Bunionectomy 4 months on - so far so good, but see my exercise comment!

by Jenny

I had surgery on my left foot in July 2009. It's now November 2009. My problem was hallux rigidus, the swelling being caused by arthritic changes and more visible on the top than the side of the joint. I had hoped that the surgeon would be able to save the joint (he told me he wouldn't know the possibility until he could open it up, but he thought not) but in the end my toe was shortened and fused.

The first 6-8 weeks were very uncomfortable but then there was daily improvement. My foot now feels less painful than it did before the op., and more stable and I can now keep my balance on it for a little if I need to stand on one leg.

I have since found an exercise sheet given me by a podiatrist 10 years ago. I now do these exercise once or twice a day and find that they help a lot. In my case they were for flat feet and I couldn't at the time understand how anyone could accuse my feet of being flat, but I think the podiatrist could see what was coming. If only I'd not been so vain!

My foot is still a bit warm and swollen and the fused bone area feels a bit bumpy. I'm hoping things will shape up with time. My toe doesn't look beautiful, but then it didn't before, when it was just ugly in a different way. I am past my three-score-years-and-ten so I suppose healing is bound to be a bit slow, but I do now have a more comfortable and more functional foot.

While hobbling around during the first weeks I managed to do something painful to my right shoulder. I took myself off to an osteopath who has dealt with that problem and is going to monitor the effect of any change in gait which may result from the change in my foot. This should be helpful and interesting.

The bunionectomy was performed under the NHS. The NHS would also have provided physiotherapy for the shoulder problem but did not support the osteopathy.

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