Bunion surgery is an outpatient procedure, so most patients go home on the day of surgery. There are many things that you can do in advance of the surgery to prepare your home and increase your comfort. Getting ready before the event occurs also helps ensure that you're able to care for yourself in the necessary ways during the recovery. Here's what you need to know.
In the first two weeks post-surgery, you'll have a boot or cast on your foot, and will need to walk with crutches. Although you may be able to get around somewhat during that time, you'll need help from others. If you live with someone, talk to them about what to expect, and explain that you'll need extra assistance during the recovery period. If you live alone, reach out to people you know who can help during the recovery period. You may find yourself needing someone to drop in and handle some basic chores, or you may need assistance with shopping and other tasks.
You won't want to do any meal preparation for a little while, and even after the boot comes off, cooking while using crutches can be difficult. Bake casseroles to freeze, buy TV dinners, and stock up on non-perishable snacks like crackers and canned fruit. If you have the budget to eat take-out, collect take-out menus from the surrounding restaurants, so you'll have a range of meal choices. Doing the dishes can be difficult, so stock up on disposable dishes like paper plates and plastic cups.
Bathing can be a challenge since your foot must remain dry for 10-14 days after the surgery. A shower stool may help you bathe, but you'll want to try it out in advance to ensure it is stable in your shower. Depending on the configuration of your shower or bathtub, you may need help using the stool. Another solution is a sponge bath and washing your hair in the sink.
You'll spend a lot of time in bed or on the couch, and you may even turn your couch into your bed. Keep what you need on a small table within reach of the couch or bed. This might include a clock, remote control, water bottle, facial tissues, phone charger and a cellphone. Have extra pillows on hand for propping up your foot and plenty of blankets to ensure that you'll be comfortable no matter what the temperature in the house.
If you have an upstairs and a downstairs, you may find it challenging getting to the different level of your home. Move what you need to the first floor, and plan to stay down there for the first few weeks after your surgery. Pack as if for a trip to ensure that you have everything within reach.
After several hours of watching daytime television, you might get bored. Come up with a list of things that you can do from your bed or couch, and then gather what you need in order to accomplish those goals. Your list might include tasks like writing letters to friends, organizing your photo albums and knitting a sweater. Whatever you decide to do, be sure it's something you can do mostly sitting down.
Since the healing process after surgery can be challenging, now is the time to prepare for the upcoming holidays and family events that might occur during that window of time. Get down decorations from the attic, do your shopping, wrap gifts, and make meals and freeze them.
Need more information about your bunion recovery? Contact Scheffel Foot Center! We'll be happy to answer your questions.