Surgery for Hallux Valgus

After the Operation

After your operation you will be taken back to the ward. A thick protective bandage will be wrapped around your foot, and local anaesthesia will keep your leg relatively numb and pain-free. As this anaesthesia wears off in the following 24 hours, nurses will administer other forms of pain-killers to keep you comfortable.

When you're on the ward a team of nurses, physiotherapists and doctors will take care of you.

  • Feeling nauseous or constipated - this is common after surgery, and will sometimes require medications.
  • Special stockings - if your surgeon thinks you are at risk of DVT, of the development of clots in your leg, you may be asked to wear thick white stockings.

Are there any special situations I should be aware of?

Once you're home...

  • You may have difficulty getting around.
  • When possible, elevate your leg. This will help reduce swelling and facillitate healing.

If you have any of the following symptoms you should call your doctor or come back to hospital:

  • Fever, swelling, redness, itching, excessive pain - these symptoms may suggest the wound has become infected. This can usually be treated effectively with antibiotics, and acting fast is the key to preventing major complications.
  • Toes that tingle or turn blue - your bandage may be too tight. Sometimes this happens when your foot swells. If you have diabetes you may have decreased sensation in your foot that you're unaware of. It is important to check your foot often to make sure your bandage is not too tight.
  • Extreme pain - some unfortunate people suffer from a syndrome called reflex sympathetic dystrophy, or pain in excess of the surgical insult. It is believed that this is related to irritation of nerves.

Later on

Patients who have undergone surgery are usualy asked to attend outpatient clinic for a check-up in a few weeks time. This is routine, and an important part of your care. At your outpatient appointment you can:

  • Discuss your surgery and how you have been feeling since.
  • Discuss the need for future care.

This visit is also important for your surgeon to check that later complications (eg avascular necrosis) are not developing.

1 October, 2011