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Have you ever had a bunion treated? Tell me about it!

(30 Posts)
Financeprincess Sat 01-Mar-14 22:49:27

I think I have one. I can't say goodbye to my high heels, I just can't!!

So, rather than submitting to comfy shoes for the rest of my life, who wants to tell me about having their bunions seen to? What happened, did it hurt, what was the recovery time and, most importantly, can you now wear your heels in comfort again??

(I've been wearing impractical shoes for 25 years and don't plan to stop now, aged 42).

thriftychic Sun 02-Mar-14 00:08:05

I think i have a bunion coming aswell , everytime i wear anything other than completely flat shoes my toe joint hurts . My mum had bunions , really bad ones and had the operation . They did one foot at a time and she had to be off work for 6 weeks each time. the actually operation was ok but it was really painful for a while afterwards . She still wears unsuitable shoes .

RonaldMcDonald Sun 02-Mar-14 01:30:14


CalorHousewifeoftheYear Sun 02-Mar-14 01:53:10

Also watching.

naturelover Sun 02-Mar-14 09:03:35

I had the surgery. Very painful for a couple of days, then just inconvenient wearing one of those boot thingies for six weeks. Took a few weeks for the swelling to go down. Three years on the scar is very faint and my foot is beautifully straight. The main thing is I am no longer in pain.

I was no great wearer of heels and still don't wear heels all that often! My surgeon rolled his eyes when I asked if I could wear ballet flats afterwards (previously they wouldn't fit around the bunion). He said I could but not for school run/long walks or all day every day.

GiniCooper Sun 02-Mar-14 09:09:37

I was just googling this treatment right now!

I've had mine developing since childhood. Obviously I wasn't wearing I'll fitting shoes then so I'm not convinced it's all down to heels.
Bloody painful though.

StephenKatz Sun 02-Mar-14 09:33:41

Not me, but a friend of mine has Hypermobility and has really bad bunions as a result. She had the first one done about six weeks ago and to be honest is still recovering. She's only just started driving (fortunately automatic car and left foot operated on) and is still quite limited to what she can do. It's been quite hard for her and her husband because they have small children and very little childcare (friend is a SAHM so it wasn't needed!) and whilst it sounds like her husband has been fantastic at picking up the slack I think it's really starting to bother them both now that recovery is so slow.

Would you have lots of support afterwards if you were to have the op?

naturelover Sun 02-Mar-14 09:41:05

I think it's genetics or luck.
I have always worn reasonably sensible shoes.
I lined up help in the form of a live-in au pair for a month because my children were so young when I had it done. I also had my husband take leave for a week, my mum came for a week as well. I anticipated needing help for six weeks and planned for it - glad I did! Also got a cleaner.

Financeprincess Sun 02-Mar-14 09:41:05

Crikey! More serious than I'd thought. Thanks ladies. I'd have plenty of help if I were off for six weeks though.

HermioneWeasley Sun 02-Mar-14 12:09:55

If it's at the early stages then There are some good YouTube videos which show massage and exercises which can help, and bunion taping.

Financeprincess Sun 02-Mar-14 14:57:53

Think it might have gone beyond that, Hermione, but thanks!

EBearhug Sun 02-Mar-14 15:05:17

I think a lot of it's genetics. < Looks pointedly at mother and aunt. >

Mine are okay for now. Time will tell how long they stay unpainful.

OnionRing Sun 02-Mar-14 15:07:16

I've got them due to hypermobility and was told by my GP to avoid surgery for as long as possible as it's crude and prone to failure! I'm 40 and the GP said in about a decade she thought the surgical techniques would be far better as there were trials of new methods underway. I use supportive insoles and sensible shoes and it doesn't trouble me anymore. I was also told it's predominantly genetic as I've never worn unsuitable shoes. You can get really nice sensible shoes!

awaywego1 Mon 03-Mar-14 14:02:34

I don't think it often has anything to do with footwear. my mum has an awful bunion and really needs the surgery now and I've never known her to wear heels. I'm starting to develop one (early thirties) and have worn heels 4 times in my life (literally). maybe i should try bunion tapping!

HappyAsEyeAm Mon 03-Mar-14 15:56:36

I have bunions and I have never worn uncomfortable shoes and have very rarely worn heels. For me, its genetic. My grandmother had them, and mine are getting worse. I am 38.

I have them on both feet. One is much worse than the other. I am way beyond just wearing wide fitting shoes from granny shops like M&S Footglove or Hotter. I buy whatever shoes fit me, whenever they are in stock. Last year, I bought three pairs of M&S wide fit footglove sandals (exactly the same sandals in different colours) as I was simply ecstatic that I'd found sandals that fit me. This was in about March smile. I have one pair of heels that I am able to wear for very short periods. Thats it. I dread occasions like weddings or balls because I simply cannot get pretty shoes to fit me and make an otherwise lovely outfit look 'right'.

And, quite apart from having to wear ugly shoes, they bloody hurt.

I saw a consultant last year about them. He was 100% supportive of me having surgery to correct the bunion on one foot, and thought the other bunion didn't need it (yet). I am however putting surgery off until my DC are a little bit older, as my youngest isn't 2yo yet, and still needs to be lifted and carried a lot.

There are no guarantees with bunion surgery. The bunions could simply grow back, no matter what types of shoes you wear. When I said to the consultant about putting off surgery, he did say that the bunion would only get worse. And in getting worse, I might start to develop other foot problems as my gait would change even more and I could start to develop a hammer toe, which would necessitate other surgery (but would be done at the same time as the bunion). Apparently the first sign of a hammer toe is the feeling that you're walking on a pebble. I am now paranoid and when I walk I ask myself whetehr it feels as if I'm walking on a pebble or not! Lovely, eh?!

If you do decide to visit a doctor about them, do not mention anything about the bunion not allowing you to wear heels or pretty shoes. if you're wanting an op on the NHS, that wouldn't be a criteria for allowing it. You have to be in pain.

Financeprincess Mon 03-Mar-14 17:44:09

Thanks! Your description of hunting for granny shoes has made my mind up for me...and thanks for the advice about visiting the GP. Mine is painful when walking in flat shoes, and when I walk over a sticky-up bit of pavement or a cobble that pushes my big toe up, ouch!

naturelover Mon 03-Mar-14 17:49:59

OP are you near London? If so I can recommend my surgeon (who does private and NHS).

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 04-Mar-14 08:48:23

Good luck Finance.

naturelover I am in London and would be grateful for a recommendation of a particular surgeon. I saw someone at the London Foot and Ankle clinic but it was a simple referral from a GP. It wasn't a recommendation. I need one bunion done on my left foot. I have Bupa cover.

Caddie08 Tue 04-Mar-14 08:52:54

I had it done 10 years ago. It was sore for a few days afterwards but then just inconvenient with the boot you have to wear. I was walking properly without the boot within 5 weeks and never had any pain since. Xx

naturelover Tue 04-Mar-14 10:43:33

happy it was Professor Mark Tagoe - he was excellent.
I went private at a tiny central London hospital (can't remember name) but he does NHS too at West Mid.

HappyAsEyeAm Tue 04-Mar-14 11:54:13

thanks nature

HaveAGoodDay Tue 04-Mar-14 12:09:55

I had surgery in 2002 to remove mine. It was soooo painful. I simply couldn't continue with the way it was I was in agony, especially in colder weather. I do have another one on my right foot but it doesn't give me any grief.

Anyway back to 2002, I was warned foot surgery could be quite painful & could take some time to recover etc. I didn't have kids back then & lived with my parents. However I loved dancing & going out etc & was worried it would stop me dancing etc. I had it done & it was sore for a bit. Think I was in hospital for one day & night. I had a little pot on but from what I remember it wasn't all that bad! the pain wasn't that bad, I was up & about with cruches, pot came off after about 3-4 weeks?

Best thing I did regarding that bunion. I have a bit of a scar but that's it, my toe is straight & haven't had no pain obviously. Having my tonsils out was much worse!

OnionRing Tue 04-Mar-14 19:43:16

These positive stories are making me less scared of eventual surgery.

HappyHugs Tue 04-Mar-14 21:09:14

I heard sometime ago that theres a much less invasive keyhole option. Im guessing thats private only a nd therefoe £££££ but the idea was that recovery is much quicker...

Financeprincess Tue 04-Mar-14 21:49:45

Ooh some positive bunion op stories, excellent! I am a long way from London, sadly. Think I will bite the bullet and visit my GP. I run competitively and I've noticed that it's affecting my running gait.

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