Author Topic: Bunions  (Read 8430 times)

limeandpepper

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Bunions
« on: December 05, 2015, 09:28:12 PM »
What has worked for you, and what has not? :)

I have found Vibrams to be fantastic for keeping my bunions in check, I bought them at a time when my bunions were giving me grief and I went from not being able to walk for more than 30 minutes in reasonable regular shoes without my feet acting up, to being able to trek in Nepal. Things have been pretty good since. However I recently started a new job where I'm on my feet all day, and I'm not wearing my Vibrams because I didn't feel they would be appropriate in a workplace setting, what with their funny appearance and all. I'm still wearing good shoes (Merrells) but they're not the same.

Last night I bought a pair of Profoot Goodnight bunion splints online, so I'm now eagerly awaiting their arrival. Reviews seem hit and miss but it seems to really help some people, so for the price it felt like it was worth trying. I also considered buying YogaPro YogaToes but they are quite pricey and I was wondering if they do work much better than a cheap basic pedicure toe separator thing.

Many of the solutions with better reviews seem to be for implements that are worn at night when not out and about. If there are any great solutions that fit inside a shoe and can be worn during the day while working, I'd definitely be interested!

I'm also thinking that perhaps upping my intake of foods that are known to have anti-inflammatory properties may help.

And of course there is also the option of bunion surgery but that will probably end up costing close to $10k for both feet and I probably won't be able to work for at least 3 months.

Please share your experiences! :)

Rubyist

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2015, 10:01:13 PM »
There is a toe spacer called Correct Toes, which is designed by a podiatrist and is intended to be worn in shoes. You can only wear it in shoes that have a really roomy toe box, but they have a list of recommended shoes on their website. It's pretty expensive for what it is, but it may worth it to you. I think they have a decent return policy.

limeandpepper

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2015, 10:46:02 PM »
Oh thank you! I haven't come across Correct Toes, I'm checking their website now and it looks like a good decent option. And if it does help (it seems like it might) then the price would definitely be worth it. I have custom-made inserts which cost more than that and they do help take the pressure off, but they don't spread out the toes, which is a feature I like.

Altons Bobs

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2015, 11:03:15 PM »

deborah

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2015, 11:27:16 PM »
I always thought that a lot of these problems come from wearing shoes that don't fit properly, and that a podiatrist would check the bunion, check your shoes, make sure it's not gout or something else, give you orthorics to wear in your shoes and make shoe recommendations. All pharmacists have bunion pads, to cushion the bunion, and these can work if your shoe isn't actually causing the problem. Many years ago, I used these and they sometimes worked and sometimes didn't. As you work in a food place, you should have access to ice during the day, and you could use it on the bunion if it is sore.

limeandpepper

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2015, 11:36:35 PM »
Thanks Alton Bobs! I would be looking for the female equivalent of those products. :)

Deborah - I've already been to the podiatrist and she praised me for my sensible choice of shoes. :) She did actually also make some custom-made orthotics inserts for me, which take the pressure off, though it doesn't really do much in the way of correction, I don't think. In any case, the inserts don't fit into the particular pair of shoes that I'm currently wearing to work, so I am looking into getting new shoes, in addition to finding corrective tools.

llorona

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2015, 12:18:58 AM »
You might try taping your feet with KT tape. That gave me some relief.

Icing at night also seemed to help when I was having problems.

Lastly, I really like these toe spacers because they go on the big toe and don't twist around: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EYEFMVA?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00

Good luck!

limeandpepper

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2015, 12:58:44 AM »
Thank you llorona!! Actually I recently bought a pair of toe spacers but for some reason haven't tried wearing them inside my shoes. I will try it out and if they move around I might buy the ones that you recommend. :)

MayDay

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2015, 04:27:27 AM »
If the vivram shoes worked, I'd look for other "barefoot" type shoes that are work appropriate.

Vivobareboot
Lems
The Drifter Leather

Off the top of my head.

limeandpepper

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2015, 07:03:37 AM »
Thanks for the recommendations, MayDay! I think the Vibrams work mainly because of the toe separation and the glove-like fit. My Merrells are also barefoot-style, but I think the reason it's not working so well is because the particular pair I have seem to be more of a slim fit and perhaps I need a wider toe box. It looks like The Drifter Leather isn't available at the moment but I'm looking into Vivo and Lems, and they both look promising. :)

MayDay

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2015, 07:08:11 AM »
Of all the barefoot shoes, merrels are narrowest toe box, then vivobareboot, then lems are the widest, from what I've read.

limeandpepper

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2015, 07:33:01 AM »
Of all the barefoot shoes, merrels are narrowest toe box, then vivobareboot, then lems are the widest, from what I've read.

Thanks for the additional information! This one looks great - http://www.lemsshoes.com/womens-primal-2-black.html - with positive reviews from bunion-sufferers. Main risk of purchase is getting the wrong size - even though they do returns, shipping is not refunded and I don't live in the U.S. so it may not be worth it to do a return, but I guess I can try to resell it instead if it doesn't work out.

Rubic

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2015, 07:36:13 AM »
I pretty much wear Bedrock Sandals all year round, unless it's a suit and tie day at our office (i.e. VIP visitors).

http://bedrocksandals.com/

expatartist

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2015, 06:07:07 PM »
Thanks for starting this thread, OP. There are some great solutions here. I've been suffering for years and have been mostly denying it O.o Congrats on finding a job you like! What's the industry?

Btw may be good to save the $10k; my aunt had surgery on hers and they only got worse...

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2015, 06:51:16 PM »
Obviously surgery should be the last resort, but my father had the surgery recently in his 60s and felt better the next day than he had the entire previous year. You could tell how much if helped just talking on the phone. I guess he had been walking funny and giving himself pain throughout his legs.

limeandpepper

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2015, 08:39:24 PM »
I pretty much wear Bedrock Sandals all year round, unless it's a suit and tie day at our office (i.e. VIP visitors).

http://bedrocksandals.com/

Unfortunately not something I can wear to work, but will keep this brand in mind if I'm in the market for sandals! :)

limeandpepper

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2015, 08:56:28 PM »
Thanks for starting this thread, OP. There are some great solutions here. I've been suffering for years and have been mostly denying it O.o Congrats on finding a job you like! What's the industry?

Thanks! I'm part of the floor staff at a restaurant and cafe. :) I'm liking the suggestions here, too, glad that you find this thread helpful as well!

Btw may be good to save the $10k; my aunt had surgery on hers and they only got worse...

Obviously surgery should be the last resort, but my father had the surgery recently in his 60s and felt better the next day than he had the entire previous year. You could tell how much if helped just talking on the phone. I guess he had been walking funny and giving himself pain throughout his legs.

Thank you both for the feedback on surgery! It's something I have considered and when I saw a podiatrist a while back she mentioned it as a possibility as well. If there was a really strong guarantee on the results I'd quite possibly go for it, despite the cost, and choose a good time to do it where having 3 months of restricted activity wouldn't be such a big deal. But I'm wary of paying all that money and then having side effects or even having the condition recur. Plus, given that the occurrence of pain has reduced greatly after wearing Vibrams, I have also become optimistic that it is something that I might be able to keep at bay without surgery, though I will keep that option open as well.

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2015, 09:33:13 PM »
Your feet were exercising differently in vibrams...look up some foot and toe stretches and strengthening exercises. A fun one is to put a washcloth on the floor, and scrunch it towards you with your toes. But try out different exercises, and maybe some self massage.

limeandpepper

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2015, 11:11:30 AM »
Thank you Jschange, I will try the washcloth one, it sounds easy enough!

limeandpepper

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2015, 11:26:00 AM »
Update, I have been wearing toe spacers in my shoes to work, and they seem to help, though I haven't really put them to a strenuous test as I haven't done super long hours with this new setup.

My Profoot Goodnight bunion splints finally arrived today. They have a cheap and flimsy look, but they actually seem to work quite well (they separate the big toe effectively and gently); I will just try not to be too clumsy so that I don't break them. They are certainly better than my makeshift homemade splints. I am in bed wearing them as I type. Will see if they make any difference as time goes by.

I really want a pair of those Lems shoes, but I may hold off buying them for now and see if what I'm doing now is sufficient, plus I would much prefer buying them when there is a discount or free shipping or another deal of some sort.

limeandpepper

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #20 on: August 27, 2016, 09:17:24 PM »
Another update - things are going okay for the most part, with just the occasional discomfort. Reason I'm bringing up this thread again is because someone told me that they knew someone who had bunion surgery done and it cost only about $5k for both feet. (I'd often heard that it would be more like $10k, usually.) So I'm kind of intrigued. An initial consultation with this doctor would cost about $160. It looks like she only has about 2 years experience, which may be why she does it for relatively cheap. However bunion correction seems to be her specialty, so perhaps that makes up for the fact that she hasn't been out in the workforce for that long. I'm still not sure how I feel about surgery, but I am pondering about whether it would be worth going for a consultation to find out more...

cj25

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2016, 09:54:30 PM »
Not sure whether you should or not go for the consult.  Couldn't hurt I guess, but I am always looking for alternatives to what the doctors suggest.  I just wanted to add to the earlier suggestions that you may want to check out Katy Bowman's Nutritious Movement website and her books. She has so much info on healthy feet & what to do. She also has local people/practitioners who have trained under her that can help train you.  https://nutritiousmovement.com/

These help with alignment and feet issues https://www.my-happyfeet.com/

And these are awesome shoes you can wear to the office.  http://www.softstarshoes.com/

I would put off surgery as long as you can.  Good luck.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #22 on: August 28, 2016, 03:38:20 AM »
It is possible for bunions to get too far gone for surgery to be effective, according to the doctors of some relatives. I know one woman who seems to have gotten there in her 40s.

I would prefer doing the surgery early to having mobility issues late in life. I don't think you'll have restricted activity for three whole months.

limeandpepper

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #23 on: August 28, 2016, 07:37:25 AM »
Thanks for the links, cj25!

It is possible for bunions to get too far gone for surgery to be effective, according to the doctors of some relatives. I know one woman who seems to have gotten there in her 40s.

I would prefer doing the surgery early to having mobility issues late in life. I don't think you'll have restricted activity for three whole months.

Yeah, when I saw a podiatrist a few years ago she said if one is to go for surgery, it is better to do it earlier, because recovery is easier and faster when you're younger. She wasn't a surgeon though, so she couldn't say for sure if I was definitely the right candidate for surgery or not, and I never went to consult a surgeon. I guess I'm just kind of hoping that I'll never get to the point where it really needs surgery. I do have concerns that it may get arthritic later in life, though. But I also have concerns about surgery itself. Hmmm. I'm really curious about what a surgeon would say about my particular situation. I'll continue to ponder the idea of seeing one. $160 is steep. Sigh.

Just found this article that provides more foot (hehe) for thought, leaving it here in case anyone else with bunions want to have a read: http://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/what-to-do-about-bunions

BlueHouse

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #24 on: August 28, 2016, 08:01:36 AM »
I had bunion surgery done on one foot about twenty years ago. I wore a boot and was back to work the Monday following Friday surgery. I had it in the podiatrist office under local and it cost $45 after insurance.  And that was for the instrument tray that they don't reuse, so I still have some of the scissors and tape that I bought.
There are two types of bunions. One is caused by ill fitting shoes and the other is a deformity in how your foot bones are spaced and that causes a weakness. The first kind is really a bone spur and is easy peas to have removed. Yours sounds more like mine (foot deformity and resulting weakness ). For that, they cut a pie shaped wedge in the bone, then push it together so that your big toe is now closer to your other toes without an angle.
Bottom line, bunionectomy is not cosmetic, it is medical and your insurance will pay for it. So get to a podiatrist.

expatartist

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #25 on: August 29, 2016, 03:45:48 AM »
Oh wow L&P that article is really informative. BH good to hear your experience wasn't debilitating for months at a time. Makes sense that doctors recommend early treatment. Since I have good private health ins (for the time being) your post has reminded me it's time to visit a podiatrist.

limeandpepper

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2016, 07:46:02 AM »
BlueHouse, that is really cheap! I'm in Australia, and I'm not quite sure what is covered over here. According to the podiatrist I saw, I could potentially get bunionectomy done free/cheap under public healthcare, but there is a long waiting list (i.e. could take years), and the surgeons are not necessarily specialized in bunions. She suggested that it would be worth it to seek out a surgeon who has a special focus in this area, even if it would be a bit pricey. In regards to getting back to work, I do worry about that as I currently work in hospitality. So lots and lots of walking, unlike an office job where I imagine it wouldn't be much of an issue.

dandypandys

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2016, 07:50:10 AM »
I had bunion surgery done on one foot about twenty years ago. I wore a boot and was back to work the Monday following Friday surgery. I had it in the podiatrist office under local and it cost $45 after insurance.  And that was for the instrument tray that they don't reuse, so I still have some of the scissors and tape that I bought.
There are two types of bunions. One is caused by ill fitting shoes and the other is a deformity in how your foot bones are spaced and that causes a weakness. The first kind is really a bone spur and is easy peas to have removed. Yours sounds more like mine (foot deformity and resulting weakness ). For that, they cut a pie shaped wedge in the bone, then push it together so that your big toe is now closer to your other toes without an angle.
Bottom line, bunionectomy is not cosmetic, it is medical and your insurance will pay for it. So get to a podiatrist.

I had that same op done aged 37. I am so glad I did. I did take time off work but luckily it fell during the holidays.

BlueHouse

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2016, 08:04:58 PM »
BlueHouse, that is really cheap! I'm in Australia, and I'm not quite sure what is covered over here. According to the podiatrist I saw, I could potentially get bunionectomy done free/cheap under public healthcare, but there is a long waiting list (i.e. could take years), and the surgeons are not necessarily specialized in bunions. She suggested that it would be worth it to seek out a surgeon who has a special focus in this area, even if it would be a bit pricey. In regards to getting back to work, I do worry about that as I currently work in hospitality. So lots and lots of walking, unlike an office job where I imagine it wouldn't be much of an issue.
you may need to schedule time off.  I had an "on-my-ass-all-day" job.  After reading dandy pants' comment, I remembered I actually had the surgery on the Wed before Thanksgiving and I didn't return to work until the following Monday.  So I did have more time off than I had originally said. 
Yes.  having outpatient surgery made all the difference in the world in terms of price.  But I'll also add that this type of surgery is pretty medieval.  I was on valium, tons of local anesthetic, had ear plugs, ear phones with music, a book if I could stand to read, and eye shades to not see what was happening.  Still, all I could concentrate on was the fact that two people appeared to be doing major rock-pounding on the other side of a drape that barely blocked whatever was happening. 

expatartist

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2016, 01:15:40 AM »
But I'll also add that this type of surgery is pretty medieval.  I was on valium, tons of local anesthetic, had ear plugs, ear phones with music, a book if I could stand to read, and eye shades to not see what was happening.  Still, all I could concentrate on was the fact that two people appeared to be doing major rock-pounding on the other side of a drape that barely blocked whatever was happening.

Ah. Ok will keep it in mind for holiday season maybe, not going anywhere for Xmas/New Years holidays.
Dear lord, sounds medieval o.O - as long as you get 21st century medication afterwards I guess it's ok!

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #30 on: December 23, 2017, 08:17:19 AM »
Of all the barefoot shoes, merrels are narrowest toe box, then vivobareboot, then lems are the widest, from what I've read.

Thanks for the additional information! This one looks great - http://www.lemsshoes.com/womens-primal-2-black.html - with positive reviews from bunion-sufferers. Main risk of purchase is getting the wrong size - even though they do returns, shipping is not refunded and I don't live in the U.S. so it may not be worth it to do a return, but I guess I can try to resell it instead if it doesn't work out.

Did you get these and how did they work out?

limeandpepper

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #31 on: December 23, 2017, 09:33:34 AM »
^I haven't gotten the Lems yet. But it's still on the radar. Might get them next year! In the meantime I have been wearing toe separators occasionally at night for a good stretch and they seem to help (I bought a few different types from eBay and finally got one that works well). Plus I quit my job a few months ago and am on a sabbatical, so basically wearing my Vibrams again the majority of the time, which is great, my bunions are behaving even though I've been regularly walking 20+k steps daily! But when I get a new job next year I'm going to have to look at work-appropriate shoes again so that's when the Lems might come in!

big_owl

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2017, 04:54:27 PM »
My wife is laid out as I write this from bunion surgery on her left foot that she had this past Wednesday.  It's testing my mettle having to do every chore in the house for the next six weeks.  She tried various non-invasive methods but hers were bad enough that surgery was required.  Modified McBride cut for the left foot as she had a 15deg angle on the metatarsal.  Her right foot is only 11deg so when she does that later this year it shouldn't be as bad a surgery. 

limeandpepper

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2017, 06:25:24 PM »
Interesting big_owl! I have no idea how many degrees mine are, just that my right foot is worse than the left. Hope she heals well! I would be interested in hearing updates.

MrsPete

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #34 on: December 25, 2017, 05:22:17 PM »
I don't have bunions, but I do have another common foot problem.  My best advice:  Go to the orthopedist now.  I wasted about two years trying this-and-that drug store remedy.  When I finally went to the specialist, he cured my problems in a single month, and the cost was one doctor's visit. 

Just go. 

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #35 on: December 25, 2017, 05:49:07 PM »
^I haven't gotten the Lems yet. But it's still on the radar. Might get them next year! In the meantime I have been wearing toe separators occasionally at night for a good stretch and they seem to help (I bought a few different types from eBay and finally got one that works well). Plus I quit my job a few months ago and am on a sabbatical, so basically wearing my Vibrams again the majority of the time, which is great, my bunions are behaving even though I've been regularly walking 20+k steps daily! But when I get a new job next year I'm going to have to look at work-appropriate shoes again so that's when the Lems might come in!

I don't have bunions, but did have a mortons neuroma I had removed about a year ago.  Part of my recovery was wearing the correct toe spacers and lems are the widest toe box shoes that I have ever found without having to buy "wide" or sizes up and worry about fit on the rest of the foot.   I love my primal 2s!   

limeandpepper

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Re: Bunions
« Reply #36 on: December 26, 2017, 12:55:26 AM »
^Thanks for the input on Lems, Mrs. PoP! They really do sound good.