Rehabilitation protocol after hallux valgus surgery
Dr. Julien Lopez accompanies you through your entire rehabilitation after hallux valgus surgery: exercises, physiotherapy…
Rehabilitation is an essential step in recovery to promote a good recovery. It is therefore important to carefully follow the recommendations of your foot surgeon in order to regain complete mobility of your foot.
Once the operation is completed, Dr. Julien Lopez will be able to accompany you and explain in detail the procedures and the exercises of the rehabilitation of the hallux valgus operation to be carried out.
The rehabilitation of the foot after the hallux valgus surgery takes around 3 weeks after the operation, once the healing has been completed and the dressing removed. This process takes place with the accompaniment and follow-up of a physiotherapist.
Prior to this work, it is essential for the patient to perform certain exercises upon returning home. This stage consists of self-rehabilitation sessions to prepare the physiotherapist’s subsequent work.
The rehabilitation of hallux valgus surgery brings together a set of methods and exercises practiced on a regular basis in order to regain total mobility of the operated limb. Each surgery has more or less pronounced adverse effects: swelling, hematoma, pain… Although all these symptoms are completely normal, it is necessary to carry out a thorough recovery through the accompaniment of professionals.
Rehabilitation after the hallux valgus operation serves several purposes:
- Reduced pain in the operated foot
- Complete recovery of mobility in the affected joints (metatarsal-phalangial and inter-phalangial)
- Identification of gestures and postures causing pain
- Recovery of a plantigrade support
- Prevention of possible venous or lymphatic complications
- Muscular reinforcement including recovery of the force of contraction in flexion of the big toe
- Response to patient questions about actions to be taken
In the context of hallux valgus surgery, the objective is to mobilize the metatarsal-phalangial joint in order to avoid joint stiffness and decreased mobility.
Self-rehabilitation post surgery hallux valgus
Once back at home, the patient should perform several exercises to self-rehabilitate a hallux valgus post surgery in total autonomy. The goal of this step is to speed up the healing process, reduce swelling and prevent stiffness of the toes.
During self-rehabilitation, the patient alternates between active and passive mobilization exercises.
For example, in order to decrease the swelling and increase joint amplitude, the patient must place his thumb on the soles of the feet and apply pressure to the big toe by gradually pushing it down. To do this, the patient must be seated. You must also place your foot flat on the ground and then raise the heel to bend the big toe. The last exercise consists of placing your foot flat on the ground, pressing the big toe on the ground as hard as possible while respecting the pain. It is recommended to perform these exercises 3 times, 30 seconds a day, ideally morning and evening.
The physiotherapy protocol after the hallux valgus surgery is usually divided into several phases to adapt to the different stages of post-operative recovery.
Phase one focuses on reducing pain and swelling. The physiotherapist uses soft methods such as foot massages and other techniques including painkilling and anti-inflammatory physiotherapy.
The second phase of rehabilitation following the operation of the hallux valgus consists in working the passive mobility of the foot. The physiotherapist will thus manipulate the foot without any action on the part of the patient. The goal is to gently mobilize the foot while reducing body weight.
The 3rd phase refers to active foot mobilization. The patient must then loosen his toe without external help and without using his index finger. This requires the patient to gently tilt their toes down to work the tendons in the sole of the foot.
Once these phases are completed, the patient can try to regain normal support on their foot. The goal is to work the tip of the toes and especially the big toe. At the end of this step, the patient must be able to rest their entire body weight on the big toe by lifting the opposite leg.
When support is possible, the next step in the protocol of rehabilitation of the hallux valgus that has been operated on is to completely unroll the foot during the walk. After surgery, the patient may have the reflex to walk on the heel or on the outer edge of the foot to avoid the sensation of pain. However, full recovery requires some movement. He must be able to bend his toes and give an impulse with his big toe.
Julien Lopez and his team are at your disposal to facilitate the recovery process. Thanks to a well structured protocol of rehabilitation after the operation of the hallux valgus and the accompaniment of a physiotherapist, you will be able to regain complete mobility of your foot. Important: Stiffness, that is, the decrease in mobility of the big toe can persist after several months. This can be annoying when walking, especially when stepping. In this case, it may be necessary to discuss a new procedure in order to perform arthrolysis (release of joint supports) in order to regain all its mobility. The surgeon uses this gesture to remove the screws. It is an operation with simple sequences: no big dressing, immediate support, little pain, no fractures, little hematoma, no shoes: only nursing care is necessary. Sick leave is about 7 days.