You have just undergone correction of your hallux valgus (bunion) deformity
The operation was performed through incisions about the 1st metatarsal bone and the 1st MTP (big toe) joint. At the end of the procedure, a local anaesthetic agent was infiltrated, in order to reduce post-operative pain. The wounds were closed with small sutures and covered by bulky dressings. A post-operative shoe was then fitted.
Expect some pain in your foot, particularly when the local anaesthetic wears off, but this should be controllable with elevation and oral pain-killers, and should improve dramatically over the next 48 hours.
When you are able to comfortably stand and mobilise independently, you can go home.
The nursing staff will let you know when it is safe to get out of bed. You should stand and walk in the post-op. shoe, which should be worn at all times, including at night! You should walk on your foot in a “flat-footed” manner favouring the elevated portion of the shoe, avoiding the normal “heel to toe” pattern. Crutches should not be needed.
There can be blood seepage into the dressings causing staining. This is rarely a cause for concern, but the dressings could be changed in my office after a few days if they become offensive. Contact my secretary for an earlier appointment if this proves necessary.
You may shower, but it is important to keep dressings dry.
Keep your foot elevated as much as possible. Hip height is ideal when you are seated. Minimise your activities while the wound is healing. Do not drive a motor vehicle or walk in the street.
If you have any concerns regarding your progress before your first post-operative appointment, please ring the rooms, during normal hours, or your local doctor, if available after hours. If you require urgent out-of-hours attention, please ring or present to a hospital Emergency Department at any time. Both Norwest Private and Sydney Adventist Hospitals provide this service. There is an after hours emergency contact number for Castle Hill Day Surgery patients.
At the 2 week post-operative visit your dressings and sutures will be removed. A “bunion” bandage will be applied. It should be replaced at least daily, following showering, in the manner demonstrated, for the next 4 weeks. Keep elevating your foot to control swelling and discomfort. You may drive with the non-operative foot at the 3 week post op. mark, but not with the operative foot for 6 weeks.
Remember, your healing forefoot is fragile and you should walk slowly and flat-footed until the 6 week post-op. appointment, when it should be safe for you to begin a return to conventional shoes. Initially, these should be firm-soled and extra wide and deep in the toe-box. Shoes tight across the great toe or forefoot, or high-heeled, should be strictly avoided during the healing period up to 4 post-op. months, as should sport.