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Old 06-19-2006, 06:53 PM   #1
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Question New here...basic questions on Bunionectomy

Hi,
Glad to have found someone to talk to...I am 45 and have had bunions for 25 years. For about 4 years they have been bothering me slightly, especially my right foot. What is making me take them serious is that I remember my Mother's feet looking exactly like mine 30 years ago, and now her feet look like a horror movie, bunions, hammertoes etc. She is too stubborn to do anything about them, she'd just rather be crippled, but not me! I asked my Primary Care Physician about a referral, and she gave me the name of a Podiatrist. She mentioned that the surgery would involve inserting a screw.
I will be making an appointment with the Podiatrist, but could anyone answer basic questions?
How long will I not be able to drive?
How long will I not be able to walk?
I'm scared to be off my feet for long because I recently lost 45 pounds by walking and Weight Watchers, and I don't want to gain the weight back.
I have school age children, am the backbone of my family because of my Husband's brutal work schedule, and no other family to rely on for help. I would have only the right one done to start because it is so much bigger than the left.
Help?
Any comments?
Thanks in advance.
Also, any suggestions on good Doctors in the Boston Metro area?

 
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Old 06-19-2006, 06:57 PM   #2
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Titchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB User
Re: New here...basic questions on Bunionectomy

Find out who does the Celtics' foot work.... you can call their front office and they should be willing to tell you...or the Patriots' ....either one should have a good foot guy they use. Good luck!

 
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Old 06-20-2006, 09:20 AM   #3
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Re: New here...basic questions on Bunionectomy

I live in Massachusetts and had mine done 3 weeks ago. A doctor in Providence did it rather than driving all the way to Boston.

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Last edited by WanderingMod; 06-20-2006 at 03:35 PM. Reason: Please read and follow the posting rules. Links to clinic/doctor websites are not permitted.

 
Old 06-20-2006, 09:22 AM   #4
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Re: New here...basic questions on Bunionectomy

Im 43 now and had 1 done 13 yrs ago and 1 done 4 mths ago...my aunts and grandmas feet were just like how you described your moms...i knew mine were heading there too. my dad has bunions not my mom..but we are all very flatfooted..i find myself looking at feet all the time..some people have such nice feet..huh? anyway, its hard to answer your questions because every doctor is different..each have their own protocol..as you will see on this board..some walk on day 1 some on day 14..some after that..me i walked right out of the car when i got home from the hospital on the heel of my foot. i wore a boot for 5-6 weeks than right into a wide nike.. i did have to try to stay off it for 1 week only..just getting up to eat and use the bathroom...than i went back to my part time job and 3 kids 1 dog and a large house to clean..so i have a full busy life too...im glad i did it..my foot actually looks nice and straight.a little pain now and then but i do have 2 permanent screws in there. i had a scarf bunionectomy..ask your doc about that procedure..good luck

 
Old 06-20-2006, 09:39 AM   #5
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Re: New here...basic questions on Bunionectomy

EMH~
You came to the right place. No help with Docs in your locale, but Titchou has the idea. Read through the thread "Double Bunionectomy Questions", which started in late April or early May. These ladies had doubles, but there are so many helpful ideas that apply to anyone NWB for any length of time. I wish you luck, and will look forward to reading your progress! Kim

 
Old 06-20-2006, 10:53 AM   #6
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Re: New here...basic questions on Bunionectomy

Jules3 thank you (and thanks to all for replies...) were you able to drive with the boot on that you wore for 5-6 weeks? I really need my right foot done and can't imagine not being able to drive soon! I should also ask if your most recent one was right or left, and did you notice better technology/techniques with your recent one as opposed to the years ago one?

 
Old 06-20-2006, 12:19 PM   #7
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Re: New here...basic questions on Bunionectomy

EMH.. I'm in my late 40's, and have bunions since i was in my late teens..had the right foot done 10 weeks ago, and the left done 7 weeks ago (my feet were mirror images of each other -- i needed to have both done.). My primary care gave me a referral to Dr. David Lovejoy(an orthopedic surgeon), at Orthopedic Trauma and Rehab, in Peabody....he does his surgeries at North Shore Medical Center, in Salem...and I was very pleased, with the info he provided, beforehand, in his explanation of my options, in the surgeries, and in the post-surg. care.
Kimann is right...read through some of the other threads, on issues of 'podiatrist vs orthopedic surgeon', and the timing of the surgeries, as well as the differences in protocols.
I didn't have a boot, per se...I had a surgi-shoe (a hard piece of rubber, to prevent your foot from flexing and bending, with some fabric and velcro)...which i wore for about two weeks; I was on crutches for the first 3 days, and then after that it was just the surgi-shoe.
I had my right foot done first, and was able to drive - with the surgi-shoe - and with just a little bit of discomfort....after 10 days. after the left foot was done, i drove hubby's car (an automatic) as soon as i was off the crutches...but the clutch takes more 'oomph' than the gas or break...it was nearly 2-weeks post op before i could drive my car (stick shift)

I would mention that many of the people on these threads are younger, and are healing faster...which is why I mentioned my age! even in our 40s, it's certainly possible to be driving in less than 2 weeks -- but check with your doc.....some of the threads indicate tht there are docs out there who have their patients nwb for a substantial chunk of time. dr. lovejoy does these procedures under a nerve block (so you can't do a darned thing with that foot for the first 12 hours!)...and then minimal weight bearing for the next few days...but then full weight bearing, as soon as it's comfortable (although of course you're on your heel only, for a couple of weeks)

good luck, and feel free to make frequent use of this board. we have lots of info to share!

 
Old 06-20-2006, 02:35 PM   #8
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Re: New here...basic questions on Bunionectomy

Yes, I am one of those doubles...I am 2 weeks post-op today. I have been hobbling around on my post-op shoes, without crutches at home, and with crutches or a wheelchair or electric cart outside of the home. Mine were not so bad yet, but enough to make me have them fixed. Constant pain and not being able to wear any shoes but flip-flops, clogs or WIDE running shoes, and still all of those caused pain. I got my stitches out yesterday, and discovered the doc did not have to break my first metatarsal or insert a screw. I have felt great, basically. I loved having a block and being under general anesthesia, too -- I woke up free of pain. My feet already feel better than pre-surgery and I am still reccovering! My mother-in-law has stayed here to help. I am just 45 as of last month, but act a lot younger. (!) We are pretty active as a family, too. My kids are almost 10 and 12, so they can fend for themselves, but my hubby works for himself, which is good and bad. I go back in 10 days, and may be able to drive by then, but we'll see. I have had a great experience, and I realize I am quite fortunate for that. My doctor, by the way, is our main Ortho/Sports doctor in the city (for the Pacers and Colts). He took off the bunions and rearranged what he calls the 'capsules' - cutting or releasing the soft tissue in a few places to straighten out my toes. I saw them yesterday when they took out the stitches, and, although colorful, they looked beautiful to me -- more like my old feet I used to know...my toes were straight! Good luck to you and keep on these boards -- these folks are really helpful and nice.

 
Old 06-20-2006, 03:08 PM   #9
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Re: New here...basic questions on Bunionectomy

Thank you so much everybody. Moondancer2, I grew up in Peabody, graduated from Salem State, and my mother still lives there! I now live in the western suburbs and my first visit next week will be to a Podiatrist in Framingham. I am going to be armed with questions and will seek other referrals too. Thanks for your detailed information about your experience, maybe I can get my mother over to your doctor, since she hates to leave the North Shore! She had double knee replacement last year which went really well, but she says she is done with doctors. Here knees work fine now, but now she can't walk or wear shoes because of her bunions!

Last edited by emh1960; 06-20-2006 at 05:55 PM.

 
Old 06-20-2006, 08:57 PM   #10
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Re: New here...basic questions on Bunionectomy

Thanks for your info too, Bhive, it is really helpful to see experiences with folks my own age. I wonder if it would be better to do them both at once and get it all over with at once?!

 
Old 06-20-2006, 09:05 PM   #11
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Re: New here...basic questions on Bunionectomy

Hi emh...i drove the second week to bring my dughter to school and to my job ..all within a 7-8 mile radius..so yes i did drive with my boot..it was different and probably not a good idea because it was my right foot..i live in ny..30 minutes out of manhattan and you need to drive everywhere here on long island. the first foot i had done was 13 yrs ago with a removable pin..had a huge infection..it was a freaky thing ,very rarely happens..i think there is only so much they can do to get rid of bunions..so the technology is not much different. its not a horrible surgery its just the first 2 weeks that are bad..but then its better everyday. that boot can get very annoying..it was constanly doing and undoing velcro...but the end result was worth it..

 
Old 06-21-2006, 08:23 AM   #12
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Re: New here...basic questions on Bunionectomy

Hi, emh1960~ I am 56 and had a double bunionectomy five weeks ago. I too was a bit concerned about gaining weight as I have also lost weight in the past couple years and have kept it off and stayed in shape in large part by staying very active, including doing a lot of walking. I was amazed that I did not gain even a single pound during my month of so much lying around. I'm not sure if my appetite decreased or if it was due to muscle loss... but whatever it was, my clothes still totally fit. (And I feel like I'm finally getting back on track; I started walking around the block last week and am now up to a little over a mile every day.) It seems like almost everyone needs to be off their feet for the first week-- elevating and icing-- no matter whether surgery was on one foot or both feet. (To me, it didn't feel like I was much more disabled from having two feet done than one and I am VERY glad to have the both surguries overwith at one time. NO regrets.) One thing I did to be more independent was put my son's small fridge from his college dorm next to my bed. In it I kept my ice packs (including spares), drinks, & snacks. I also kept dry food snacks nearby. I had done a lot of preparation ahead of time to try to make sure that all essential toiletries, meds, books, laptop, etc. were put within reach. I even had a little bowl to spit in to brush my teeth. Because of all that, the main thing I needed to be waited on for was meals. The second week I was able to pretty much take care of myself; I could go into the kitchen and throw something into the microwave or sit at the kitchen table and make a sandwich, but I still wasn't back to driving anywhere, making family meals, or doing housecleaning. After the second week I was able to do a lot more, but I tired easily. Can you arrange with some friends or neighbors for a few hours of help for the first few weeks? Get an out-of-town friend or relative to come and visit/help for even a few days? Maybe you and your mom should get your feet done at the same time and get someone to take care of you both! Best wishes; let us know how it goes.

 
Old 06-26-2006, 01:37 PM   #13
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Re: New here...basic questions on Bunionectomy

Yes, I am soooooooooooo glad I had both done at the same time. I had my awesome mother-in-law here to take care of me and my family. She left during her stay to go to my father-in-law's college reunion with him, but we managed those few days. I was able to hobble a little during that first week, and it's been increasing every day. Tomorrow is three weeks for me, and it seems like it's flown by. The worst part is not driving. I am guessing I will be able to drive after my appt. Wednesday. I found out so many helpful hints on how to manage the non-walking part, like bathing and things to think of for your helpers by reading these threads and getting to 'know' the others who've gone before us. I couldn't have done it without my MIL or the kind folks on these boards. I am also glad I got the surgery completed when I did...my toes were bending in toward my other toes, and my doctor ended up not having to break my first bone, so my recovery time is shortened and my swelling and pain are not what I'd anticipated at all. I don't remember if I mentioned my age, but I am a 'young' 45...I want to get back out there and ride my bike, swim and take long walks again without pain and suffering.

Last edited by Bhive; 06-26-2006 at 01:38 PM.

 
Old 07-05-2006, 12:46 PM   #14
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Re: New here...basic questions on Bunionectomy

Just wanted to tell you all that I had met my podiatrist, Dr. Parlon, last week and am definitely going to do the surgery in the fall after my summer vacation. I feel very confident with him, and after talking to him, I think a podiatrist is the best person to go to because he works directly with feet. He says he does this surgery weekly, has done hundreds, is board certified and a fellow. I'm going to try to get my mom to visit him too. She has such deformed feet with bunions and hammer/claw toes and has been to two doctors who only told her to wear wider shoes. One gave her a cortisone shot and prescribed orthotics. This is a little too late with her feet. Hopefully we can get her fixed up too. Thanks for all your help so far and enjoy the summer!

 
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