Devastated. went in for bunion op yesterday and sent home without it.

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I am devastated.  I went in to have my bunion operation yesterday and ended up coming home in tears without it.  The surgeon who had arranged the surgery was retired and I had a new one.  I had absolutely no idea that this had hence changed my position so that in reality I was not going in for a bunion operation but rather going in for an assessment and possible surgery afterwards.  Clearly if I had known that I would have prepared myself and among other things would not have had 3mg Prednisolone and 100mg of Tramadol inside me taking away the pain.  The surgeon told me it is possible to have bunions but no pain.  I have had the bunions for about 47 years and only had pain for the last 8 or 9 so I am well aware of that but he seemed to believe I had no pain. However as I said with this med fresh in me and having done no walking to speak of to aggravate it I did not feel pain.  I did when he pushed in the centre of my toes - I think the second is hammer but just learning but most of my toes hurt at the back underneath and indeed over the top now.  This was sufficient pain not to have been blocked completely by the med.  He said he could do an operation on that but it would leave me with a floppy toe.  I did not know what they were then but it did not sound good and his face did not make it look good either.  He said he wanted to get a ct scan done of my ankle.  I have had problems with my ankle since I fell off a ladder 20 years ago and they were unable to find the reason (massive bruising on sole of foot).  Basically he was saying that he could do the bunion op but he could not guarantee in any way that it would make me feel better, I could still be in massive pain and that further could end up with unusable floppy toes.  He asked me what I wanted to do.  I was in shock.  I was trying to be in the right mood for an op/ had seen everyone else and now he is saying this.  I did not know what to say so said I would follow what he said and he said good and left not even telling me I could leave which he took as read.  The other thing which they seemed to be going crazy about was believing I had fibromyalgia.  Several years ago I was sent to a rheumatologist  I had high inflammatory markers, could hardly move and had pain in most of my body.  I had previously been referred concerning a spur on my shoulder which I was offered an operation on 12 years ago.  The Rheumatologist arranged for various tests but I was also called about my shoulders and given a steriod injection in both.  As it happens this was shortly before I had a blood test and the steriods clearly went through my body as for a week or two I felt as fit as a fiddle.  I think due to the steroids my blood results though still higher than normal were considerably lower than the previous ones.  The Rheum told me there was nothing he could do for me.  I left him devastated.  I received a copy of a letter he had sent to my dr saying I had various things wrong including Fibromyalaga.  The next day I received another letter from him telling me to contact my dr as the inflamatory markers from the last blood test he had taken were very high and he had to assume I had PMR and must be started on steriods immediately.  No one has ever told me I have fibromyalgia or how to deal with it or given me any medication for it and I had guessed the reason the Conslutant had written I had it was that it must have been obvious just how much pain I was in in so much of my body and he could find no other reason for it and expected with the earlier lowering of my inflamatory markers that that must be what it was.  Yesterday a massive deal was made about me having fibromyalgia.  For pain I take tramadol  3mg prednisolone and 10mg nortryptyline.  When I finished my treatment for PMR the conslutant told my Dr that due to my having a considerable amount of painful osteoarthritis he believed it would be alright for me to continue on 3mg of Prednisolone.  Originally I declined.  I thought it better to manage without. However this summer pain, not only from my bunions, in my feet but most strongly there became unbearable so I went to the Dr with the letter about the 3mg Prednisolone and  she gave me it  and it was a miracle. The Pain has not gone but it is manageable. It still though is of a level which makes it difficult for me to do things and I would like the underlying issues dealt with and to come off it. Now yesterday  a nurse was going on about the Fibromyalgia and how bad it was with an op and that I must have it really bad.  I told her I did not even know if I really had it and explained a bit of what I said here.  She said 'you must have it look at all that medication.  That is all for pain.'  I said yes but it was not given for Fibromyalgia.  I have a suspicion that that may have been at least part of the reason they made the operation sound like an offer I could not accept.  The Consultant is apparently arranging for me to have a ct scan of my ankle and to go to a pain clinic.  I feel I have been totally misunderstood and am going to be left in pain and taking serious medication for a long time more.  I am even afraid they are going to tell my Dr to stop the medication which would leave me in agony. 

I think it is cruel if they are going to reassess you for an operation not to do it before you go into hospital for the op.  Apart from anything else I paid money to buy things to help me in recovery.

Feeling devastated.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    PS I was not the only one who was no longer getting their operation.  I was in a block of four and two of us did not get our operations.
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  • Posted

    If I were you, I would definitely get another opinion at this stage, if not two.  If you are in the UK, ask your GP,
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  • Posted

    Well I am going to have to speak to someone about it I think.  However he was being somewhat nebulous.  He said 'I'm not going to cut you off' implying he was going to see me again and in all honesty I am not sure I would want him doing surgery on me if he was going to give me floppy toes.  I don't know if you know more but from what I have seen they seem to be a mistake.

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    • Posted

      Well I have look at the pain clinics now and they do seem to have a pretty comprehensive way of working so certainly ought to be of help so I am less concerned now. I do think though that if a Surgeon is going to retire and another take over his work and that person wants to re-access patients they really should do it before the day of the operation and the patients ought to know that that is what is going to happen.  It was all somewhat traumatic.
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  • Posted

    Absolutely, see a foot and ankle surgeon.  This guy sounds like he was talking in circles and I am sorry this happened to you.  Foot pain is something I would not wish on anyone.  My hallux valgus was genetic and could only be corrected surgically.  My feet are a shoe size and a half smaller now and I am 4 weeks out and in a cast on my second foot.  Yes, I would only trust a foot and ankle surgeon.  Take really good care of yourself altheakay!
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  • Posted

    Hi aletheakay,

    I agree with Amanda! I would never let someone who didn't give me confidence in his/her ability do any type of operation on me.  I have had 3 ops in the last 4 years, the first a discectomy, I could hardly walk and certainly couldn't stand up straight and would have paid someone to cut by back off. Fortunately the consultant was excellent and the day after my op I was skipping (well as well as a 60+ can skip) The second a meniscus tear repair, less successful but thankfully the consultant has now retired. 4 weeks ago I had a bunion op, having suffered since my 30's, due to buying a pair of shoes from a well known high street store! I was unprepared for the mood changes, restrictions and fear (having read several posts) that I have done everything wrong. I would find a different surgeon, one who gives you confidence, and think of all the questions to ask pre-op. Hopefully I haven't done that much wrong (fingers crossed), I need to get rid of the boot, bandage and get back to work. I planned this, thinking 'what better time to be off work?' not so, when the weather is grim and you spend long hours alone, you get depressed. Not being able to drive also restricts you, and there are only so many episodes of dinnerladies, which I highly recommend, that you can find on TV. The other things I noticed are; friends I thought I could rely on were not there for me, but other people have been so kind, so I have several new friends. Every cloud has a silver lining. I have had very little pain, haven't rested as much as I probably should have, have strange twinges which are I think nerves repairing themselves and cant wait for 'normal shoes, going back to work, the rain to stop, the sunshine to come back and to stop crying - if someone says something unkind, if someone says something kind or if no one speaks at all. One thing I would and wouldn't recommend is to buy a new puppy a month before the op. Mine has helped and hindered me, all in all I think the good outweighs the bad and he is beautiful. I hope you get, not only the bunion, but, all the mixed messages regarding your health care issues sorted out, I have learned you have to insist and not give up. Kind regards, Janet

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  • Posted

    Couldn’t agree more.  I’ve just had my second bunion and hammertoe fusion done, the last one I got done last year.  I had sooooo many problems last year it was awful, no explanations - ended up what they said was a small nick was a fracture.  Took months to get a shoe on, lots of tears and frustration.  I complained - with the help of my husband - and have to this time been a completely different experience - different hospital and consultants.  Before and after care can’t be compared and I would say I feel better after two weeks than I did two months last time.  If things aren’t right keep complaining......... unfortunately though it’s down to luck who does your op.....

    keep smiling.

    jane

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