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Bunions....have you had surgery?
Old 10-03-2016, 10:24 AM   #1
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Bunions....have you had surgery?

The discussion on knee replacements brought another topic to mind: bunions.

I'm wondering if anyone has had surgery on a bunion and what was the outcome?

I'm a fairly active person. I walk 4 miles three times a week and ballroom dance a few hours per week. Additionally, I am a female, so my ballroom dancing has me on my 'toes' quite a bit due to heeled shoes as well as dance technique.

I have a bunion on my left foot. Luckily, it is not causing me any pain. I am noticing that the bunion has caused my toes/forefoot to cant a bit to the left over the years. Also, I am needing to buy wider shoes to accommodate the bunion and also to keep my 3 smaller (outboard) toes on my left foot from getting 'smooshed' when walking distances.

Recently, I noticed that the wear pattern on the sole of my last pair of shoes (used for walking) has a noticeable worn-out patch under the ball of my left foot as compared to the right foot. This has me wondering about my foot/leg mechanics...and the long-term effects of this bunion-caused misalignment. I'd hate to end up with potential future knee or hip issues as a result.

I have not discussed this issue with a doctor, but am guessing that surgery might be recommended. I have concerns about the possible risks from undergoing bunion surgery (ongoing nerve pain, loss of mobility, etc.) so I am soliciting input from others here who might have insights to share. (If you mention a surgery, please also cite what type of doctor did the surgery. Thx.)


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Old 10-03-2016, 11:22 AM   #2
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Don't know about surgery DW had issues due to years on heels. She was in a lot of pain attempting to walk more than a couple of hundred yards.

Visited with a Pedeorthist and proper shoes and inserts, it's a whole different experience. I'd start with shoes vs surgery.

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Old 10-03-2016, 12:43 PM   #3
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DW has had three bunion surgeries. (Not much of a high heel person, but eldest son's bunion manifesting as teen shows that heredity can play a big role.)

She has not been happy with results. Obviously, the first two by a recommended podiatrist, didn't work out. The last one, by an ortho who does a lot of feet work, straightened the foot out somewhat, but the steel (?) that was inserted into the foot by one or the other of the surgeries causes discomfort--especially when barefoot on hard surface. All in all, despite using her peers to find specialists who would be best at this, she somewhat regrets the process and will do her utmost to avoid going through it again.

As always, YMMV. And, the good news is that she continues to be on her feet seeing patients all day, and is still running 3-4 days a week. Whether the surgeries helped in that manner is unknowable. although she doubts it.
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Old 10-03-2016, 01:16 PM   #4
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Old 10-03-2016, 01:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 2017ish View Post
....eldest son's bunion manifesting as teen shows that heredity can play a big role.
Totally agree. My father and his brother both had similar bunions.

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Old 10-03-2016, 01:28 PM   #6
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I can only give you what I know...

Mom had the surgery done decades ago... hers were so bad that her big toe was almost pointed toward her small toe... she had both feet done at the same time... the doc actually cut out a big section of her bone and inserted some kind of teflon joint... IIRC, it took awhile for her skin etc. to get back to normal as it was stretched and no longer had what was stretching it... she has had zero problems since first surgery...

My DW had it done along with fixing a hammer toe... she was up and walking in two days... the doc put in a steel pin... also, we did not know she was fusing the hammer toe until after it was done... (not good)... she was fine for maybe 3 years...

In the 3rd year her steel pin moved and was pushing on her skin... you could see it where the bunion used to be... so, had to pay to have it removed... I was thinking a quick in office procedure, but NO.... hospital etc. where the put her under.... I have written about this before where the whole procedure from wheeling her out of the ready room to wheeling her back in was less than 5 minutes and it cost me many thousands of $$$$s.... however, she does not show any problems with walking or dancing etc... and she sometimes does an 18 mile hike in the mountains...
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Old 10-03-2016, 03:12 PM   #7
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Twenty five years ago I had two surgeries, back to back. Left, then right. It took a year to be 100%, but 80% at the end of 6 weeks. The shoes, supports and such were a waste of time and money in my case. I would do the same thing again.
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Old 10-03-2016, 03:28 PM   #8
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I have had bunions on both feet for as long as I can remember as well as calluses. They cause very little discomfort so I don't do anything about them. I couldn't even imagine considering having surgery on a bunion unless it was causing significant pain. Go to a doctor if it'll make you feel better but don't let them talk you into surgery if there is little to no pain. Just my opinion.
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Old 10-03-2016, 05:16 PM   #9
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Ow, I'm so sorry to read about your bunions. I have never had them but I hope the doctor can cure them somehow without surgery. Keep us updated.

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Old 10-03-2016, 05:33 PM   #10
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I have them, they are benign for nearly all the time, occasionally one will pain a bit for a day making me think it's gout or arthritis then it can be fine for months.

I've see the diagram of how it's fixed at physio office, and it looks horrible so I am just careful picking my shoes to fit and hoping to avoid it.
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Old 10-03-2016, 10:45 PM   #11
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I had bunion surgery almost 30 years ago. In my case, the bunion caused a nerve to be irritated whenever I wore shoes. I was literally walking down the hall and fell down. I had to have surgery because this couldn't be fixed any other way (well, at that time -- don't know about now). I wore open sandals for a few weeks to see if the nerve would settle down (this was hard to find in the winter which it was at the time). But, it didn't help.

The surgery was not that difficult. I would guess it is probably easier now than it was then. The recovery was uneventful.

Note that my situation was unusual in that the bunion placement caused the nerve problem which made it very difficult for me to walk. In my case, surgery was clearly necessary.

I had no complications from the surgery. I did have to use crutches for awhile which was unfun, but it wasn't a big deal. I did have an orthopedic surgeon who specialized in foot surgery.
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:41 AM   #12
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Many have good success with the surgery.

But something has to be really painful before I'd have surgery. Not in misery, let it alone.
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Old 10-04-2016, 05:47 AM   #13
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DW had bunion surgery about three years ago, recovered nicely and was glad she made the decision to have it done.
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Old 10-04-2016, 06:51 AM   #14
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I would start walking barefoot as much as possible and using toe-spreading orthotics. has some shocking expensive toe-spreaders but they are very comfortable.
I'd also see a doctor of osteopathy or even a chiropractor about your gait producing uneven wear on your shoes. I think you were smart to recognize that as an indicator of possible future problems. DW also gets a lot of use out of our Inversion board. It's a table that you buy once and use it many times to put yourself in traction, great for a whole body stretch.
I would definitely try many things before going the surgery route, unless pain became chronic and unbearable.
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Old 10-04-2016, 09:55 AM   #15
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If you are seeing uneven wear on your shoes, you need to see a specialist. Have you seen a podiatrist? They can have orthotics custom-made for your feet, and include special padding that will straighten your foot to avoid the uneven wear.

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Old 10-05-2016, 02:55 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Gotadimple View Post
If you are seeing uneven wear on your shoes, you need to see a specialist. Have you seen a podiatrist? They can have orthotics custom-made for your feet, and include special padding that will straighten your foot to avoid the uneven wear.

I have custom orthotics that were made for me about 10 years ago. I wear these when doing my long walks and when dancing.

I will need to inquire what they might be able to do about my uneven sole wear and canted foot. Thanks!

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Old 10-10-2016, 07:34 PM   #17
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No pain = no surgery! I had bunion surgery on my left foot. I have the right foot scheduled but I think I will cancel as its my driving foot and I just cant be off my foot for that long at this time.

There is no point in getting surgery if you continue to wear heels. The bunion will return.

Mine took a good 6 months before I could wear a normal shoe. I have never achieved full flexibility in it. So, when I do yoga, planks etc... I'm depending on the one that has not bee operated on to support me.

I Think with dancing as a hobby I Would not have the surgery. It is not cosmetic. Perhaps limit heel wearing to when you are dancing and stretch your feet regularly. There is a little sock called bunion booty that puts tension on it. But still...with no pain. I just don't think id mess with it.

I've been on fmla for a couple of weeks dealing with family matters and have discovered significant pain relief. All I can think is I am not sitting all day in front of a computer with my feet swelling then trying to powerwalk in the evenings. Either way, even with some significant pain this makes me plan to cancel my surgery.

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Old 10-12-2016, 05:53 AM   #18
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i had bunion surgery on both feet at the same time. i would Not advise that to anyone! on my left foot, they cut a bone taking a V shape out of it, straightened it out and put a 10 inch pin/wire in in, leaving an inch sticking out of my foot. right foot was in better shape, not requiring the pin and using a different technique. This procedure was 18 years ago and i have no problems now. at the time i was a marathon runner who was reduced to a crippled walk. my running days are over now but i still walk over 8 miles most days.

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