The end of March is Spring Break time here in Fort Mill, SC. Theoretically, this is meant to be a time to relax, but parents know this break is usually a busy one! Vacation plans keep people on the go. No one wants to be hampered by recovering from a bunion procedure. The good news for active people is that they won’t be complete couch potatoes while they heal; a full recovery means physical therapy exercise after bunion surgery.
A bunion procedure corrects the deformity and then closes the incision that opened up the foot. The recovery afterward is when your foot really heals. A full recovery involves post-operative therapy to get you back into your activities.
Exercise after bunion surgery starts with rehabilitating your foot, and then moves to more strenuous routines. Immediately after your surgery, of course, you won’t be able to put much, if any, weight on the affected foot. Too much pressure may undo all the good work from the procedure and cause another bunion. Instead, you’ll wear a protective boot or cast and stay off of your lower limb as much as possible.
Once the tissues have healed for a few weeks, though, you begin physical therapy. Therapy is meant to restore your big toe’s range of motion as well as strength. All the exercises start slow and small. You’ll stretch the foot and work on both pointing and flexing. Other common therapy techniques include using your foot to “write” the alphabet in the carpet and working with a resistance band.
Your exercises will get more difficult over time to challenge and strengthen your lower limbs as you recover. Once your feet are able to bear more weight, you’ll slowly begin walking. At first you will only walk short distances, but you’ll be able to increase your walking in time. You’ll also begin other strengthening therapy activities, like heel raises.
In the end, much of your recovery depends on how you take care of your foot and if you appropriately exercise after bunion surgery. Don’t take physical therapy for granted—it’s an important step. Our team at Carolina Podiatry Group can help you with every stage of your healing. Just call to make an appointment with us: (803) 548-FEET for Fort Mill, or (803) 285-1411 for Lancaster.
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