Be VERY careful about surgery....

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I had my bunionectomy on 12/23/2014. This was after a year of speaking to the podiatrist and not being sure about the surgical option. I had informed the podiatrist that, even that I was 46, I was still very active and played soccer up to four times a week, one of them being with my soccer team in a league. She had assured me that all pain will be gone afterwards, and I should feel like new. 

Two months after surgery, when I first started walking with more tempt, I started to experience pain near the ball of my foot. It was a pain that was always present when walking, ever more so later one when I tried running. I informed the podiatrist of this and was notified that expensive orthotics should fix it......but at $200 out of my own pocket, that wasn't an option. 

I saw the podiatrist several more times. She first sent me to a month of physical therapy. It helped the flexibility of my tie, but did little to nothing for the pain. On a later occassion she said it was a pinched nerve and wanted to give me a cortisone shot. I refused until having a chance to research it. Turns out all the symptoms I read about didn't match. The next visit was the same, but than she said that I just needed to give it time, and surely it will heal. "it is a major surgery, after all".

At six months I decided to get a second opinion. This podiatrist took one look at the xrays and say it was sesamoiditis (inflamation of the two bones beneath the ball of the foot). She also suggested a cortesone shot. By than I had read some nasty side effects, not to mention how the shot can disolve soft tissue. She suggested expensive orthotics as the only option, and also suggested some expensive shoes to alleviate the pain.

Today, in the tenth month, I had a third opinion from an orthopedic surgeon. She surmised it was the sesamoid bones, but said it was a complication of the surgery.....that the surgery had changed the way the foot had been accustomed to working. The sesamoid bones and the related tendon are in positions that cause pain. There was no solution, and the pain could only be alleviated. He never offered a cortesone shot, and repeated the value of orthotics and shoes with a very stiff sole. He also stated that I wouldn't be able to ever wear soccer soes again without pain, not to mention the daily pain I've always had when walking.

I expressed my appreciation for his candor, as I truly felt I was getting the full story....finally. He did say that this is a complication that can happen when bones are realigned, and that I should have been warned of this possibility. The fact is, I wasn't, it was the opposite. The surgeon's prognosis was all rainbows and happiness, stating I whould be better than before, without the slightest hint that it could all go wrong. 

Apologies for the lengthy story. But in the end I feel like I'm stuck with a bad foot that will now cause me pain for the remainder of my life. In additional to that, all my athletics will be heavily curtailed. Any kind of running was painful, and it seems that's the end of my soccer career....

So be careful when making your decision. It sounds like the majority of surgeries go well.........but ask a ton of questions, and get all the facts....

2 likes, 9 replies

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi diagoro,

    So sorry to hear about your bad experience. Especially with going through all the pain before and after surgery and then on top this.cry

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  • Posted

    I absolutely agree - it's a huge decision and you need to do lots of research to be sure of it. That said there are still many risks.

    I had a much happier experience but thank you for sharing yours as it will be useful to people still trying to decide. 

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  • Posted

    Well I didn't get the date of your operation but from what you've said it was nearly a year ago?  Have you seen any improvement in the level of pain as the months have gone by? Hopefully the pain will lessen but keep doing all the massage techniques and exercises suggested on the forum and maybe it will gradually improve.  Like someone on the forum said, the more you work on your feet the more benefit you'll get.  I hope things get better for you soon!

     

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I feel very sorry for you. In my opinion, bunion surgeries should be performed only by orthopaedic surgeons (MD) who specialize in foot and ankle surgery. And they must be very experienced: this is not a surgery to be performed by young surgeons. 

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  • Posted

    Sorry to here of your bad experience. You are in USA? I'm in UK. I have done a lot of research and found a orthopaedic surgeon that specialises in key hole surgery for bunions. I've got my 1st appointment on Monday.

     

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  • Posted

     Diagoro

     

    I am so sorry to hear about your bad experience.  I am in the uk and is was the complete opposite.  The surgeon informed me of the risks during consultation, once I booked my op they sent a fact sheet out and finally on the day of surgery they asked me to sign a consent form stating that sometimes there are risk and complication and that I consent to having the op at me own risk basically.

    I hope you find a way to improve the pain and resume playing soccer as it really sounds like it’s a passion of yours.

     

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  • Posted

    Thanks for the comments. Yes, I'm in the US and have Kaiser insurance. I was in the hands of my physicians, and had faith they would look after my best interests. And I'm also pretty sure I signed a document stating the above noted warnings and lots of other legalese.

    It's not just the inability to play soccer again. It's about having pain with every step for the remainder of my life. Sounds dramatic, but that's pretty much the facts now. I'm still a bit numb and extremely sad about yesterday's revelation, but also angry.

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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    So very sorry to hear about your experience.

    Surgery really should only be performed by experienced orthopaedic surgeon no disrespect to podiatristi  I too,as someone else here who replayed to you found a surgeon who performs minimally invasive surgery and thanks to Internet it's easy to see who is who. That said if I were you I wouldn't give up and I would seek out most experienced surgeon I can find and get another oppinion. I assume you had ultrasound to discont things like Morton neuroma and so on having had two separate surgeries I was tod 3 months to be far 6 to be good  and 12 to be back to norm post op. Best wishes and good luck

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  • Posted

    Hi Diagoro

    sorry to hear you've had a bad experience. I'm now 21 months post surgery and like you in pain every day. I went through an otrthopedic surgeon, was in perfect health before surgery, and took at face value what the surgeon said. He didn't suggest any risks at all and only did what they call ' soft tissue work'. I haven't given up. I've been researching surgeons and going to see an experienced foot surgeon to see what can be done. But first I,m planning to see a neurologist to get to the bottom of what's causing the pain. I'm being told since 3 months it's nerve pain but the pain I have now is very different to the initial nerve pain you get in the early days after surgery. I don't want more surgery but do want to be pain free so I may have to risk it.  Don't give up. There's got to be a solution out there somewhere. Keep looking.

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