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Painful Bunyuns

Posted by Deirdre on 2/04/03 at 10:57 (107924)

I'm only 26 and have had bunyuns since I can remember. Now all of the sudden my feet are so painful. I haven't bought any new shoes or working any harder than usual. My foot doctor said they are moderate to severe bunyuns. My father got the simplest surgery where some bone was taken off the sides. My doctor said not to have that done because they will come back. However my life won't permit me to have the major corrective surgery at this time. At this point in my life I can not afford and wouldn't have the help I would need since I would be down for a couple of months. So wouldn't it be ok to get the simple sugery for now to take the pain away and then when life permits get the full corrective surgery I need? I have to get something done for right now. Thanx, Deirdre

Re: Painful Bunyuns

Mar on 2/04/03 at 13:03 (107937)

Deirdre -

I'm not a doctor but I've had both types of bunion surgery - the shaving on the little toe side and the regular on the big toe side. My first question is have you tried any conservative measures to relieve the pain- orthotics, icing, different shoes? This topic is a very sensitive one for me, as I had bunion surgery 2 years ago and it triggered all kinds of horrible problems in my feet where I can hardly walk at all now. Conservative treatments were never explained to me and I regret it deeply. Just investigate and get a few opinions before deciding on any surgery. Also, both areas of surgery are still painful and stiff. Mar

Re: Painful Bunions

Dr. David S. Wander on 2/05/03 at 12:50 (108094)

Although there are many conservative treatments for bunions, surgical intervention is the only method of 'getting rid' of the bunion. Conservative methods often include; change of shoes, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, orthoses (though no studies confirm orthoses will help), pads, cushions, and injections. All of these are aimed at treating the symptoms, but if there is a large prominence/deformity, surgery is the best eventual choice. Unfortunately, it appears that Mar has some complications following her surgery. I can assure you that although complications can and do occur, that is the exception and not the rule. If my patients did not achieve relief of symptoms with the surgery, I would stop doing surgery! The majority of patients do very well with the surgery and are very happy with the results. Unfortunately, you rarely hear about the patients that don't have complications, you usually hear about the patients that aren't happy.

Re: Painful Bunions

Mar on 2/05/03 at 17:15 (108109)

'Some complications' is putting it mildly! Yes, I agree that most of the people I know had successful bunion surgery, but the lesson I have learned is that surgery has its place -- if the pain/deformity is unbearable, then it is worth the risk. Mine was not unbearable and it should not have been the only recommendation to me. Also my pod at the time did NO follow up treatment, did not recommend any stretching or exercises, dismissed my pain as minor discomfort. Prior to surgery I had some difficulty finding comfortable shoes, now I can't wear shoes at all, and I can hardly walk. My life has gone from extremely active to handicapped. I know it sounds like I am bitter and angry, well that;s because I am! My main mission now (other than trying to resolve some of this pain) is to try to prevent a similar situation for someone else. Mar

Re: Painful Bunions

Dr. Z on 2/05/03 at 18:57 (108128)

You are right. If you have discomfort only before the bunion then the chances of being happy are more difficult to achieve. In fact you can have the perfect surgery done and if you only had mild discomfort you aren't going to achieve your goal. I tell my patients bunion surgery will help you alot if you have alot of pain and can't wear alot of your shoes. Mar I wish we could turn back the clock but there is no way as you already know.
Did you get your EMG/Nerve conduction testing done. I remember talking to your treating doctor and believe that was what the plan was. Let me know the results,

Re: Painful Bunions

Julie on 2/06/03 at 03:19 (108162)

Mar, I am so sorry your experience has been so awful. Mine - which I'll offer here to support you in your mission to prevent others going in for a possibly unnecessary surgery - was, luckily, the opposite.

My podiatrist (who is otherwise clued-up) thought I ought to have surgery on my hallux limitus, which he described as stage 3. This bunion and I had co-existed peacefully for 40 years or thereabouts, and although it doesn't look very nice it has rarely been painful, and as I was 65 at the time I thought it would probably see me out.

So I was doubtful of the wisdom of having surgery for something that wasn't giving me any problems, and I described my situation on this board, asking for advice, and three doctors said, with one voice, 'If it ain't broke don't fix it'.

And that is surely the right attitude towards surgery that is not absolutely necessary - to save life or to relieve extreme, unbearable pain.

I wish you success in finding relief for your pain.

Re: Painful Bunions

Mar on 2/06/03 at 05:31 (108167)

Julie --

'If it ain't broke don't fix it'. --- That's the best advice anyone could give! Wish someone had given it to me BEFORE!! 'We grow too fast oldt, and too late schmardt!' Thanks for your thoughts. I'm going to beat this thing somehow - I am determined! Mar

Re: Painful Bunyuns

Mar on 2/04/03 at 13:03 (107937)

Deirdre -

I'm not a doctor but I've had both types of bunion surgery - the shaving on the little toe side and the regular on the big toe side. My first question is have you tried any conservative measures to relieve the pain- orthotics, icing, different shoes? This topic is a very sensitive one for me, as I had bunion surgery 2 years ago and it triggered all kinds of horrible problems in my feet where I can hardly walk at all now. Conservative treatments were never explained to me and I regret it deeply. Just investigate and get a few opinions before deciding on any surgery. Also, both areas of surgery are still painful and stiff. Mar

Re: Painful Bunions

Dr. David S. Wander on 2/05/03 at 12:50 (108094)

Although there are many conservative treatments for bunions, surgical intervention is the only method of 'getting rid' of the bunion. Conservative methods often include; change of shoes, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medication, orthoses (though no studies confirm orthoses will help), pads, cushions, and injections. All of these are aimed at treating the symptoms, but if there is a large prominence/deformity, surgery is the best eventual choice. Unfortunately, it appears that Mar has some complications following her surgery. I can assure you that although complications can and do occur, that is the exception and not the rule. If my patients did not achieve relief of symptoms with the surgery, I would stop doing surgery! The majority of patients do very well with the surgery and are very happy with the results. Unfortunately, you rarely hear about the patients that don't have complications, you usually hear about the patients that aren't happy.

Re: Painful Bunions

Mar on 2/05/03 at 17:15 (108109)

'Some complications' is putting it mildly! Yes, I agree that most of the people I know had successful bunion surgery, but the lesson I have learned is that surgery has its place -- if the pain/deformity is unbearable, then it is worth the risk. Mine was not unbearable and it should not have been the only recommendation to me. Also my pod at the time did NO follow up treatment, did not recommend any stretching or exercises, dismissed my pain as minor discomfort. Prior to surgery I had some difficulty finding comfortable shoes, now I can't wear shoes at all, and I can hardly walk. My life has gone from extremely active to handicapped. I know it sounds like I am bitter and angry, well that;s because I am! My main mission now (other than trying to resolve some of this pain) is to try to prevent a similar situation for someone else. Mar

Re: Painful Bunions

Dr. Z on 2/05/03 at 18:57 (108128)

You are right. If you have discomfort only before the bunion then the chances of being happy are more difficult to achieve. In fact you can have the perfect surgery done and if you only had mild discomfort you aren't going to achieve your goal. I tell my patients bunion surgery will help you alot if you have alot of pain and can't wear alot of your shoes. Mar I wish we could turn back the clock but there is no way as you already know.
Did you get your EMG/Nerve conduction testing done. I remember talking to your treating doctor and believe that was what the plan was. Let me know the results,

Re: Painful Bunions

Julie on 2/06/03 at 03:19 (108162)

Mar, I am so sorry your experience has been so awful. Mine - which I'll offer here to support you in your mission to prevent others going in for a possibly unnecessary surgery - was, luckily, the opposite.

My podiatrist (who is otherwise clued-up) thought I ought to have surgery on my hallux limitus, which he described as stage 3. This bunion and I had co-existed peacefully for 40 years or thereabouts, and although it doesn't look very nice it has rarely been painful, and as I was 65 at the time I thought it would probably see me out.

So I was doubtful of the wisdom of having surgery for something that wasn't giving me any problems, and I described my situation on this board, asking for advice, and three doctors said, with one voice, 'If it ain't broke don't fix it'.

And that is surely the right attitude towards surgery that is not absolutely necessary - to save life or to relieve extreme, unbearable pain.

I wish you success in finding relief for your pain.

Re: Painful Bunions

Mar on 2/06/03 at 05:31 (108167)

Julie --

'If it ain't broke don't fix it'. --- That's the best advice anyone could give! Wish someone had given it to me BEFORE!! 'We grow too fast oldt, and too late schmardt!' Thanks for your thoughts. I'm going to beat this thing somehow - I am determined! Mar