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  • Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

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    Old 06-17-2008, 11:55 AM   #1
    yakatchew
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    Question Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

    I just found this board and in the nick of time. I have a dr. appt. in about an hour. In fact I'll be leaving the office in about 45 minutes. I have had bunions on both feet for years and am finally contemplating having them taken care of. Actually, I started feeling pain in one of my big toe knuckles on Sunday and it hasn't gone away. I made an appt yesterday and was able to get in today due to a cancellation. So......what kind of questions do I need to ask? I don't know the first thing about bunions other than I have them, they hurt and are getting worse. Can anybody help me on such short notice?

     
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    Old 06-17-2008, 11:58 AM   #2
    janewhite1
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    Re: Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

    Well, I'll make this brief. A bunion is a problem with the joint between your big toe and your foot. There are various surgical procedures to repair them, most people have fairly good outcomes, however, the recovery time is long, and there is a small risk of making things worse.

    Ask Dr what procedure he wants to do, expected recovery, risks, also how often he does it.

     
    Old 06-17-2008, 12:53 PM   #3
    debbie g
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    Re: Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

    post again after your appt. i would also go for another opinion.

     
    Old 06-17-2008, 05:33 PM   #4
    yakatchew
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    Re: Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

    Wow, the dr. was pretty awesome. (My primary said he was the best in town.) He told me that I have hypermobile 1st ray which is what has caused my moderate bunions. We googled that in his office so I have some websites to look at. I made a quick list of questions thanks to janewhite1 and her quick response. He answered all of my questions and said that a chevron bunionectomy is the procedure that he would perform. I'd be off of work for about a week. I'm fortunate enough to be in management and have a desk job.

    So any thoughts or comments or warnings or suggestions?

     
    Old 06-17-2008, 08:50 PM   #5
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    Re: Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

    I would give surgery a big second look if your pain is not affecting your quality of life. From this board you should be able to tell that there are many risks involved and the outcome is not 100%. If you don't need it, don't do it.

     
    Old 06-18-2008, 06:51 AM   #6
    yakatchew
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    Re: Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

    Well, I'm 43 yrs old and was told a little over 20 yrs ago that I should have them taken care of. My quality of life isn't being affected yet, but I do have a lot of pain. I have noticed that over the past 2 or 3 months the pain is getting progressively worse. So why not take care of it while I'm still young and healthy enough for a good recovery? I couldn't see putting it off for another 4 or 5 yrs. I don't think I could deal with the pain. Besides, I have an 18 yr old daughter who is in college (majoring in nursing) and living at home. She'll still be on her summer break if I get it done when I'm wanting to so she can help me out at the house and run her sister around without having to interfere with too much.

    Last edited by yakatchew; 06-18-2008 at 06:56 AM.

     
    Old 06-18-2008, 09:25 AM   #7
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    Re: Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

    I put off surgery as long as I could and lived with reduced quality of life. I was afraid of all the bad news stories here. But I did a lot of research, am following post-op and rehab instructions to the letter and so far, my outcome is better than expected. I now wish I would have done this 5 years ago.

     
    Old 06-18-2008, 01:56 PM   #8
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    Re: Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

    i think the surgery and timeing sound great. is the dr a pod or an ortho? i would do research on him, also. remember this is still surgery and you dont want to have any problems later on. when would the surgery be done?

     
    Old 06-18-2008, 02:10 PM   #9
    yakatchew
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    Re: Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

    He is a pod. When I asked he said that he does an avg of 3 or 4 of these surgeries per week and has been for the last 20 yrs. I'm looking at doing it in mid-August, which is a couple of weeks after my vacation and before my oldest goes back to college. Even tho she still lives at home, she works and will be at school full time so I wouldn't be able to rely on her much after she starts back. I could ask the hubby to help, but you know how "compassionate" some guys can be. His most sensitive comment when I'm sick is "well, hang in there". That's why I want my daughter to be my helper. Besides, it will be good training for her since she's studying to be an RN anyway. lol

     
    Old 06-18-2008, 08:57 PM   #10
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    Re: Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

    let me be the first to burst your bubble. this is not an easy surgery. I thought your daughter would be at home with you 24/7. That is what I had. It is very painful for the first days and you can barely make it to the bathroom on your own. If your house if two story you are in for a really big surprise. try and find extra help. this is your foot and your whole life depends on walking. I have been here and done this on multiple occasions

     
    Old 06-19-2008, 07:51 AM   #11
    yakatchew
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    Re: Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

    No, no.....If I have it done mid-August like I want, then my daughter WILL be with me 24/7. Only after school starts in late August will she be in class and working during the day.

     
    Old 06-19-2008, 09:00 AM   #12
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    Re: Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

    Um, I don't mean to stir up trouble but is your doc really doing 3-4 procedures a week? My doc said he does about 6-8 per year (I also had osteotomy.) My procedure took 3 hours of his time + all the pre and post appt time. And he saw me about 4-5 times over the past 7 years while he was trying more conservative treatment (taping, dancer pads, making and adjusting orthotics, etc). There is no way he could have time for all that conservative care and attention for each patient if he was doing 3-4 surgeries a week.

    Be sure your Pod is not a one -trick pony who only uses surgery. Have you tried more conservative treatment?

     
    Old 06-19-2008, 02:43 PM   #13
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    Re: Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

    are you having both feet done at the same time? if you are you must find out if you will be in a cast or surgical shoe or boot. you will need help at home. i still say get another opinion with an ortho.

     
    Old 06-19-2008, 08:05 PM   #14
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    Re: Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

    My doctor, a podiatrist, operates one day per week so he probably does 2-4 surgeries per week. I think the did 3 the day I had mine. I don't know how many of the type I had (Austin/Youngiwick osteotomy for Hallux Limitus) he does. I didn't try any conservative treatment but went right to surgery. I'm 57 and after looking at my x-ray and reading about HL, I decided I should go right for the surgery. I was sure things would only get worse. I'm an active person and didn't want to risk further damage. As it turned out, I had 40% cartliage loss on my MTJ. I guess I was lucky that I hadn't suffered a lot. My only complaint was a sharp pain when I hyperflexed my toes in lunges or standing on tip toe. I had a cyst on the same toe and thought it was the cause of my pain. That's actually what sent me to the doc in the first place. It turned out the cyst was from a foreign object under the skin (probably a splinter) and the pain was from the HL.

    My recovery was good and I consider the surgery a success. I don't have any pain when participating in the many phisical activities I do. I do still have pain when I push the ROM exercises that I am still doing; but I'm just 7 months post op. Many people on this board and others say it takes about 7 months to feel good and a year to be back to normal. I'd say I felt good at about 4 months and at 14 weeks I was doing everything I had been doing prior to surgery. That was walking, hiking, pilates, yoga, and other exercise classes.

     
    Old 06-19-2008, 08:32 PM   #15
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    Re: Help, first dr. appt in an hour!!

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dncergrl53 View Post
    Um, I don't mean to stir up trouble but is your doc really doing 3-4 procedures a week? My doc said he does about 6-8 per year (I also had osteotomy.)

    My pod, too, only does surgery one day a week but, like the above person said, she had 3 or 4 scheduled they day I had surgery. My surgery itself only took a tad more than an hour. I was was the second scheduled that day and was out by 10:45. I've never felt she was lacking in giving me attention or pre/post care at all. In fact, from reading this site for a year and a half (since a couple months before my first bunionectomy), I'd say I've seen my doctor for more routine post-op visits and sooner after the surgery than any other person I've seen post. My feet have healed fabulously, the scars look great and, despite doing 3-4 surgeries a week and regular office visits on the remaining 4 days, I am very happy with my experience and care.

    I don't think you're "stirring up trouble," dncrgrl, by mentioning it. You're just advising the research be done and that is important. However, and this is just MY mode of thinking, I'd be MORE concerned with someone who only does 6-8 a year over someone who does them on a weekly basis. I'd wonder the opposite, if he has ENOUGH experience doing the procedures and doing them well. But, I guess it's all in the perspective you take. Very good point, though, mentioning the conservative treatments.

    On a brighter note, I had surgery on March 19 and was fully released the other day to workout and wear whatever shoes I am comfortable in! YAY! I have my last follow up in 6 weeks (end of July) and then, God willing and if all goes well, I am DONE DONE DONE with bunionectomies! :-)

     
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