Rehabilitation after Bunion Surgery

Rehabilitation after Bunion Surgery

Rehabilitation after Bunion Surgery Perth

Rehabilitation after bunion surgery in Perth constitutes a vital part of the recovery process, and usually follows a period of rest and restricted activity. Whether you have undergone a simple tendon release, or a more involved procedure such as an osteotomy (cut in the bone), rehabilitation will shorten your recovery time, reduce stiffness and swelling and get you back to activities of daily living as quickly as possible.


Post-operative rehabilitation involves a structured program prescribed by someone with appropriate knowledge and training in the area, such as a podiatrist, physiotherapist or your surgeon. Much of this can be performed at home, however regular checkups and guidance from your practitioner means exercises can be tailored to your current needs, progress and future goals. Below are some of the goals we focus on when rehabilitating patients after bunion surgery.


Joint movement after bunion surgery in Perth

Initially following bunion surgery in Perth, you will be required to wear a splinted sandal (post-operative shoe) to protect the area and limit motion through the joint. This is worn for 2-3 weeks depending on your individual needs. Following this period, is it normal for the joint to feel somewhat stiff to move, therefore physical therapy in the form of range of motion exercises is often the first stage of rehab. You will be shown how to safely move your big toe joint through its range of motion to loosen soft tissue structures.


Strengthening exercises after bunion surgery in Perth

Once you feel comfortable with manually moving the big toe joint, the use of a elastic band, known as a theraband, is used to apply resistance to the toe, allowing you to activate and strengthen the small tendons and ligaments that control motion. These muscles often become ‘lazy’ following surgery, however they begin to re-active fairly quickly once they are put under some tension.


Proprioceptive exercises after bunion surgery in Perth

After bunion surgery, often your foot not only looks different, however the way it functions and responds to stimuli also changes. Pressures are distributed throughout the foot differently when there is a large bunion present, compared to when there is not. Therefore it is also important to re-train our brains to recognsze where different areas of the foot are in space when walking. This is particularly important for our balance and stability. Proprioception training involves a series of balance type exercises that may utilise unstable surfaces such as a bosu ball to re-gain important connections between the brain and the foot. This type of training is similar to what is undergone after many sports injuries such as ankle sprains.


Regain normal foot loading patterns and joint function

Finally, ensuring normal gait patterns are re-formed is vital before embarking on any type of physical exercise. Physiotherapists and podiatrists are trained in biomechanical gait analysis and can often make small adjustments to your gait patterns by working with you one on one. Changes to gait may have formed as a result of having foot pain or deformity for many months or years, or may have occurred as a result of wearing a post-operative shoe.


If you have further questions regarding bunion surgery or rehabilitation, please visit our website and ask away on our FAQ page


To book an appointment with Dr Andrew Knox, Podiatric Surgeon to discuss your issues relating to bunions or other foot pain, please call 08 9383 3851 or book online at