Bunions

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raindrops
raindrops Member Posts: 5
edited 5. Jan 2011, 11:25 in Living with Arthritis archive
I've recently gound out that i have arthritis in my feet after going to see a foot doctor regarding bunions on both my feet. I had a xray done in both feet and once i saw the doctor he said that there would be no way he would operate on my feet as i'm only 28 and he would rather do it when i am 40. Also the bones in my feet aren't straight which he went on to say that he can't operate. I didn't find him helpful as i'm in pain all the time. After doing research online i have found out that bunions can lead to arthritis. Also my feel will get worse if i don't have the bunion surgery and this really concerns me. All the docoter suggested was that i wear thick socks and keep my feet warm.

Has anyone had this happen to them? Is it worth me having a second opinion?

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  • alarkra
    alarkra Member Posts: 213
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Raindrops.

    My feet started going squiffy when I was only 8 years old... now at 25 my feet are rather bad - if I put them together, the big toes go off at at 30 degree angle the other way, so I have a triangular gap between them (if that makes sense). One of my big toes is actually completely numb now. I have RA and when I was diagnosed in July the consultant wasn't surprised to see that my feet were like this. However, he didn't raise any concern about them.

    Now, the way that I always have got around it is to wear flat, wide-fit shoes and always take comfort over fashion (however, primarni have just started doing a wide-fit range!). It may not be what you want to hear, however, this is the simple way for me to get around it and I have little pain... and if I do get pain, I just don't wear those shoes! I have had a couple of friends who have opted for surgery on their feet (also in their 20s), however, their feet weren't as bad as mine (and they don't have arthritis). I personally couldn't bare the thought of having surgery and being unable to walk for several weeks... so I have not made my GP do anything about it.

    Cushioned insoles help and the gel inserts too depending on the shoe (I do have inflammation in my feet, so this does help) and also wear walking socks to provide extra cushioning so it keeps discomfort to a minimum.

    If you think that you would like a second opinion, then you should go for it and see what they say as they may well think differently. Others on the forum may disagree with what I have said, but everyone is different when it comes to this tricky disease. :roll: :)

    Personally, I have enough issues with RA, so if I can just keep footwear simple to avoid further discomfort, then it works for me. Everyone is different. I hope this helps and that you find a solution which suits you. :wink: 8) xx

    Oh and welcome to the forum!! :))
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Morning raindrops, my my, life sounds uncomfortable for you at the moment. I am not sure from your post whether you now have arthritis in your feet, or you fear you will develop it as a result of the bunions. If you do have the arthritis, who diagnosed it? If the bunions are causing you pain and difficulty in walking then surely any surgeon worth his salt would be willing to operate and correct them, no matter what your age. I think the inability to walk for a short while afterwards is a small price to pay for the promise of better walking. You need to chase this up, perhaps get a second opinion about the surgery, and I hope something can be done to help you. I wish you well. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • moodyblue
    moodyblue Member Posts: 15
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Raindrops. Sorry to hear about your poor feet. I wonder if you have a similar problem to me.
    My first symptom of RA was in my feet. My bunions are an indication that my feet are very flat and I have hypermobile joints. If I had surgery it would need repeating as its the structure of my arches that causes the problem.
    My consultant referred me to a Podiatrist who made me some "supports" to wear in my shoes and they help enormously by correcting the shape of my arches. I have to get wide shoes but otherwise I manage fine. I wonder if you can get a referral too.
    If not, you can buy arch supports at bigger branches of a well known high street chemist.
    Hope this helps. Good luck!
  • speedalong
    speedalong Member Posts: 3,315
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Raindrop,

    I too had bunions - as a teenager and I had them corrected surgically - whilst in the sixth form (so a lot younger than 40!!) Was worth it as I was in increasing pain walking and standing (and my Saturday job on my feet all day was rather a nightmare.)

    Must say though, have noticed recently that the toes are starting to go over again (I'm now 43) but as of yet not painful, except a bit of discomfort where the toe next to the left big toe constantly treads on and pinches a ridge of skin along the inside edge of the big toe.

    Definitely worth seeing a podiatrist and if that doesn't help pushing for a second opinion from an ortho.

    I do wonder where they get these random ages from .... can't operate on your toes/knees/hips until X age (but then you hear of others who have been offered the op ...)

    Speedy
    I have had OA since mid twenties. It affects my hips and knees. I had a THR on the left aged 30 and now have a resurface-replacement on the right - done May 2010.
  • vickster
    vickster Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Raindrops,

    I'm sorry to hear you're having problems and know some of the pain you're having.

    I thought I'd share my experience in case it's of any help. I knew my feet weren't quite right and I've had problems finding shoes since I was a child. I was diagnosed with arthritis in my back when I was 30 and my brother has been diagnosed with AS so I know that arthritis is in my bones!

    I saw a podiatrist last summer who diagnosed issues with bunions. I saw two surgeons - in Spain - who both diagnosed bunion problems and recommended surgery - I'm 41 years old. I had the surgery on my left foot first in April 2010. I've had a few surgeries but I must admit it was one of the most painful recoveries I've had to date - but they say bone surgery is a very painful recovery. In September 2010 I returned to the UK and was still experiencing swelling and pain in the foot. I was referred to osteo and in December - just before Christmas ! - I was diagnosed with arthritis in the big toe - there's no cartilage there. I am currently in more pain than I was pre-surgery and have now been told I have clear arthritis in both feet. The bunion surgery has unfortunately brought the arthritis to the fore. The osteo says the only option is to fuse the toe in the left foot and no more high heeled shoes. That's about 15 pairs of shoes and 10 pairs of boots that I can no longer use! I am depressed by the diagnosis, the pain and the prognosis. I wished I'd never done the bunion surgery. I wasn't in terrible pain - just a bit of discomfort now and again. Today, I can't walk on my left foot without pain and the thought of fusion is frightening, especially when I've just read about what the surgery involves.

    The thought of not wearing heels again saddens me. I know I shouldn't be bothered by looks but in truth I like the way my legs look in heels. I wish I hadn't done the surgery in the first instance as I think I would have staved off the arthritis for longer. Who knows the "what ifs" etc but a year ago I was wearing heels with intermittent pain. It's not to say that the arthritis wouldn't have got me eventually, but I could have had a bit more fun wearing sexy heels. I have had one op and likely to have another. I thought I was taking preventative action for the future by having my bunions done whilst I was still fit and able. May be it wasn't such a great choice, but I am where I am and there's no point looking backwards. I always thought UK doctors were anti-surgery until you were pain because they do reactive treatment rather than proactive treatment. However, where arthritis is involved, maybe it is best not to fix something that really isn't broken because my experience is that fiddling with something that wasn't broken but was a bit wrong has caused me to break something that at least worked.

    However, everyone has to make their own judgement based on pain. Arthritis is all about pain thresholds. What can be done to minimise the pain whilst minimising invasive treatment? Wearing wide-fit, flat shoes will probably mean comfort and minimising the risk of painful arthritis in the future. But as a girl who loves shoes and heels, wide-fitting flat shoes don't get me quite as excited!

    Hope some of this helps.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    One can also have fun in flats. A great deal of fun, I can tell you. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • maria09
    maria09 Member Posts: 1,905
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi
    All I can say is foot surgery is really painful & Im keeping my bunion no matter how much it hurts! Mines an odd 1 anyway as its on the top rather than the side & Ive got a squishy bit on the top of it too!
    My Rheumy says Im unique so I said he could write about it in their medical journal his reply was Im not that unique! Its a good job I get on well with him & we always have a laugh
    I also agree with letting nature take its course as Ive arthur in my feet & they are slowly fusing together thats why I get so much pain!
    Every so often I get injections in my feet whilst its painful it does esa the pain for a while
    Keep strong
    Maria x
  • vickster
    vickster Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Dreamdaisy,

    Sounds like you're definitely having fun in flats! I hope to discover it too :grin:

    Vickster
  • cherrybim
    cherrybim Member Posts: 334
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    vickster wrote:
    Hi Dreamdaisy,

    Sounds like you're definitely having fun in flats! I hope to discover it too :grin:

    Vickster

    Ah Vickster,

    DD made a slight slip there. What she meant to say was apartments (far more upmarket, dontcha know) and when she jets off to America & Canada she means condominiums :wink:

    Cherry x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Oh cherrybim, you is a twerp, and anyhoo I thought condominiums were a form of birth control.

    Having fun is to do with one's outlook and attitude, not one's appearance. I know that heels elongate the leg, look fab and do, sometimes, provide the finishing touch to an outfit but I am also minded of the havoc they play with one's joints - not only in the toes, but the ankles, knees and pelvis too. Very, very few women can walk well in high heels - most do some form of ungainly waddle - and when you look at the distorted appendages of those habitual wearers, god they are ugly. VB's feet spring to mind - seen those? I know she is the size of a twiglet (similar colouring too) but her feet are horrendous. I may return to heels when I get my motorised scooter affair, in those future days when walking will be a thing of the past. I have a terrific pair upstairs, bought in March 1997, to go with my going away outfit for the wedding to Mr DD in July that year. I have never worn them as this trouble began in April. I can't throw them out tho - they are a reminder of those much better days, when life had some quality to it. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • vickster
    vickster Member Posts: 3
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Yes DD you're right a good pair of feet is much better than heels and mangled feet. But sometimes, I can't help feeling I wish I wasn't different from others and I could don a pair of heels if it takes my fancy. Sometimes getting dressed up in pretty dresses and lovely heels made me feel like everyone else. Now I feel I've got clomping size 8 feet which haven't a hope of looking dainty any more - :(
    But when I feel like this I remind myself that I've got all my limbs and a working brain, a good mind and I'm grateful for that. Quality of life comes with happiness and I'm sure you have quality of life without heels - don't you? :wink:
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I have clomping size 7.5 now, double EE width. They used to be a 7, double AA, then they spread to a C, now they is just flippers - and completely flat to boot (ha-ha). I do have a fairly good life, 'tis true. I am under the cosh with pain at the mo, sometimes I lose the ability to cope with it all with my usual good grace and humour (hah! - sarcastic laugh there) - anyhoo, I have just returned from Felixstowe, having spent my Christmas money from my mum: I bought a pair of Josef Seibel flatties, reduced in the sale, various shades of blue and very comfy. With my now far more generous embonpoint (courtesy of the steroids) I now ensure that men look at my cleavage, not me flippers! DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • sturge8
    sturge8 Member Posts: 164
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi all, I'm 30 years young and I have been offered surgery to correct the alignment of my 1st metatarsal. My podiatry surgeon has explained that my 1st met is 10mm too long which has contributed to a bunion forming and subsequently arthritis. He has suggested that I have a Austin-Youngswick decompression osteotomy. This will align my 1st met correctly and improve function of the joint. I am worried about having the operation however, if I choose to do nothing it could get worse. He certainly didn't think fusion is a good thing, in fact I think he is doing everything in his power to make sure I never will need to have the joint fused. A fused 1st met joint will have a massive impact in the way you walk. I would look into having the joint resurfaced before opting for fusion.
  • frogmorton
    frogmorton Member Posts: 29,490
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    This thread is wonderful!!!

    youb lot made me laugh :)) thank you so much!

    I got bunions too and I'm keepin' em!! x:shock: To scared to loose em and wont till they make me due to huge agony.....

    condominuims eh? x:lol:

    Toni xx