Bunion Surgery Recovery: Week 7

I had a post-op appointment last Friday, 51 days after surgery. My doctor peeled off all the scabs and then grabbed my foot, pressing hard into the bone joints where I think the screws are. “Does this hurt?” she asked, and I said “No.” “Then I want you to put weight on it, walk slowly with the boot on at all times. No bare feet.”

I was thrilled! Progress during this recovery feels like little successes, and every new thing I can do makes me feel like I got an A+. I tried to take a step to walk out of the doctor’s office, but I could not do it. After training my body and brain to absolutely not – under no circumstances – step on that foot, it took some mental strength to convince myself to walk.

When I got home, I took some tentative steps. After some practice in private, I boasted to Bruno and my mom, “Look, I think I’m doing it! I think I can do it!” as I hobbled/slid in and out of the living room.

There are two things I love about being weight-bearing: being able to sit down in the bathroom without using my arms (yes, I went there), and not having to use crutches or sit on my butt to go down the stairs.

FullSizeRender
Weekly progress of my right foot after bunion surgery

I had a brief crisis when I looked at my foot late last week and thought the bunion was still there. There is nothing more frustrating than taking yourself out for 3+ months and have the issue not be corrected. The doctor explained that while the bone is very straight, the rest of the foot remembers the bunion. So, the ligaments, tendons, skin, etc. may still show the bump, but it will get straighter over time. She’s right, of course, my X-Rays are awesome and the bones are all parallel. Yet, this recovery has ups and downs, and after months of dependency and inactivity, it’s natural to second-guess the decision.

Right foot before and 7 weeks after bunion surgery
Right foot; left: before surgery, right: 7 weeks post-op

I cannot wait to run again. I read someone describe it this way: “Before, I used to run around my foot, now, I run through my big toe.” If you’ve never had this biomechanical problem it’s probably hard to imagine, but those words created a perfect mental image of stepping down on the ball of my foot and propelling up and forward, gliding across pavement without pain. Of course it’s natural to second-guess, but there’s no guessing that this surgery was the exact right thing to do.

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Author: Day

On the road to Ironman..starting with learning to walk again.

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