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.

 

Oprah Winfrey goes shopping in fluffy frog slippers (photo courtesy of DailyMail.co.ukIf it’s good enough for Oprah, it’s good enough for Bunion Survivors! When I saw these photos of Oprah wearing these “fluffy frog slippers,” had made it to the Daily Mail, I knew I had to share this article with you to remind you to honor your bunioned feet and when they hurt, try slippers that make you smile.

She may be worth billions of dollars but even Oprah Winfrey opts for comfort over style occasionally.

The 58-year-old hit a designer clothes store in New York City today sporting a pair of fluffy frog slippers.

Below are a pair of fluffy froggy slippers similar to the ones that Oprah is wearing shopping.  The holidays are coming. Treat yourself to a pair and give them as a gift to a friend who you want to smile when she thinks of you.

If you’re getting ready to have bunion surgery or are in recovery, these slippers will be comfortable and fun to wear once you’re out of your protective boot.

If you have a pair of beloved slippers, email me a photo of you wearing them and I’ll post. In the meantime, I’m going to get myself a new pair of slippers!

 

Reported in The Daily Mail: “Keep your feet fit for a princess, Kate: A podiatrist’s warning to the Duchess of Cambridge that her Royal lifestyle is taking its toll on her toes.”

While I don’t wish Kate Middleton the pain of bunions, there is something comforting in knowing that our celebrity Princess is human, in addition to the fact that she allowed herself to be photographed barefooted. Next thing you know, they could be photographing a printed copy of my ebook, “Bunion Survivor’s Guide to Successful Bunion Surgery and Recovery  on Kate’s bedside table.

May your feet be healthy, your heart happy, and your shoes comfortable.

Ouch. Even celebrities get bunions. And it’s not pretty. The UK’s Daily Mail has identified several famous women who suffer with bunions. Tilda Swinton, Gwenneth Paltrow, and Victoria Beckham all have bunions, along with Oprah, and Nigella Lawson. Be good to your feet this summer. Read more…

The Oscar-winning actress may be wearing flat shoes, but they showcase a medial exostosis - an overgrowth of bone which comes with a deformity

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.

If you’ve ever wondered about whether your bunion might be causing other physical problems, here’s why it’s so important to not ignore your bunion pain: The Metro UK and  The Daily Mail Online reports that British marathon runner Paula Radcliffe, an Olympic hopeful for 2012, had bunion surgery because of the injuries she incurred by pushing through her bunion pain.

After suffering from a series of injuries including a hernia in 2004 and neuroma in 2005, culminating in a fractured toe and the stress fracture of her femur (thigh bone) in 2008, Paula finally decided to consult podiatric surgeon Dr Amol Saxena, who works at California’s Palo Alto Medical Foundation’s Sports Medicine Department. Dr Saxena concluded that the bunion caused Paula’s injuries, and that her style of running had changed to accommodate it. This in turn affected her gait and put additional strain on her body. >>

This story really resonated with me because of the lower back pain I’ve dealt with since my surgery.

Take care of your feet. See a podiatrist before you need surgery. Don’t wait like Paula and I did and pay the price we have with other complications.  And while you’re at it, find out everything you need to know about bunion surgery before you need it by reading my new ebook, “Bunion Survivor’s Guide to Successful Bunion Surgery.” Thanks for reading.

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 know I’ve worn shoes that are too narrow, but what I didn’t know and just learned is that shoes should have an INCH of extra space at the tip of the toe. I always thought it was a half-inch for extra comfort and an inch made them too big.

Here are some other interesting facts pointed out in an article “If the Shoe Fits” in the October 3 issue Aurora Healthcare’s Women’s Health Newsletter.”

* 90% of us are wearing shoes that are too narrow, according to physicians at UCLA who examined 356 women. Ill-fitting shoes had created bunions, hammer toes, pinched nerves, heel pain, or ingrown toenails in 70% of the study group.

* Even with normal aging, feet widen and flatten, the fat padding on the sole of the foot wears down, and skin gets dryer.

They offer 5 excellent tips for buying shoes for bunion relief and all-around foot comfort.

  • Replace or repair shoes as soon as the heel starts to show wear.[My father always had metal cleats added to our new shoes when we were kids. A common phrase in our house was “stop dragging your feet, you’ll wear out your shoes too soon.”]
  • Buy new shoes at the end of the day (your feet are larger) and have your feet measured first – don’t assume you wear the same size shoe you did when you were younger. Always try on both shoes and buy for the larger foot (they’re rarely the same size).
  • Don’t buy shoes that need a break-in period; shoes should be comfortable immediately.[Makes so much sense, but I’ve been fooled by this one. I’m so grateful for Nordstrom’s return policy.]
  • Don’t wear the same shoes every day; if you’re diabetic, change several times a day.
  • In general, the best shoes are well cushioned with a firm sole and soft upper. They should be flexible at the front and at the ball of the foot, and strong and supportive but not too stiff in the heel area.
  • There should be an inch of space between the longest toe and the tip of the shoe, and you should be able to wiggle your toes. (I’ll be wearing women’s size 13’s if I do this!!! I wonder if they’ll start making bigger shoes with smaller sizes like they do clothing?)

I just found an excellent overview of the major reasons for bunion surgery, the risks of bunion surgery (I have experienced all of them but an infection) and what to expect before, during, and after bunion surgery from the Anne Arundel Medical Center. Based on my personal experience, this information is the most accurate I have run across.

Here’s a list of the risks of bunion surgery:

As with any surgical procedure, complications can occur. Some possible complications may include, but are not limited to:

  • stiffness
  • numbness
  • swelling
  • delayed healing
  • infection

Other complications may include recurrence of the bunion, nerve damage, and continued pain. The surgery may also result in over-correction of the problem, in which the big toe extends away from the other toes.

There may be other risks depending upon your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your physician prior to the procedure.