Length of hospitalization for Hallux Valgus surgery

What is the length of hospitalization for a hallux valgus surgery performed by Doctor Julien Lopez? Doctor Julien Lopez is a foot surgeon in Nice and a specialist in hallux valgus surgery.

The hallux valgus, also known as the “foot onion,” is a deviation of the big toe outward from the foot, combined with the deviation of the first metatarsal to the inside. The deformation gradually causes a protrusion of the bone on the inner edge of the foot. At too late a stage of the condition, it is necessary to resort to a surgical operation.

The length of hospitalization for such a procedure varies according to the surgical methods used by Dr. Lopez. Here’s everything there is to know about the hallux valgus surgery and the length of hospitalization.

Hallux valgus surgery and length of hospitalization

Generally, for a hallux valgus surgery, the hospitalization time is short, since the operation is most often performed on an outpatient basis. Outpatient surgery allows the patient to go home the same day. The patient must be accompanied from their entry into the hospital to their final exit. They must also be accompanied to their home and for the first night.

If it is possible in most cases, hospitalization can be carried out during a 1 to 2 day hospitalization, depending on the patient’s state of health or social situation. For patients coming from Corsica, the length of hospitalization required will be at least one night, in order to facilitate the return of the patient by plane.

How is outpatient surgery going?

In France, outpatient surgery, also known as “ambulatory turning”, is defined as a surgical operation scheduled and performed under strict technical conditions. In addition to offering a shorter length of hospitalization, outpatient surgery helps to reduce the risk of infection as well as the loss of bearings for elderly patients.

When the operation is complete, the patient is brought to the recovery room and then, the patient is monitored by nurses. After this monitoring (30 minutes), they will then be transferred to their room to have their first snack and drink. The patient’s condition will be monitored by a nurse who will ensure that the surgical follow-up is carried out.

All patient management steps must allow the patient to exit on the same day:

  1. Preoperative assessment: it determines whether the intervention can be performed or not. The patient is eligible and meets the conditions of outpatient surgery. It is also used to anticipate side effects and prepare the patient for discharge.
  2. The surgical phase.
  3. Discharge authorization: this phase assesses the medical situation of the patient, thanks to the discharge report. This assessment gives the guidelines to respect when leaving the hospital.
  4. Post-operative follow-up: the day after the procedure, the patient receives a telephone call. This call is an opportunity to reiterate the guidelines given before the exit and to make sure that the recovery proceeds smoothly. This monitoring is an integral part of the care journey.

If the pain is too great and the patient’s situation seems alarming, hospitalization time can be lengthened, on the decision of the practitioner. 

Hallux valgus: hospitalization time and return home

After hallux valgus surgery, the hospitalization time ends as soon as the hospital allows the patient’s discharge, generally between 6 and 48 hours. The recovery time continues at home and includes essential steps for optimal recovery. To follow the right guidelines, the sheet «Post-operative instructions after hallux valgus surgery» will be sent to you.

It stipulates, among other things, the following rules:

  1. The patient must wear the post-operative shoe(s) within 21 days of the procedure. It can be removed at home if the pain is low.
  2. Upon returning home, legs should be extended and the foot raised to reduce swelling.
  3. Ice the swelling several times a day, without direct skin contact. To reduce pain, painkillers will also be prescribed. This treatment is mandatory, even in the absence of pain.
  4. Be careful not to touch or wet your dressing. It is designed to maintain the position of the toe. It will be changed between the 10th and 15th day after the operation, by a nurse, directly at home. Removed between the 15th and 21st day by the nurse or surgeon.
  5. When it comes to walking, you can start with crutches or another support to minimize pressure on your operated foot. Gradually, from the first day, you can increase the time and intensity of walking according to the surgeon’s recommendations.
  6. Avoid tiptoeing for the first few weeks after the operation.
  7. After the first consultation (J21), practice the prescribed rehabilitation exercises and do the physiotherapy sessions.
  8. In case of sudden pain or significant swelling, inform Doctor Lopez as soon as possible.

Can hospitalization time after hallux valgus surgery be extended?

The length of hospitalization after a hallux valgus operation depends on many factors, including the complexity of the procedure, the patient’s state of health or the surgeon’s recommendations. Outpatient surgery remains the most common and allows the patient to go directly home.

The main objective of hospitalization is to monitor the patient’s condition and prevent post-operative complications. In some cases, hospitalization may take longer. Some of the most common reasons are:

  • If the patient requires additional care: some surgical procedures may require more care than others.
  • If the patient’s medical condition requires closer monitoring, especially if he suffers from heart or lung disease.
  • If the patient needs more recovery time due to their condition.
  • If the patient is elderly, recovery time is often longer.