Dr Brandon Nelson, A Board Certified Physician & Surgeon, Discusses Bunion Surgery and Tips for Recovery

Dr Brandon Nelson, A Board Certified Physician & Surgeon, Discusses Bunion Surgery and Tips for Recovery

Bunion (1)

Dr. Brandon Nelson, A Board Certified Physician & Surgeon, Discusses Bunion Surgery and Tips for Recovery

Bunion surgery is one of the most common foot and ankle surgeries in the United States.  On average I personally operate on around 100 bunions every year.  It is a very rewarding surgery for patients with great outcomes.  The hardest part is the recovery and I thought I would give some tips for patients that I have learned over the last 15 years.  I will break this down into pain control, healing and rehab. 

Pain control is essential for the first part of the surgical process.  I find it beneficial for patients to be on a narcotic with an anti-inflammatory.  I prefer Ibuprofen and usually only need any type of pain medication for the first couple days.  Additionally, I recommend keeping your foot elevated for the first week and making sure to ice for 10 minutes every hour while you are awake.

Healing is another important factor for recovery.  First bone healing this is usually the dictating factor for recovery.  The average bone takes 12 weeks to heal so target therapy to decrease bone healing times can be helpful.  I recommend always taking a bone healing supplement i.e. ProBono or Bone Up are two of my favorite over the counter supplements.  Next would be skin and soft tissue, taking collagen, biotin and zinc can increase production of new skin cells.  Once the wound has closed I like some sort of scar care cream or scar care product.   You must use some sort of silicone based cream for best results.

Rehabilitation after bunion surgery often depends if other procedures were performed as well.  Often times physical therapy can be helpful.  I recommend that patients start moving their toes through range of motion as soon as the stitches are out.  It is important to actively and passively move the toe joint to prevent stiffness.  The ankle joint should be mobilized as well with such exercises as writing the alphabet with your foot multiple times a day.  I hope you find these helpful. 

If you are experiencing foot or ankle pain, please give us a call at 425-391-8666 or make an appointment online today

Sincerely,

Dr. Brandon Nelson

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