Is Bunion Surgery the right decision for me?

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I am trying to decide if I should have bunion surgery. Recently, I have noticed inflammation around my bunion more when I work out. My dr. told me it is my decision and he thinks that the surgery will help. It doesn't hurt every day, mainly when I am more active. I am wondering maybe if I should try a different shoe or some kind of padding. I am 27 years old and I have heard a lot of negative feedback with this surgery so I am not sure if I should wait until I am in a lot more pain than I am since it isn't bothering me everyday. Can someone please advise what would be the best decision for me to make? It could get worst in the future but as of now not sure if I should just wait until it gets worse. Thank you for your feedback.

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  • Posted

    Im 45 and have always had problems with my feet I did my bunion surgery this year in Sept and I'm glad I did even though in not fully healed I would c recommend it because . At 27 your  bunion probably not as, bad as its gonna  get yet..idk if this helped but good luck!!
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    • Posted

      Thanks Lisa! I appreciate your feedback. Did you bunion get a lot worse over time? I have heard people have to go back for a second surgery because of issues that happened. I have a good Dr. but it doesn't bother me everyday right now. Just want to make sure I am ready for this because of the recovery period, plus I am scared half to death of surgery. My insurance renews 12/1 so I am trying to rush it and I hate feeling like I have a deadline with this surgery. Was it bad for you waiting as long as you did? Did it make surgery more complicating?
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    • Posted

      I just had it done this year but yes my bunion got worse over time I couldnt stand the pain the k ast few months it took me a while to get it done because my dr made sure my calcium levels and vitamin d levels were normal because if not you v won't heal as fast as you should 
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    • Posted

      I am on sythriod right now so I need to go get some calcium pills to help strengthen my bones in case I need to get this done in the future. I am thinking maybe I should wait instead of rushing into the surgery. I wish my dr. could be more assistance. He is the 3rd one I have seen so far. All of them say it will just get worse so does that mean the surgery will be more painful then?
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  • Posted

    Hi melanie

    im slightly biased due to 21 months of pain following surgery when I had no pain before surgery 😞 what I would say is make sure you do your reach on the surgeon and ask lots of questions before deciding. I didn't have bunions but had a few hammer toes. I've been very unfortunate due to naevity and going with the first available surgeon. We all have different feet and there seem to be so many variations on surgery so read up on the subject get a few opinions if you can and make sure any decision is informed.there are a lot of success stories but equally there are bad experiences. My life has been ruined and yet the surgeon is uninterested.ive been passed from pillar to post since the surgery and still no further forward. All I want now is to wake up one morning without pain. I don't care anymore about what my feet look like. Good luck with whatever decision you make. 😊

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    • Posted

      This is exactly why I feel like I should wait until I am at my last straw. My dr. isn't forcing me to have surgery just said he would fix my deformity. He is a great Dr. in the Atlanta area. He is affiliated with a large group plus several hospitals. I just know everyone is different and since I am not having a lot of pain maybe it is best that I wait. Maybe I will go get some padding for my tennis shoes or get them stretched to see if that will help my workouts. I know my insurance will be going up but maybe I can workout a payment plan in the future. Thank you for your feedback, I hope your pain goes away.
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  • Posted

    Whether it gets worse or not quickly all depends on what is causing the bunion to begin with. Is it the mechanics of your foot?  e.g. do you pronate alot? Is the foot hypermobile?  Also, take a look at your sport shoes....is the toe box too narrow?  There are a number of conservative things you can try before resorting to surgery.  Did your doctor talk about orthotics?  Toe spacer?  Dr. Ray McClanahan a natural foot sports podiatrist.  He has a number of videos on You Tube that give an excellent understanding of the mechanics of our feet....very worth while to check it out.  BTW...your bunion looks minimal and the angle of your big toe looks good...my surgeon (I'm 6 months post op) would not operate on such a foot....there are certain minimun toe angles and metatarsal angles that surgeons generally need to see on an xray before they  will consider surgery.  I attach a pic of my own right foot that I would not consider getting surgery on (nor would the surgeon operate on it he told me) and a pic of my left foot which had the surgery.  (Chevron/Akin....same as Austin/Akin).  This procedure is for mild to moderate bunion toe angles and would have been the same procedure had I done the surgery decades ago.  Until surgery I wore a toe space to keep the toe off the 2nd toe.  I am not sorry I waited until now that I am retired (I'm 69) and I healed just as well and just as fast as younger gals becausee I am in very good health.  Good luck with whatever you decide.!
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    • Posted

      Thank you Rena for your feedback. My dr. hasn't suggested any other options but stating he would widen my shoes for me. I asked him about padding today but he told me they won't help. Your definetly making me consider waiting until I am older for the surgery. I am wearing boots right now and I am not having any issues today. It is mainly with my sports shoes and I am thinking they are a little too narrow because I have to wear thin socks with them or they are too tight. I may pronate my foot when I run. Hypermobile - I can move my toe a good ways downwards, upwards not too far. Do you think if I have children in 3-4 years that it may have an effect on my foot? I would love to wait until I retire smile I will also look into the toe spacer. THANK YOU!
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    • Posted

      Melanie, your foot is beautiful.  I would give anything to have that foot. I had surgery 4 mos. ago.  As you probably know, no weight bearing for 6 weeks, pain, sciatica, and it is still swollen, and I can't wear any shoes but Fit Flops.  Some people as well as my doc, say it can take up to a year for the swelling to go down.  Needless to say, I'll never do my other foot. I am a former professional ballerina and I had my surgery done in Charleston.  I would say it was  not a good result.  I think Atlanta would be a lot better, but your foot is really healthy looking and pretty.  Joyce
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    • Posted

      Thank you Joyce! That makes me feel really good because I know it could be worse. I may try physical therapy and maybe the toe shoes that I read it could help with pain and from it to get worse. I will postpone for as long as I can bear. 
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    • Posted

      Rena, 

      Your  foot looks beautiful! My foot looked like yours.  I'm four  months post op and all is well. My foot is still swollen but it's starting to look great. I can't wait until it looks as good as yours.

      I totally agree with your advice to Melanie. 

      Thanks for sharing and making my day!

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  • Posted

    Hi Melanie

    When your bunion gets too painful in all footwear all the time that would be the time to have a bunion operation. If its manageable with padding i would carry on as you are. Hope this helps

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  • Posted

    Hi Melanie

    When I reached 40 my bunions on both feet looked like yours and didn't bother me too much but ten years later they were more painful and did get slightly bigger. I had my surgery almost 5 weeks ago and my first foot was great and after an initial very painful 2 weeks with my second one im now recovering well and walking alot better. At first I thought what have I done but I know I've done the right thing as they would only have gotten worse. Hope this helps

    Sharon

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  • Posted

    Hello Melanie.

    I have just read your message and viewed the photo of your foot.

    First of all. Wow!! What a beautiful foot you have. That doesn't look aything like a bunion to me. Not at all.

    I had bunon and hammertoe surgery on my left foot November 2013. The big was bent at an angle of degrees ( anythng over 30 degrees is considered by the medical profesion as 'substantial') and my second toe was bent under. Whilst I had no pain as such from either toe it was clear that both required correcting otherwise only continued deterioration would occur.The surgery was very successful. The recovery time for bunion surgery is very long and requires great patience as you have your foot heavily bandaged following surgery.You have to keep it elevated above groin level and wear a special heel wedge shoe which takes the weight of your walking load on your heel. This has to be worn for up to 6 weeks ( this applies even if you're having bunion only surgery too ). Crutches are usually provided also. The foot will throb a lot in the early days if it is not kept elevated after surgery and will be very swollen. The swelling is exacerbated if you do not elevate.

    Bathing may not be possible, or showering as you may find your balance not so good for a while. You must not get or bandage wet!  I bought a 'Limbo' plastic stocking to wear for showering.

    After the bandages are removed you may not be able to easily get your normal shoes on for quite a while until the swelling goes down further and you regain the bend in the foot. It does and will come back but can take many weeks.

    I was back into my normal shoes ( although I never wear heels anyway) by March 2014. Driving is also another issue especially if you DO NOT have an automatic car. You are required by the DVLA ( if you live in the UK) to notify them of details of your surgery.This will not affect your insurance pemiums. And you have to be able to perform satisfactorily an emergency stop. It was mid-February before I was at this stage.

    So with all this detail you may like to carefully consider whether surgery for you is appropriate.For me it has been and I have no regrets.

    On 1st October I had the bunion on my right foot corrected and this too is making good progress. There was no hammertoe on this foot. I see my consultant tomorrow  -  16th  - to have the foot inspected and x-rayed and re-bandaged.

    If, like last time this will be repeated twice more before the bandages come off for good.

    Some people experience severe pain in the days following the surgery and I was warned to expect this and was dreading it. As it turned out I had no pain only the throbbing and swelling I referred to earlier. But, some people are not so fortunate.

    Your foot does look lovely and my first one now looks like yours does.Before my surgery it looked awful and very deformed.

    So, please consider carefully before you decide on the surgery. It is a very long recovery period afterwards. I have no regrets though and cannot even remember in my life ever having lovely straight feet for a very long time. I am 64 years old and a keen walker and love my gardening and anything outdoorsy.

    Good Luck!

    Gillian

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    • Posted

      Thank you Gillian for all of the details, it is very helpful. My doctor said I could be back at work in a week or two since I sit in an office setting and sit all day so I could elevate my foot. I am thinking maybe I will wait a bit longer and not rush into it. I want to try somethings to help maybe prevent the bunion from getting worse. I bought some Vibram toe shoes last night. I hear mixed reviews on them but they seem to kinda pull my left toe to the right so keeps it straight. Not sure if this is a good thing but I can still wiggle my toe in it. I am going to go to the Dr. today hopefully to get some shoes stretched and will cancel my surgery as of now. Just seems like that is the best thing to do right now since it isn't at its worst yet. Thanks again!
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