Bunion Surgery Diary

HoldFoldEm

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Hello all,

I've given it some thought and I'm sure there's going to be another unfortunate lad which will have bunions and be interested in attempting to join the RM, thus I thought creating a journal for post-surgery recovery and training for the PJFT & ROP may be of use to some members of this forum.

Surgery is next Wednesday so will keep updating from then on! For those who are interested, it's a bilateral bunion surgery, so doing both feet at the same time to get it over with, given I'm 25 and i'll be 26 before I can even apply (1 year post-surgery as per guidelines, time is up to an extent, of the essence.

One thing I've been drilled by both physio and ortho with regards to my recovery, is to not over-do anything, be it the exercises or the rest and fill that body up with good nutrients so you won't give it a reason to shy away from sorting itself out.

Happy weekend lads!
R
 

Chelonian

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...I thought creating a journal for post-surgery recovery and training for the PJFT & ROP may be of use to some members of this forum.
Thank you. To help others locate the thread I've changed the thread title to Bunion Surgery Diary.
Best of luck.
 

HoldFoldEm

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2 days to Surgery -

Few things I did to prep for it is -

1. Consult physio / sports doctor with regards to suggested recovery time post-surgery - it really depends on the person and the body's ability to repair itself. I'm aiming for 2 weeks, max 3 weeks of legs up, making sure those bandages are clean to avoid infection (slowing down recovery).

2. Nutrition - your body needs good nutrition to help it get back on it's feet (pun not intended), thus will be consuming as much protein-based meals as I possibly can and a boat-load of veggies. Will use protein shakes and bars too, but would rather eat nuts and Beef Jerky for those good fats too.

3. Reading and watching material - Might as well use the time in bed to read through what (I think) are good sources of information, mostly Royal Marines history, the Royal Marines Youtube page (e.g map-reading etc). Stoic philosophy (Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, Seneca) - A stoic mindset is said to help ease the mental angst unfortunate or painful/stressful situations may result in, both for the recovery period and for the potential recruitment in a year's time.

4. Accept it's not going to be easy, post-bunion surgery recovery isn't a walk in the park, you're going to need to develop your calf muscles all over again (different and more aligned walking pattern), regain your flexibility and mobility before you even attempt to regain your fitness and then focus on getting fit for the VPJFT/ROP.

Good day lads.
R
 

Johnwayne

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Good luck brother. I’m sure all will go well and you’ll be back up and running (pun intended) in no time!

Another thing that could massively help your recovery is some Collagen mate. Collagen is the building blocks of bone, cartilage etc. It’ll improve your calcium absorption and increase bone mineral density. You get it in powder and capsule form, or just consume loads of bone broth.

Just keep the mind active and do what you can!

Keep well my friend.
 

HoldFoldEm

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Good luck brother. I’m sure all will go well and you’ll be back up and running (pun intended) in no time!

Another thing that could massively help your recovery is some Collagen mate. Collagen is the building blocks of bone, cartilage etc. It’ll improve your calcium absorption and increase bone mineral density. You get it in powder and capsule form, or just consume loads of bone broth.

Just keep the mind active and do what you can!

Keep well my friend.
Apologies for the late reply, thank you brother! I ended up buying some Collagen to take on a daily basis, appreciate the information.

Its been a painful, sleepless few days but better now, I'll add a new post soon to the 'Diary' :)
 

HoldFoldEm

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Hello lads, posting 3 days after the surgery, these have been a painful few days but today I'm much better so decided to spend some time writing a bit -

Surgery went well, doctor has been absolutely great, took scans of my feet to show me where he placed the implant to straighten the toe, he knew I wanted to join the military so made sure to avoid the joints, leaving ROM in the toe intact for running and all the necessary things one has to do in such roles.

Re pain, the doctor was right, doing both at once is several times more painful than doing them separately, you do need to walk sometimes with crutches and these special shoes that place pressure on the heel rather than toes, but only for necessary stuff (Showering and our daily needs of course). Pain has been heavy, max dose of Codeine and Catafast didn't even make a dent on the pain, maybe that's just me cause reading online it seems that people tend to get smashed on Codeine, but honestly couldn't feel it at all.

Re moving, you do need to move due to the risk of thrombosis, but you're in a bit of a dilemma, the Surgeon wants you to avoid moving as much as possible for the first two weeks whilst Physio wants you to move a bit here and there to keep the joints and muscles from weakening too much, so took the middle ground, doing movements that are related to avoiding thrombosis whilst avoiding much Ankle related movements to alleviate the pressure off the foot.

Exercises being done -
Single leg raises, holding for 5 seconds at the top, 10 reps
Single leg raises but pointing inwards/outwards, holding for 5 seconds, 10 reps
Hip abduction (side leg raises) 10 reps
Knee to chest, holding for 5 seconds, 10 reps

Re Food - The surgery does take a toll on the body and saw an immediate loss of weight and muscle, luckily I had gained a few kilos pre-surgery thanks to stocking up on carbs through food and beer hahah. I do suggest packing in the pounds with constant food.

My inventory pre-surgery
2 weeks worth of Protein Bars
2 weeks worth of Beef Jerky
Collagen (Thanks @Johnwayne )
Peanut Butter
Bananas
Sweets and chocolates
Ayran (Turkish drink thats quite good to fill up that stomach)
Juices
Nuts

Those are items I tend to consume in-between meals (3 meals daily), making sure my body has enough fuel to keep recovering at its own pace.


My advice? Sleep, Stretch, Eat, Repeat and keep that foot resting up high!

Good day lads,
R
 

Caversham

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My wife had this surgery around 3 to 4 years ago and suffered greatly. She also had two toes straightened, which caused her the most problems, especially due to the pins inserted. On top of all this it was found that she had a broken metatarsal due to over tightening of the screws! All in all, it was a long job and a planned celebration of her birthday in Madrid resulted in myself and our daughter pushing her around in a wheelchair in 35c! Not that I'm trying to put you off of course! ;)
 

HoldFoldEm

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My wife had this surgery around 3 to 4 years ago and suffered greatly. She also had two toes straightened, which caused her the most problems, especially due to the pins inserted. On top of all this it was found that she had a broken metatarsal due to over tightening of the screws! All in all, it was a long job and a planned celebration of her birthday in Madrid resulted in myself and our daughter pushing her around in a wheelchair in 35c! Not that I'm trying to put you off of course! ;)
Hello Caversham,

No worries hahah. How is she feeling now in terms of functionality? I've been told by the surgeon that I should be able to apply for the RM in a year if I do take care of my feet and work in a slow steady pace. Wont be easy but the end-goal makes the current pain a lot more bearable and purposeful hahah.
R
 

Caversham

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Hello Caversham,

No worries hahah. How is she feeling now in terms of functionality? I've been told by the surgeon that I should be able to apply for the RM in a year if I do take care of my feet and work in a slow steady pace. Wont be easy but the end-goal makes the current pain a lot more bearable and purposeful hahah.
R
She is good and it all came together just after getting home. I think she just wanted to see me pulling my tripe out pushing her around the hills of Madrid, which I never thought was that bad until then. It was made all the more worse when she announced that she would like to go to Toledo, so on the train for 50 minutes and came out of the station to see the old town sat upon the biggest *text deleted* off hill a mile in front. Problem solved by getting a taxi each way!

Alan
 

HoldFoldEm

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9 Days after the surgery -

Swelling has gone down and its safe to say my calf muscle is GONE hahah, at least for now.

Pain went down enough around the 4th or 5th day that I could halve my painkiller intake (Just morning and before bed now).

Movements - Walking with crutches and the special shoes they provide you is quite manageable, able to walk around and get my own stuff finally. The shower is still a tad tedious, had to place a plastic chair inside and a little stool outside to rest my feet in. It's imperative that the dressing must not be allowed to get wet, it would result in infection and lengthen the recovery time.

As said before, calf muscle is gone but oddly enough, my thighs seem to have grown? and not in a chubby way either. For the last few weeks prior to surgery I wasn't doing any leg work at all, just stretching, so my quads and hamstrings have actually improved from the previously mentioned exercises.

Issues - Knees, I seem to be getting some pain in my knees, especially after sleeping. I've placed some pillows under my knees so they aren't so straight for so long anymore, I'll update later on if that was indeed the cause of the pain.

Super eager to get back on my feet and slowly progress to training for the VPJFT/ROP, it's been hellishly boring given my routine usually includes swimming 4 or 5 days a week previously.

happy weekend lads!
R
 

HoldFoldEm

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It's just hiding. :)

A robust encounter with a white van once made subsequent showers interesting for me. Not to mention putting socks on. Much hilarity from others and swearing from me.
Ah I can imagine! Hope you had a full recovery from that encounter. :)

----

One issue I seem to be having now is in my right shoulder, I have a constant pain and a cracking&grinding sound whenever I raise it. (By raising it I don't mean infront of me, but on my sides, sort of like when you're imitating a chicken in charades *text deleted*)

However it has become a bit uncomfortable, I used to have shoulder pain before but go relieved by a Chinese acupuncture / massage specialist, however it seems to be back again. I do surmise that if the pain left when it was released then it's not torn, or at least not torn a lot.

Before the shoulder being released by the Acupuncture specialist, had spoken to a physiotherapist and ortho , one said the shoulder is slightly weak through previous years of MMA and powerlifting, whilst one said its a potential labral tear. May do a scan to see whats wrong of course but thats another 500 euros (the joy).

Would it be safe to say its not a tear if the pain was relieved by the massage but probably a weak scapula?

Best,
R
 

Chelonian

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Would it be safe to say its not a tear if the pain was relieved by the massage but probably a weak scapula?
It would be safer if such a diagnosis was made by a medical professional after examination and assessment. I'm definitely not qualified to speculate. :)
 

HoldFoldEm

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It would be safer if such a diagnosis was made by a medical professional after examination and assessment. I'm definitely not qualified to speculate. :)
Of course! Should have wrote it better, I'm more seeking just opinions or prior experiences on such issues, as I would really like to avoid another surgery hahaha.

Best
R
 

Chelonian

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May do a scan to see whats wrong of course but thats another 500 euros (the joy).
The last time I had a soft tissue scan (ultrasound?) it was after waiting months on the NHS because I'm a skinflint. The assessment was "inconclusive" which apparently is not uncommon for injuries which are minor and healing yet still an annoying niggle.
 

HoldFoldEm

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August 12 - Practically 2 weeks from surgery.

Had a visit with the surgeon yesterday, removed the dressing and cleaned up the wounds, look absolutely nasty to the non-medically informed eye but apparently the nurse and surgeon were both extremely happy with how they're going.

Took pictures if anyone is interested but honestly, does not look pleasant at all, wouldn't want to discourage any potential lad from doing the surgery if needed.

Surgeon added 2 more exercises to do on a daily basis:

1. Walking with the shoes provided (I call them Yeezy's for the laugh) for about 15 minutes everyday. Currently just walking around the house so as to start slow, on a level surface, eventually will start walking outside once it feels ready. Always good to err on the safe side with this stuff (I think).

2. Holding just below the toe steady, and moving the toe up and down with your fingers - AMRAP. I do 50-60 repetitions about three times a day (morning, afternoon, before bed).


Pain wise - the dressing really helped with the pain, now that I don't have it I've been finding it harder to sleep. Barely slept yesterday but I guess that's also due to stopping the pain killers too. I'd suggest avoiding any mid day naps in the meantime so you can get some good shut-eye during the night.

Slowly but surely seem to be getting there, hopefully in about a month and a half I should be up and running (slowly).

For any lad that may read this months or years from writing, please don't hesitate to PM me if you have any queries or write here, even if I don't get in the RM, I'll still be receiving the notifications on my E-mail and would be more than happy to give you an update on how it feels after X amount of time passed, anything to encourage a future potential recruit if I can help it!

Best,
R
 
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