Question:I am a dance instructor for ballroom dancing. I take several teams of dancers to state and national competitions every year. I'm starting to develop painful bunions that are affecting my own dancing. If I have surgery for this, how long would I be off my feet?
Answer:Your recovery time depends on several factors. Your age, general health, and diet and nutrition are very important in the recovery process. Older adults (60 years and older) tend to have more problems with bone healing. Those who have diabetes, heart disease, or peripheral vascular disease can have a delayed rehab process.
The presence of osteopenia (low bone mass) or osteoporosis (brittle bones) can really slow things down. This may mean being nonweight-bearing for a period of time after the operation.
For some patients, the surgeon can apply a weight-bearing cast. This will immobilize your foot but you'll still be able to get around the dance floor. You probably won't be able to dance until the cast is removed and you have enough strength and joint proprioception (sense of joint position) back.
The surgeon can use X-rays to help monitor the progress of the bone healing. This may help move you along in the rehab and recovery process. You can expect a recovery time of at least six to eight weeks and maybe longer depending on your own risk factors.H. - J. Trnka, MD, et al. Intermediate-Term Results of the Ludloff Osteotomy in One Hundred and Eleven Feet. In Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. March 2008. Vol. 90. No. 3. Pp. 531-539.
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