Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Mary's Bunion Operation

At the beginning of December Mary went in for an operation for hallux valgus deformities - bunion to you and me. The timing was chosen to allow for the convalescent period to run into the Christmas break. It also coincided with the end of my contract so I was "at leisure" and could be house husband, chauffeur and general gofer.

Bunion x-ray before - top view

The operation is pretty quick, about 40 minutes, and treated as a day case. I took Mary up to the New Victoria Hospital at 7am and collected her, and a pair of crutches, that afternoon at 2:30pm.

I was amused by the mark-up on her leg: not a subtle line to say "cut here" but a whopping big arrow to say "This leg!"

Mary's leg after operation

She had a Scarf osteotomy on the first metatarsal (the two screws) and an Akin's osteotomy on the great toe (the staple). Note that neither of those links go to gruesome, colour photos but nice black and white illustrations (the former has an excellent animation showing exactly how the Scarf joint works).

Bunion x-ray after - top view

We set up the sofa bed in the living room so Mary did not have to do stairs, she only needed to hobble along the corridor to the downstairs loo and shower. In order to keep the dressing dry in the shower we invested in one of these fine "LimbO" leg protectors. Note - the photo is not of Mary but borrowed from LimbO's website:

LimbO M80 leg protector

She had heard tales of great pain so Mary munched on analgesics for 48 hours and then went cold turkey with no pain at all. So little pain in fact that she was worried about nerve damage. It's fine, of course, and I put that down to the skill of the surgeon - neat slicing and dicing.

Bunion x-ray after - side view

The first two days were spent in bed and the next fortnight hobbling about with two crutches. At the follow-up appointment the surgeon pronounced things fine and to go down to one crutch.

The second follow-up appointment was a bit delayed partly due to Christmas intervening and involved some nasty digging about to remove two stitches that had not resorbed - ouch.

Now it is all clear and the surgeon has recommended some physio to get the foot (and leg) flexing again. The slow, gentle recovery proceeds...


Rosa said...

Wonderful news! (Except for digging about for two stitches!) Yay, Mary!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

All good wishes to Mary.