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  • PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild bunion ?

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    Old 08-21-2006, 09:25 PM   #1
    BchGrl
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    PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild bunion ?

    I was having a little pain in my big toe (mostly when I WASN'T standing- weird) and the joint looked to be a tiny bit bigger than it always was. I went to a podiatrist today so that it wouldn't turn into an ugly bunion. He said it was a full blown bunion, wanted to give me a cortisone shot and suggested surgery. I told him I didn't want cortizone yet because the pain isn't sever and isn't very often.

    I asked him how to slow the progression (I suggeted orthotics). He said unless you wear them 24 hours a day, they won't help. IS THAT TRUE? I can't imagine they won't help a little even if I wear them 5 days a week.

    Also, should I get surgery now, or should I wait until they get ugly or painful?
    I read here that most people end up having to get multiple surgeries so I don't want to start too soon. He also said that since it took me 34 years to get this bunion, after the surgery, it would probably take another 34 years to get another bunion? From what I've been reading here, he is not very accurate.

    I also asked if jumping rope or doing gymnastics will make the bunions worse or progress faster, he said NO. He also said NO to those activities making a bunion come back after surgery. - ANY INSIGHT ? -

     
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    Old 08-21-2006, 09:38 PM   #2
    kalalu
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    Re: PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild bunion ?

    i'm not sure that i would agree with him. i wouldn't say that orthotics would not work, but when i had them they didn't seem to help. my first bunionectomy was for a severe bunion and i just recently had another one for a bunion that is mild to severe. i would get a second opinion. can never be too safe.

     
    Old 08-22-2006, 09:22 AM   #3
    wakkochic17
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    Re: PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild bunion ?

    orthotics can help slow progession, but they don't prevent them, but I still wear them every day. I wouldn't go on what your bunions look like though, my mom had bad pain with hers, but yet if you looked at them you hardly noticed she had them! What I WOULD go by is how much pain you are in. If they don't bother you that much, surgery seems extreme. I find you have to find that tipping point where it hurts enough, but don't wait until it hurts SO much that you have trouble walking. I would highly suggest going to a second doctor and getting another opinion. There is no need to rush and get surgery if you don't have to. I'm over a year out of surgery and still have problems with my foot so wait if you can!

     
    Old 08-22-2006, 03:48 PM   #4
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    Re: PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild bunion ?

    Thanks. What kind of problems do you still have with your foot a year post surgery? Was it worth it? As in, did it make that big of a difference to you? Does your foot look normal after surgery?

     
    Old 08-22-2006, 07:01 PM   #5
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    Re: PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild bunion ?

    Did your podiatrist take an x-ray and did he review it with you? I am surprised that he wanted to rush you into surgery. Orthotics are the accepted first step, especially if as you say, your bunion isn't awfully big.

    Wearing orthotics in combination with proper footwear can keep your bunion from getting bigger. And if it doesn't hurt too much, that might be all you need.

    I think I would ask around for the name of a doctor who can give you a second opinion.

    It is true you don't want to let it get too out of hand, because my surgeon told me that once bunions get beyond a certain point, they require a more complicated surgery with much longer recovery. (I avoided that kind of surgery, just barely) It sounds like you are years, if not decades away from reaching that point.

     
    Old 08-22-2006, 08:39 PM   #6
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    Re: PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild bunion ?

    Thanks, he did take x-ray and showed it to me briefly. He suggested surgery before he even did them though. He said the orthotics will not prevent NOR slow down the progression of the bunion. How do you know when to get the surgery, as you did, to avoid the more complicated surgery? He said they would have to make 2 cuts in the bone instead of 1? And longer recovery time but how did you know? By the pain? Looks? x-ray?

     
    Old 08-22-2006, 09:42 PM   #7
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    Re: PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild bunion ?

    from my experience, one year out, it was worth it. i was a dancer for 9 years and wore very tightly fitting shoes and i also was a runner on my school track team, so my feet got a lot of abuse. a year later i was able to got back to my rigorous dancing and competition schedule.

     
    Old 08-26-2006, 11:01 AM   #8
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    Re: PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild bunion ?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BchGrl
    Thanks, he did take x-ray and showed it to me briefly. He suggested surgery before he even did them though. He said the orthotics will not prevent NOR slow down the progression of the bunion. How do you know when to get the surgery, as you did, to avoid the more complicated surgery? He said they would have to make 2 cuts in the bone instead of 1? And longer recovery time but how did you know? By the pain? Looks? x-ray?
    Shoes with a wide toe box. A Hoke ball and ring to form a pocket in your shoes so they arent as painful. Most physicians would never recommend surgery without trying either of these first. Orthotics are often times a waste of money. I hate to see people spend hundreds of dollars for nothing. You have to decide when you get surgery and it is a quality of life issue nothing else. When it keeps you from doing the things that you like to do then I would think about it. The recovery time for the vast majority of bunion surgeries is 6 weeks of nonweightbearing regardless of the technique.

     
    Old 08-26-2006, 12:49 PM   #9
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    Re: PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild bunion ?

    Is a hoke ball and ring a shoe stretcher? could you use any stretcher, like the ones men use in their dress shoes? I usually wear oopen toed shoes anyway. flip flops alot acutally.

     
    Old 08-26-2006, 05:39 PM   #10
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    Re: PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild buni

    As my bunions grew larger, my big toes turned in more and more-- Eventually they went so far over that they went under the next toes, making them also become deformed. If I had had bunion surgery earlier, I'd not only saved myself years of pain (not to mention putting up with ugly and hard-to-fit feet), but I'd only have had to have bunionectomies instead of those and hammertoe surgeries. Using orthodics and stretching my shoes helped, but I still had a high level of discomfort in almost all shoes except sneakers. (Even when I had them professionally stretched in the bunion area by a shoemaker, I could only wear shoes made of canvas or super soft (and expensive) leather. It was especially difficult to find and fit footwear like winter boots, ice-skates, and even dress shoes.) I think that what finally made me decide it was time to have the surgery was when I realized it was inevitable and postponing it was just allowing my feet to become more and more deformed (and thus difficult to fullly correct) and adding to the number of years I would suffer.

     
    Old 08-27-2006, 12:32 PM   #11
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    Re: PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild bunion ?

    KATH,

    what is hammertoe exactly? is it caused first by having a bunion? And what is the difference between bunionectomy surgery and surgery for hammer toe?

     
    Old 08-27-2006, 02:12 PM   #12
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    Talking Re: PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild bunion ?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BchGrl
    Is a hoke ball and ring a shoe stretcher? could you use any stretcher, like the ones men use in their dress shoes? I usually wear oopen toed shoes anyway. flip flops alot acutally.
    It is a separate stretcher specifically for a certain area that you select on your shoe. I would suggest a toe spacer but it won't work very well with flip flops

     
    Old 08-27-2006, 02:22 PM   #13
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    Re: PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild buni

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BchGrl
    KATH,
    what is hammertoe exactly? is it caused first by having a bunion? And what is the difference between bunionectomy surgery and surgery for hammer toe?
    A hammer toe is a deformity of the second, third or fourth toes-- the toe is curled because of a bend in the middle joint. (It’s called that because it can sort of resemble the shape of a hammer.) I had “arthoplasty” done for my hammertoes-- I actually did not know what that was, so I looked it up and found out that it is a "phalangeal head" resection-- the removal of part of one of the toe bones (the phalangeal head), so that the toe can lie flat. In the procedure, affected tendons were also cut and reattached. The article mentioned that wire or tape would be used to hold the straightened toe in place until it has healed, but I don’t know how mine were done. For the bunionectomies, I had the procedure called “osteotomy” -- my big toes were straightened by breaking the bones and moving the toes into a new position.. A cut was made over the top of the big ugly joints and the bony lumps on the side of them removed. (Bascially, sawed off!) Bones in my feet were cut and then my big toes moved into better positions. I had permanent screws put in to hold the bones in place. (They could be removed down the road if needed.) Hope this information is helpful! Kathy

     
    Old 08-28-2006, 09:49 AM   #14
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    Re: PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild bunion ?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by buckeyebill
    Shoes with a wide toe box. A Hoke ball and ring to form a pocket in your shoes so they arent as painful. Most physicians would never recommend surgery without trying either of these first. Orthotics are often times a waste of money. I hate to see people spend hundreds of dollars for nothing. You have to decide when you get surgery and it is a quality of life issue nothing else. When it keeps you from doing the things that you like to do then I would think about it. The recovery time for the vast majority of bunion surgeries is 6 weeks of nonweightbearing regardless of the technique.
    I have to disagree with the last line. I had surgery for a severe bunion three months ago and was on my feet (heel walking) within a few days. I know others here have experienced the same thing.

    I'd definitely consult with another doctor. If you saw a podiatrist, maybe try an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in foot/ankle problems. Or even another podiatrist. If he thinks you should have surgery, make sure he clearly explains the procedure, the recovery, etc. I don't think a doctor should ever push you into surgery. Mine clearly explained that I'd probably need it eventually, but let me make the decision on when myself.

     
    Old 09-01-2006, 06:57 AM   #15
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    Re: PODIATRISTS SAID ORTHOTICS WON'T HELP BUNIONS & suggested surgery for a mild bunion ?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by racecarsnotdogs
    I have to disagree with the last line. I had surgery for a severe bunion three months ago and was on my feet (heel walking) within a few days. I know others here have experienced the same thing.

    I'd definitely consult with another doctor. If you saw a podiatrist, maybe try an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in foot/ankle problems. Or even another podiatrist. If he thinks you should have surgery, make sure he clearly explains the procedure, the recovery, etc. I don't think a doctor should ever push you into surgery. Mine clearly explained that I'd probably need it eventually, but let me make the decision on when myself.
    I completely agree with you. I am 10 days post-op double bunionectomy (surgery was Aug 22nd) and was back to work a week later (Aug 29th). I was walking by Aug 26th. But I have hard casts that they padded more under the big toe joint so I don't have any choice but to walk on my heels and outsides of my feet. I also have post-op shoes over my casts since the casts aren't walking casts. I'm still on vicodin and vistaril but down to four pills per day of each.

    I went to an orthopaedic surgeon who specializes in foot/ankle reconstruction. He's great. I would definitely get a second opinion as well; no doctor with scruples would ever push you to get a surgery like that if you're not in pain. Bunionectomies should never be considered just for cosmetic reasons (not saying you are! ).

    ETA: For clarification, I had Akin and Chevron Osteotomies on both feet and they used disolvable screws to hold the bones together while they heal. Not entirely sure they did, but if they got in there and found they needed to they were going to shave off/remove any lumps from the toe joints. My bunions were pretty much from the first metatarsal and proximal phlange being angled like this > (though not that extreme) on the left foot and this < (again, not that extreme) on the right foot, and not so much my toe joints being bumpy.

    Last edited by Sotadragon; 09-01-2006 at 07:08 AM.

     
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