Recovery time and Hallux Valgus
What is the recovery time of a hallux valgus operation? Here are all the steps of the recovery process that follow the operation.
Following a hallux valgus operation, a certain period of recovery time is required for the patient. Recovery takes several steps. Duration may vary from patient to patient so there are steps to follow to optimize your recovery and return to normal life.
To help you recover, you will be given a “Post-operative instructions after a hallux valgus” card. This includes the rules to follow during your recovery.
After a hallux valgus operation, the recovery period is between 6 and 8 weeks, but some actions can be performed in the days following the operation. The period of recovery begins at the end of the operation, in the recovery room. Once you are returned to your room, a nurse will provide the following:
- In addition to monitoring the condition of your foot, we will help you to complete the first survey to be able to walk again. The walking procedure with the post-operative shoes will be explained to you.
- A report of your operation will be given to you, along with your exit papers and the dates of the next appointments.
- It is with the consent of the surgeon and anesthesiologist that you can leave the clinic.
- Upon leaving the clinic, you must walk with crutches and wear the post-operative shoe(s).
- For the return home, you must travel in a vehicle with the raised foot if possible.
What is the recovery time for hallux valgus surgery regarding walking again? Walking is possible on the day of the intervention with the wearing of the postoperative shoe. You walk out of the clinic using crutches (due risk of ankle sprains) because the foot is still asleep (loco-regional anesthesia). It must be alternated with rest periods.
The recovery time of the hallux valgus depends on the surgical gestures that were made during the operation. It is imperative to respect each stage of recovery to make it faster.
When returning home after a hallux valgus operation, it is advisable to avoid walking for more than 30 minutes in a row during the first week. The foot should be raised as much as possible, sitting or lying down.
To relieve pain and deflate swelling, remember to freeze your foot for 15 to 20 minutes, 5 to 7 times a day. Be careful, the ice should not be in direct contact with the skin, at the risk of burning it.
You must keep the dressing created by the surgeon for 21 days. It must not be removed or become wet.
It is advisable to walk at least fifteen minutes, several times a day. Walking should always be done using the orthopedic shoe or if you are at home you can walk barefoot if it is not too painful. The shoe prevents deformation of the foot and protects the forefoot.
If you feel well and have little pain, you can walk as much as you want. It is advisable to walk and press the toes operated (put the foot flat) and avoid walking on the heel or the outer edge of the foot. It is possible that pain may appear. This usually disappears gradually, until the bone has completely consolidated. Try touching the toes on the ground.
To allow you to gradually regain the use of the foot, self-rehabilitation exercises will be explained to you and the prescribed rehabilitation. This way, you can move the foot and stimulate the blood circulation, while avoiding possible stiffness.
For driving, it is possible to drive in the first three weeks after the operation. Check with your insurer to see if you are covered for damages. If it is the left foot and you have an automatic car, you can drive without worry.
After the third week following the surgery of the hallux valgus, the dressing will be removed and you will be able to walk gradually without the orthopedic shoe. Wide and comfortable footwear is recommended.
Throughout your recovery, physiotherapy sessions will be prescribed. These are an integral part of the care journey and are necessary for you to recover. As for resuming the sport, it is recommended to wait two or three months according to Dr Lopez’s instructions. On the other hand, swimming and cycling are allowed, as are sports that do not require the foot.
At the end of the eighth week, it is possible to wear tight shoes. At the end of these two months, 80% of the swelling will have subsided. For this to completely disappear, it will take at least 6 to 9 months. All sports can be resumed without limits other than pain: running, dancing, hiking, etc.
The recovery time after a hallux valgus surgery can be optimized if the rules are followed. For elderly or physically impaired patients, it is possible to send them to a recovery centre. However, this can be done directly at home, as previously mentioned.
It is important to note that recovery depends on several factors:
- The surgical method used by Dr.Lopez: classic surgery, minimally invasive or mixed.
- Other health problems the patient has.
- The level of deformation of the affected toe.
- Surgery of one foot or both.
- Associated operative gestures such as lateral toe gestures
The rehabilitation of your foot through physiotherapy sessions is necessary throughout the recovery. These sessions are routinely prescribed to patients. They begin as soon as the dressing is removed following the first post-operative visit. Doctor Lopez will give you exercises to practice directly at home (self-rehabilitation 5 minutes morning and evening).
If these sessions are not mandatory, they allow the patient to regain mobility of the foot as well as normal support.
Sick leave is not an obligation. In fact, it is possible to pursue a professional activity if you work from home or if you work in a profession where you don’t move around too much. However, it is recommended to take the necessary rest time (7 days is recommended) to optimize your recovery. A typical length of sick leave is considered to be 6 weeks.