Bunion Surgery: it Worked for Me

Published: 03rd July 2007
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EVE, MARCH 2001


'It's not something I ever felt I could talk about, but since mentioning I've had it done, I've found out how common it is; says Jane O'Sullivan, 44, a special needs teacher's assistant from north London. 'It's the word itself I don't like.'


OUT IN THE OPEN


And the word is... ssshh - bunions. And yes, they do sound like something your Great Aunt Mildred would have suffered from, not your gorgeous self.


'Now I can wear strappy sandals again. More importantly, l can go to my exercise classes, which I love, because the bunions don't make my feet hurt any more,' says Jane.


WHAT IS A BUNION?


A bunion forms when the big toe curves towards the others and the joint becomes swollen and tender. 'Surgery aims to return the architecture of the foot to normal,' says Mr Simon Moyes, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Devonshire and Wellington hospitals in London, who treated Jane.


'Bunion operations no longer involve long stays in hospital or wearing plaster casts for six weeks. You come into hospital for an overnight stay and go home the next day, wearing chunky dressings and surgical shoes. [Hmm, could set a trend.] We can even do both feet at once. Most of the pain has gone after 48 hours. After two weeks, the swelling has gone down and a smaller dressing is applied; says Moyes.


You can then wear your Prada trainers (or someone else's, as they'll need to be two sizes bigger than normal) for


a further four weeks. After which you are back in normal - or new - shoes.


HOW WAS IT FOR JANE?


'It was absolutely marvellous,' says Jane. 'When I woke up after the general anaesthetic I felt fine, ate a meal and went back to sleep.' Jane had both feet done at once.


'I kept my feet up as much as possible for the first day, but the stairs were too much, so I stayed upstairs. My feet ached the first night, but the next day the pain had nearly gone. It got better every day.'


And the cost? Jane's operation was covered by health insurance. Without insurance, the cost is about £1,800 for one bunion (ouch!) or £3,000 for both feet at once (bigger ouch!).


For more information, contact the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists (020 7234 8620, www.feetforlife.org) or visit atlabouteve.co.uk

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