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bunions - bane of my life!

(43 Posts)
humptydumpty Sat 23-Jun-18 10:09:44

Hi all, for a long time I have been developing bunions on both feet, causing my toes to rub together and cause corns, toes are now completely distorted. The annoying thing is, I never wore fashionable (pointed) shoes growing up because I was always being told they would give me bunions!

I would dearly like to get rid of them, but when I asked a GP he was very negative about bunionectomies.

So my question is, has anyone else had their bunions removed, and what has been there experience - at the time and subsequently?

Thanks in advance for your help smile

annsixty Sat 23-Jun-18 10:20:48

It is 30 years since I had one bunion removed.
Best thing ever,I was in a lot of pain and the relief was wonderful.
In those far off days ,unbelievably I was in hospital 5 days, I expect now it is in and out in a morning or afternoon.
It was painful for a time but things will have improved by now.

Maggiemaybe Sat 23-Jun-18 10:42:04

Another sufferer here, humptydumpty. I admit I've spent a lot of my life in high heels, but bunions can be hereditary. My dad's DM had them and never wore flats, even in her 90s smile, my DM had them and she rarely wore heels, so I was destined to get them, really.

It's good to hear of your experience, ann. I've always put off having the op as the only person I know who had it done had lots of trouble afterwards, including a further operation to correct a problem caused by the first procedure. She now advises against having it done. I'm not in a lot of pain from mine, though, things would be different if I was.

Maggiemaybe Sat 23-Jun-18 10:43:06

And I'm not getting rid of all the shoes I can't wear at the moment, just in case!

grannysyb Sat 23-Jun-18 11:00:32

Have had both of mine done on the NHS but some time ago. Still have wide feet! but buying shoes much easier now. I had both done under local anaesthetic and the injections for that were really painful. Had relatively little pain after the op. I suspect that it's one of the ops that the NHS are cutting back on these days.

giulia Sat 23-Jun-18 13:53:52

Had one bunion operated on 15 years ago. The other foot, nearly 13 years ago. NEVER have them done together or you won't be able to get about for ages!

Things were fine for about ten years, but now both bunions are coming back. I do not wear high heels or pointy toes.

Am told the operate via laser now but it seems they can grow back anyway.

The final blow is that a granuloma flared up over one of the suture scars and am still being treated regularly for it in hospital over six months later. Recovery is really slow and painful and I can only wear fitflops.

I wish I had never had the ops.

Welshwife Sat 23-Jun-18 14:12:40

My daughter had a congenital bunion and could never buy what she considered fashionable shoes. She only ever had the choice of two styles made on the same lathe pattern when she was at school - the man in his shoe shop was so lovely to her.
When she was twenty she had the operation and the foot was in plaster for a few weeks and she hobbled about on crutches.
She is still OK some 30 years later but still needs wide shoes so buys when she sees.

cornergran Sat 23-Jun-18 17:55:42

One foot was operated on about 9 years ago. A day case with a general anaesthetic as the surgeon insisted. Very little (well, none really) post operative pain and the foot is still straight enough. I did careful research on surgeons and adhered to his post op protocols, I noticed at the follow,up appointment that many hadn’t. I’d love the other foot to have the same treatment now but I’m not sure it would meet current NHS referral guidelines. Plan to ask the GP when I next see her.

Izabella Sat 23-Jun-18 21:31:33

I had both of mine done at the same time nearly 30 years ago. Yes it was a tad painful and I had a GA and POP's for 8 weeks. Totally worth it and never looked back.

Newatthis Sat 23-Jun-18 22:21:54

No - don't ever, ever. 5 years on and still in pain having had my left foot done. I only did it so I could wear nice shoes and now the only shoes I can wear are uglier than ever! I guess I am one of the unlucky ones. Limping as in turn thrown my hips and back out which in turn has thrown my balance and neck muscles out.

Fennel Sun 24-Jun-18 10:00:06

I've got one on my right foot, never had the operation. Like you humptydumpty, I've now got distorted toes and corns, but try to reduce the friction by only wearing soft shoes like Skechers.
My sister has the same problem and her second toe now overlaps the big toe. She had to have special shoes made.

Teetime Sun 24-Jun-18 10:06:19

I had the right foot done (bunion and second toe joint) four years ago under local anaesthetic and that foot is just fine it took about 3 months in total to get back to normal. I delayed having the second foot done until it was almost inoperable and therefore had to have a three procedure operation under general anesthetic BUT I am on the way to full recovery 12 weeks later. What was a revelation was how little post op pain there was easily relieved by pain killers (and chocolate) Have them done or it will adversely affect your mobility more and more as you get older.

NfkDumpling Sun 24-Jun-18 10:14:02

My friend had both her feet done very successfully so I toddled off to see the surgeon about the one I have on my left foot. I don’t get much pain but having unmatched feet makes buying shoes a night are and I live in sandals with adjustable Velcro fastenings in summer and Doc Martins in winter. Smart shoes aren’t an option if I want to walk. He said I wasn’t bad enough and sent me off to see the physiotherapist! He also said there was a 25% failure rate. I suspect this is because most operations are delayed too long.

PenTur Sun 24-Jun-18 10:23:48

I had both of my bunions fixed at the same time six years ago and have no regrets. You are going to be off your feet for some time for one, so you may as well get both done at the same time. I was warned about the pain but it wasn’t too bad at all, you just have to keep your feet up and get waited on! It was fabulous being able to wear nice shoes and even flip flops after years of discomfort. I started running (at 70) a few weeks ago for the first time ever and have had no problem with my feet so far.

gran5up Sun 24-Jun-18 10:34:00

No, don't do it! I had 1 bunion operated on, 14 yr ago, and the toe next to it straightened. Both procedures have been unsuccessful as bunion and claw toe have returned. Recovery meant,"heel walking" (very awkward and painful, especially as the "plaster clog from hell" dug into me when I flexed my ankle to "heel walk") and using crutches. Foot so wide had to borrow daughter's trainers, looked like Easter Bunny with large white feet! Told,"back to normal after 6 weeks" it was over 2 years before I felt easier.Worst of all, they used wire to bind the joint internally, that snapped and I was left in the shower gazing at it protruding from my foot-scared to pull it in case it unravelled! So-after all that tale of woe-I would say No, but chiropodist said,"You never know how bad you'd have been without the op"...

humptydumpty Sun 24-Jun-18 10:47:10

Thanks everyone for your replies smile - a mixed bag! I did ask a GP a few years ago and was told it would not be done under the NHS. He also said that they may come back. It's very shallow, but I would love to wear open sandals but feel my feet look too ugly! As it is, I do live in Sketchers - really comfortable...

Lots to consider...

SunnySusie Sun 24-Jun-18 10:48:42

I have bunions on both feet and had the worst one on my right foot done 18 years ago under general anaesthetic as a day case. Post op I had crutches and a boot for a few weeks, had to keep the foot elevated or it swelled up, but it didnt really hurt and I hardly took any pain killers. The joint is now fine, straight and lovely. My left foot bunion is a nuisance, the toe is constantly bruised and the nail regularly falls off, it looks dreadful, but I doubt I will get it done. It was never quite as bad and I can walk without a problem. Anyway I now have an unrelated torn ligament in my knee which is much more irritating!

lollee Sun 24-Jun-18 11:15:21

My granddaughter had this done on the worst foot about 3 years ago aged about 21! She always wore sensible shoes as she had to due to the pain if she wore heels or the like. After the op she was in dreadful pain for more than 2/3 weeks, in tears with it.
However, once healed she was glad she had it done though it has put her off having the other done.
Maybe your doc, rightly or wrongly, feels that at your age it is a bit late to think of this and sees it as costing the nhs, I am playing devil's advocate here, not suggesting it myself.
During her initial enquiries i heard of a new method of doing bunions sort of like keyhole surgery, less invasive and quicker healing but not sure if it is actually being done or in what hospitals.

HurdyGurdy Sun 24-Jun-18 11:26:32

I have had both of mine removed, a couple of years apart. Best thing ever. Mine were self inflicted (totally inappropriate fashion shoes when younger).

Being able to wear something other than wide fitting trainers is amazing.

The recovery was a bit of a pain in the proverbials, but well worth the outcome.

I'd recommend having them done to anyone.

vickya Sun 24-Jun-18 11:29:03

I have them too and have never been able to wear heels and have worn flats or trainers mostly. When asked the GP said hit them with a heavy book! Nothing else can be done. I am also arthritic and other things hurt more so don't fancy the operation and weeks unable to walk at all.

minxie Sun 24-Jun-18 11:33:42

Bunions are hereditary so not really anything to do with badly fitting shoes. Look into laser treatments, which are up and coming

JanaNana Sun 24-Jun-18 11:58:11

A friend of mine had a bunion removed. It removed the problem it caused but created another. It shortened her toe slightly and caused her to walk slightly differently which then caused a pad of hard skin to form beneath. Every six weeks thereafter at the chiropodists to have the hard skin dealt with.

Sheilasue Sun 24-Jun-18 12:06:54

I haven’t got bunions but on the top of both my big toes where the bone is I have bumps left one is bigger than the right one. Can only wear trainers,flat shoes with a flap:to hide them. Have a lovely pair of sandels and can’t wear them for long. Haven’t worn high heels for years.
My mum told me years ag they are called’ganglins’ don’t know if that is true but the left one can be painful if the shoe rubs. Hate my feet, but think I might have arthritis now in the bumps.

sluttygran Sun 24-Jun-18 12:10:02

I would say that if your bunions are really painful and/or your feet very unsightly, it’s worth having surgery.
If neither of the above apply, then maybe leave things be. The foot is a very complex structure, and altering its mechanism can cause problems with gait and balance - potentially lethal for us older gals!
As mentioned in a previous post, do try Skechers GoWalk shoes. I have both the casual trainers and the sandals. My feet feel as though they have died and gone to
I also have some Hotter pumps for smarter occasions. They’re ok if I don’t have to walk too far, and are very attractive even on my lumpy old plates.
Pride must be pinched, as my mother used to say!

KnittyNannie Sun 24-Jun-18 12:13:11

I had my bunions "done" six or seven years ago (the second foot was operated on five months after the first). I heard a good few horror stories prior to having them done. However, it was the best thing I've ever done. I had no pain whatsoever.