Bunion surgery is a major invasive procedure that requires diligent preparation both on the part of the physician and the patient. You can make your recovery easy and speedy by taking these steps to prepare before your surgery.
Do you need Anesthesia for Bunion Surgery?
Some patients want to be “knocked out” for bunion surgery, some do not, so you and your doctor should have a discussion about the type of anesthesia that would make you most comfortable before the day of your surgery. General and Spinal Anesthesia, if used, must be monitored by a licensed anesthesiologist or nurse anesthetist and can be administered on a spectrum to meet your specific needs.
- Local Anesthesia – Reserved mostly for minor bunion surgeries, local anesthesia is applied to the foot only and administered with sedation. When sedated, a patient experiences lessened anxiety and feels very drowsy. Very often, the patient does not remember the procedure at all while under sedation.
- Regional Anesthesia – Along with sedation, regional anesthesia involves numbing the leg from the knee down. This is also called popliteal block.
- Spinal Anesthesia – A spinal numbs the patient from the waist-down and is performed with sedation.
- General Anesthesia – The “deepest sleep” on the spectrum, the patient is fully unconscious, immobilized, and completely numbed during the procedure.
Planning for Bunion Surgery
You may not be able to walk for a few days following the surgery. If you have a mostly sedentary job or you work from home, you may be able to return to work within 3-5 days. If your job requires a great deal of standing or walking, you will need to ask your doctor how long you will need to take off work. Many people plan their surgeries around work holidays and vacations, or they telecommute if possible.
Immediately after your surgery, you may have some discomfort, you will not be able to walk or drive, and you may feel woozy from the anesthesia. You will need to have a friend or relative take you home. You should not take public transportation.
Preparedness Tips for Bunion Surgery
After surgery, you won’t want to move around too much. Make sure you are prepared by:
- Stocking up on groceries.
- Cooking meals that you can heat-and-eat for 2-4 days after the procedure.
- Picking up your pain medication from the pharmacy.
- Stashing ice packs in the freezer to use to reduce inflammation.
- Making sure items that you use every day are in easy-to-reach places. Try to avoid having to go up and down steps throughout the day.
- Re-arranging your furniture to make the space easy to navigate.
- Buying a cast cover or plastic bags to keep your cast and stitches dry in the shower.
- Investing in some well-fitted shoes with plenty of arch support and a wide toe-box.
- Placing your phone and charger near the bed or couch.
- Adding your doctor’s phone number to your contacts.
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