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Hi All - has anyone of 76 had experience of bunion surgery.  I have to make a decision whether to proceed or not but my surgeon seems to be advocating I stay with the pain I have as he considers me too old (ugh) to cope with the aftermath particulary as I have to have two done but not at the same time.

​He is suggesting that could take up to 18 months of my life to fully recovery.  Wonder if he is suggesting I may not have that length of time in order to recover!!   If anyone of my age has had the operation I would really appreciate their thoughts.

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  • Posted

    Hello Heather

    Are you in the UK?  I only ask this because I do not know how other countries health schemes work.

    So I am in UK and had my 70th birthday in July - had my surgery on 16th July which was for my very bad bunion and two hammer toes.  It was done on the NHS.

    I too did not know whether to go ahead.  I saw a surgeon in 2006 and he said I would need surgery.  I then got breast cancer and everything went on hold for 2 years intensive treatement and 5 years of six monthly checks.  This year I decided to pick up where I left off.

    I chose another surgeon and asked his opinion.  My big toe was right under my second toe causing the one hammer to to be 'clawed' very bad and 'locked'.  Well he explained everything to me and deep down I was still not brave enough because I was not in pain!  I could put up with trying to wear extra wide shoes with deep fronts.  

    One of my questions was can this deformity get any worse?  He said it can get 100% worse especially given family history of bunions.  He also went on to say that if I wait for the pain the mechanics of my foot are bad enough now and to wait longer makes his work obviously not as easy.

    So I came back home and then asked to see him again - with another list of questions!  I thought at that stage he would show me the door but he didn't he was very patient and also said that falls in the elderly can be due to these foot deformities such as mine.

    So my advice - can you get a second opinion to help you weigh up the pros and cons?  I went for this surgeon because he gave me the time of day in answering all my questions.  

    It is not easy and you will need someone to look after you.

    So I am off for my second appointoment tomorrow to have the pins removed from the hammer toes, I have my 'moon boot' on and am now weight bearing. Since weight bearing, two weeks after the op, it has been better to feel more like me.

    I don't know if this has helped.   Oh! Yes when my surgeon came and saw me after the op he said 'I think you will be pestering me to do the other foot soon.'

    Well - I am NOT pestering him yet and may well say you can book me in for next year (will be 72 then) when I have recovered from this.

    Mind you it is amazing to see a foot that doesn't look like yours on the end of your leg and now my other foot looks quite peculiar and that was the 'best' one.

    I did do an awful lot of reading on this site before hand and 'yes' in some ways it helped and in other ways it put me off.  Remember we are all individual and at our time of life we do not have to be answerable to an employer.

    I did feel a wobble, can't go ahead because of responsibilities, because of my 92 year old Mum would not get her once a week outing and to come to us for Sunday lunch.  This guilt is something I am having to cope with - she is incredible and takes care of herself - her balance is terrible and she has bunions!

    Good luck with your decision and I do hope someone else of our age comes forward.  


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    • Posted

      Hi, I had a second metatarsal op done last September, I am 68 now. All t can say is that I read that it could take up to 12 months to get back to feeling normal again.  I was not told this as such by my surgeon but he has monitored me for 12 months.  I can only say I think this is true in my case,  although it started to feel normal earlier on but I do now have days were I can say "hey it looks almost back to normal".  Some days if I have walked a lot or are feeling tired I have noticed it still aches and I get arch ache too.  I do exercises for this to relieve it.  I wear my trainers for lots of walking which I think is sensible but I can wear nicer shoes to go out in.  I think my foot seems wider now but that is possibly more to do with age than the op.  The toe does not touch the floor always because it had to be shortened and does not bend so I have to be a bit careful with some shoes and I tried some sand less that went across just above my toes and I found that they just caught the op site on that toe.  It still feels funny of on on but before it used to move across my big toe and shoes would rub it anyway.  I hope this helps we are all different and sometimes we just ha e to make a decision and hope for the best with the outcome.  You will need help when you are home tho until you can weight bear fully.
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    • Posted

      Why did I say 72 next year !!! My brain must have fell into my foot!  By the way my surgeon would only do one foot at a time - never gave me the choice and bless him he, as i said, said I will be asking for the next one to be done,  He never mentioned my age - perhaps he need's to go to SpecSavers.

      Good Luck

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  • Posted

    Dear Heather,Hi my name is Ellen,I just had this done only one foot,I am 55.I don't want to be a downer but It is very painful,and I do have help.The problem with having them both done is  that you really will be out of commision.Think about it,you have to walk on your heels,it's hard to get around,you will need to elevate your feet foe at least the first 2 weeks,it really still hurts,I too was wonering if I should have done this,as I have to go back to work in 5 weeks,which honestly I am not seeing. I;m not sure about your age but I do know It does take a longer time to heal when you are older.Honestly I wouldn't do both at the same time,it just is too much to go thru,unless you have 24/7 care.If one is worse try one,i can't see how you would get along with both being done.Sorry it's probably not what you wanna hear but it's what  I think. Please keep in touch,Best of Luck......Ellen
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  • Posted

    Hi heather

    i was 60 when I had a bilateral lapidus, Atkins and hammer toe release late November. My surgeon said that the recovery time would be the same between the ages of 60-80. 

    I was told off by the physio as no-one has a double lapidus done, but after 8 months I feel I'm on the way to full recovery, bar for getting into some high heels, I'm happy in my sketchers, walking boots -and yesterday managed the dragons back (Brecons) walk with a bit of huffing and puffing. One great thing about being 76 is that you have retired and can take things more slowly, I was back working after 7 weeks.

    follow gilly's advice, ask, and ask again. You have podiatrist v othopedic surgeons, both of us seem to have found brilliant ones of both types, Gilly by researching, me by luck.

    youre never too old - I started pole dancing 12 weeks after the op ...

    good luck


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  • Posted

    Hello Heather, Im 69 and had scarf and Akin surgery with hammer toe fused end last March.  I could have had this op done 4 years ago, but at that, time I wasn't prepared to spend so much time recovering, as we did a lot of travelling.  My situation changed, hubby waiting for an op and we've had to slow down on our travel / hols, so I took the plunge and had this foot done.

    The toes look lovely and straight, but even at four half months my foot still feels like my toes are not joined to it.  They swell if I'm on my feet too long, or if I sit without raising my foot, but it gets relief when I rest.  

    If you are having serious probs with your toe then it might be worth having it done, but I'm not having the op on my other foot, it doesnt look the same as the other foot but then I'm not having enough problems with it to have the op.

    If you don't mind sitting for four to five weeks, not being able to do housework or in first few weeks standing to cook or even shower without help then it will be ok for you.  They say bones don't heal so quickly when you get older, but I believe it depends on the person.  In the end you know your own health and strength, do just take that into consideration and compare it with what you have now.

    Rkight now I'm getting more aches and pains in my foot after activity than I did before the op.  My surgeon say it will start to feel better by six months and fully recovered by one year.  I have friends who've had the op, and they are fully recovered, but it does take a long time.

    good luck, and hope to hear about your decision.

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