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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board

Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index

Even before I saw my podiatrist, I thought I may have to go through surgery. My bunions were pretty visible, so surgery seemed like the best/fastest way to fix them. However, they only started to hurt last year, and that's when I finally went to see a podiatrist. He recommended surgery now to not only fix the problem now, but to also prevent further complications in the future. He said that more conservative treatments (orthotics, pain killers, etc.) would only slow down the progress of the bunions, but would not cure them. He said the longer I waited for surgery, the worse my bunions would get, and so the more complicated the surgery will be. I believed him, so I had the surgery (left foot for now, I still need to get the right foot done at some point).

It was local anesthesia, but they also sedated me so that I'd be asleep during the surgery. I'm wearing orthotics now and I'll have to wear them for the rest of my life. This will hopefully prevent the bunions from coming back.

I don't think that when there's pain in the bunion it always means that there's swelling and/or inflammation. When I had pain, for instance, the bunion would just hurt and would hurt even more when I tapped on it. I'm guessing it was because I was tapping on the actual joint. As far as meds go, I'd rather have surgery than take meds for the rest of my life--there's always side effects to those things--I just don't trust them.

I have a pretty high tolerance for pain, but I guess I opted for surgery on foot when the deformity was very noticable and I was having difficulty finding shoes that fit and did not hurt. At some point I need to do the other foot, probably in the next 12 to 18 months.

I had local anesthesia with sedation, a little nap after the restless night I had before. If you are having multiple procedures, they may want to put you out under a general. As far as meds go, there are no meds that will cure a bunion, they can only manage the pain or inflamation and there are side effects.

As far as shoes go with orthotics, high heels are out (shouldn't be wearing those with bunions anyway), but you probably can go up 1 1/2 inches easily. Orthotics do not work with sandels or open heel shoes and need to have a decent depth because the orthotic will slightly raise you foot. Shoes with a removable insole work much better.

Forget the opinion of the GP, use your GP as a referral tool to getting the best surgeon for your foot. If you are in pain, surgery is probably the only permanent solution. Choose the Dr. that you are the most comfortable with and has had the most experience for the types of procedures you are looking at.

Best wishes with your decision - Ellen

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