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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board

Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index

I also would like to add my experience with foot surgery for those of you considering this procedure.After many years of pain from my bunions decided to get them fixed. A podiatrist friend said my bunions were moderate to severe and planned was cutting three of the bones in my foot with screws and a wire to realign, cutting the tendons between the first and second toe and shaving off the bunion. My podiatrist friend had 25 years’ experience and as I am a nurse I knew the surgery was not out of the ordinary but this still sounded horrible and after reading the forums decided to get a second opinion.
I did research online and found a podiatrist near me in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois who also had 20 plus years of experience, board certified, written for medical textbooks and lectured internationally. His opinion was that good results could be accomplished with minimally invasive surgery, no screws and no wires. There would be only one break in the toe which would correct the angle, but which would not need a screw or stitches. The break would be held in place with bandages. He also would remove the bunion and cut the tendons to keep proper alignment of the toe. All this could be done with minimally invasive surgery which would mean three tiny incisions which would not even leave a scar nor require stitches. This would result in far less pain and faster recovery. Frankly, I did not trust him because the surgery was radically different, and questioned him extensively regarding the effectiveness of this procedure.
Deciding I had nothing to lose I had my first foot done in October 2012. I am sitting here now five days post op with my second foot surgery. I had minimal need for pain medication after the first surgery. The first few days required rest, ice and elevation but by day five my foot felt so good I went on a power shopping trip and was on my feet all day. This was a mistake because it caused my foot to swell and I spent the next three days again with ice and elevation. The swelling though gradually went away. I had to wear the surgical shoe for five weeks after which I was released to a tennis shoe. By week eight I was back into most of the shoes I had worn prior to surgery. My foot continues to improve and at three months rarely think of it.
For some reason this second surgery has proved to be even easier though there has been more swelling and bruising. I have not needed any pain medication at all this time but instead am taking anti-inflammatories. I am more active as well with activities of daily living though no power shopping trips at this point. Same post op precautions are necessary with ice and elevation of the foot for the first several days. The same lifetime precautions are necessary in that following the repair of any bunion orthotics must be worn and heels avoided.
Dr. Hettinger explained that doing minimally invasive surgery does take more time and effort to learn and while there was a select group of podiatrists and orthopedists doing this type of surgery they were not easy to find. I caution all of you, if you are considering bunion surgery please find a podiatrist who specializes in minimally invasive surgery to see if this is appropriate for you as all bunion surgeries are not created equal
. Minimally invasive surgery is not new; it has been around for over 20 years.

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