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Old 02-26-2009, 05:39 PM   #1
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Bunion... Where to start

I have a bunion (left foot), and also flat feet (both feet). Although it causes mild-moderate pain, I am considering getting it removed, and am not sure where exactly to start. I have had a foot surgery before for a torn arch (Topaz Surgery), but have not spoken to that surgeon in regards to this condition. It seems every foot doctor does these as they are so common, but I want one that specializes. A friend of the family suggested their doctor who did procedures on both of their daughters about the same age as me. I'm not sure as to the name of the procedure, but they said the doctor made a small incision, broke the bones, and put in a pin. They were put in a surgical shoe (strap on cloth ones), no crutches, and were able to drive within 2 days. They went back a few months later and had the pins removed. This struck me as odd, as it seems like most people here are in moderate-severe pain after surgery, usually in a boot or cast, and are on crutches with limited mobility.

I've tried doing research online but cant really find message boards or recommended surgeons specifically for bunions. I know theres hundreds of different procedures, and just want to make sure I find the right doctor to perform the right surgery. How did everyone here find their doctor? What procedure and how did you know it was the right procedure for you? What was your recovery like? Does having a flat foot affect the surgery, and will the doctor likely suggest flat foot reconstruction? I'm not sure where to even start my research. I know about bunions and all that stuff, but don't know what else I should know to prepare for a surgeon's consult.

Any and all help would be much appreciated. I apologise for the length.

 
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Old 02-26-2009, 06:24 PM   #2
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Re: Bunion... Where to start

Simple bunionectomies are a routine outpatient procedure and are very common and allow people to return to their lives in a short period of time.
Many people on these boards have had complex or more involved procedures and have time to talk about the things they are experiencing or ask questions because there may be a lot of down time with foot surgery. The people that have had good outcomes and short recoveries are out enjoying their new feet. One of the first steps for you might be to visit your primary physician, who will take a look at your feet and may recommend a good podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon for you to see if necessary. The podiatrist would probably take x-rays first and recommend conservative measures such as orthotics before they do any surgery. Don't scare yourself by reading all the posts, they probably don't have anything to do with what you have. Good luck.

 
Old 02-26-2009, 09:08 PM   #3
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Re: Bunion... Where to start

I do currently have custom orthotics. My flat feet have always been the primary concern when seeing doctors, but all have mentioned the bunion(s) and said we'd have to tackle that at some point.

Sounds like a simple bunionectomy is likely what these girls had. Do you know if flat feet would have an affect on the type of surgery, or are the conditions considered unrelated?

 
Old 02-26-2009, 09:48 PM   #4
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Re: Bunion... Where to start

If one has flat feet, generally there is not much arch there. The foot was made to have an arch. The arch helps foot mechanics, you can look up "the Windlass mechanism", where the foot needs to have 3 structural points in
correct proportion to each other in order to function properly. I asked my podiatrist to show me just how out of porportion my foot was. With flat feet, the big toe does not take all the weight it should because there is no arch, and the other toes have to take the stress of the weight. The big toe tends to turn in, and bunions form as a result. You can have mild, moderate, or severe bunions. My bunions were severe, my feet were flat, and the first ray of my foot needed to be elevated to form an arch, so I was a candidate for a more involved bunionectomy called the lapidus surgery, which involved a cast for 6 weeks and non-weightbearing for the same amount of time. Mild or moderate bunions tend to involve simple surgeries; severe bunions involve more complex surgeries. Surgery is not without risk, but most people do ok with simple surgeries.

 
Old 02-27-2009, 09:07 AM   #5
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Re: Bunion... Where to start

Quote:
Originally Posted by monster bunion View Post
Mild or moderate bunions tend to involve simple surgeries; severe bunions involve more complex surgeries. Surgery is not without risk, but most people do ok with simple surgeries.
exactly.. a doctor will best know which procedure to use for you based on the type of bunion you have (mild/moderate/bad). Mine were mild/moderate so I didn't have the same procedure as many others on the board. My doctor used screws versus a pin. I wasn't "up and around" in 2 days, that's for sure, but I could walk with a surgical shoe right away (it was just really uncomfortable for the first 1-2 weeks). More advanced procedures for severe bunions require crutches/no weight bearing. As for driving, that just comes down to which foot you have it done on, you won't be driving for a bit if you have your right foot operated on.
My general physician guided me to my podiatrist, and I like her. Some go to orthopaedic surgeons for their surgery so you would need to ask around and look at who you have available in your area.

 
Old 02-27-2009, 09:35 AM   #6
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Re: Bunion... Where to start

Thank you for the replies.

 
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