I have decided that surgery is not for me

Posted , 9 users are following.

I have had bad bunions all my life.

I have tried repeatedly to get orthotics but do not believe  they exist anymore.

I was seen at Guys a few weeks ago, told my feet were about a 4, and recommended a scarf and Atkin on both feet at the same time. I was told I needed care for a minimum of two  weeks but I live alone and no care was to be provided that I could not arrange myself . 

The full recovery period, IF nothing went wrong, looked like being a year.

No pictures or indication of what my feet were likely to look like afterwords were provided and no indication of the likely improvement or reduction in function was given.

I do not see what the advantage to me of the procedure is supposed to be.

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25 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, I'm sorry you are without help but maybe a friend or two could help in rotation? If not have you got connections with a local church? Often there are volunteers who go and help people in their houses so do ask. smile  I hope you can solve that problem as well as asking more questions from your surgeon about the operation. After all it's a serious undertaking so be bold and phone up and ask your questions, they are used to it! Good luck and let us know how you get on...
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  • Posted

    Perhaps you could go back to your GP and ask to see another surgeon. You could have your feet done one at a time to make you more self sufficuent quicker. And having keyhole surgery means you can weight bear from day 1 - so with careful pre planning you could look after yourself I am at 8 weeks and have been horse riding going to the gym driving my car etc, so a year sounds to be like someone covering their a**
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    • Posted

      Hi simbacat

      good to hear you are recovering so quickly.  Did you have the Scarf/Akin done by keyhole?   

      I had the Scarf/Akin done by the "old fashioned" method nearly 6 weeks ago now (just on the one foot though) and I must admit that given what I know now and that without someone actually living with me I definitely would not op to have both feet done at the same time.  I think I am recovering at an acceptable speed but would have been in a lot more pain and not so advanced in recovery if I hadn't had my very dependable husband to rely on.

      best wishes to all for speedy recoveries, Paula

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  • Posted

    Not sure if you will get my first reply, because it was moderated because I put some websites on there. There are alternatives to bunion surgery, including shoes with a wide toebox. There is a blogger in the United States that has a website where she reviews shoes that are bunion friendly since she did not want to have bunion surgery done. There is a podiatrist in Portland Oregon that sells a device that can help with different foot conditions, but I guess I can't put out the website. Guess what I'm trying to say is there are other options other than surgery. My bunion surgery was basically successful, but my big toe has arthritis, so that causes other problems. Good luck! Jean
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    • Posted

      Thanks Jean for going to the trouble of trying to find me alternatives.

      Having discovered that my knee problems are not bunion related I am not convinced at all that surgery is going to offer any benefit and am going to continue as I am.

      I will try and google Portland myself.

      All best wishes



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    • Posted

      The podiatrist in Portland; his first name is Ray.

      For the shoe blog, I typed in "How to find comfortable shoes for bunions" and a ton of web sites come up, but you will see that woman's blog. Her first name is Kirsten. That should help.

      I also bought some wide toe box running shoes for work. I am NOT a runner, but I need the wide toe box for comfort, even after having bunion surgery. I have other foot issues as well. I probably can't tell you the brand of the running shoe, but they can be googled under zero drop shoes. Super comfy; about $120-$130 a pair, but worth it. That company is out of Utah. You mentioned orthotics. I do wear custom orthotics, but many knee issues are do to pronating, which othotics can help or massaging the IT band. (ileotibial band)  I have super high arches, which cause pronation, and I have a super tight IT band, which I have to remember to massage or roll out daily. That being said, I mountain and road bike, hike, and snowboard. Not bad for a 57 year old. At least, I'm still moving. :-)  J

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  • Posted


    You have received good advice on here. I have posted a link on this site which explains surgery options. I live alone and am 61 and managed with one foot done but would definitely not have two done at once with no help. I had scarf osteotomy plus several extensive procedures on my other toes . I was walking from day one using crutches but weight bearing in special shoe.

    You need to ask more questions abt the potential benefits of yr surgery and the impact in yr knees. I have had two oxford knee replacements over last 4 yrs. Very successful. I felt the bunion was having negative impact in mh knees and want ti avoid full knee replacement in future. I had all my ops done at Chelsea and Westminster.

    Post op advice generally poor and This forum has been very useful.

    It is a very personal decision to have surgery so be well informed. Would be a shame though if the inly reason you are not considering I is because you are concerned abt recovery from the option you have been given . Good luck with what you decide .

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  • Posted

    Hope u r still looking at this site

    i am 65, live on my own and in third week post op

    i have spent over £2000 on podiatrist and 2 sets of orthotics. First orthotics worked for a few years, second orthotics gave me further problems. 

    Foot probs gave me knee, hip and back probs.

    over the course of a year I had 3 appointment with various clinics at hospital

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  • Posted

    Sorry foot up and pressed send on iPad by mistake - this is continuation

    consultant took one look at x Ray and said bunion op. Went for it - big toe and little toe on one foot.

    had wasted so much money AND time - some restrictions on lifestyle due to increasing probs walking for any length of time - I feel so positive that op will make a difference . Am in third week and making some progress although not totally smooth experience.

    had friend stay over night of op - essential . Sister has stayed a few days but could have managed without this if had been better prepared eg stock up on food, cooked meals for freeze/microwave, toilet paper etc easy access level. My objective is better quality of life with more mobility - walking with bunions was too painful

    why not have one done and see how it goes - don't think I could have managed with both done - minimally invasive is supposed to be faster recovery so ask for that

    i do think it is possible for single person although harder

    do think about it some more

    good luck

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    • Posted

      Thank you Danuta, and I hope it all goes well for you.

      The thing is that other than shoes, which are a big problem, I am not in that much pain and can walk fine.

      But shoes really are an issue and prevent me doing certain jobs as there is a requirement to be "feminine" and not wear shoes you can walk in.

      I am against having my feet cut up just to fit shoes though.

      It is MONTHS of incapacity and thats if nothing goes wrong, which if it is the case will be a world first in my experience of operations.

      The thing I was not clear on at all was what the advantage to me was supposed to be if it all went well and I couls afford to lose months of work and pay someone to look after me while I was crippled.

      No one says what I will end up with though and how it is supposed to be better.

      There are threats though: "Oh if you wait another year I'll have to fuse the joint" (I was told they'd have to fuse the joint the first time I asked for help and that was thirty years ago when I was twenty. I walked away while I still could!)

      What advantage to this extreme surgery is there? Why does no one say?

      No surgeon will tell me how it is supposed to be better than what I have now. My feet are not slim and pretty but they function. Apart from shoes.


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    • Posted

      Am sure that you know hotter shoes which seem to have wider shoes than anyone else.

      also being able to walk around in shoes at home and returning if unsuitable is really worthwhile 

      in between running trainers because of wide front are great

      Remember if you got orthotics it would be even more difficult to get shoes

      if you google bunion aids there are lots of aids to help with bunions that you can buy - range of splints to wear at home etc

      i am sorry you are having such a hard time and really hope all goes well for you

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    • Posted

      It sounds as though you had genuine pain reaosns for surgery, as in not being able to walk, whereas I can walk fine although it is sometimes uncomfortable but I am used to that. If I can't find really wide shoes then it is impossible but I just wear really horrible wide secondhand shoes from Ebay.

      No I don't know any good wide shoes, hot or otherwise.

      I have huge problems with shoes because no one makes any wide enough accross the forefoot but still narrow enough accross the ankle.

      I can't wear trainers, they don't make them wide enough and they do not stretch because they are rubber and any pressure on the big toe joints is just excruciatingly painful.

      I have asked for orthotics repeatetly but apparently for my feet they dont exist. Aledgedly.

      I tried some very expensive "bunion aids" from Germany but it was a complete rip off and then when I complained they said it wasn't meant for "bad" bunions. Which wasn't the impression from the advertising.

      Do NOT waste your noney on so called bunion aids.

      No one has said my feet will be narrower or magically able to fit into "hot" shoes if I have the surgery.

      Only that there are a lot of risks, I will be incapacitated for months and that the outcome is uncertain.

      I don't think surgery is worth the risks right now as no one who has offered it has explained the benefits. Only the risks which don't seem to be worth it.

      No one has promised it will reduce the pain, the width of my feet or make shoes fit.

      I also don't really see why I should have my feet surgically altered to fit someones badly designed shoes.


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    • Posted

      I was actually hoping that I could wear some halfway feminine shoes after bunion surgery, but no such luck. The big toe that had the bunion surgery has degenerative arthritis, so flat wide shoes are the only shoes I can wear without extreme pain. Really, the bunion didn't hurt, it was the arthritis; but I didn't find that out until AFTER the surgery. Ugh. The podiatrist also did my pinky toe which was a hammer toe and that thing still bothers me, gets bright red and isn't "happy." In hindsight, I'm not 100% glad that I did it. Wearing shoes with a wide toe box would have probably worked just as well. Can't say that my husband likes Crocs, but they are wide and comfy.
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  • Posted

    Hotter shoes are a brand - they have some stores but also do mail order - can get catalologue online or paper copy. They do extra wide shoes - have ordered a number of styles and sizes for my housebound mum to try on and their service is really good. Not cheap but good shoes and have special offers every so often

    hotter have some nice styles so do have a look

    running trainers have extra wide fronts and worth going to specialist sports shop to get them fitted properly. Once you have found style and size you could see if you can get them more cheaply online

    summer was good as could wear fancy flip flop type shoes

    am now ,just, retired but when was working spent a lot of time on my feet and strategies above kept me going 

    hope we this helps

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