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I am looking for advice relating to bunion surgery. I have bunions on both feet that have been deemed somewhere between moderate and large/severe. In the left foot I have significant pain under the foot (between 1st and 2nd toes, that I really need to get fixed. The right foot - although the more pronounced bunion - is not giving me much pain.
I was an active tennis player (4-5 times a week) prior to the pain developing in the left foot, so my goal is to get back playing tennis pain free and in the shortest possible timeframe.
Initially I did some research on the Internet and from what I found, 3 months seems to be the minimum recovery time from Bunion Surgery – which I would be happy with.
Anyway, I went and saw a Podiatric Surgeon 2 months ago and he suggested my bunions are not that bad and it would be "stock standard" bunion surgery and I would be back playing tennis in maybe 6 weeks or just over. He suggested it would be fine to do both feet at the same time and I would be in a wheel chair for the first 2 weeks - which I would happily accept.
I asked him why he believes the recovery time to be quicker than what I’d read about and he said the approach that Podiatric surgeons take to the surrounding tissue is more delicate/gentle (than Orthopedics) and therefore less recovery time is needed. I haven’t found any literature to back this up, but he seemed very confident and a very kind, gentle and caring man. I liked him very much and felt comfortable putting my feet in his hands – literally and figuratively :-)
He also suggested I should get a 2nd opinion and he would answer any further questions I have.
Since then, I have seen 2 Orthopedic surgeons and have been told the rehab would be more like 6-9 months and it would be 1 foot at a time. This was quite devastating news – to say the least :-(. When I told them that I had also seen a Podiatric Surgeon it was practically implied that they are witch-doctors and shouldn’t be listened to. I say that in jest, but they were less than supportive of Podiatric Surgeons in any case.
Now, based on articles I have read on the Internet, there is this obvious war (for want of a better word) between Podiatric Surgeons and Orthopedic Surgeons that can add some confusion to it all as well – which is a shame as I understand there are very talented surgeons in both fields.
So, should I be putting my faith in someone that I guess is telling me what I want to hear, i.e. the shorter healing time? Or go with the tried and true Orthopedic Surgeons?
Is there anything to suggest Podiatric Surgeons are good/bad at what they do in comparison to Orthopedic Surgeons?
Is 6-8 weeks a realistic time frame to be back to normal and/or playing tennis?
I am looking for advice from people who have had bunion surgery but also If there are any doctors that can offer impartial advice, i.e. not involved in the Orthopedic vs Podiatric surgeons war – that would be greatly appreciated.
This is a huge decision to make and I’d like to get it right first time.
Thanks in advance :-)
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