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Old 12-01-2004, 05:48 AM   #1
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mediamom HB User
Glad to Find you Again...just completd 2nd bilateral bunionectomy in one year

Hi all. I'm now almost 24 hours post-op from my second bilateral bunionectomy (osteotomies on both feet). My first surgery was in January of '04 with an orthopod and it failed completely. Within 6 months I could see my toes moving back again and then pain returned as well. My doc had no explanation and he did an osteotomy with pins. By the way he was an orthopod with a speciality in foot and ankle so I assumed I was in good hands. Don't know if he screwed up or if it was simply a bad outcome (which is always a risk with surgery).

So now I'm with a podiatrist who came highly recommended and who does about 500 of these procedures a year (compared with about 40 for my previous doc). I was an MD snob previously but learned my lesson. go with someone who has lots of experience.

This recovery seems different because first off, I'm in mini-casts on both feet (at loeast initially). I'm a bit itchy but I feel as if they give me so much more stability and that I'm less likely to do any harm when I get up to go to the bathroom. First time around I was allowed more weight bearing (as much as I could handle I was told). Now I'm allowed weight bearing only for what is essential (using bathroom). Otherwise. I'm in bed with my feet up. My father-in-law built me this ramp for the bed, which I swear he should patent. It's incredible. Really just padded wood that elevates as high as needed but also has under knee support so you don't get any stress on your knees. Last time I just stacked pillows but they were unstable and fell over and i never got really good elevation. This contraption is awesome because my feet are contantly elevated above my heart and the reduced pain is quite apparent. When I do get up to brush teeth or something, I feel the pain immediately but then I hop right back in bed and get those feet up. I do think this allows me to keep my pain drugs at a minimum (they're still needed but not as much as I was afraid of).

Anyone else have a cast? Icing is a challenge becuase the ice packs (frozsen peas in a traditional cotton pack with ties to secure to the feet) have to sit below the cast slightly so not sure if the cold is really getting in there. The itching is also really annoying. My father-in-law said using a chopstick or something other to scratch my feet is not smart (could cause infiection). I have a follw-up with the doc tomorrow so I'll ask.

For those with fear of pain, I suggest loading up on pain pills. This time around I got Vicodin extra strength (much better then regular strength). I can't take Percoset as it makes me itch. Ask for the strongest you can get and don't be afraid to take them those first few days. As others have said, get ahead of the pain and keep thsoe feet elevated. It really makes the world of difference.

Finally, I've been given a walker. Anyone else use one of these. Won't help if I want to putter around the mall so I think I'll still ask for a wheelchair for when I'm ready to venture out.

Any questions, don't hesitate to ask. So good to have you all!!

Lesley

 
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Old 12-02-2004, 01:19 PM   #2
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Re: Glad to Find you Again...just completd 2nd bilateral bunionectomy in one year

Such a familiar story...except I am in NEED of a second surgery, but still getting used to the fact that i will have to go through this again. I had my first bunionectomy on my left foot December of 2003. It was the "worst" foot. I don't remember the name of the exact procedure, but I now have a plate and screws in my foot. I was on crutches for 4 weeks and a walking boot for 2. My surgery was done by a podiatrist. My foot now looks better, but feels worse. Any shoes cause me pain. I don't know if I should let him "try again" or find a different doctor. He operated on my right foot in August of this year, and it seems to be doing fine. It was less severe than the right...no crutches, just a boot for a few weeks. My right foot feels fine. Any suggestions on if I should see a new doctor or stick to the old one? When I was at my discharge visit for my right foot in October, I told him that my left foot still hurt pretty bad and he said, 'well, there is more we can do'. I just wonder, if there is more he can do, then why didn't he do it the first time?? Any opinions appreciated!

 
Old 12-06-2004, 06:33 AM   #3
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Re: Glad to Find you Again...just completd 2nd bilateral bunionectomy in one year

Ashley, sorry to be so long in replying and hope you see this. I would definitely suggest getting another opinion. If you do not have complete confidence in this doc and if you are not getting the kind of pain relief you need, don't hesitate to look elsewhere. I would never have considered going back to my first doc and he essentially looked at my feet 6 months after surgery, saw the total movement back to their orginal pre-surgical position, and said, it was "not the result we'd hoped for." They must go to school to learn how to respond when confronted with their own errors. He didn't even suggest he could correct the problem. I was shocked. So I hightailed it out of his fancy office and went looking for a podiatrist with tons of experience. I found someone who is slightly older and therefore has been doing this kind of work for a long time. I also got two other opinions so I could be sure the doc I chose was the right one. It was obvious that the two docs I saw for other opinions were not comfortable handling my condition. One even said that it would be a big challenge and not easy at all..but he could do it. Did not inspire confidence! The other suggested extra foot wrapping and padding. That was a joke!

So do more research before having another surgery. Get a set of your xrays and bring them when you go for your second (or third opinions). Ask other podiatrists who they recommend or respect in the field and also check teaching hospitals and look for heads of podiatry or others who are in teaching or training roles. Someone teaches those residents and best to find out who. Also try to identify the top-rated hospitals in your area and go see the podiatry chief there. Most hospitals have websites with info on their staff so you might be able to do all your research on-line (I did).

Best of luck and keep us posted.

 
Old 12-07-2004, 10:23 PM   #4
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rileyroe HB User
Re: Glad to Find you Again...just completd 2nd bilateral bunionectomy in one year

Marketingmom-I can't believe you had to have surgery again! I am so sorry! I was just thinking about everyone who had surgery when I did back in January...so I thought I would get on here and see who has posted and I sure didn't expect to read that you had to go through it again! I hope you are doing ok...and have plenty of help! I still have quite a bit of pain at times, and am really wondering if I will be able to walk a long distance without them starting to hurt! Let me know how you are doing! Hang in there! Mandy

 
Old 12-08-2004, 03:24 AM   #5
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ugatah HB User
Re: Glad to Find you Again...just completd 2nd bilateral bunionectomy in one year

I had surgery for big toe stiffness, mild bunions and hammer toes in January, and now I have more pain and trouble than before. My surgeon was a podiatrist surgeon. He says I have joint adhesions, but I'm not so sure. I"m going to get a second opinion from an orthopaedic surgeon. Several people have said orthopaedic surgeons are much better than podiatrists for this sort of thing. (Now they tell me!). I must say that after reading the messages in here, I wish I had done more homework before having the surgery. I have always had problem feet, and know now that I always will. I doubt that even more surgery would fix my problems. My second toes are curling into hammer toes since the little toes were operated on! I can't bear the weight of the doona or quilt on my feet at night in bed, and have to use a chair to keep the weight off! Before the surgery I could tolerate the weight. Seems like there is no solution. Oh well.
Cheers.

 
Old 12-08-2004, 09:32 AM   #6
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Re: Glad to Find you Again...just completd 2nd bilateral bunionectomy in one year

Please don't assume that orthopedic surgeons are better. My first surgery disaster was with an orthopod who specialized in foot and ankle. I thought that was enough and was an "MD snob." However, I learned that podiatrists do far more of this work on a day to day basis and therefore often have much more experience. The key is to get the right podiatrist. Look for heads of podiatry at the top medical centers in your area---those who train residents for example or do teaching as well as practicing. Ask detailed questions about how much experience they with your particular problem and how often they have performed the surgery you require. Nothing wrong with visitng both orthopods and podiatrists but keep in mind that many orthopods focus on big bones and have less experience with the tiny bones of the feet. Feet (and hands) require very special training so do your homework before going with anyone else.

Best of luck.

 
Old 12-08-2004, 03:17 PM   #7
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Re: Glad to Find you Again...just completd 2nd bilateral bunionectomy in one year

The podiatrist surgeon who did my surgery is very experienced, and teaches, etc. It seems to me he was too confident and didn't take enough time to really examine the x-rays and discuss with me what could go wrong. When I was about to go into theatre he looked at my little toe and said "I think I'll take the tip off that". So, without giving me any information or taking time to discuss, he decides to "just take the tip off my little toe". That freaked me out, but I was hardly in a position to argue.

 
Old 12-09-2004, 07:06 AM   #8
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Re: Glad to Find you Again...just completd 2nd bilateral bunionectomy in one year

Guess it just goes to show that whichever doc you choose can be overly cocky and arrogant. My orthopod only looked at my xrays once, and never during recovery period (post-op). I wish you luck finding someone (orthopod or pod) who you feel confident in and who takes your seriously. Trust is the key I suppose.

 
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