6 Months Later: An Update

6monthslater

My friends, it has officially been 6 months since that fateful day in November when my little left bunion went under the knife. Things could not be better! Please enjoy the before & after photo. Take a look at that scar. While the difference may not be exponential, I do see less of a bunion formation. My foot is often swollen (yes, still) due to the bone healing and likely due to the fact that I work at a standing desk all day (this photo was taken around 11:30am today).

A bit of background on what has been achieved in the last 5 months or so:

In March, I enjoyed a vacation in Miami where I wore high heels for an extended period of time (3+ hours) and enjoyed walking around the city for hours on end with minimal pain and discomfort. I felt a distinct difference between my left and right feet after being on them for so long (sometimes in heels); while my right foot throbbed from the bunion that currently exists there, my left non-bunion foot contently waltzed along through the day.

I’ve been back at the gym/running/cycling/hiking regularly since December/early January. Mobility and flexibility in my left toes is back full force thanks to my activity level which has aided in stretching out my feet muscles. I see absolutely ZERO impact on my performance. Being athletic, risking performance/fitness capabilities was a huge concern for me going into surgery. Insurmountably satisfied with the outcome from my recovery. Dr. Passeri is one hell of a doctor!

On occasion, my foot will ache from time to time…but I attribute that to my bone still healin’ on up. Makes sense, don’t you think? I mean, I hear it takes up to a year for bone to heel completely. On the very rare occasion, I feel a strange tingling/popping where my bunion once was (mostly after long runs 4-5 miles…”long” should be taken with a grain of salt). It’s nothing that doesn’t go away after some time, so I’m not too worried about it.

I look forward to getting my second foot out of the way. The bunion that still lingers on my right foot is much bigger than the left one ever was…and thus, it is also significantly more painful at times. I will continue with the very sporadic updates throughout the year as I see fit and plan to pick up the blog full-speed-ahead come November when I get my right foot done.

Until that time, please feel free (as always) to reach out with any questions you may have! Thank you!

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14 thoughts on “6 Months Later: An Update

  1. Billy says:

    It was good to find your blog as I’m also recovering from a bunionectomy. My recovery time is taking a little bit longer as I had my metatarsal cut and realigned. Sounds bad, but the pain and swelling has been minimal. I’m exactly 4 weeks out and probably another 3 to go before I can go full weight bearing. Anyway, I was wondering how you took care of your incision and when you started to wash it. How did you start cleaning it? I’m thinking you’re not suppose to bathe it and just pour water over it and maybe wash around the wound? Any advice would be awesome!

    Thanks
    Billy

    • alaynalim says:

      Hi Billy,

      Thanks for the nice comments! Yikes getting a metatarsal cut is serious business. My boyfriend broke his metatarsal a couple years back so I completely empathize with what you’re going through.

      To take care of my incision once I started to “wash” it, I would do the following:
      • I always kept the tape strips on for as long as I could throughout the entire recovery process
      • If they started to come off, I would let them fall off on their own and if the skin was still lacerated underneath the tape I would replace the strip with a new one on my dry skin. I think the tape strips really help with nurturing the healing process along the wound
      • My doctor advised me on day 13 that I could get it wet for the first time, but could NOT get it wet every day
      • To “clean” it I would simply let luke warm water run over it. No rubbing, touching, scrubbing, soap, etc. Just letting the water run over it should take care of it
      • Once I was out of the shower, I would very lightly pat it dry with paper towels (ensures there’s no bacteria or soap residue going into the wound) and dress it accordingly (large piece of gauze on top of incision, wrapped with athletic tape around my foot and ankle for security)
      • About three weeks in is when I could get it wet every day, again, no soap or scrubbing, just water running over.

      I hope that helps. If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

      Thank you!
      A

      • Billy says:

        Thanks Alayna for the quick response!

        I’m going to take your advice and just wash it under warm water every other day. I’m feeling better everyday and just can’t wait to be normal again!

        thx again for the detailed tips, have a good weekend!

  2. Carol Workman says:

    Hi Alahyna,

    It is so encouraging to see your blog. I am going to have a bunion removed from my right foot on Wednesday, 7/10/13. You have given me more hope than a little. I am not an immobile person. Maybe I will get some housework done while I’m at home and keep things caught up for once before heading back to work.

    Thanks again for the encouragment.

    Carol

    • alaynalim says:

      Carol,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! I am very happy to hear I’ve helped make your preparation a little more positive. I found my time during recovery, as you’ve already read, pretty productive and enjoyable. Everyone is different but I do hope that you have the same experience.

      Best of luck and don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions you may have.

      A

  3. Natalie says:

    Yes, thanks for this blog. So comforting to read as my left foot is elevated and resting 5 days post-op. Was so glad to hear how quickly you bounced back as far as exercising. I miss that the most. Looking forward to a pain free left foot. I’ll have to decide when to address my right foot. I know that’s more involved due to driving. Anyway thanks again for sharing. Ps – was laughing at your mani shot. I just painted my nails today…so bored and nothing to do hahaha

  4. Valerie says:

    Hello!
    Thank you for sharing your story! It has been so very inspirational to me as I am on day 8 post op from bunion surgery on my right foot. I am a super active 33 year old woman so this past week has been making me stir crazy. I had my most painful evening was on day 4 post op when my bandages were changed and I was told to put weight on my foot. Whoa! I’ve been nervous to walk since but will get the walking boot at day 12 post op. I was just wondering how you are doing with recovery from the right foot.
    Be well!

    • alaynalim says:

      Hi Valerie,

      I’m very pleased to hear that my blog has been of use to you and completely empathize with your stir craziness! That really is the worst.

      I haven’t yet had the operation on my right foot, so no recovery there (for now). On my left foot, I’m over a year post-op and it’s going wonderfully! I’m running the most I’ve ever run, wearing moderately high heels when I want to…it’s been wonderful. Now I just need to get the right one done…

      Happy holidays.
      Alayna

      • Valerie says:

        Hi Alayna,
        Thanks for the quick response! My doctor is STRONGLY encouraging me to ditch my crutches as I am going to get the walking boot on Friday (day 12 post op). Also I am dying to do some household chores! Did you feel some burning and pain in the first few weeks when walking? Ice has been my best friend in addition to Advil (I never needed the prescription pain meds).

        I am so thrilled to hear that you are running! I’ve actually had to stop due to the pain in my bunion so that is awesome news! Your blog has definitely been pulling my through the recovery. I’ve read other torturous accounts and my recovery seems to line up with yours.

        Be well and Happy Holidays!
        Valerie

      • alaynalim says:

        I DID feel burning when walking. The term “burning” is absolutely accurate to what I felt. Ouch! But I totally agree–Ice is the answer. I steered way clear of the Vicodin because it made me too nauseous.

        SO glad to hear your recovery is going as smoothly as mine did :) We really are lucky.

        Keep me posted on your recovery/if you have any other questions!
        A

  5. Kelly says:

    Thanks you so much for your blog! I am scheduled for surgery in March and have a couple of questions. Prior to surgery were you able to fit into normal shoes such as ballet flats and low heels? Are you now able to fit in normal sized shoes comfortably? Its been over a year since your surgery, can you wear normal shoes without pain? I have a medium bunion and a some pain that has been increasing in the last year. I don’t want to male my feet hurt more in the long run but I’m willing to work for years of pain free shoe shopping and not having to wear tennis shoes forever.

    • alaynalim says:

      Hi there! So glad you like the blog and find it helpful. Prior to surgery I had a very hard time wearing ballet flats and heels. Ugh ballet flats were the death of me–dainty torture devices. My foot could fit in them (hardly, very uncomfortably) and I could only tolerate so much wear in them due to pain. A year and a half later I am pain free in heels on my left foot (where I had my surgery). My doctor advised me to gradually ease back into wearing heels and to do so well-into the healing process so that the bone, being fragile and more pliable, could heal properly before taking the step (literally and figuratively) in the fashion forward direction. That being said, I started wearing heels (small wedges, chunky booties, etc.) about 7-9 months post-op. As I type this to you now I’m currently wearing heels en route to work! Albeit 3 inchers. :) good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions.

  6. Carlos says:

    Hi Alayna, I am glad that your bunion surgery went very well. I was thinking of having my bunions removed too but i have not decided the dates yet. On your first week you mentioned that you have been icing your foot but your foot was covered with multiple layers of gauze. Do you leave the gauze on and wrapped your foot with ice (in a plastic) or removed the gauze then apply or wrapped it with ice?

    Carlos

    • alaynalim says:

      Hi Carlos,

      Thanks for reaching out. Apologies for the delayed response here. Ice-to-skin contact is not ideal; it can be too harsh on your skin, which we don’t want. My foot was wrapped in layers of gauze and wraps. To keep the ice secure on my foot, I wrapped a second bandage around the icepack.

      Let me know if you have any other questions. Best of luck!
      A

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