Am I expecting too much

mally Member Posts: 25
edited 31. Mar 2014, 18:48 in Living with Arthritis archive

I'm new here and suffer from OA of hands and feet. Through my GP I have been seeing a podiatrrist every 3 months and have recently seen an occupational health nurse about my hands. My fingers have recently started twisting and turning towards one another and I wanted advice as to how to slow the progression of this. The nurse was lovely and gave me gloves to support my thumbs as well as some good advice. She also said that I could come back to see her if I wanted but there's not much else they can do. That seems fair enough to me as my hands aren't too bad yet and I don't want to waste their time.

On the other hand, my podiatrist seems to do very little. My big toes now twist over the next toes when I walk. I work on public transport and have to keep my balance when it is moving and I'm finding this to be increasingly difficult. When I see the podiatrist he usually deals with my ingrowing toenail and my corns and that is about it. He has given me advice on shoes and some protective foam things to put over my toes. I saw a different podiatrist last week and when I mentioned my difficulties she just asked whether I was wearing my foam things regularly but they do nothing to stop the toes going over. She also said that she was glad to see such an easy case for her 1st appointment and I came away thinking that I might as well stop going there as they do nothing about my main problem and actually getting appontments to fit in with work can be awkward.

Am I just expecting too much from the podiatrist?


  • barbara12
    barbara12 Member Posts: 21,274
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello and welcome to the forum Mally
    A podiatrist is the only professional I haven't seen so I wont be much help, but what I would say you are not expecting to much, the next time you see them I would certainly speak up and ask what could be done to straighten those toes, if the foam doesn't work maybe it would mean surgery..there are many on here that have had foot probs and got great relief from surgery.
    If you don't want to go down that path I would still ask for all the options..
    good luck...
  • mally
    mally Member Posts: 25
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks, Matty. I'd prefer not to have surgery as I've had lots of problems with hernias as well recently.............3 repaired in the last 18 months and now another one has popped out! I'm certainly getting my moneys worth from the NHS at the minute but unless they can do my toes and hernia at the same time, I wouldn't dare as I've had so much time off work recently for the previous surgery.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I haven't seen a podiatrist but I remember my late FIL's (father in law) toes. He refused to see anyone about his arthritis and, from what I've learned over my affected years, I think he had two kinds, one of which was OA. My mother also had OA but again did nowt about it. Both had big toes which had become almost horizontal over the others, and in FIL's case the others laced in and out too.

    I don't know if you are expecting too much but, given the nature of your work, then yes, you need to find out more. Don't be afraid to ask questions but arthritis-affected joints can be very determined in what they want to do. Feet are far more complicated structures than hands and undergo far more day-to-day stress. DD
  • mally
    mally Member Posts: 25
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    First of all, sorry Barbara. I confused my username with yours for some reason (I'm not used to mine yet) :oops:

    Also, thanks Daisy. I was going to cancel my podiatry sessions because she made me feel as if I was wasting her time but shan't now. I need to be more pushy.

    I wouldn't mind but when my big toes started to become painful I had a one off meeting with a podiatrist who asked me if I wanted surgery. I said no because I really didn't think they were bad enough to warrant surgery at that time (about 7 years ago). Now that they are getting worse surgery has never been mentioned. The foam is useful as it has stopped me getting corns and blisters but I thought that was all that it was for.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,930
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Mally. A podiatrist is really just a modern term for a chiropodist. They cut toenails, deal with ingrowing toenails etc.

    To be straight with you, once fingers and toes start veering off in different directions it's very hard to stop them though exercises may help a little. There are people on here who have had successful foot surgery but it's a very complex area with lots of little bones which all affect each other.

    I think an orthotist might be your best bet. They provide custom made insoles to try to correct your gait and so deter further damage. It was my rheumatologist who first referred me but ask your GP or podiatrist.

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