Thursday, November 20, 2008

To Spur or Not to Spur

Yesterday I had a visit with a podiatrist to determine what it is that is on the top of my right foot right below the big toe. From the outside, it just looks swollen. X-rays were taken from all angles of the foot. He reviewed the x-rays and determined that I have bone spurs. They look just like little mountains of bone on the edge of bone that should be there. And they aren't suppose to hurt so much but they tend to rub against nerves and tendons and the like. But mine does hurt, especially on weekends when I'm much more active than during the work week where I sit behind a computer all day. The more walking I do, the more it hurts, no matter what type shoe I have on.

What is most disturbing about this diagnosis is the cause of the darn things. One cause is ill-fitting shoes. Another is simply it's part of the aging process. Obviously, I much prefer the cause in my case to be ill-fitting shoes but in fact, I'm not so sure that it's not the other (which I can't even mention twice in one post). But there is some history here.

About 13 years ago I had surgery performed on both feet - at the same time!! Hindsight is everything (as my Mom used to say) and if I knew then what I know now, I would never have done both feet at the same time. I had bunions corrected, a cyst removed (interestingly, from the same spot where the bone spurs are now), and ingrown toenails corrected. That's probably more than you wanted to know but it was basically an overhaul on my feet. Mind you, recovery was pretty difficult. I remember keeping myself on pain meds and asleep so I wouldn't have to walk anywhere. I remember wanting (more than anything) to be able to shower my whole self at one time!! I remember not being completely anethesized when surgery began and I could hear the saw and feel the pressure of it as he cut away bone (the bunion) on one foot (yes, yikes!).

So vivid are those memories, even so many years later, that I am pondering exactly what to do about the bone spurs I now have. Having surgery performed on one foot doesn't sound all that bad when I think about all that I just mentioned. I have excellent insurance so that isn't an issue. I'd also have to wear one of those ridiculous surgical boots for three weeks. He would repair the bone spurs and also move that bone over toward the rest of my foot. Basically, it has eased itself out of alignment. Everything else looks good he said, so that's good to know that the previous surgery has lasted all this time!

After years of wearing pumps to work and years of waitressing and bartending, it's only to be expected that my feet would bear the brunt of all that wear and tear, I suppose. So I must face the consequences - either deal with the pain or have the surgery. What to do, I ask? I'll probably do the surgery but not right now. Some time in the future. And yes, I am procastinating - for obvious reasons! Pin It


Addie said...

Patti, this is clearly the result of ill-fitting shoes, and it sounds like the fix couldn't possibly be as bad as your previous surgery.

By the way, I cringed about you not being totally anesthetized. The same thing happened to me, except my surgery was a c-section. I feel faint just thinking of it.

Last thing: in the Army we used to call those surgical boots "Japanese Jump Boots". It still makes me laugh to this day.


Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

YIKES!!! You would have thought a foot doctor would have warned you not to do both at the same time.


Zan said...

Ouch!! - Addie's right, this is the fault of high heeled pointy toed shoes. Or maybe of too much standing and working - but it can't be that other thing you mentioned.

I'd be putting off surgery too, but it can't be as bad as last time.

Patti said...

Oh Addie, I cannot imagine that happening during a C-section. Oh my, I just can't imagine. Japanese Jump Boots is a perfect name for those hideous things!

Jen, that's the first question I asked this doctor. He said he wouldn't recommend doing both due to the difficulty in recovering. And boy is he right about that! I think I like this doctor!

Zan, thanks. It is those damn shoes. What we put up with for the sake of fashion!

Maria Peters said...

Who did you go see? I have an old shattered seisamoid bone, and have not found anyone I like....

Patti said...

Maria, I went to a Dr. Michael McGlamry at Village Podiatry Center located at St. Joseph's Hospital near Northside Hospital. they have offices all over Atlanta though but my primary referred me to him. I think a referral is needed. I like him though. He's young, knowledgeable and adorable!!

Addie said...

Young? Adorable? McGlamry?

I see a distinct McDreamy/McSteamy pattern developing here. It would be a little better if his name was McGlamoury, but it's definitely close enough.

Note to self: turn all efforts of hypochondria toward the feet...starting NOW!

See you in the waiting room, girlies. :-)


Maria Peters said...

MMM. See you there, Addie.

Thanks Patti!

Ykngld said...

Patti, I suffered the pain of the same type of bone spurs on both feet that create the condition called Halix Limitus this spring preparing for the LLS Hike in Colorado.

Dr. Peeples and Dr. Julien were suggested by our hike trainer, who is also an Adventure Runner. They are at Atlanta Foot and Ankle on Roswell Rd. Dr. Peeples said the condition is caused by the bone above the spur being too long and this causes a slight jamming motion when you walk that creates the spur.

I have orthodics now that lift the joint and ease most of the pain. He said surgery would be a last resort, which includes removing the spurs and shortening the bone that created the problem. He says it's hereditary. My dad had double big toe joint replacement 2 years ago - I guess mine's the hereditary type. My brother has it also... go figure.