Time to discuss a clinical topic Section

Mrs T reviews her bunion surgery 5 months on. Back to shoes?

Mrs T had both feet operated for painful toe joints. Not being overweight and the surgery being straightforward – bilateral procedures were safe in her case. She did very well indeed. She decided to text me and sent me her latest photos (not shown).

Qu: ” I know that bunion operations need some time to ‘mend’, but I thought I’d send you a picture of my feet – for your opinion please. Do you think they look ok?”

My comment: We love to stay in touch with our patients and it is important to share their experiences. Mrs T has agreed for me to share our discussion with others.

Ans: “It is lovely to hear from you. I hope you are well. I have looked at the pictures and they do not seem to suggest any obvious signs for concern. Do you have any worries? If you do please arrange to see me at your convenience”

Qu: “Ok – that’s good then. Thought there was a bit of a bump on the right foot and I couldn’t get into one of my old pair of shoes (heels) easily. So, I guess they’ll keep improving.”

Ans: “It is always difficult to state when has all settled but 6-12 months is certainly a good time for reflection. I would suggest that after surgery, not all feet fit into all shoes, even if they did before. Ladies have widely varying designs and so this can make matters a little more challenging.”

Comment Mrs T: Thanks – just wanted a bit of reassurance.

Mrs T’s comments and questions are helpful because they reflect that healing is different for all of us. We don’t want to be left with worries unnecessarily but expectations also have to be realistic. It is sometimes tough on patients to see the whole picture at the outset. Return to shoes is varied as well with typical return for most ladies around 3-6 months. We tend to use the base line as return to trainers though as this is standard shoe design that both men and women use. Variations on shoes will take longer and for the female wishing to add height a desire to get those shoes out sooner is very tempting.


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