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Harrow185's avatar

What type of cast do you get after bunion surgery?

Asked by Harrow185 (298 points ) December 22nd, 2009

I’m getting bunion surgery and I’m just wondering before hand what type of cast you get, do you get a air cast that you’re able to take off, or a regular stiff cast? I’d rather get a air cast because your able to take it off and its more comfortable. But my surgeons daughter said a regular cast will help you heal better.

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15 Answers

jaytkay's avatar

I had no cast after bunion surgery.

They simply put a dressing on it. I had to keep it dry. They said when it starts falling off, come into the office or replace it yourself, my choice. (I took care of it myself).

Anyway, that’s just one person’s experience. I would do whatever they recommend for the best long-term result. The doctor has seen a lot more surgeries than I have.

Eight months after my surgery, I ran my first footrace since high high school.

You will be very happy to have it taken care done. Good luck and follow through on the physical therapy!

gailcalled's avatar

Why are you getting medical advice from your surgeon’s daughter? That sounds very suspicious and unprofessional.

Good luck, but make sure your doctor answers your questions, please.

Harrow185's avatar

Will do, I’m very close to my surgeons daughter that’s why there’s some affect to my decision

icehky06's avatar

I’m getting Bunion surgery tomorrow as a matter of fact….oh yea you’re my sister..

Kayak8's avatar

Most people I know who have bunion surgery just get a peculiar flat blue shoe that looks like this: link

I have never heard of someone getting a cast though . . . (I lived through foot and ankle surgery after a break and had several splints and casts before eventually getting a removable boot—but it was nothing like an air cast).

Open_Your_Mind's avatar

I have had that surgery on both feet. My sister did as well by another Doctor. My Doctor put a pin in for 5 weeks while it healed. Felt sooooooooooo good when he pulled it out.
My sister did not have the pin put in. Her bunions are back in a great way. Mine have remained as they were after the surgery, no bunion at all. Thought I’d mention it.
No cast just a removable walking boot. One bit of advice, wherever you bed down when you come home make it as close to the bathroom as possible. The fewer steps you have to take for the first week the easier it will be on you.
Wish you the best. It’s a great surgery to have. Such a wonderful difference.
Oh I forgot my doctor also made orthotics for me I wore them for at least a year in a flat shoe.
Those orthotics felt great and I believe aided in the proper healing of my foot.

SarasWhimsy's avatar

Mine might be different because I had a little bit more going on, but I was in a splint and an ace bandage for three weeks, a hard cast for one week and a walking cast for two weeks. I had several pins and screws put into my foot so that may be why.

I think I’m one of the few not happy with the results. I can wear shoes now, do that’s good. But I can’t stand on my tip toes (and I’m very short, so that’s a pain) and I have a lot of pain in the colder months.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

My mouth just dropped to the
floor! I was literally just wondering if I should get bunion surgery. How weird…Anyways, for those of you that have had the surgery, is it worth it? Did it ease your pain? How long was recovery?

Darwin's avatar

I had bunion surgery a couple of years ago, coupled with corrective surgery for painful hammer toes. The right foot came out fine, better than before, with only a minor scar. I no longer have bunion pain, plus I now have orthotics that have ended pain in the sole of my foot.

The left foot was a different story in that my bipolar son hit my foot right after surgery in a moment of anger and broke the bones where the screws had been inserted. Two surgeries later I have a nasty scar which has secondarily develped psoriasis so it itches all the time, I have one metatarsal that is a shade too short, I have restricted movement in my big toe, and I have a pain in another part of my foot because of the imbalance created by the shortened metatarsal. However, I no longer am troubled by the bunions on either foot.

As to recovery, I had to stay off the operated foot completely for six full weeks and not jog or run for six months. At that point I was declared fully recovered, but it actually took about a year for my foot to feel fully healed. During the off-my-feet period I was not allowed to drive at all, which can pose some problems if you are the only driver in the household as I was.

I wore a flat fabric “shoe” on my right foot, and used a walker to get to the bathroom for the first week. I ended up in a removable walking cast on my left foot and was in a wheel chair for a bit to give the foot the absolute best chance to heal correctly. Unfortunately it didn’t, and now I am getting another hammer toe.

However, I no longer have bunion or hammer toe pain, and I can wear shoes and walk without gritting my teeth. I am sorry that the left foot didn’t turn out as well as the right, but both are better than before. In addition, the orthotics have helped a great deal with the remaining imbalances in my feet (for some reason my toe joints are very stiff, while my arches are very flexible – actually too flexible).

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

@Darwin Thanks for that info. I’m just trying to find out as much as possible before deciding if surgery is my best option. I can’t wear any type of shoe without immediately feeling pain in my left foot. Even walking around my house barefoot with nothing rubbing on it irritates it. If my foot gets cold, it throbs. I’m getting sick
and tired of dealing with this. I want to be able to wear high heels and nice boots without pain. Will surgery allow me to eventually do this? Does insurance cover the surgery?

Darwin's avatar

My insurance covered my surgeries, except for the co-pays, but it didn’t cover the cost of the walking cast because the flat shoe is considered “the standard of care.” It also didn’t cover the cost of orthotics simply because no matter how beneficial they are or how much pain they prevent, my insurance simply doesn’t cover orthotics. They ran $300 in total. However, if your only problem is the bunions, then you might not need orthotics. My co-pays were $12 per office visit and $25 for the actual surgeries. The walking cast cost $300

I had the surgery because the combination of bunions and hammertoes (which were caused by the imbalance set up by the bunions) made it impossible to wear shoes of any sort without pain, or to walk either shod or barefoot again without excruciating pain. I could now wear high heels on my right foot for a few hours at a time, but not on my left foot. Your situation could be similar or very different. However, I must say that, although the results are not ideal, I am glad I had the surgeries.

Harrow185's avatar

I just got the surgery, turns out I got a regular cast. Its very painful the first 2–3 days. My surgeon said my feet for my age are the worst hes ever seen, my sisters are much worse than mine. You’re all drugged up and I guess its worth it but its complete agony if you have a bad pain tolerance. But I got bunion surgery and I needed a arch implant, I’m dreading to get the left foot done.

Darwin's avatar

@Harrow185 – Just make sure the doc gives you those good drugs, and then take them the way he says to. Mine never hurt a whole bunch due in large part to the drugs.

airianna23's avatar

In March (2010) I had bunion surgery on my left foot after 3 months in being in terrible pain and wearing a boot and the surgery went very well and my boot was a 3 inch heel and I had no way to let my toe do any work and now I have two screws in my foot forever (and did I mention i was 15!) and so far I’m so glad I got the surgery the only thing that kinda stinks is that in the winter my foot aches from the cold and I cant tippy toe as high considering before the surgery I had a 90 degree range.

I just wanted to tell my story for those people who have heard terrible stories about other people getting a bunionectomy and are terrified like I was. But then again I healed in a month and a half due to the fact I was 15 :)

but good luck to those who are getting one soon, it is worth the surgery and the first few day of pain.

supersunny's avatar

I have had three bunionectomies on my right foot which I affectionately call “Franken Foot.” The first was 14 years ago and I had the hard cast and pins in for 6 weeks. Several years after that I was having pain in the ball of my foot and even wearing through some shoes. After substantial weigh gain and two kids I have had 2 more bunsion surgeries. The second I did 6 months after my first son was born -BAD idea as my body was still try to recovery from pregnancy. I got a a velcro cast that goes just below my knee. I was non weigh bearing for 8 weeks and then had and air walking cast for 4 more weeks. I was not supposed to drive but did so with my left foot. I am the sole provider in the family and even though I had a great job with awesome benefits (Microsoft) I had to drive to continue to work at the level we are expected. I also got a knee scooter instead of crutches so that made things much easier. The second surgery created more problems where the first toe crowded the second and the third tow spread out to manage balance. I was in constant pain. I waited 14 months after my second son was born to do this surgery and did lots of yoga and lost weight before hand to prepare my muscles for the 6 weeks of hell on wheels. I had my third surgery a week ago and I am taking Advil as needed because I have to work. I am in an ace bandage and a velcro cast just below my knee. It is much lighter than my last cast. They did a bone graft this time too so I have pain in my heel. I am concerned I am not in a hard cast because this surgery has to work. Because I have awesome insurance (for now) I don’t have any co-pays and all of the surgery was covered. ( Now I will pay $1700 a month for these benefits moving forward since I am no longer a full time employee.) I am praying I can get old with these feet. BTW I just turned 40. First surgery at 26 and second at 37 and this one at 40. Let’s hope third is a charm.

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