Debating whether to have surgery...

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Hi all, i really hope someone can help me on what seems like a really hard decision!!

I am 22 years old, I have had bunions for about 6 years and it has progressed in the last 3. My left one is definitely the worse but both bunions have shifted my big toe underneath the toe next to it...

I went to see a specialist and he said I was a good candidate for surgery on both feet, to be honest I was shocked he said I should have the surgery, I wasn't expecting it.

He said if I have it done before it progresses to the next stage I will have the bone shaved down and then the toe straightened and pins put in, I cannot remember what this surgery was called. He did say if I leave it too long they will have to do a more invasive surgery where they correct it from the bottom of the foot?

The thing that put me off is he said I have to have them done separately... is there a way to get it over and done with and have them done at the same time?

They only cause me pain after a night of wearing heels or a day of walking, so I know on this basis people suggest not having the surgery, but they have gotten so bad now I am worried to leave them to get worse... the angle between my big toe and the one next to it is 38 degrees in the bad one and 36 degrees on the other one, and I think he said the normal angle is 15! Any advice would be very appreciated and sorry if some things on my appointment don't make sense as it was 6 months ago and I can't remember it completely!!

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Olivia. I had both feet surgery on Fri. Right foot to correct my last year's op. And thought, what the hell, I'm going for both at the same time. Yesterday the pain in both feet was so bad I was wishing I hadn't, but today I'm feeling back to normal. I wish I'd had mine done at 22- am 55 now - you will heal much quicker than us "old" birds. Had my bandage changed on my left foot today because it was saw of the operated foot, am very impressed. Hope uncomfortable, and from what I saw am very impressed. Hope this helps your decision xxx

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    • Posted

      Hi Lynn, oh what a thing to go through, I am so glad you are feeling better, I bet it's so good to know you have got it over and done with! I hope that you heal quickly. Thanks so much, I know I will need it done inevitably, with how bad they are at the moment I think I can only put it off for another few years, they are literally moving so far behind my other toe now!! I can't imagine what they will be like in another 10 years if I leave them haha!

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    • Posted

      Oh also sorry one other question did you have any trouble being put to sleep for the operation? I cannot bare the thought of being awake but this is what my specialist was suggesting. I will have it done in the UK xxx
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    • Posted

      I'm in the UK too and no way would I have it done under local. Don't go through pain. It's not worth it. Good luck with your choices love xxx

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  • Posted

    hello

    I am 23 year old, my right bunion was severely deformed and something had to be done about it. Like you I've been suffering with them since I was a teenage and could be painful at times. I underwent a big toe fusion surgery on may 12th.... if you have any questions feel free to ask.

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much! I don't think I need my toe fused, I think I just will have the bone removed and straightened, that must be what he was talking about if I leave it too long, then maybe I would need the bone fusion... How are you feeling now? Nearly back to normal? xx

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  • Posted

    Hello there! I had both feet operated on last October, so 8 months ago. I had scarf and akin osteotomies, which is perhaps the procedure your surgeon mentioned. I had a general anaesthetic - I certainly wouldn't have wanted to be awake for it. I wish I had had mine done when I was your age (I'm 52 now). My left foot was described as severe and my right as moderate, and like you, my big toes were escaping underneath my second toes. Yes, the first couple of weeks post operation are tough; for me it was the inconvenience, not the discomfort, and you will need to keep your feet elevated for the best healing, but I feel that it was definitely worth it. If you have a good support network of friends, that would be great, so that you have help. No more sore bunions. I can't say whether high heels will be on the agenda; I'm afraid to wear anything other than flat(ish) shoes at the moment because I don't want the bunions to come back, although it wasn't high shoes that caused them for me (I had bunions when I was in my teens) - a family thing. What I will say, especially after all the years with lumpy feet, is that I look at my feet in sandals or flip flops and I can't believe they're mine :-)!!

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    • Posted

      Thank you! It's nice to read some good stories. I started reading horror stories about nerve issues and people wishing they never had it done... Because I don't have much pain I am just wondering whether to wait but I think I will aim to have it done in 2019. I bet you cannot stop staring at them! I always straighten my big toe out to see what my foot would look like without a bunion, how sad is that!! Haha

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  • Posted

    Are you from UK? My Consultant told me that shaving the joint is a complete waste of time and the NHS don't do that type of operation. However I believe private doctors still do. Do more research before you have anything done. Good luck.

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    • Posted

      I am, he probably didn't they say that it was such a long time ago (well only 6 months but I have forgotten haha) He said they have to correct it from like half way down my foot or something and it has to have pins in the toe after to keep it straight... He did explain it all to me and was super helpful but I moved to another country after my appointment and I have none of the info he gave me, it's all at home!! 

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  • Posted

    I definitely would have it done at your age.  I did my first foot when I was in my early 30's and the healing process was much better thant the one I'm having now at 60.  He's right.  There is no good end to the story of bunions.  It's better to bite the bullet now than later.  I would make sure you pick the right surgeon.  My surgeon who just did mine 10 days ago is very conservative and put me in a cast for 6 weeks.  He said my first surgeon who allowed me a walking boot did not do me justice by allowing me to put weight on it before the six week mark.

    You will never realize how important your feet are until you can't use them due to pain or surgery.  I think it's crazy to think you could do both of them at the same time.  These aren't ears you're piercing.  Good luck.

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    • Posted

      Thanks so much! It's just so difficult because I travel a lot with work so it will be a massive pain to have however long off TWICE! Once would be much easier, but I also don't want to have both done and something goes wrong with both of them and I am such a baby so I know I will struggle a lot with the pain.

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    • Posted

      I know.  I have to travel the end of this month with a cast!  My travel people at work are researching the laws of driving a car in the state of MS with a cast on the opposite driving leg.  Not all states permit that.  Plus I don't know the policies of a rental car agency.  I'll let you know.  As for the pain, the first few days after the nerve block wore off were the worst.  After the third day, I stopped taking all narcotics except tylenol.  After the first 5 days, I had no pain at all.  I get twinges but no pain.

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