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Old 06-12-2007, 04:58 PM   #1
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Pardon my basic bunion surgery questions...

I need some basic info and I think this is an ideal place to find it. Many years ago, fresh out of college & still poor, I saw a podiatrist for foot pain and was diagnosed with bunions (one at each big toe) and given two options. One, get orthodics which may or may not work, are expensive, and were not covered by my insurance. Two, opt for surgery which also may or may not work, is expensive but covered at least in part but he didn't think that the best option. I'm sorry to say at the time I opted to do nothing.

Fast forward to today...pain is much worse and I want to go back to the doctor, knowing surgery is likely inevitable at this point. Basic concerns are things like how happy are people with this surgery generally? How much time out of work, how long to walk normally, most importantly can you go back to activities like running after this and if so how long does that take? Will I have to wear sturdy sensible shoes only after this? I would love to plan ahead so that surgery is at an opportune time. Also - any sage advice on what else to take into consideration?

Thanks to you all for any thoughts you have to share!

 
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Old 06-12-2007, 06:38 PM   #2
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Re: Pardon my basic bunion surgery questions...

if you are in that much pain from the bunions go for the surgery. you will recover fine and resume normal activities. gor for a 2nd opinion to make sure what has to be done and ask the dr these same questions.

 
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Old 06-12-2007, 11:48 PM   #3
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Re: Pardon my basic bunion surgery questions...

yes..hi..we are only one week post op with our daughter( she is doing very well for a 7 yr old off both feet) so not too much advise exepct to keep feet elevated..at all times to keep swelling down.Before the op is a another story...if you are having bothfeet done,you need to make sure your support system is in place to take care of you.Dont presume the people you have on yr list will help...make sure with them.We have been soooo very fortunate to have tons of help.And of course emotional support...besides friends and fam,the posting helped me so much...Thanks alot guys.Good luck and keep us updted see.xx

 
Old 06-13-2007, 08:11 AM   #4
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Re: Pardon my basic bunion surgery questions...

I guess it depends what you mean by sensible. My sense is that you can wear high heels on special occasions, but most of the time you'll want to be in flats or low heels, and you will definitely want to stay away from pointy toes or tight shoes that might aggravate your foot and possibly cause the bunion to come back. I pretty much live in ballet flats, and I was told that I could continue wearing them after the fact, but it would take a long time...at least four months post-op. He also said it will be around 3 months before I can GRADUALLY start my exercise routine.

Your other questions depend on the type of surgery your Dr suggests. There are literally hundreds of ways to go about removing a bunion, & most of them involve breaking and resetting the bones.

If you think the pain is bearable and you can live with it for the rest of your life, then surgery isn't necessary. I decided to get surgery after I had tried numerous conservative methods that just didn't help (stretching my shoes, orthotics, padding, toe separators/straighteners). Once you start thinking "will my bunions hurt?" while wearing relatively sensible shoes (ie not pointy, high, or tight), then that's a pretty good indicator that surgery is worth considering. It's really up to you how far you're willing to go with those methods. Personally, I know ballet flats aren't the most sensible shoes in the world, but they're not the absolute worst either. The point is that they should not be causing me this much pain. If it were arch pain, I would understand, but it's not.

So, in just about four hours, I'm getting my right foot operated on. I'm scared as hell right now, but the thought of hobbling around in pain forever is just as scary. Make an appt. with your podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon and you can discuss what conservative options are available, and what kind of procedure s/he would perform. Good luck!

 
Old 06-13-2007, 08:59 AM   #5
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Re: Pardon my basic bunion surgery questions...

I am 3 weeks post-op austin bunionectomy on my left foot. I was very nervous before the surgery and even considered cancelling because of the extreme anxiety I was having. I am in a surgical shoe (have been since day 1), and have been weight bearing the entire time. The pain has not been nearly as bad as I thought it would be! I have survived on ibuprofen and tylenol the entire time. My doctor gave me a prescription for Vicodin, but I never needed it. The worst part (for me) has been the frustration and boredom that comes with not being able to do all of my normal activities. I am going back to work on Monday, but will have to take it easy when I go back. The length of time you will need to be out of work will depend on the type of surgery you are having, as well as your job.

My podiatrist says once I am completely healed (which will be months from now), I will be able to wear whatever shoes I want without fear of the bunion coming back - perhaps this is because I have a permanent screw holding the bone in place?? Not sure what the weather is like in your area, but I planned my surgery in May so as not to have to deal with the snow and ice of NY during the winter months. Also, I have been able to sit out on my deck and enjoy the nice weather. I think I would have gone completely nuts if I was trapped inside the entire time.

Good luck!

 
Old 06-13-2007, 09:43 AM   #6
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Re: Pardon my basic bunion surgery questions...

WOW - You have a screw and didn't need any prescription pain meds? I applaud you. Hopefully I will experience the same...

I was one of the freaky ones that cancelled my surgery 4 days prior, last week. My foot started feeling so much better after I got new sneakers. I use my orthotics in everything I wear and even the Dr. mentioned that my foot may never get any worse. So, I started walking daily for 30 min. took my Aleve as needed and now find I am walking on the outside of my foot and sort of cupping it as well. The pain has now returned full force and the outside of my leg is starting to ache.

I have decided I must get this done. I have been experiencing increasing pain in my right foot now for about 5 years. I have Hallux Rigidus and I am somewhat fearful of the lingering side effects or complications. I've had several opinions regarding just what procedure would be best for me. I have ruled out an implant simply because they can wear out and I don't want anything foreign in my foot if I should ever get Diabetes or an infection. Since I am already 65 I am not eager to do this again. I have opted for the Keller Procedure which I know isn't used a lot anymore but I have been convinced by 3 PODS that this procedure would serve me well and leave me pain free.

Anxiety is an awful thing to have especially when one is considering an elective procedure.....right now I am trying to tell myself that surgery WOULD improve my quality of life and that complications would be minimal...

It's wonderful being able to connect with others on this forum. Most often these discussions groups focus more on the negative than the positive. It's reassuring to chat with people that have had excellent results.
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Old 06-13-2007, 10:31 AM   #7
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Re: Pardon my basic bunion surgery questions...

Sticher: Am glad you've made the decision. I hope all turns out well and that this procedure gives you the relief you are looking for. Keep us posted!

 
Old 06-13-2007, 11:22 AM   #8
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Re: Pardon my basic bunion surgery questions...

Hi there! After following these boards for 4 months (since my surgery - one toe, chevron bunionectomy), I'll try to tell you what I've seen as average. Everyone is different, though! I've been happy w/my outcome. I was off work for four days - one for the surgery, then 3 days of recovery. By the end of that time I was totally stir-crazy. I was allowed to be weight bearing, but the foot was swollen (stays swollen a LONG time) and the incision hurt to put weight on the foot, so I did use crutches. Used them for about 2.5 weeks... How long to walk normally? I'd say about 6-8 weeks, though the limp can stick around a bit longer. How long until you're back to regular activities? Depends - I went on a hike in sturdy sandals at about 10 weeks, but that was pushing it. I still can't wear closed-toed shoes, though I can jog across a street in flipflops. I've heard of folks who by 3 months out were back playing tennis and jogging. At 4 mos. now I could probably jog if I could get a closed shoe on... I'm back in cute sandals, though, so not stolid and boring, though fairly sensible. I've heard of folks going back into dress shoes before 6 months, definitely, though I'm personally not going to push it until the fall. Swelling goes down VERY slowly - I'm still swollen now, and have heard it'll last at least 6 months, and there might still be some until a year has passed. Good luck! Hope this helps you plan. Doctors make it sound like you'll be back to normal in 6 weeks - that's not true.

 
Old 06-13-2007, 03:58 PM   #9
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Re: Pardon my basic bunion surgery questions...

Thanks to all who responded. I know I didn't offer much specific info so it can be tough to respond. Still, you all provided me with some basic info which was what I wanted. One thing I'm considering...if I may possibly be wearing open shoes for some time after, as some of you have had to do, maybe I'd rather not do it in the middle of winter!

Yours comments were encouraging enough that I now need to go look up a podiatrist in the area who handles my insurance. Thanks again!

 
Old 06-13-2007, 04:10 PM   #10
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Wink Re: Pardon my basic bunion surgery questions...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Titchou View Post
Sticher: Am glad you've made the decision. I hope all turns out well and that this procedure gives you the relief you are looking for. Keep us posted!
Thank you so much, Titchou,

You have offered much knowledge and support to others throughout this community and I thank you.

Since I cancelled my surgery, I promised my sister I would go down to NJ and help her move the end of June. So, I will call my Dr., with hat in hand, and ask for to be put on his schedule in July. This time frame will hopefully allow me to return to Fla in Oct. (I don't do snow anymore!)

I will certainly be in touch and will continue to read the messages daily.
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