What should you do before bunion surgery? And before any foot surgery? Soap and water? Cut your nails? Smooth things? Hydrate? I’ll tell you in a please, please.
In the days before bunion surgery or foot surgery, we must be extremely neat with time and exquisite with hygiene.
With perfect hygiene, we will reduce the possibility of infection.
Foot hygiene mode on.
The days before surgery, we should wash our feet at least once a day for three days before surgery. A neutral soap would be enough to keep the flora of our feet at bay.
If our feet are more rebellious, perhaps the bathing ritual would be morning and night those three days before bunion surgery.
And if we want a plus in safety and lower the bacterial load on the skin, we should use any soap with an antiseptic or disinfectant.
Chlorhexidine soap. Soap solution with betadine. Water with a few drops of bleach would also be valid at three drops per liter of bath water.
Extreme drying of the folds.
The skin of the interdigital fingers is especially prone to maceration due to being kept moist. Mushrooms love it.
Between toes: hair dryer in cold air mode.
Before bunion surgery. When to cut the nails?
Keeping nails short before surgery is necessary; an extensive bacterial flora can accumulate under the nail that can help infect a perfectly finished surgery.
Cutting the nails the day before or a few hours is not recommended because if there has been a badly sectioned cuticle, it could cause an overgrowth of bacteria that favors an infection.
Before bunion surgery, cut nails correctly.
How do I get to the straight edges between the cuticle and the nail?
Good for knowing that nails are cut straight!
In those edges, “pellets” of the sock are mixed with other less glamorous things, as Elena Sáiz told me, with a little toothbrush. Delicate and concise, as always.
Did you know…?
So important is the hygiene under the nails that in every possible operation, the toenails are isolated with surgical gloves or sterile plastics to prevent the migration of these bacteria.
More about nails.
Before going to the operating room: outside the pedicure.
Non-permanent nail polish should be removed a couple of days before. And the non-permanent ones? Also. (Like Eugenio’s joke).
Permanent nails or porcelain nails must be removed with sufficient time, as some require a “Dremel” and can still cause more abrasions and injuries before surgery.
File rough edges or calluses.
Before bunion surgery. Exquisite care with the pumice stone.
Be careful with the pumice stone before surgery! And watch out for those motorized rollers!
You can’t get to the operating room as if you came from the war. And I assure you that I have seen patients who have taken themselves so seriously to arrive without “calluses” to the operating room that their feet… looked like a butcher shop. And that can’t be because the little wounds get superinfected, and then, by going overboard with the pumice stone, the result could be worse!
Hydration of the feet until… the night before.
My patients know that I am a fan of creams with a high concentration of urea. Punished feet should not lose creams with a minimum of 10%.
For dry feet, 20% cream works very well.
For large calluses, 40% urea cream would be indicated.
We must know that urea creams with concentrations greater than 20, 30, or 40 have a keratolytic effect. They would be like a powerful peeling that also delays skin creation. Above 20, I would leave them for after surgery.
There are urea creams in oil format with menthol. In case of doubt, ask your Pharmacist, and they will tell you which one is right for you.
Why does urea cream smell like pee?
Easy, urea is the characteristic component that gives urine that peculiar smell. The higher the concentration of urea, the stronger it will smell.
The day of the operating room.
Do you go to the operating room? What will you find?
Shower or bath with perfect drying of the feet.
Zero hydration and zero colognes or deodorants.
Maybe you want to know a little more about what happens in the operating room before the big day. Do you go to the operating room? What will you find?
You can read about what will happen once the foot has been operated on in this other article.
Common sense is the least common of the reasons.
Before a bunion surgery or any foot surgery, I do not recommend a long walk through the mountains or doing the Camino de Santiago. A change of footwear or a premiere of new shoes would not be recommended either.
How about your podiatrist? Give best regards from me.
Ponseti method. During the plastering.
Still don’t have a podiatrist? Well… maybe that can’t be it. They are not only in charge of chiropody and hygiene. There is no professional more dedicated to the foot than the podiatrist. Never forget it!
The ideal would be to go to them seven to ten days before surgery for impeccable feet.
Any patient with serious difficulties reaching their feet -and maintaining hygiene within a normal range- should go to these fantastic professionals.
Attention! If you can’t reach your feet… you could have a problem with your hip. You must read this article. Madonna and her limp: hip or knee?
Before bunion surgery
When a patient has not arrived in optimal conditions before a foot surgery: “fair” hygiene, long nails, painted nails, abrasions from going over the pumice stone…
I always thought I had this article in the pipeline. And even though it had been in dry dock for a long time, this Sunday afternoon, I felt like writing it and sharing it with you. If you have foot surgery soon for bunions, I would love for you to arrive at the operating room in the best conditions.