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I really need some advice...PLEASE HELP!

Posted by LauraR on 1/16/04 at 21:56 (142241)

I am in a delimna. I am 27 years old. my doctor says that i have bunions on both feet that will eventually require surgery to correct. one foot is worse than the other. My doctor says that the surgery is not needed right away and can possibly wait several years before anything HAS to be done. He will do the surgery now if I want. My delimma is that my husband DOES NOT want me to have the surgery right now because he feels that is is not a good time and that I don't need it now.
What i keep telling him is that 1) my insurance pays the surgery at 100%...and 2) that there is not going to be a good time to have it done. no matter when it is, it isn't going to be convenient. i am not in pain with my feet....i am just ready to get them taken care of....the inevitable. what should i do?

Also, what is the earliest that i could return back to work? i work full-time and will return with my foot elevated...but how soon could i realistically return?

How bad is the pain after surgery? i have been told that this is the worst surgery that someone could have because of the pain......is this true?

PLEASE HELP ME...i am in such a delimna. All of the concerns above have compounded together and will greatly impact my decision.
Can You Help???????????????
please email me at: (email removed)


Re: I really need some advice...PLEASE HELP!

Julie on 1/17/04 at 02:48 (142254)

Laura, I'll tell you about my experience because I think it will be relevant. I have had bunions on both feet since I was about your age. I am now nearly 69. The podiatrist I saw about my plantar fasciitis 3 1/2 years ago told me I needed surgery to correct them. They're a bit unsightly and I need to allow for them in my shoe-buying, but They have never given me pain. I didn't like the idea of surgery, so I asked the doctors on this website what they thought. They replied: 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it.' In other words - don't have surgery except to relieve severe pain.

Surgery is not inevitable. Your bunions may never give you pain, and if they don't they will not require surgery. If you're careful with your feet and don't try to cram them into narrow-toed shoes they may carry you through life without the need to do anything about your bunions. But if they do start hurting, that will be the time to consider surgery, not before. Your husband is absolutely right, so listen to him. Don't let considerations about convenience insurance, etc. influence you. As the doctors said to me - if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Re: I really need some advice...PLEASE HELP!

wendyn on 1/17/04 at 12:11 (142277)

Laura, I would think long and hard about operating on feet that don't have pain. If your doctor says you don't need the surgery now, and you don't have any pain - you may want to wait.

See what you can do to minimize aggravating the bunions (wide toed low heel shoes and maybe orthotics)

I have had the surgery, and I would happily have my 2 c-sections over again before the 1 bunion sugery.

My sister-in-law had the surgery, and her feet hurt far more now that they did before (she did not have pain before the surgery).

I had great results, but it I had horrible pain to start with.

Take your time, and get a second opinion.

Re: I really need some advice...PLEASE HELP!

Charles G. on 1/18/04 at 15:16 (142317)

Hi Laura ,
I had bunion surgery on one foot on Nov. 21, 2003 . The doctor put three screws in my foot to stabilize the bones and return them to the right position . It is now almost 8 weeks later . The first week after the surgery I was not able to work as you cannot put your foot down at all for the first week or two . The pain was not that bad the first couple of weeks as the doctor prescribed strong pain killers . The pain was worse after the third week but can be controlled with extra advil . The cast was on my foot for one month . After the first month I could only wear a surgical shoe as the foot stays quite swollen for at least two months . Now I am finally wearing a gym shoe for a few hours a day . The foot still hurts where the surgical scar is and the big toe area . I can walk fairly well at this point . My doctor told me about 8 years ago I would need bunion surgery . I told him I was not in any rush and did not want it until absolutely necessary . He made plastic orthotics for my feet which delayed the surgery until now . Also be aware that if the doctor just shaves the bunions ( which they can do ) instead of the full surgery like I had the bunions can come back in 10 years or so . It is your decision but unless you cannot walk without pain I do not see what the rush is . For your information I am 53 and glad I delayed the surgery . Maybe just try orthotics until really necessary . You should always be able to get health insurance . Good luck with your decision .

Re: I really need some advice...PLEASE HELP!

jenny on 1/26/04 at 23:50 (142918)

I am 31 and have just reached my one year mark after having bunion surgery on both feet. I chose to go ahead with the surgery beacuse I knew it was not going to get any better and I started having some pain. My right foot was worse. The surgery was not painful at all (I AM A VERY BIG WIMP!!!). I walked out of the sugery but that was because I was numb! It hurt VERRRRRRRRRY bad to not have them elevated. I mean really well elevated! That pain lasted about one week. When my feet were elevated I had no pain (AMAZING). I took extra strength tylenol every four hours immediatley following surgery to stay on top of the pain control. I do need to tell you that I did both feet at one time because I did not want to deal with surgery twice. My husband was a lifesaver and he took care of me throughout everthing! You need your husband to understand that he is really going to be needed. I could not go to the bathroom by myself or get anything for myself for the first week. He put a cooler of food beside me for the day. I spent two weeks in bed with my feet elevated and went back to work after two weeks. I was able to elevate and pretty much stay off my feet in my job. The most painful part of surgery was the rehab! Nobody tells you about that part. I developed scar tissue very quickly and had to go to a physical therapist and do daily stretching to regain flexibility in the joint where the surgery took place (OOOUUUCHHHH!) I still have not gained to flexibility or the ability to stand on my toes but have no problem with that. I have no pain and am able to hike, snowboard, run, ride horses whatever! I would do the surgery again. I went to Dr. Zimmer in VA. My advice to you is go to many orthepedic surgeons before getting your surgery. I did not need pins and many surgeons put them in for no reason. There also is a new less evasive laser surgery that only requires a few small incisions rather than one long one. Do your homework and go for it. Expect minimal pain unless you do not elevate. Swelling for about one year but not bad and do your stretches after the surgery! I was scared but am so glad I went through it despite my extreme fear!