On February 10th, 2011 I had corrective surgery on the bunion of my left foot. Even though I'd had the same procedure performed on my right foot about ten years earlier, I thought that I might benefit from a refresher course on how best to manage on only one foot for several weeks. I scoured the internet in search of a first person account of the surgery but could find only general medical advice, so I decided to keep a diary of my own recovery while it was still fresh in my mind. It is possible that someone in a similar position might find my experiences useful. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a bunion is an enlargement of the bone or tissue around the joint at the base of the big toe. The big toe may turn in to point toward the second toe, and in extreme cases, can even force it beneath the second toe. This can push the remaining toes out of place and cause even further discomfort. Bunions are most often caused by an inherited faulty mechanic structure of the foot. It is not the bunion itself that is inherited, but certain foot types that make a person prone to developing a bunion. (My older sister has bunions just as I do, but she had decided that she would rather go to her grave with deformed and painful feet than have the corrective surgery for fear of pain. This is from a woman who has given birth to two children while I on the other hand refuse to have kids for the exact same reason. Different strokes for different folks I guess. ) My road to bunion surgery started over 15 years ago while I was in the Marine Corps. My 2nd year while serving in the Philippines I discovered that wearing combat boots had suddenly become very painful. Upon visiting the base medical clinic I was advised that I had bunions on both feet, with the right foot being worse off than the left. It was recommended that I have surgery on the right foot first, which at that time entailed exposing the enlarged joint and then filing it down to smooth out the bump. I had the surgery as advised, but had to revisit the subject five years later when the bump returned and the pain along with it. But by this time the preferred procedure was not to drill the bump down (because as had been confirmed by me, they just grew back). Instead, the procedure of choice was now to cut the big toe bone and properly realign it, using a metal pin to hold it in place until the bone healed in its new position. The pin would then be removed after 6 weeks or so, leaving the foot healed and properly aligned, albeit slightly swollen and sore for a few weeks more. So I had the "re do" performed on my right foot about 10 years ago, and as of this date the bump never returned. Now, that the pain in the left foot has gotten to a point that it can no longer be ignored, the time to have that one done. The last time that I had this outpatient surgery, the doctor put me to sleep and when I awoke it was all over. I had a half cast on the bottom of my foot held on by yards and yards of bandages. But this time, my doctor (whom I really like and respect a lot) says that he prefers to keep the patient totally awake, while using a local anesthesia. At first I was not keen on the idea of being totally awake while someone sawed my big toe in half, but when my doctor advised me that there would be less risk of complications from anesthesia as well as a shorter recovery period while in the hospital, I was willing to try it (as long as I couldn't feel anything). The first difference that I noticed upon arriving at the hospital was that they would not require me to undress and change into one of those surgical gowns that leave your butt hanging out. Apparently you only have to do that when using general anesthesia, and as I was only using a local I could keep on my comfy and warm sweats. My doctor then gave me a Xanex (I guess to keep me from freaking out during surgery) and had even suggested that I to play some music from my cell phone to myself using headphones so that I wouldn't have to listen to the sounds of snapping bone during surgery. (Good call Doc.) He then gave me five or six shots in my lower leg in order to numb it. I didn't think it would work, but it did. I watched him attempt to tickle my foot, and I couldn't even feel that anyone was touching me at all. As he had predicted, I felt absolutely nothing at all. About twenty minutes later it was all over and I emerged from surgery with five stitches in my foot as well as a metal pin to hold my big toe straight. That was the easy part. As I live alone and had remembered from my first surgeries how difficult it was to get things done on one foot when you live alone, I decided to prepare this time. I cleaned my home really well, bought enough groceries to last me at least 2 weeks, and precooked a few meals. Also, as had I intended to move from my current home in 4 months anyway, I put all of my living room furniture in storage and moved my queen size bed downstairs into my living room. I know that sounds a little crazy, but I knew that I was going to catch hell trying to get up and down the stairs of my townhouse with a broken foot and no one there to help me but my two crazy cats. This turned out to be the wisest decision that I have made in a long time, because as I predicted, I was basically an invalid for the first week. The hospital provided me with crutches, but let me tell you in case no one has ever mentioned this to you, crutches suck. My arm pits were sore from where the crutches rubbed against them, the palms of my hands were sore from me keeping death grip on the crutches , and I could only move 4 or 5 steps at a time before I had to catch my breath believe me, they need to market them as a workout! I realized at day 3 after the surgery that I had forgotten to purchase cat litter, and the litter box was full. I used the crutches to get to my car, and then jumped into one of those drivable shopping carts once I arrived at the supermarket. I was able to refresh my supplies and even get them into the car with no problem, but getting them from the car into the house was a brainteaser. The 2 small plastic grocery bags I could carry with no problem, but the 20 pound plastic container of cat litter was another issue. I tried to put it on the ground and push it with my good foot as I crutched along, but I didn't make much progress. Thank God that my neighbor with the noisy kids that I always complained to myself about pulled up right about then. She sent her little girl over to carry the cat litter to my door for me. I gave the girl 3 dollars, but that small gesture of kindness had actually been priceless to me at that moment. My doctor had advised me that absolutely no weight should be put on that foot for at least a week, and believe me it hurt so bad that putting it on the ground was the last thing that I wanted. But right around the 5th day after the surgery, the pain started to subside, and I found that I needed less pain medication. By the 7th day I could bear to put my put on the ground if I favored that foot and walked so that weight was placed only on the heel and outer side of my foot (avoiding using the big toe at all). I am as of today at day 11 after the surgery and I am getting around pretty well, inside of my home anyway. I have an appointment with my doctor 4 days from now (exactly 2 weeks after the surgery) to have my stitches removed and to get the dressing changed. If all goes well I am scheduled to return to work on the following Monday, as I am out on 14 days paid disability leave until then. That will be the next test getting around at work. I will file part 2 of this series after I go back to work. Even I want to know how that turns out. After My Foot (Bunion) Surgery 6 months later Bunion surgery Photos, Cost, Complications, Recovery time The Causes of Bunions Remedies For Treating A Bunion Shoes for Bunions need to be wide and comfortable 4 Causes of Pinky Toe Pain Follow (2)Comments 7 commentsGo to last comment marzena 2 years ago hello thank u for sharing your story i found it very clear and interesting ,,im from poland and lived in uk over 5 yrs now ,,i had operation on both fee tabout 2,5 weeks ago ,,im off to get my dressings changed tomorrow and im very nervouse what im goinna see ! ???im not sure if i can move my toes cos teh yget a bit numb so i try littl movement and then its a lot better ,,doctor havent told my much what i shoud do at home after op ,thats why im so worried, ,im looking forward for your next letter !!!!!!!!!looks like u going back to work preety fast after op ,do u mind if i ask what job do u do ??? cos im riding horses and as u can imagine it will def,take longer till i get back to work,,i m also wondering when i can start walking . After the stiches came out the swelling started to go down and I regained a lot of movement. And then when I had the pin removed it got even better. My doctor told me to try to exercise my foot at home by wiggling my toes whenever I was just sitting in bed or something. I still do that sometime,and it definitely helps. In answer to your question, I drive everywhere I go and I work in an office so I sit at a desk all day (no pressure on my foot). It has been about a year now since my surgery, and besides a little stiffness in my foot when I stand or walk too much or try to wear high heel shoes, I am back to normal. :) My advice would just be for you to get some really comforabe soft shoes (like athletic shoes), maybe even some that are a size or so too big to allow for the swelling in your foot. Let me know how things turn out for you tomorrow :) Naomi 2 years ago Thanks for posting this 2 part series. It is very informative, just wish I'd found it before surgery. I've had very little pain, but am worried my Dr is allowing too much too soon. All information I can find is no weight on the foot for at lwast 6 wks my dr released me to wear normal shoes and apply weight "as I felt" . My pin is permanent,so 2 wks out, NO WAY a regular shoe is going on this foot! It's still too swollen for one things, and the area over the pin is SO tender. I did find a new type of CROCS sandle that the 2 bands hit your foot in the perfect area for where we are healing. It leaves that area completely untouched,so no pain form the pressure. I have inserts for my shoes,but I would seriously hurt anyone that tried to put an athletic shoe on that foot right now! 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She had already completed a master's degree in human kinetics at the University of Ottawa and an undergraduate degree in sports psychology at Laurentian University. Having travelled to a community in Northern Ontario and researched the correlation between physical activity, weight and mental health, Krista became interested in promoting healthy lifestyles at home in Pembroke. Johnson says her daughter worked extensively with youth, especially young girls, to educate them about physical and mental health. During the summers, Krista worked with Pembroke's Family and Children's Services centre. In Ottawa, she volunteered with the Dave Smith Youth Treatment Centre and the Hopewell Eating Disorders Support Centre. She even started running women's boot camp programs in Pembroke. "She was appalled at how young girls had such poor self image and self confidence," says Johnson. "It put more fuel behind the fire that we need to get these youth active and happy about themselves." That was the motivation behind creating Live it Up, a program to empower girls through physical fitness and discussions on healthy lifestyles. Johnson and three of her daughter's friends continue to run the program for between 12 and 15 participants aged 11 to 13. At the funeral and wake in 2012, Johnson says she heard countless stories from families who were positively affected and impressed by Krista's work. Donations from the funeral, along with some of the nearly $30,000 raised with last year's memorial run, were used to add a fitness grove of permanent exercise equipment to Pembroke's Riverside Park. Between 800 and 1,000 participants are expected to join in this year's half marathon, 10k run, 5k run, and 2k family run/walk. Registration costs are $45, $35, $30, and $10 respectively. Kids under 12 can participate for free. Many of the proceeds will go toward programming at The Grind, which is run by OPP officer Jerry Novack. The centre runs programs six nights a week, including a girls only night, for around 120 community youth. With no government funding, the centre relies on just one paid employee and volunteers. Novack says the annual fundraising is a huge support. Most of the centre's budget comes from the annual run, he says. "We definitely appreciate what they're doing for the centre." Some funding will also go toward Live it Up, initiatives to send students to camp, and a high school scholarship supporting an active, community minded student. Girls from the Live it Up program are helping to organize children's activities at Riverside Park the day of the run, including a temporary climbing wall. "My hope is that lots of participants will sign up, so we can raise lots of money, but just as important is to get message out there to just be active," says Johnson. "That's the ultimate goal, because that was her goal: to just get people moving and away from the screen. 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We need to find a system which gives us balance," said Blanc. "We have an attacking potential that many other clubs envy but we mustn forget that to win a match we have to defend well." Even against a five man Nantes defence, PSG threatened to run riot in the early stages, with home goalkeeper Remy Riou racing off his line to deny Ibrahimovic before Cavani first time half volley flashed just wide midway through the first half. Shortly after, Ibrahimovic and Cavani combined for the opening goal, with the latter racing on to the Swede pass before firing low past Riou. Yet the visitors could not build on that and only a fine Salvatore Sirigu save prevented Cichero from equalising for Nantes from an overhead kick justbefore the break. The hosts did draw level soon after the restart when the unfortunate Alex, under pressure from Papy Djilobodji, saw a Jordan Veretout free kick rebound off him and into the net at the back post. Sirigu then had to save well to keep out a net bound Alejandro Bedoya header, but PSG silenced the 37,000 crowd when Lavezzi scored what proved to be the winner. Earlier on an attritional weekend in France top flight, Nice were held to a goalless draw by Ajaccio in Corsica, while Saint Etienne dropped their first points of the league campaign, going down 1 0 away to a young Lille side. Salomon Kalou scored the only goal from the penalty spot to deny Les Verts the chance to move level at the top of the table with leaders Marseille. "Saint Etienne are a team who often pose us problems," acknowledged Kalou, mindful that it was they who pipped Lille to a European place at the end of last season, having also knocked them out of both domestic cup competitions. Marseille end the weekend two points clear of Monaco at the summit after maintaining their perfect start to the season with a hard fought 1 0 win at Valenciennes, Andre Pierre Gignac netting a late winner. Monaco drew 0 0 at home to Toulouse on Friday in a game played behind closed doors at the Stade Louis II as a punishment for crowd trouble at the end of last season. Claudio Ranieri side now travel to face Marseille in a top of the table clash at the Stade Velodrome next Sunday. In contrast to Marseille, Lyon perfect start to the campaign was ended in a 1 0 home defeat to Reims, as Odair Fortes deflected effort gave the visitors the points after Clement Grenier had missed a penalty for the hosts in a second half delayed for 35 minutes because of torrential rain at the Stade de Gerland. That result came four days after Lyon chances of making the Champions League group stage were severely compromised by a 2 0 home defeat to Real aSociedad in the first leg of their play off.
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