SPECIAL BUNION HEALTH REPORT

Consider these 5 Recommendations to Follow Before Your First Appointment with a Bunion Surgeon

After meeting with my podiatrist and interviewing several readers about their experience, here are five of the most important rules to follow before your first appointment.

1.  Make decisions for the right reasons. Long-term health first. Then best time. Then money. I realized that I was letting my financial/time constraints make my decision and keep me from seeking a 2nd and 3rd opinion. I had reservations about moving forward so quickly within just a few weeks with only one doctor’s perspective, but I told myself I had to do it “now” because the pain in my foot was getting worse, I had a limited window of time, and spending extra money on 2nd and 3rd opinions wasn’t necessary. Live and learn. But now you don’t have to because you can learn from my mistakes and lessons learned as well as my good choices.

It’s your health and your feet that you’ll live with for the rest of your life, not a car or a house that you can trade up or sell. When I make the decision again, I will choose for my long-term health first, then time, then money.

Rather than stress yourself out by waiting until the last minute, work backwards from your best outcome (healthy feet as you grow older and time to enjoy your life). Plan ahead for how much time off and how much money you will need for surgery and recovery time and create a savings account just for that “project” so you make your decisions for the right reasons.

2.  Give yourself extra preparation time. How much time have you allowed yourself to do your research and make a decision? The last thing you want to do is feel like you’re making a rushed decision (like I did) and then end up wishing you done things differently after your surgery.

Take your time researching. I recommend the following:

  • Month 1:

o   Research and read about bunion surgery and doctors. Ask for referrals from friends.

o   Plan the best time for your surgery

  • Month 2:

o   Interview three doctors. Include a podiatrist and an orthopedic surgeon.

o   Be sure that each one isn’t recommended by the previous doctors you’ve seen.

o   Ask them how far ahead you need to schedule surgery so that it fits in your best time window.

  • Month 3:

o   Choose your doctor based on how confident and safe you felt with their answers to the questions you’ve asked.

o   Call the doctor’s office and give the scheduling team your best surgery date options. Remember it’s your life you’re working around first, then your doctor’s schedule.

3.  Do your homework. Answer these questions before you make your first appointment:

  • Who have you gotten your referrals from? If you used the Internet or Yellow Pages, promise me that you will not schedule surgery with that surgeon until you have talked with at least 3, preferably 5 of his clients. I know it’s an inconvenience to ask but this is your body, your mobility, and the rest of your life you’re making a decision about. Be conscious and protective of yourself.
  • How much research have you done online watching videos and looking at different doctor’s websites?
  • What do you know about your doctor’s success rate? If the doctor you’re considering doesn’t have a website, can you “drop by” to get a feel for their office environment? Are you keeping notes on each doctor you’ve been referred to?
  • Ask questions. Write out your questions and ask other bunion survivors what questions they wished they’d asked their doctor before surgery. Take your list of questions with you to each appointment and check off each question as you ask it and get an answer.
  • If your doctor pressures you into making a quick decision or makes you feel uneasy, take a deep breath, and sleep on it. You want to make your decision based on your needs and schedule, as much as when the surgery suite is available or when your doctor is taking a vacation.

 4.  Take the time to look for a doctor in your immediate area before you sign on with one from out of town. I found my surgeon by doing what you and a lot of people are doing now – searching the internet for information. His online infomercial followed by his high tech in-person presentation, his obvious perfectionism and the testimony from three women in the waiting room who said he’d been their 2nd or 3rd opinion was so compelling.

I wasn’t motivated to do more research than make two last-minute calls to other doctors, both of whom I was told by their receptionists couldn’t see me until after my surgery date was scheduled for this doctor, hence why I suggest starting your research 3-6 months in advance of your surgery window. Having options builds confidence.

I drove 90 minutes one way to go to my surgeon because of his excellent reputation and because I had two time windows I was working with – my business slow time which is summer and my insurance deductible for the year – I chose his reputation for excellence over more research to find someone comparable in my city because I hadn’t planned enough ahead of time. As I learned after the fact, there are several competent doctors in my city and had I used any one of them, I would have saved hundreds of dollars in gas, hours of stressful driving time, and had more people to help me in my immediate community.

If you live in a rural area and/or can’t find a doctor you resonate with in your city, by all means, if you can afford the time and extra expense, and have a caregiver who can support you, it doesn’t matter where they are located. But if time, money and/or support are key factors, give yourself 3-6 months of planning time for your surgery so you can make the decision from strength rather than stress.

5.  Always have a Plan B for everything, especially your 24-hours-after-surgery-person, especially if you’re single. As soon as I knew my surgery date, I contacted a friend who confirmed she was available to take me to the surgical center and could be my caregiver for 24 hours after. We locked in the dates on our calendars and I relaxed, grateful for her and to have plans taken care of. Four days before surgery I called to reconfirm the details of my plans with her. She said that a day earlier she was offered consulting work (she’s self-employed)and  that she wouldn’t be able to help me. Panic set in. I scrambled, called other people and no one was available. I assumed I’d have to cancel my surgery. This is not what you want a few days before surgery. Have a Plan B strategy and person.

Fortunately, because my friend is incredibly creative and caring, she heard my concern, called me back and came up with a new plan. She’d pick me up, drop me off at the surgical center, get her nails done while waiting, return to pick me up and we go a day early to the hotel she was staying at during her consulting project. I would stay in her room, with room service and housekeepers to check on me. It turned out amazingly well, however, if that hadn’t worked out I would have had to cancel my surgery because as a single self-employed person with no children or family in town and working from a home office, I had no one else to care for me at the last minute.

If I had it to do over again, I would have done more research, and more importantly, I would have gone to a podiatrist at the first sign of pain and twisting toes, not waited the two years I did to take action. It would have saved me surgery on my second toe and all the complications that have come with that. Take care of your feet. You’re worth it.

ATTENTION

These 5 key actions are just the beginning.
If you found this report helpful, keep reading, keep asking questions,
and take action before you experience more pain.

Plan ahead and get the answers you need and deserve before you need them. 
I’ve done the footwork for you.

Order the 160-page ebook  today
Bunion Survivor’s Guide to Successful Bunion Surgery and Recovery
and receive the following additional checklists and reports for free:

  • Weekly and Monthly Bunion Surgery and Recovery Planning Checklist for steps to take before and after your surgery to keep you stress-free, relaxed, and comfortable. (This checklist alone is worth the price of your first doctor’s appointment.)
  • 25 Critical Questions to Ask Your Podiatrist or Orthopedic Surgeon Before You Schedule Bunion Surgery
  • 10 Powerful Tips for a Successful  First Meeting with Your Bunion Doctor

Reg $27    $9.95

Bunions aren’t the only sign that something may be amiss in your body’s alignment or overall health.

If you have any of these nine foot symptoms, be sure to get them checked out with your podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon. Thank you to HealthCentral.com for the original article.

1.  No hair on your feet or toes (who knew!): possible poor circulation

2.  A persistent sore on your foot: risk of diabetes

3.  Cold feet: potential thyroid issue or poor circulation

4.  Thick yellow toenails: fungus

5.  An enlarged big toe: gout

6.  Numbness in both feet: peripheral neuropathy (most common causes are diabetes and alcohol)

7.  Pitted toenails: psoriasis

8.  Shooting pain in the heel: plantar fasciitis

They left out one very important sign. BUNIONS

9.  Bunions: postural alignment and back problems

If bunions are your main concern and you’re considering surgery or worried about the recovery process, or you’re looking for the best bunion doctor, you can learn more by reading Bunion Survivor’s Guide to Successful Bunion Surgery and Recovery.

Take care and remember to take care of your feet.

 

*This site does not offer personal medical advice and is solely informational in nature.

 

YogaToes_Buy_Now

YogaToes are one of my favorite gifts to give anyone with bunions. In fact, I love them so much, I’m wearing mine right now as I write and have used them for seven years. YogaToes truly are a “vacation for the feet.” Click on the link below and get $10 off on each pair ordered.  They come in many wonderful colors and a “Sport” version so have fun choosing a pair for all your loved ones.

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PS. When you get to the website, be sure to read the Yoga Toes testimonials from the LA Dodger’s trainer Sue Falsone, The Washington Ballet, and the singer Sia. Very cool. They really do work!

Buy Patented YogaToes® Today! Save $10 with Coupon Code: TOES10

Mary, your book is a life saver.
Can’t imagine how I would have had courage
to go forward with surgery without your book.”
~ Virginia R. ~

Bunion Survivor's Guide to Bunion Surgery & Recovery

Bunion Survivor’s Guide to Successful Bunion Surgery and Recovery ebook includes:

* Preparation checklists for before and after bunion surgery to reduce stress and make life easier for you

* Guidelines to select the right surgeon for you

* 3 critical questions to ask your doctor that most people won’t think to ask or are too afraid to ask, but make all the difference in a successful surgeon and surgery (this alone is worth the price of the book and your insurance premium and deductible combined!)

* Over 100 recovery tips, shoes brands and styles, and bunion relief resources with website links

* An instantly downloadable ebook that you can read online or print out and read at your convenience on the couch, in bed, while you’re waiting at your doctor’s office.

Learn more at Bunion Survivor’s Guide to Successful Bunion Surgery and Recovery.

Mary

PS. If you’re still living with bunion pain and are still afraid of surgery, this ebook can help you make the right decision for you at the right time with the right doctor. Be good to yourself. You and your feet are worth it.

“Oh, Mary, thanks for being such a delight.
I have passed word around to others to purchase your ebook before surgery. My new left foot is a miracle. Sept. 24 was surgery, and having such a successful surgery is a dream that came true.”
~ Virginia R. ~

Bunion Survivor’s Guide to Successful Bunion Surgery and Recovery

This site does not offer personal medical advice and is solely informational in nature.

As part of my commitment to you as a subscriber of BunionSurvivor.com, I am always researching different forums and websites to stay current with the best ways to help you free your feet and inspire your spirit.

This week I learned that the doctor who did my bunion surgery, whom I reported in my blog and ebook to be an excellent surgeon but arrogant and disrespectful back in 2006, and bordering on negligent in the way he responded to me during consultations, had his license suspended in 2007 and was put on probation for 8 years for negligence. I hadn’t reported him, nor did it occur to me to do so. But someone else did and it was serious enough to be taken seriously.


MEDICAL BOARD REVIEW   If you need to check out your doctor and you live in California, you can do a search on the California Medical Board website with your doctor’s name and if there’s been a medical review issue, you will find it. (Thank goodness for all the high-integrity physicians serving us, but it is shocking to see how many doctors are listed for medical suspensions and reprimands.) This service is also available in other states.ACTION STEPS   I don’t know about you, but if I learned about this kind of documented information about a physician I has previously considered but hadn’t used yet, I would not use him no matter how great of a surgeon s/he was. If I was in dire straits and had no other option for a surgeon due to location or insurance or finances, I would not move forward unless I had a one-on-one face-to-face conversation about the situation with the surgeon and talked to at least three of his most current clients and felt in my gut that this person had changed their ways. (I do believe people can change given enough reason and support socially and spiritually.)

This is why having a list of questions is so important! In my special report “25 Questions To Ask Your Bunion Surgeon Before Scheduling Bunion Surgery,” there are three questions (#23-25) that address this issue and were added because of my concerns even prior to learning about my doctor’s medical suspension. I urge you to ACT NOW if you’re considering having surgery and ASK THE QUESTIONS to get the best results for yourself. Your health and your life could depend on it. 

These last three questions are not for the faint of heart, however, they will ensure that you have as much information as possible before you make your decision and they will give you a sense of your surgeon’s professionalism. Take a deep breath and remember this is your feet and life we’re talking about keeping healthy. You are worth it!

23.    What is the safety record in the past year of the facility where I will have my surgery?

    24.    Have you had any malpractice suits against you or medical reprimands? How long ago? What were the issues? What were the outcomes?

    25.    When things haven’t worked out or you’ve had an unhappy patient, how have you handled it?

If you’d like this special report with all “25 Questions to Ask Your Bunion Surgeon  for free as well as 2 other important bunion health reports, check out my “Bunion Survivor’s Guide to Successful Bunion Surgery and Recovery.”
As always, I welcome your comments. Here’s to your happy, healthy feet! Mary
PS. In addition to the 25 Questions List, get my ebook and you’ll also receive a Bunion Surgery and Recovery Planning Month-by-Month Checklist  so you don’t end up stressing about what you should have done and can relax and heal successfully after surgery. You can get all this with my ebook “Bunion Survivor’s Guide to Successful Bunion Surgery and Recovery.” There’s no risk – if you don’t find at least one helpful idea, return it within 30 days for a full refund. Guaranteed.

Have you had or do you have any back pain along with your bunions? Please comment below if you have.

I’ve wondered if the occasional lower back pain and sciatica that became chronic a few months after bunion surgery on my right foot and continues today is connected to the misalignment of my feet. All the doctors I’ve seen say it’s not but I’m not so sure.

A friend shared the book Healing Back Pain by John Sarno, MD, which I started reading today. Sarno says that most back pain (and many other muscular, organ, and immune system issues) can be attributed to TMS (Tension Myositis Syndrome), which he defines as a psychosomatic issue that becomes physical as a way to hide negative emotions from your conscious mind, in particular repressed anger, because you’re not ready to or think you can’t handle the pain.

Interesting idea and even more interesting when I consider the possibility that maybe I’m subconsciously angry that I have bunions and felt I had no option but to have surgery to get rid of the pain (that and every other transgression from childhood :-). Hmmm…and the solution, Dr. Sarno? Recognize the anger, find a healthy way to express repressed emotions, keep moving your body, and in 98% of situations the pain will subside.

What’s your experience with bunions and back pain? Have you read Dr. Sarno’s book yet?

Click on the photo to learn more about the book Healing Back Pain by Dr. John Sarno

Did you know there are over 100 types of bunion surgery?! Now, maybe you’ll understand why I’ve hedged about defining different surgeries on the Bunion Relief Blog — the possibility of error in description is better left to your surgeon. However, I just ran across a good overview of the general types of bunion surgery in an article on bunion surgery published by Blue Shield of California.

“There are over 100 surgeries for bunions. Research does not indicate which type of surgery is best—surgery needs to be specific to your condition. More than one procedure may be done at the same time.

“The general types of bunion surgery are:

  • Removal of part of the metatarsal head (the part of the foot that is bulging out). This procedure is called exostectomy or bunionectomy.
  • Realignment of the soft tissues (ligaments) around the big toe joint.
  • Removal of a small wedge of bone from the foot (metatarsal osteotomy) or from the toe (phalangeal osteotomy).
  • Removal of bone from the end of the first metatarsal bone, which joins with the base of the big toe (metatarsophalangeal joint). At the metatarsophalangeal joint, both the big toe and metatarsal bones are reshaped (resection arthroplasty).
  • Fusion (arthrodesis) of the big toe joint.
  • Fusion of the joint where the metatarsal bone joins the mid-foot (Lapidus procedure).
  • Implant insertion of all or part of an artificial joint.”
  • Read more

Whatever type of surgery you and your surgeon determine is best for you, you want a surgeon who has experience in a variety of procedures, which ensures you’ll get the best option from a surgeon who is selecting from several choices rather than one-procedure-fits-all.

Be sure to ask:

1. What different types of bunion surgery procedures have you done in the past six months?

2. How many of the procedure you’re recommending for me have you done in the past month? Past six months?

I don’t know about you, but I want a surgeon who has performed the surgery they’re suggesting dozens of times with excellent results before experimenting or perfecting their skill on me.

If you’ve had this conversation with your doctor, I’m curious to know what you discovered. Please share your comments below and if you know the specific procedure they’re recommending or that you’ve had done, please let us know.

Perfect timing! It’s the end of the day and now you can try on new shoes.

This morning’s post reminded me of a great article on finding good shoes written by a world champion disc golfer who is also a speaker and trainer on her feet all day and who has bunions.

Along with a great sense of humor Leslie Charles also has a great sense of the practical. We’ve been friends for a long time and I find her wisdom and energy a real gift. I know you will too. Enjoy her article and after you’re done reading, check out her website.

AVOIDING THE AGONY OF DE FEET
by Leslie Charles

Cache or comfort? Style or sensibility? Bunions, hammertoes, and calluses are just a few of the insults we women suffer for the sake of fashion. Study a typical high heel shoe and there seems to be an assumption that women’s feet are not only unnaturally narrow, but our feet are symmetrical, with our middle toes being the longest. Give me a break!

As an orthotics wearer for thirty years, I long ago gave up the idea of sexy shoes and opted instead for sensible ones. When I met Terri Lammers, an excellent orthotist and prosthetist in East Lansing, Michigan, she told me I had the “best” collection of shoes of any of her clients. Terri helped me take the next steps in knowing exactly what to look for in a shoe.

Here’s what Terri says about shoes: “Look for a straight mid line.” Hold the shoe upside down (sole facing you) and put a ruler or thread in the middle of the heel. Now extend that line through the toe section of the shoe. Does the line pretty much divide the shoe in half or does the front of the shoe lean off toward the toe side? If the line is straight, your feet will be happier. If there’s a noticeable curve, don’t buy it.

As Terri would say, “Don’t buy a shoe that’s shaped like a banana! The best shoes all have a straight mid line, firm soles and low heels.”

For everyday comfort, here are some good brands to consider:

Birkenstock (your best bet is to buy the traditional foot bed).

Finn Comfort (these are handmade and expensive but they will last forever and you can send them back for resoling. If you like clogs, compare the straightness of the Finn Comfort sole with a Dansko and you might be surprised).

Keen – (a popular shoe for younger women, these make for great sport shoes with a wide toe bed and great lateral support. I own several pairs of Keens).

Naot (this brand works well for narrow feet).

Merrells (from sport shoe to a slightly dressy look, some of their styles look great with slacks).

For a dressier look, try Aravon (made by New Balance, another good shoe manufacturer). I own two nice looking pairs of Aravon sandals and I really like them.

For the dressiest look and surprising comfort, check out Beautifeel. This is a stylish AND comfortable shoe I introduced to Terri and she loved them! They are dressy, trendy, and some are even a little sexy; Beautifeel shoes come in a variety of styles and heel heights.

The prices are reasonable and they have such a realistic width, I can wear my orthotics in these heels. What a find! If your local quality shoe store doesn’t carry Beautifeel look for them on the Internet. I can wear my Beautifeel heels all day and my feet stay happy.

Good web sites for view shoes include:
zappos.com (multi view)
comfortableshoes.com
keenfootwear.com
trackntrail.com
aravonshoes.com
footwise.com

As a professional speaker, facilitator and trainer, I spend a lot of time on my feet. Finding a comfortable, good-looking work shoe has taken a lot time, energy, and sometimes wasted money. I hope my discoveries will help you make better choices so you can prevent the agony of de feet.

Leslie Charles
is the author of seven books, including the fun, light hearted and practical “Bless Your Stress: It Means You’re Still Alive!” As an active, vital woman in her mid sixties, Leslie’s book offers some excellent anti-aging advice. In fact, Leslie just broke a world distance record for women in her age group in a popular but little known international sport, disc golf. She is listed on the world flying disc federation site, wfdf.org, along with other world record holders from ages 1 to 101. Read more about Leslie…

 

I’m sitting in the waiting room at my car service center (Acura Kearny Mesa in San Diego – they’re great! They even provide free wireless service!) waiting for the news about whether my right rear brake needs to be repaired (interesting – I wonder if there’s any metaphor here – my right foot is my bunion surgery foot that needs to be repaired again.

The latest issue of Vogue was calling to me from the coffee table so I picked it up and lo and behold, I opened to a page (p. 420) for a $15 discount on Yoga Toes if you use the coupon code VOG at www.yogapro.com or call 1-800-488-8414. This is great news for you! If you haven’t tried this product, you will LOVE it!

You may remember me telling you in a previous post or two how much I LOVE these toe muscle stretchers. I use them at the end of the day, I use them when I meditate, and I take them with me when I travel. They’ve really helped manage the post-surgery pain on my right foot and relieve aching on my left foot after a full day of standing and walking.

Love your feet; they’ll take you anywhere you want.

For more bunion surgery recovery resources, check out
Bunion Survivor’s Guide to Successful Bunion Surgery & Recovery

Six months ago today I had bunion surgery on my first and second toes. I can walk again. I can do yoga again (except for jumping backwards or forwards in downward dog).

I cannot walk barefoot or dance without pain on the sole of my foot because the bone of the third toe is pushing through the bottom, just like the second toe used to. The surgeon said that sometimes secondary problems that have always been there but have gone unnoticed, show up after surgery because they’re no longer masked by the bigger problem (bunion) that is now resolved. (Hmmm…is there any chance that maybe he just didn’t look deeply enough at the issue because he only spent five minutes with me before surgery looking at my x-rays and foot to give me a diagnosis?)

And my second toe is still elevated by 1/4 inch from the floor because of the scar tissue tightening it up. To wear shoes I have to rearrange that second toe so it lays down straight and doesn’t sit on top of my third toe in order to get my shoes on. (God love YogaToes)

Oh, and now I have additional pain in my heel when I bend over and my lower back constantly aches for the first few hours of the day after waking up or sitting too long.

It wasn’t supposed to turn out that way. So I won’t be going back to the surgeon for corrective surgery. I will be asking him for copies of all my x-rays and records so I can take them with me to the 2nd Opinion doctor for a review.

TIP: Get copies of your x-rays each time you visit your doctor. Keep them for your own records. You never know when you might need them, and the longer you wait, the more difficult it could be to get them.

In the meantime, I’m visualizing my foot returning to it’s healthy state. I heard a great affirmation to help with that:

“Infinite intelligence lives within me and created
all that I am – my bones, my muscles, my tissues,
my organs, all of me, and it knows how to heal me.
I am perfectly healthy now.”

Now if my foot would just figure that out. Or is it my brain?

I am grateful to my surgeon for helping me to resolve my foot pain. I’m grateful to the 2nd opinion doctor for helping me recover successfully. I am grateful to my body for knowing how to heal itself. I am grateful to my foot for enduring the pain and allowing me to walk again. I am grateful for the New Balance 825 shoes and the orthotics that allow me to walk comfortably in the canyons and along the beach. I am grateful to be alive.

Long live feet!