Should I get bunion surgery?

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I have always had bunions. I am 20 years old and I believe my bunions are genetic. I hate them and feel like they are getting bigger. I can never wear sandals or revealing shoes because of this but currently they do not hurt. I would love to have them removed, but I do not want unbareable pain and damage to occur after surgery. Can you all share your experiences and advice with me please.

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  • Posted

    Hi Anna

    i know exactly where you are coming from.  I had a bunion in my twenties and it hampered me with shoes.  I used to dread having to break new shoes in and was always conscious of it when wearing sandals.  It didn't start to really hurt me until my late 30s and I tried all sorts of different insoles and gadgets to straighten my big toe.  Like you I was frightened of having surgery because I had heard that it hurts.  

    I was actually 58 when I succumbed to having my bunionectomy.  I am now 14 weeks post op and can hand on heart say that it is the best thing I had done and I wish I had done this earlier.  I had about 12 stitches at the side of my big toe where they cut through my toe tand I now have 2 screws, a pin and a metal staple to straighten it.  It was painful for the first 24 hours while I got my pain killers under control but otherwise it didn't hurt s at all.

    It was bandaged up and I was given a special shoe to help me to walk to the loo etc.  I was back to my Zumba, Yoga and walking the dog 8 weeks after having my op.  

    I wish that I had had this operation twenty years ago because it would have improved my life and fitness levels no end.  Also you will heal quicker while you are so young.    Go for it

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    • Posted

      I'm 10 years older than you and almost 3 weeks post op. Stitches out next week. Hope I'll be doing as well as you and walking my dog soon.
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  • Posted

    Hi Anna,  yes bunion can be genetic, look at your parents or grand parents feet. Depending to where you live, in the UK you can have keyhole osteotomies. That means no screws or plates left in the foot and walking straight away. Recovery until being in normal shoes and doing sports 6 weeks. I was back jogging 6 weeks after my operation!  Unfortunately not available on the NHS, would be too good x

     

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    • Posted

      Hi Susan and all that have commented, I have a question, I don't wear heels very often ( maybe one or twice a year) but after surgery is it possible to wear heels again? I don't mean 5 inch ankle breakers think I'll leave them to my daughter but let's say a 2 inch heel? I am at the moment wincing at thought of it. X
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    • Posted

      You should be able to start wearing heels 4 month after the operation. Not very high but about 2 inches. After 6 - 8 month you should be totally normal, high heels and even combat sports. xxx

       

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  • Posted

    I've always had problems too and like you hated them but just put up with them, I'm now in my 40's and have started to get problems,  they are in one foot especially, very painful when I walk and I've started to adapt to walking on the outer part of my foot. This in turn will eventually give me problems in my back, so I have made the brave decision to visit doctor and I am having X-rays on both feet soon to determine if I am eligible for the surgery, eeek!! I have read some reviews of post surgery cases and so far most people are raving about having it done and saying they wished they would have done it sooner. 
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  • Posted

    Good luck with your decision.  I am in UK and I am 70 years of age.  My feet, yes genetic, got worse if I can recall around my 50's BUT I would never want anyone to see them!  I finally could not wear sandals - too ashamed. Shoes got even harder to fit.  Once retired it did not become such a huge issue - Crocs, Clarks, Trainers, etc as saviour.

    Life events seem to get in the way and because NO pain it was not urgent i.e. just not let anyone see my feet!  However, after getting the courage to see a surgeon on NHS his manner put me off.  I left it then for another 7 years!!!

    Last year found another surgeon (will not go down the route of Podiatric - v -Orthopedic Surgeons) who carried out the op on my worst foot the left.  The bunion had pushed the next toes into rigid hammer toes.  

    This surgeon listened to all my questions and I felt comfortable with him and went ahead.  I stressed to him I was not getting pain and he said if you wait any longer you will be giving me 'older' feet again to work on.  In fact he was going to do the Lapidus procedure which I guess is for worse cases but my bones turned out too soft.  So he did next best and it is not a complete success BUT my foot is 100% better than what it was.

    Now 4 weeks ago I have had the right foot done.  So time will tell as I am in the recovery stage.

    The ideal would be key hole but I can't wait for that to become avaliable on NHS.  So what is my advice do all your research, ask all the questions you want but at the end of the day our feet are individual to us.  Finally, the younger you are I would assume it is better for you and your feet to have this invasive surgery.

    I know I really googled so much and frightened myself.  In the end I had to decide to 'put up or shut up' and if I 'chickened out' would I have regreted it?

    Not sure if this is any help but I am someone who left it..........unitl now!

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    • Posted

      Hello,

      Our stories are similar. I'm 67, live in the states. I waited forever too to get this done and now am almost 3 weeks post op. I had the lapidus procedure and the k wire in the 2nd toe to straighten it. Long road ahead and I pray its a good road, but my foot looks so much better without its ugly bump on the side.

      So, you were happy enough to get the other foot done? Good for you!! I hope I feel the same way. Good wishes to you. By the way, what is the NHS? I've heard it in alot in this blog.... National health service or something?

      Jo

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  • Posted

    Hi Anna

    I've had bunions since my teens, no discomfort with them but now aged 50 I had started getting pain with my 2nd toe due to my awkward gait, walking with a bunion rocks the foot and my 2nd toe became rigid and very ucomfortable underneath. Not only did I have a bunion but the hammer toe bent up and restricted my choice in shoes too. I chose to have surgery as guided by my podiatrist who said that he could not treat the hammer toe without the bunion so I had both done. Incidentally my foot is very straight now!

    My grandma and mum have identical feet but only my grand mother has had surgery.

    I am nine weeks post opon monday. I had 1 foot bunion and hammer toe surgery. I had one and a half days of noticeable discomfort and only needed paracetamol. The biggest hinderence was the recovery with my 2nd toe which had a k wire in place ( removed has week). I feel if I had just had bunion surgery, my recovery might be a little quicker-having to wait 8 weeks of walking flat footed to avoid bending wire had slowed recovery. 

    I would say only you know how your feet feel and having surgery while younger is an advantage. People told me that foot surgery was the worst pain (its not!) and that bunions return ( my grandma's returned) I am happy as long as my 2nd toe is ok I'm happy.

    Good luck with your decision Anna smile

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  • Posted

    HI Anna,

    Your story hit a bell with me. I am 67 years old and live in the States (Texas) . I have had bunions FOREVER! God awful feet, long, skinny with a severe bunion, then a hammertoe and a buckling second toe. My bunion rarely hurt though! But the deformity was causing me to walk on the outside of my foot stretching the tendons there and causing pain while walking. Being scared of the pain I have heard of with bunion surgery, I tried all kinds of conservative approaches (ligaments, orthotics, steroid injections, laser treatments) and I hobbled around for a year with no relief.

    Enough already! I am almost 3 weeks post op from the lapidus procedure and pin in my second toe to straighten it. Very little pain, Anna!! I haven't taken 1 painkiller in 10 days. I'm in a splint, then a boot - - non weight bearing for a total of 8 weeks. I'm getting around on a knee scooter.

    Do it! You are young and will heal more quickly than this old lady. Best of all, you can wear sandals and not be embarrassed by your ugly feet anymore . I wish I would have done it years ago. But I've done it now and hope I can walk my dog again soon. I know I'm early in and will need to start physical therapy in a few weeks to teach me how to walk again (gait therapy, they call it) and there is more healing ahead, but I'm on my way. My right foot has a bunion as well. Will fix it too when I recover fully from the left which was the worst one.

    There are lots of horror stories out there. My doc told me to stay off the Internet to avoid scaring myself to non-action. ☺ Find a good doc who makes you feel comfortable and go for it.

    Keep us posted. Any questions, just write.

    Jo

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  • Posted

    Hi, I say unless you need the bunions removed, aggressively pursue minimally invasive methods first. If they hurt now, they can only get worst as surgery is the only way to get rid of them. I'm in the military but I also love to hike and walk so I elected to have them removed, I'm currently recovering from my first surgery and will get my other foot done probably later this year depending on my rehab. Of course, I would definitely speak with a podiatrist about your options, more than one pod if you can.

    You're young and if you don't have any major health issues or don't smoke or drink much, the risk of any complications is low. With all surgeries, there is no guarantee that a complication won't happen but if you're in generally good health as mentioned earlier, you would be fine.

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  • Posted

    Hey Anna! My name is Tori and I'm 15 going to get bunion surgery on June 30th. To be honest with you, bunion surgery is very serious. You walk on your feet everyday, after bunion surgery you will never have full range of motion or walk the same again. Sorry to say that, but honestly I would recommend seeing a podiatrist. Since they don't hurt there would really be no reason to get bunion surgery done. However if you really feel strongly about getting this done then by all means go ahead! I'll admit I was very excited to see that I was getting bunion surgery, because they had hurt ever since I was 10 and I had to actually quit sports because of the pain sad but you have to remember you are going to be resting for up to 6 weeks! And weight barring for 4 weeks! As well as using annoying crutches. You won't be able to work or get around easy at all. Not to mention, while on pain medicine you most likely won't be allowed to work or go to school. If this is just something cosmetic I wouldn't recommend getting it done. Just wait until they actually start to become a problem. You'll feel much better about it, since you'll be able to have full range of motion and everything right now! I don't want to sound mean but while I would say no your podiatrist might say yes! Be sure to update me on how you feel on it! I'd love to hear about it!
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    • Posted

      Hi, hipe you got the age wrong! I had my bunion surgery 14 years ago. Keyhole and walked out of the theatre, no screws or plates left in the foot. Wire out after 4 weeks, pain free. Back jogging and swimming 6 or 7 weeks after the operation and even after all this time, my foot is great. No bunion, no pain and full motion. So I can not understand what you are talking about. I since have startrd to work for the surgeon, as I felt so happy with the outcome. Over the last 10 years I can honestly say that 99% of our patients are more then happy. You always have the odd one whos expectation is not met. So I do feel very different from what I see every day!
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    • Posted

      Hi again! I didn't say that getting surgery was not going to be successful, and that the expierence was awful or anything like that. What I'm saying is that if you do get plates and screws put in, you never truly get range of motion back,however surgery is still a big upgrade than having bad bunions. As someone who has two severe bunions and being as young as I am (15) I haven't gotten surgery yet; but am still getting it done because I know it will be better for me and-for her! My point is, since she doesn't feel any pain in her foot yet, it would be best to talk to a podiatrist before even considering surgery. If she could spare herself even a year before getting surgery it could be better for her especially since she has no pain so far, and she's young. Most people who I have seen get bunion surgery are older-usually 50-60+ And have had pain for long periods of time. And although there are rarer cases such as myself who went to a podiatrist because of exterme pain and was told after about 5 minutes of discussion that surgery was my only option, since she has no pain it doesn't really seem nessicary for her to receive surgery. At least not until a podiatrist recommends it. Thanks for replying!
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    • Posted

      Also I forgot to mention in my last reply but I live in America,l and we don't provide keyhole surgery so traditional is my only option as well. I've done lots of research on keyhole though and I do see that it is very easy to walk after it is done, and if she had to get a bunion surgery I pray she gets that one because traditional is very intense and the healing time is very long.
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