Feet, ankles, bunions and hammer toe treatments
horrible feet run in your family? Or are you the only one? If
only I had taken notice of my father when he used to tell me I would make
my feet bad wearing those stupid shoes. In his opinion the height of fashion was a waste of money and was bad for your health. He used to call mini skirts pelmets and make-up "that stuff on your face". It
was a struggle trying to be fashionable and having a sensible father.
do remember in the 70's wearing the highest heels I could walk in and
being only 5 feet 1 and half (the half makes all the difference), I needed
the heels. When platforms came into fashion that gave me an extra
half inch. I would never make a super model, but I used fashion to
give me the best advantage possible to look like a mini version of one!
I can remember
always buying the shoes that didn't look like everyone else's, I liked to
be different and I also remember taking them off under the table at
restaurants and then finding out I couldn't get them back on after the
never worn flat sensible shoes or tweed suits, they were for Barbara
Woodhouse and if you can remember her, then you are probably the same age
as me and also have bad feet!
Not only did I wear the wrong shoes,
but I was also very sporty and used to run, play hockey and netball which
also put a lot of strain on my feet. By the time I was in my 40's, I was getting
aching feet and finding it hard to get wide fitting shoes that were
fashionable. I was not ready to start wearing sensible shoes just yet
, so went to find a surgeon who could fix the bunion on the left foot that
was causing me a problem. The NHS had already stopped doing things
for cosmetic reasons and because I was still able to walk, I didn't
qualify for that service and was too young to start walking with a stick,
so out came the health insurance and I went to our local private hospital
for a consultation.
Left foot 1998 - not a clear x-ray, but showing the bent big toe
(picture on the left). After the procedure was carried out under general anaesthetic, I then had to have a half leg plaster and walk with
crutches for six weeks.
There was a temporary pin in the joint under the plaster which was removed later (picture
on the right).
While the plaster was on, I
got an infection and was back in hospital for a week recovering.
the plaster came off, the ankle did not work at all and took many weeks to
loosen up before I could walk properly. Overall a very nice job and a lovely slim foot again.
the years went by, I suppose it was inevitable that the right foot would
go the same way because it's the same age as the left one! In 2007 I started looking at options for various procedures and surgeons.
One thing I didn't want was to have to have a half leg plaster
I sent off my pictures to a few orthopaedic surgeons and it was one of
them that mentioned the curling under toes. The left one was already causing me problems, but I hadn't thought that anything could be done
I found a Professor of orthopaedic surgery in Tunisia who was doing minimally invasive procedures
and said he could get me back on my feet very quickly,
not like the 2 months or so for recovery last time.
insurance company wouldn't pay for me to go abroad, although he was
exceptionally well qualified and it was much cheaper, so I started looking
into options in the UK.
You probably know that some surgeons charge
more than others, but insurance companies have a ceiling they are prepared
to pay, so you have to make up the difference. I rang one, but his secretary
said I had to wait 3 months for an appointment because he was the only one
doing the minimally invasive procedure. The same one that I could have in Tunisia immediately!!
to my better judgment I rang the man who did the left foot, only to be
told he no longer did feet.
He passed me to his colleague in the same
hospital and being conveniently near to my home, I booked up.
The surgeon x-rayed my feet and this is what he saw.
2009 - showing left foot with previous bunion treatment and right foot
in need of one and curly toes.
I opted to have it done before
Christmas so I had plenty of time to recover before I needed to work again
and I thought all went well but it didn't heal very well and was still a
horrible shape. I decided
not to do the toes at the same time.
foot didn't feel right so I went back to see the consultant and he assured
me it was OK. He took an x-ray, which I never saw until recently.
foot January 2010 - two weeks after first bunion treatment showing
pins and screws that I didn't know where there.
travel a lot for business and couldn't understand why I was always frisked
when I took so much care not to carry anything that would trigger the
security alarms at airports. The number of times I moaned that I was so careful and they were being picky because I was blonde and travelling
alone (which seems to be trigger for them these days) but now I know it
was because I had screws in my toes. The big toe had been permanently numb since the
procedure and was always cold, no doubt because of all the ironwork in it!
contacted the insurance company and told them I was not happy with the
foot and if I had it re-done, would they still pay for it, also adding
that if it had gone to the man I wanted in the first place, it would
probably have been perfect and cheaper for them.
Yes, they would
pay. Not knowing where to start, I kept asking around for the best orthopaedic surgeon,
but half trusted in Karma to put me in touch with the right man. One
day I had to go to Harley Street to meet a new lady gynecologist I wanted
to add to my web site, but she was at the opposite end to where I got off
the underground, so by the time I saw her, all I could do was moan about
my feet. Well, joy of joys - she said "you need to speak to my
husband, he is a Professor Orthopaedic surgeon"
I arranged to meet her again at a London hospital at the same time as her husband was
consulting. He took one look at my feet and said he could fix them
for me. He then showed me lots of before and after pictures of the
most horrendous feet problems I had ever seen and the results he had
achieved after operating. This was the man I wanted.
- 19th November 2011
Left foot, 4th toe turned under or
hammer toe. Previous bunion treatment in 1998 and now with arthritis
in the joint of the big toe.
Right foot, 4th toe turned
under or hammer toe. Previous bunion treatment two years ago which
was not a good result, arthritis in the joint of the big toe.
He sent me for some x-rays and we agreed that I would have everything done
at once and he assured me I would be walking about in less than a week.
took my own shoe and crutches with me to the hospital so only had to pay
for an additional shoe and dressing changes because the insurance would
not cover the cost of those. Surgery was fixed for the 19th
November and I would stay overnight. That was a Saturday and home a
gain on Sunday and back at my desk on Monday answering the phone.
Couldn't be more perfect.
Bandages covering the wires in the hammer toes, the
incisions to remove the arthritis and the bunion procedure.
After surgery - August 2012
The 4th toes are no longer under the
foot and the nail can be seen. The incisions have all healed nicely
and the bunions are gone. Back to skipping around like a 20 year