Reducing Swelling Problems After Bunion Surgery

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If you have a bunion surgery scheduled, then you may be anxious about the surgery itself. While this is a significant concern, you also need to think about the recovery period afterwards. Recovery at home can take some time and you may need to wait at least a few months before you can start walking normally again. You also may not be able to wear shoes for six weeks or more and this is often due to extensive swelling around the foot. If you are eager to get back to wearing shoes as soon as possible, then follow the swelling reduction tips below.

Elevate The Foot

Swelling around the big toe is normal after bunion surgery. In fact, you are likely to see inflammation for quite a long time, but the toe will start to return to a normal size within the initial two week recovery period. While this is true, serious and extreme swelling can continue for some time if blood pools in the foot. Blood pooling issues are common because the blood has to fight gravity to move from the legs to the heart. Unfortunately, when the foot is swollen, blood vessels are compressed and blood can become trapped.

One of the easiest ways to keep blood moving is to make sure it does not need to fight gravity as hard to move back to the heart. This means elevating your foot as much as you can. Elevation should be above the heart, so either prop your foot high on a stool when sitting or lie down with several pillows placed underneath the foot. 

Elevation is a good idea while you are a awake, and it also is wise as you sleep. An elevated leg rest pillow is a good choice and these products are typically made from memory foam, so they are quite comfortable while you rest.

Use Your Boot

There are a variety of different splints, boots, crutches, and knee walkers that you can use after your surgery to help with mobilization, stress relief, and healing. While boots are not particularly comfortable, they should be used once the soft splint is removed. This will often occur around the two week mark when stitches are also released from the incision site. 

Your physician or surgeon may give you several types of boots. A special boot is made for driving purposes and one can be used daily for normal activities. If possible ask for a higher general use boot that sits around the foot, ankle, and upper leg. This boot will place good pressure on the foot and minimize fluid and blood buildup issues. Once you have the boot, wear it for almost the entire day. You can typically take the boot off for an hour or more to allow your foot to rest. 

Contact a professional like Richard Moy DPY INC to learn more.