Hallux valgus Healing – Dr. Julien Lopez
How does the hallux valgus heal? Here’s everything you need to know about the aftermath of your foot surgery.
Healing is a pivotal step after the hallux valgus operation. To limit possible post-operative pain and complications, Dr.Julien Lopez uses methods of minimally invasive and percutaneous techniques. These techniques allow, on the one hand, to limit the size of the scars and to reduce post-operative pain.
The healing time after hallux valgus surgery is generally considered to be 21 days. Here are the different healing steps of a hallux valgus surgery, performed by Doctor Lopez, foot surgeon.
Thanks to the surgical advancements, the operation of the hallux valgus and its healing now offer a result with few complications in the vast majority of cases. Dr. Julien Lopez uses a modern “mixed” surgical technique to correct hallux valgus:
Minimally invasive and percutaneous surgery, performed directly through the skin with two or three mini-incisions measuring only a few millimeters. The work on the metatarsal bone is done using a 15mm incision and the phalangeal fracture is percutaneous (2mm incision). In some cases, it is possible to do all of the surgery percutaneously.
Julien Lopez favors minimally invasive procedures. These aim to reduce the size of the scar and the pain. The technique of minimally invasive surgery is to straighten the big toe (first metatarsal) through bone intervention. Healing after the hallux valgus surgery is therefore much less painful for the patient.
What is the healing time of the hallux valgus?
The healing time of the hallux valgus can vary from one patient to another. Generally, the skin is considered to heal from the 3rd or 4th week after the procedure.
The healing time of the hallux valgus is gradual. In order for this to take place in the best conditions, it is necessary to avoid certain gestures.
Healing after a hallux valgus takes place in several stages. It is advisable to follow these recommendations for optimal healing and recovery of the foot.
Upon return from the operation, it is advisable to lengthen the legs and raise the operated foot to reduce swelling. To alleviate pain, painkillers will be prescribed (home infusion or conventional drugs). The first dressing is kept for 2 to 3 weeks, until the first post-operative appointment. This dressing helps to keep the metatarsal in the right axis and plays a crucial role in the healing of soft tissue.
Be careful not to touch your dressing. It must be kept between 15 days and 3 weeks before it can be changed by the practitioner. Contrary to what one might think, it is possible to walk the first few days after the operation, provided you wear the post-operative shoe or shoes. However, you can walk barefoot at home if it is not too painful.
The first two weeks after the operation, the foot will remain swollen, which is why it should be left elevated. Ice can also help deflate it, as long as it is not in direct contact with the skin. It can be applied 5 times a day for 20 minutes.
It is advisable to limit your movements during the first week and to wear your post-operative shoes for at least 21 days.
You will be able to start walking more, if you notice that the foot is functional. This can obviously vary from patient to patient. There is no longer a walking limit, you only need to “listen to your foot” according to the pain. During this time you can begin the self-rehabilitation exercises that the surgeon showed you in consultation and start the physiotherapy sessions.
At the end of the sixth week, the skin healing of the toe is usually complete and the fractures are strong. You can then walk with normal shoes, unless there is a complication.
It is strongly recommended to not walk on the outer edge of the operated foot and to wear comfortable, wide shoes. You must put your forefoot flat on the ground using each step. Sports or running should be avoided.
Normal shoe wear and resumption of sport are possible.
The toe cannot be wet until the stitches and dressing are removed, 21 days after the procedure. To shower, you can use the prescribed shower protector or a simple plastic bag and tape.
It is strongly recommended to stop smoking the week before and the 2 weeks after the hallux valgus operation, at the risk of causing complications such as delayed healing. Nicotine contracts the vessels allowing tissue to heal. Smoking causes 3 times more complications on bone (consolidation) and skin healing. It is recommended to stop smoking or to use an electronic cigarette or nicotine substitutes (patches).
Yes this is quite normal. Osteotomies performed as part of a hallux valgus operation cause internal bleeding that is impossible to control. Once the bleeding stops, a hematoma will form that will spread to all the tissues of the foot and even sometimes to the ankle. The maximum hematoma is at 10 days then it will decrease and disappear gradually within 45 days.
Foot stiffness and reduced mobility are some of the first complications that occur after the procedure. To decrease it, it is advisable to move your toes gently and regularly. To avoid stiffness, it is essential to perform the self-rehabilitation exercises EVERY DAY MORNING AND EVENING and physiotherapy sessions.
For any anomaly or problem with the dressing, please contact our secretary directly so that Doctor Julien Lopez can see you in an emergency.