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Revision Foot Surgery Series: Part 3 – Recovery expectations

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In most revision surgery cases the length of recovery is similar to the original surgery.  Most bunions allow you to return to full normal activity in about 8 weeks, but every patient’s recovery is slightly different. 

Typical recovery from bunion surgery where joints are NOT fused is as follows:

  • 4-6 weeks in a walking boot weightbearing as tolerated.
    • X-rays are needed to confirm bone healing.
    • Physical therapy may also be required due to increased joint stiffness at surgical site.
  • After bone healing is noted, the patient may transition into athletic shoes for a period of at least two weeks.
  • 8 weeks after surgery, patients are typically allowed to return to full normal activity as tolerated.
    • Pain at surgical site is typically better at 8 weeks after surgery than it was before surgery, and continues to improve over the period of about six months

Typical recovery from bunion surgery where joints are fused is as follows:

  • 4-8 weeks non-weightbearing in a cast with assistance of crutches or a knee scooter.
  • Once bone fusion is noted on radiographs the patient transitions into walking boot.
  • The patient is then able to transition into athletic shoes after strength is regained with physical therapy. 

The most important thing to understand as a patient who has experienced a less than optimal outcome after surgery, is that there are conservative and surgical options for treatment in these cases. If you have been told there is nothing more that your surgeon can do for you it is time for a second opinion. Very rarely are there no viable options. Not every poor outcome is the fault of your surgeon, and surgical complications do occur, but you don’t have to live with the results.

It is always helpful when coming for a second opinion to obtain your records and foot x-rays that were taken prior to your original surgery, so they can be evaluated by the physician.

Stop in for a second opinion because you don’t have to live with pain!

 

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