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It's been almost 4 months since I had my bunion surgery. It was a "simple" surgery -- shave bone, break bone and set pin. I was supposed to be fully painless after 8 weeks. Not the case. I have no problem with moving my big to back and forth. My pain is in the ball of my foot and in the soft tissue right under (side of foot) where the bunion was. I can barely stand to have shoes on. I went shopping for about 4 hours over the weekend and my foot just throbbed. I have no idea what is going on. My doctor sent me to physical thearapy and I have been going for about 8 weeks now with no results.

Has anyone experienced this sort of pain? I am calling my doctor tomorrow and demanding that something more be done. Does anyone have suggestions on what I should demand from him? How can I figure out what is going on?

Chris

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Chris,
Where did you have your surgery and who was your doctor? Did he advise you that there are over 100 different bunioun procedures and that a full biomechanical assessment of your foot is necessary to properly determine the appropriate procedure? Do you have flat feet, pronate, or have a hypermobile first ray? Did he test your degree of plantar flexion and dorsiflexion? (the degree that your toe moves up and down). Did he measure your intermetatarsal angle to determine if it was too severe for a simple bunion osteotomy? What procedure did he perform on you? Are you aware or were you informed that it is crucial to determine the apex of the deformity and correct the foot there rather than just correct the symptom (ie the bunion?) The reason I am asking you all of this is I made the horrible mistake of believing a podiatric surgeon that told me he could correct my bunions with his "special techniques" and that he was an "artist of the foot like michaelangelo." I was first seen by an orthopedic surgeon who told me that I had so much LAXITY in my foot that I required a mid foot fusion along with a bunionectomy, so as to STABALIZE my foot and prevent the problem from eventually getting worse. He told me that I would have to be in cast for several months and non weight bearing, ...he really painted a horrible picture. I had given up on the idea of it until one day when I was searching the web and found my doctor's website with all his before and after pictures and promises that he can have his patients walking in days with his unique techniques. it sounded too good to be true so I sent a letter to his office in CA and my x-rays asking the doctor if I would indeed be a candidate for his procedure. I never got a reply and figured he was just too busy so I went to CA with my friend who also needed surgery. He had a very slick presentation and his office staff went on and on about how great he was, and so we decided to have him operate on us. I wish I would have been better informed about the necessity of all the testing that needed to be done because he didn't do anything but bend my toe back and forth for about a minute. I asked him about the letter I had written and if he had seen the x-rays, and he had not even opened the package. Then I said, "Are yiu sure you can do this, I have flat feet and I pronate, plus the orthopedic doctor said I needed to be in a cast etc etc" and he said that orthopedic docs don't know what they are talking about" and that he is an artist and that's all he does all day. OK, so fast forward...I had my surgferies in Jan and March of 07. I felt the screws and popping but when I called and asked about it I was told to keep icing. By August I was going crazy because I felt like I was walking on rocks where my big toe joint is. I sent pictures showing my toes off the ground to my doc but he did not respond I called incessantly until he finally called me back and when I asked him what he thought of the pics he said he had not even looked at them and to resend them! He then said he thought I would have to have my sesamoids removed, which are the little bones under the big toe joint that act like ball bearings. I was so freaked out at this point I can't even tell you. My friend asked me if I had ever checked this guy out on the CA Medical Board website, which I decided to do, upon her suggestion. Well, he had just been disciplined for sexual misconduct, gross negligence, excessive treatment, falsifying medical records, and more. He was suspended from practicing for 30 days and put on probation for 8 years. At this point I went to another foot surgeon in Phoenix and he told me that the screws were too long and pointing down toward my sesamoids, and that they needed to be removed immediaitely, which he did the next day. I got some relief from this but the more I walked on my feet, the worse I got. My new doc said that what I needed was a mid foot fusion like the original ortho had told me, and that eventually I might want to consider that. I had the fusion surgery in April 08. Unfortunately my foot did not fuse after 10 weeks and so I needed a bone graft, which was done in Aug 08. I am still recuperating, still feel the rocks in my feet, and wonder if there is any hope at all that I can ever resume all the things i used to do like work out, cycle, do yoga, etc. I have been in sales as a rep for designer clothes and also sold real estate and there is nothing I love more than cute clothes and shoes, well it goes without saying that my shoe choices are quite limited. The moral of this story for anyone who has taken the time to read this, is do your research and check your doctor out. Also, if it seems too good to be true, it is. If you are having similar problems as I have described, there are lots of articles and information online about all the ways to fix bunions. Ask lots of questions from your doctor, and if they blow you off like mine did, see someone else. I am currently in a malpractice suit against my doctor, set to begin next week. It will be interesting to hear what is so "unique" about his modified Austin procedure that has been around for 20 years and what "unique technique" he does that is so special. Thanks for listening, (or reading, i shuld say.) If you want to know the doctor I am talking about, just google bunions and look for the site with the infomercial and the surgeon who says he performs more bunion surgeries that any other surgeon worldwide!! That's him!!
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Hey, look, the recovery after this procedure can last for 6 months as well. I was recovered after almost 5 months, but I was ready for this since my doctor explained to me what can happen, all the possible side - effects and pains that I will feel during the recovery process. So, I had a lot of patience. I just wanted to get recovered totally, so I can continue with my daily routines. Some people are still struggling with the pain after six months. Joint pain, painful little toe, and burning sensations are very common even six months after the surgery. So, it doesn't necessarily have to be because the surgeon was bad or similar, it depends on a lot of your anatomy. Sure, seeking for another opinion is something that you should do always. But, for example. even after three months I felt really huge and frustrated at pain when walking more than 100m. And now, I am fine.

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Hi
I have just read your story and I hope everything goes well for you. Here in the UK we do not tend to have a choice of surgeons on our National Health system unless you go privately.
I had bunion surgery 4 weeks ago at a National Health hospital. Everything seems to be going okay. I am still in wooden shoes and I'm getting a bit fed up of them now %-)
Good luck
Kathleen
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Hi Chris523,

Did anything ever come of your suit and are you feeling any better? I just had bilateral bunion surgery 3.5 months ago and am experiencing nearly identical symptoms you described in both feet. I just started physical therapy this week after seeing another doctor who told me I had only 5% range of motion on my toes. Anyway, I hope all is well and hope to hear you are feeling better - which will give me hope!

Best,

D
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Had bunion sx 4 years ago. Now when i walk my step does not end on my big toe, it ends on the joint next to it.. That joint was never intended for that , so it stays sore and painful all the time. My doctor made inserts for me and they help a little, but every step on my right foot will hurt the rest of my life.
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Rockfoot, I am going through the same thing. I used one of those "state of the art" (that's a joke) podiatry teams. I had surgery in November of 2011. Contracted staph infection from hardware, which turned into an infection in the bone. Dr would not acknowledge I had infection. I went to a different dr and had another surgery in April to remove hardware to get rid of infection. Had another surgery in May to reconstruct the foot and have cadaver bone implanted because first surgeon cut metatarsal too short. Now it's mid October and a non-fusion and quite painful. I'm wondering were you successful with the lawsuit and what attorney did you use? First podiatrist also overbilled for surgery because they were out of network. Thank you.

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What happened? Did the pain work itself out? I am experiencing the same thing.
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I have been awake all night with the pain from my bunion surgery, found this forum and decided to ask a question to see if anyone else has experienced the same pain as me. I had my op only 3 weeks ago and have hardly slept due to the pain.  My pain seems to be in the middle of the top of my foot and around my ankle and not on the operation site. I have not found anyone with the same problem and wondered if anyone has experienced this too.  The operation site is still very numb and swollen but not so painful.  I had my stitches out last week which was agonising.  I know it is early days but even after 3 weeks the pain is not easing at all. The painkillers are only lasting an hour or two and then the throbbing starts and what feels like very bad cramp with a painful prickling feeling.  I massage all the painful spots to see if it would help but it doesn't. My big toe is still swollen and a bit black from bruising.  I cry constantly with the pain and just don't know what to do with myself.  How do you know if your body is rejecting the screws and why is my pain so bad? Has anyone got any suggestions to what I should do.

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Hi I've just had my 2nd bunion op 2 days ago. The 1st one I had was totally different to this one! I had pain every ware apart from the wound but I got told of my consultant it was trauma from the tools they use to clamp my foot so this might be the pain your experiencing.

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The experience really can differ for each foot.  Mine have been as different as night and day.  I had a scarf procedure done on my R foot in mid Oct.  Pain was tolerable until week 2.  Then instead of getting better, it got  worse each day.  It turned out that I was not only allergic to the internal sutures the Dr. used, but also to the coating on the titanium screws. I experienced a lot of burning and stabbing pain.  Had the L foot done on Dec 26th.  Different sutures and screws were used.  Very minimal pain and a pretty normal recovery.  On Feb 8, I had another surgery on the R foot to remove the screws and excessive scar tissue that had formed due to the allergic reaction to the screws.  The scar tissue  had pulled my big toe crooked.  It is straight now.  Dr. said this would be a 4 week recovery.  2 weeks with foot elevated, then I should be able to be up and around OK.  Again the pain I have experienced has been and continues to be excruciating.  Shooting burning pain.  It is only 5 days to my 4 week time period is up and I still can't be on my feet all day.  I especially experience  burning and shooting pain at the site where the bunion was and pain up the side of my toe.  

I have been off of work longer than I planned to be, so we are starting to feel the financial strain.  I am avid cyclist, and will be doing a ride across the state at the end of June, and I will need to start training within the next 3 weeks. I had prepared myself mentally for having 2 surgeries and being laid up until mid Feb.  I had myself prepared for swollen feet for 6-9 months.  This 3rd time has been more  challenging mentally.  On top of the  usual winter dol-drums, I've been fighting discouragement.   Basically I need this to be done with, so I can get on with my life. 

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I'm not an expert on this, I'm still trying to figure out what is going on with my own foot, but from some of the reading I have done, I would say you are experiencing some nerve pain issues. There is a possibility you are allergic to the screws or the coating on them, also the internal sutures. I would suggest getting in to see your Dr. ASAP. What you are experiencing is not normal.
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Oh, it sounds like you have had a terrible time and I hope it all heals and gets better soon so you can start your cycling again. I am now in my 9th week and found out what my excruciating pain to the top of my foot was all about. Apparently the blocking injections to numb the pain, they do whilst under sedation had damaged my nerves both in my ankle and shin, but the top of my foot right up to the toes. I have had two lots of penicillin for an infection that is just about going.

I am feeling better now and on occasions can wear flat shoes. I am hoping my nerves will grow back without any lasting damage. My feet do swell up by the end of the day as I am at work and sitting down all day at a desk so unable to elevate it.

I now wished I had done my homework on this operation as I do feel now I may have been a bit too hasty wanting this done. It’s been a tough 9 weeks and still in some pain, but nothing like it was before.

All I can say is if anyone is considering having it done. Remember you won’t be able to feel completely normal for about a year, swelling of the foot happens all the time, your big toe doesn’t feel it belongs to you for months and months and above all make sure you have someone to look after you. I had no one and it was really tough getting up and down the stairs and cooking for yourself is so painful and difficult.
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Hi tandem, many thanks for your reply, you are right about nerve pain, I have had some nerve damage from the block injections that were administered. see my reply below.....

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How did they determine that your nerve problem was from the block injections? I waited a long time before I had surgery. Had it scheduled once with a different Dr, changed my mind and found a Dr. I had more confidence in. I think I do have some nerve damage, but not sure how to go about finding out for sure. I see My Dr. in 5 days for my 4 week check up. I'll ask him more about this then. In comparison to the other foot, I don't feel I should be having this much pain. Will your nerve pain get any better?
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