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Old 03-14-2004, 10:21 AM   #1
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REMO HB User
Newbie...help Bunionectomy

[COLOR=Magenta]undefined[/COLOR] Hi everyone, I am new to the boards and all you guys seem so nice!! I posted a question to Ally but I guess it should go at to all.

I have had foot problems for 15 years (I am 38) I have bunions, tailor bunions, and the onset of hammer toes. I was told that I also have something wrong with my heel!!

I have always dreamed of having the surgery, but was too afraid until now. I have been experiencing stiffness and pain in one of my feet (bunion) so I feel I am almost justified for getting the surgery. I am a very active person, doing many sports and constantly on the go.There has been mixed reviews on getting the surgery and I would like some opinions.

These are my Q's:
1. Has anyone had double bunionectomy (I would do this) If so...
a. What is real recovery time ( i.e. driving, going back to work,
exercising etc...? This is a very important element.
b. Why hasn't anyone got a wheel chair get around in? Is this not
recommended? I could easily get to work and not have to take
so much time off.
c. I read on the boards there is over 100 bunionectomy
procedures!!! Oh my God!! What is the Best?
d. How bad is the scarring? I am a flip flop type of girl )
f. Do your feet become flat - mine seems like it would.
g. Anyone do the hammer toe correction...explain.
h. Anyone have the 2nd toe larger than the other toes and have
it corrected?
I. Anyone living in NYC/Long Island that had a unbelievable
surgeon?
J. Do you go w/the Podiatrist or Orthopedic Surgeon?

Sorry to overwhelm - I am sooo scared and confused. Appreciate your responses.

 
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Old 03-14-2004, 02:31 PM   #2
eko eko is offline
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Location: Roscoe, IL, USA
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eko HB Usereko HB User
Re: Newbie...help Bunionectomy

Wow! You do have a lot of questions and I can only address some of them.

Recovery time and driving (near and dear to my heart) depends on the procedures you have done, it sound like you might have quite a bit.

Wheelchairs, there are those of us who have used them to get around with - would be necessary with a double bunionectomy.

Yes, there are many types of procedures, the best one will be determined on your situation with your Dr.

Scarring, yes, there will be some, there are threads on the board regarding how to minimize scarring.

Your feet do not become flat after a bunionectomy unless they all ready are.

Podiatrist vs. Orthopedic Surgeon-depends on their experience and expertise. If you choose an Orthopedic Surgeon, make sure their focus is foot and ankle, you do not want a general orthopedic surgeon.

Wish you well. -eko

 
Old 03-14-2004, 03:22 PM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 207
twobadfeet HB User
Re: Newbie...help Bunionectomy

Hi REMO,

I have a couple more replies to your questions. First, you're doing exactly the right thing by researching various types of foot surgeries and what they involve. The more information you get--preferably a combination of medical information and direct reports by folks who've had them--the better choices you'll make and the less scared you'll feel. Now, about your questions (and I won't try to answer them all since eko has covered a lot of ground):
--My observation from months of talking to people on this Board as well as having come through one bunionectomy (in Nov., 2003) is that double bunionectomies can be troublesome. I initially wanted to do both at once but my orthopedic surgeon talked me out of it, saying you need at least one good leg to get around at all initially. What he didn't say is that the complication rate is higher when you have two, you need a LOT of help because you are initially helpless and surgery often has to be repeated because you wind up using one of your feet before it's ready to carry the load. Just my opinion, but I'd say think long and hard, and check the posts on this Board before you do it.
--For a timetable of typical recovery times you might want to check out my post (#6) on the thread: Bunionectomy Post-Op Expectations. Everybody's different, but that was the timetable I got from my doctor for a single bunionectomy that involved cutting a bone and screwing it back together with 1 screw.
--The two favored types of medical devices here seem to be wheelchairs and a Roll-A-Bout (my favorite); again, check back posts for information about both.
--There is no "best" procedure because what's best for you will depend on your doctor's choice and how severe your bunions are. The more severe the bunions, the more extreme the surgery and the longer the recovery time.
--The number and sizes of scars vary. I have two, one 3 inches long and one 1 inch long. Again, back posts will tell you all you'll need to know about the procedures, the scars and what to do to get them to fade. My opinion, in two words: massage and Mederma.
--Again, IMHO, be careful not to have too many procedures on your foot at one time. You'll wind up with tons of scar tissue which reduces your toes' mobility and is painful to break up with exercise (and some problems may not require surgery at all.)

And remember, research, research, research. Don't stop 'till you think you know everything you need to know to make your decisions. The more prepared you are the calmer you'll feel. Hope this helps.

twobadfeet

 
Old 03-14-2004, 03:25 PM   #4
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 109
HappyMama HB User
Re: Newbie...help Bunionectomy

I'll answer what I can...

1. Has anyone had double bunionectomy (I would do this) If so... Yes, double on 1/7/04. Not sure the exact name, but I have 3 permanent pins in each foot.
a. What is real recovery time ( i.e. driving, going back to work,
exercising etc...? This is a very important element. I drove after I think 4 weeks. The problem with driving before that is I had a really hard time putting my feet down for more than just a minute or two because the blood would flow there really rapidly and throb like crazy. My first trip out was to the store five minutes away and they were killing me after that. If you have a wheelchair and have someone else to drive you to work, you can feasibly go back maybe after a few weeks....at the bare minimum and you won't really feel like it, but it would be do-able. It has been 2 1/2 months since my bunion surgery and I played tennis today and was able to walk pretty fast to the ball...not run by any means, but I could walk in a hurry so that felt good.
b. Why hasn't anyone got a wheel chair get around in? Is this not
recommended? I could easily get to work and not have to take
so much time off.
I had a wheelchair and it was a lifesaver for me. In fact, I played wheelchair tennis!
c. I read on the boards there is over 100 bunionectomy
procedures!!! Oh my God!! What is the Best? I would say make sure they break the bone and realign it, definitely don't do a "bumpectomy" where they just shave the bump.
d. How bad is the scarring? I am a flip flop type of girl ) This is hard to answer, b/c it's all relative, but it's a heck of a lot better now than it was a few weeks after, and I'm assuming it will just get better and better.
f. Do your feet become flat - mine seems like it would. Never heard of that.
g. Anyone do the hammer toe correction...explain. No idea
h. Anyone have the 2nd toe larger than the other toes and have
it corrected? Nope
I. Anyone living in NYC/Long Island that had a unbelievable
surgeon? No
J. Do you go w/the Podiatrist or Orthopedic Surgeon?I went with a podiatrist. I never even considered an ortho. surgeon. I wanted someone who specialized in feet and have done hundreds and hundreds of bunion surgeries.

Good luck!

 
Old 03-14-2004, 07:21 PM   #5
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Location: KANSAS
Posts: 185
rileyroe HB User
Re: Newbie...help Bunionectomy

Hi! I also had a double bunionectomy on Jan 8th. I will tell you now, it definately takes quite a while before you are going to be able to move around!!!! My husband had to carry me to the bathroom, to bed, and from the couch to the recliner. I absouletly COULD NOT put my feet down for the first 3 days. If I even tried, they would throb so bad, that I thought I was going to get sick. I even had a footstool in my bathroom that I put my feet on, after my husband sat me on the toilet! Talk about a helpless feeling! It is a good thing "for better or worse" is in those vows!! I don't think that I could have gone back to work any sooner than I did, even with a wheelchair. I took 4 weeks off, and that was a good amount of time. I didn't use a wheelchair at all (except for the motorized scooter at the store once!) and I managed ok, after the first three days. I only went to the bathroom and to bed though. I didn't move around much at all. I did use crutches to help me keep my balance, and that worked out well. I have still been having some pain at times, and I have been going to the chiropractor and that seems to be helping. I have also been getting 30 minuted foot massages a couple times a week. I am able to move at my normal pace now unless I have been doing alot of walking. If I go out shopping and am out too long (2-3 hours) then they start getting achy and I slow down a little. My feet felt so good after my massage I came home and jumped up and down in my living room! My husband thought I had lost my mind! I am also able to run up and down the front porch steps, and can go up and down the basement stairs with no problem now. It is a very long recovery, but I am glad I had both done at the same time. Like I said, I still have times when they feel awful, but I would say that I am at about 80% now. I didn't drive for about 4 weeks, and when I did it was pretty tough...I didn't realize how much pressure you put on your feet stepping on the gas pedal! As far as my scars.......They are better now than they were a few weeks ago, but they are still noticeable. I am a flip flop girl too, and I have been wearing them already. I haven't had anyone ask what happened to my feet, so maybe no-one even notices them! The strap does cover alot of it. I had one incision on each foot about 4 inches long. I also have two "permanent" screws in each foot. Be sure if you do decide to do both at the same time that you will have someone with you 24 hours a day for a while. There is no-way you will be able to get up and around on your own. Let us know if you have anymore questions, and let us know what you decide to do! Good Luck, and you will be fine! Mandy

 
Old 03-15-2004, 10:52 AM   #6
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 22
Crazy43 HB User
Re: Newbie...help Bunionectomy

These are my Q's:
1. Has anyone had double bunionectomy (I would do this) Yes, I did it is called a bilateral bunionectomy 1/23/04. I am at week 7 now. You will need lots of help if you have both feet done. Please read previous threads starting about January, very good info as you can see the experiences as the weeks past during everyones post op period. For me bilateral was the right choice, however it is NOT for everyone. I am 43, have no children at home, work partime from home and a husband that supported me 100%. I had all the best conditions for a good recovery. Otherwise, I would have only done 1.
a. What is real recovery time ( i.e. driving, going back to work,
exercising etc...? 4 weeks min. 8 week max depending on type of work.
b. Why hasn't anyone got a wheel chair get around in? Is this not
recommended? I could easily get to work and not have to take
so much time off. I had a wheel chair and loved it. I also had available a walker and crutches. All came in handy throughout the process.
c. I read on the boards there is over 100 bunionectomy
procedures!!! Oh my God!! What is the Best? The doctor is the one to decide this.
d. How bad is the scarring? I am a flip flop type of girl ). My incisions are on the side of my foot about 2 inches long. Once completly healed and they turn white you will not be able to see them.
f. Do your feet become flat - mine seems like it would. Never heard of this!
g. Anyone do the hammer toe correction...explain. I had the 2nd toe corrected. It was hammered (leaning toward the big toe) and it was to long to begin with and especially after the big toe was shortened during the straightening process. I had external pins in the 2nd toes that were removed at week 3. Each doctor different about removal time.
h. Anyone have the 2nd toe larger than the other toes and have
it corrected? It is amazing to have the toes look normal. You feel as though you are looking at someone elses feet.
I. Anyone living in NYC/Long Island that had a unbelievable
surgeon? no
J. Do you go w/the Podiatrist or Orthopedic Surgeon? Orthopedic surgeons now have sub-speciality's. I selected one that specialized in feet. It was a female and she was great.

 
Old 03-15-2004, 04:23 PM   #7
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 8
REMO HB User
Re: Thanks from the newbie

Thanks to all that replied - it is greatly appreciated. I will search back and read all the older threads to get additional information.

I must admit, I didn't realize that this type of surgery has such a long recuperation time. I may need to re-evaluate since I could never be out of work for more than 2 weeks in a row - that would be stretching it.

Is it the pain you experience or the plain fact that you cannot put any weight on your weight, if not using a wheelchair etc...?

 
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