Marathon Runner with terrible bunions

Edited , 7 users are following.

I've had bunions since my teens - all the women in my family seem to have them. I'm 45 and a marathon runner. I've always accepted I need wide fit shoes and don't wear heels unless its a special occasion where i'll be sat down a lot. I'm finding the last couple of years that one in particular keeps flaring up badly to the point its red raw at the top where it rubs on my shoes making even walking sore while it heals.

I've tried every type of plaster under the sun and its really beginning to get me down. I wear wide fit trainers where I can and lace them missing the first few holes to take pressure off the forefoot too.

If by some miracle I manage to get through this cycle of marathon training I am thinking about going to see a GP to get referred for surgery - i'm hoping they will refer me as they are pretty bad and really do affect my day to day life. I guess there is a chance I may not run again, not sure to be honest but I have got to do something because it is really beginning to get me down - totally broke down to my husband yesterday.

I was wondering if anyone knew the criteria for referrals but also if there are any other runners out there who have/are going through this? It is so frustrating - I am so close to being a championship level runner within the next few months but if they (well the right side bunion!) don't settle soon I think my chance of that will be over.

I'm so embarrassed about it, I got an awful reaction from a nurse when I went for a smear test a few years ago and have hidden my feet away since. This is the first time i've reached out about it.

Thank you in advance

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    I think that the main criteria is whether the bunion is causing you pain. I had a long wait after a UK NHS referral but I had surgery 9 months ago and I'm glad I had it done. I am not runner but I can now walk as far as I ever did and i have no bunion pain. I think you should definitely talk to your GP. It certainly sounds as if you would qualify for referral.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I do sympathise with you as you must be in pain. The first thing to do is to see your GP as soon as possible I would say and he will refer you to your local hospital for an appointment. I don't know if its the same where you are but I've only had to wait 2 months since I first had the hospital appointment because I will be awake and having local anesthetic, but if you want to have general anesthetic it will be a much longer waiting list. Whichever way you chose you will be out the same day. You are given papers explaining what they do and what you can and can't do. These are given to you on your first appointment at the hospital. Hope this helps.

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  • Posted

    hi,

    Like you I am really active, am 48 years old, a kickboxer, swimmer and runner and have bunions on both feet. I think deep down I've always known that someday they will need fixing. About fifteen years ago an orthopaedic nurse took one look at my feet and told me that I would be crippled by 60. This was hard to hear, however turned out my feet rapidly deteriorated the past 6 months to the point that walking the dog was painful. I did my research and came across minimally invasive bunion surgery. I had given up on the NHS route, very unhelpful, longer wait than I could afford or cope with and basically still using old techniques and won't do both feet together (not in my area anyway)

    Last week I opted to have the minimally invasive technique done on both feet by Dr David Gordon in London. I have had no pain on the left foot whatsoever, however as the right foot needed more work this one has been a bit more painful post surgery, however I was warned it would be.

    With being so sporty I could not put a price tag on my feet so I opted for this route as the downtime is quicker and you can return to your normal activities faster too. I dreaded giving up my activities but you will get to the point where you have no choice other than to have the surgery.

    I hope you get sorted and don't delay as things only get a lot worse if you leave it.

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    • Posted

      hi thank you for replying! I have been to my doctor - he said we have to go down the route of proving we have been "managing" it for 6 months before i can be referred for surgery. so on monday I will be seeing an NHS who (in my GP's words) will "give me things that won't help at all" then i wait six months go back to the GP and he can then refer me. the angle of my bunions is over 45 degrees so quite severe, I believe they will do them but now worrying they wont do them properly now I've read your post!! I don't think I can afford to have them done privately I assume it will be thousands?!

      I am definitely having them done but petrified!

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Each person is different but for me the waiting made my right foot worse hence more work needed to be done and why I just bit the bullet and got the left one done too before it became too painful. The down time with the NHS route is longer as it is open surgery and both feet are not recommended for that, plus you have to go through all this ridiculous waiting period whilst things potentially get worse.I saw my consultant on the 13th February and had the operation done in under two weeks. I'm now on the sofa recovering (hence responding to blogs). It certainly isn't cheap , around 9k for both feet but some surgeons offer finance so perhaps that is something you could look to do? I had to weigh it up and consider that this was going to affect the quality of my life forever if I didn't get to the right people. I'm not suggesting you don't go the NHS route, it's just so much more time consuming and on a personal level with both my husband and I working for ourselves, we couldn't take that much time away from our work, it actually worked out financially smarter to go the private minimally invasive route for a speedier recovery. I do truly understand your worry and concern though. x

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    • Posted

      Mine are manageable at the moment, they flare up and then they settle. I admit I am concerned, more now so that you think the NHS surgery is not going to be as successful but I won't be in a position to spend 9k on surgery.

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    • Posted

      I think you have to do what is right for you. You will know when the time is right to get them done. I know many people who have gone the NHS route and had great outcomes. Good luck x

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