.


Resting your foot is important once you get home. Elevate your foot whenever possible. The plaster cast should not be pressed on for at least 48 hours. Also, do not allow the cast to get wet.  The cast will be uncomfortable. Resist the urge to scratch under the plaster or place anything down the cast. If the plaster cast cracks, becomes soft or is damaged in any way, go back to the medical facility so the plaster technician can fix the problem.


It is important to rule out any infection or nerve problems. Return to the medical facility if you develop any of the following:


  • Swollen toes
  • Blue colored toes
  • Numbness or pins and needles in your toes
  • Extreme pain
  • Paralyzed toes

If you have a bunion that requires a bunionectomy, talk to your doctor about the operation. Make sure to prepare a list of questions for your doctor so he can allay your fears about the bunionectomy. After the operation, you may be in pain. Expect that it will take weeks before your toe recovers from the operation.



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