How is traveling after foot surgery even possible?
After having a bunionectomy in September of 2020 and being bed ridden for two weeks straight. I am here to tell you that you will be able to walk, hike and travel again!
Making the decision to have a surgical procedure is not a choice I made hastily. All surgeries have risks but at the end of the day it was the right decision for my particular situation. Everyone has a different case, so do what is best for your body.
If you are like me and had a bunionectomy or a similar foot surgery, I’ve put together a list of tips for how to safely travel again after the procedure.
1. Don’t Travel Right Away
Okay. This is contradictory to the title of this article, but it’s true. I’m not here to tell you that you’ll be able to skip out of the surgery room and go on jog the next day. Surgery is invasive and a good doctor will inform you of what to expect during and after the procedure.
The best thing to do is to plan your surgery date strategically. If you know you have an important trip planned in June then don’t schedule your surgery in May. If your trip is already booked then I would postpone the surgery until after you return from the vacation.
Based on the healing time frame your doctor gives you, be realistic with your future travel plans. Your physical well-being is the number one priority. Macchu Pitchu will always be there! Am I right?
Check out the video below if you’re interested in hearing more detail about my foot surgery. I show you what my foot looks like 1-month post op and explain the process in more detail.
2. Wear Quality Sneakers
Investing in a good pair of sneakers is vital to your healing process.
After my stitches and surgical boot were removed my doctor made sure I went straight into good supportive sneakers. I suggest Brooks running sneakers.
This will be the only shoe you are allowed to wear for months after the surgery. Yes, you read that correctly months!
Being fashionable with running sneakers on is sort of weird but I’ve learned to rock them with any outfit now, and you can too!
3. Ice Your Injury
After a day of walking or standing your foot will be swollen. This is because your entire body weight is on your feet and pressure is being put on a wound that is trying to heal.
To alleviate this swelling, I recommend icing your foot for 15mins every night before bed.
4. Stretch Your Calf Muscles
Not being able to walk for two weeks straight really takes a toll on your calf muscles. Being out of commission for that long makes them tight and weak.
I was shocked at how sore my calves were once I began to walk again. During this time, I recommend doing simple calf exercises.
Although they may hurt at first, the exercises will help you regain strength.
5. Don’t Participate In Sports
As much as you want to do fun activities while traveling, stay away. You do not want to risk injuring yourself or messing up the work the surgeon did.
Remember why you had to get the surgery in the first place and prioritize your overall wellbeing. If you take the time to heal properly, you will be able to do athletic activities soon enough.
6. Take Pain Medicine
If you are in a pain during or towards the end of the day, there’s no shame in taking over the counter pain medicine like Moltrin or Advil. They can also help reduce inflammation.
These are medicines are common and the ones I used. However, always consult your doctor before taking any type of medication.
Some other natural pain relivers to include into your diet are willow bark, turmeric and cloves.
7. Use Moisturizers and Scar Creams
After surgery the skin on my foot was extremely dry. Your body is in shock mode and is trying everything to rejuvenate cell production. This results in dry peeling skin.
To help heal my skin and calm down the process I made sure to use plenty of moisturizer on my foot two times a day.
My favorites are Cocoa Butter Formula cream and Lubrederm Extra Dry Skin lotion.
To help the scar fade I suggest applying Mederma Advanced scar gel directly on the scar line two times a day.
8. Choose A Relaxing Destination
If you are really itching to travel, I suggest picking a leisurely destination. This is not the time for you to be a dare devil!
A relaxing island beach vacation or a cozy cabin getaway would be ideal. Pick a place where you know you’ll be able to sit and rest your foot for most of the day.
Save the scuba diving, and zip-lining for next year.
9. Listen To Your Doctor
When it comes down to it choose the best doctor and listen to their advice. They are the ones that are performing the surgery on you and understand your predicament the best.
Follow their healing guidelines and instructions to the best of your abilities.
As much as you want to heal quickly and get on with your normal life, patience is the key.
Let’s face it, traveling and walking go and in hand. If you want to explore as much of a new city as you can in a short amount of time, you will be doing walking, and lots of it. Being young, and healthy It never really dawned on me how I’ve taken my motor skills for granted. I have all my fingers and toes. My joints don’t ache. Heck, I’ve never even broken a bone!
My body has given me the pleasures of being able travel anywhere I’d like to, and do as many adventurous activities as my heart’s desires. It wasn’t until recently that I realized how much of a blessing it is.
As humans we tend to not appreciate what we have until it’s taken away from us.
With any surgery it takes time to heal, but if you are worried it’ll stop you from living your life, that is simply not true. If you follow these tips and the advice from your doctor, I am confident that you will be traveling again soon enough.