Sunday, July 26, 2009

the bunion

I will call JA's doctor and schedule a consult about my feet, a second opinion. If I like what I hear, I'll have this guy do the surgery. One foot, the right foot first. Best foot forward, or worst. I hear a little PT before and after helps a lot. It's a week of near immobility, so I have to schedule it carefully.
Here's how the surgery was first described to me (with credit to Wikipedia for the wording): "Procedures are designed and chosen to correct a variety of pathologies that may be associated with the bunion. For instance, procedures may address some combination of:
removing the abnormal bony enlargement of the first metatarsal,
realigning the first metatarsal bone relative to the adjacent metatarsal bone,
straightening the great toe relative to the first metatarsal and adjacent toes,
realigning the cartilagenous surfaces of the great toe joint,
addressing arthritic changes associated with the great toe joint,
repositioning the sesamoid bones beneath the first metatarsal bone,
shortening, lengthening, raising, or lowering the first metatarsal bone, and
correcting any abnormal bowing or misalignment within the great toe.
The age, health, lifestyle, and activity level of the patient may also play a role in the choice of procedure.
Bunion surgery can be performed under local, spinal, or general anesthetic. The trend has moved strongly toward using the less invasive local anesthesia over the years. A patient can expect a 6- to 8-week recovery period during which crutches are usually required for aid in mobility. It is much less common today as newer, more stable procedures and better forms of fixation (stabilizing the bone with screws and other hardware) are used."
That's right, hardware. I've been told that for sure one screw and maybe a rod will be required. Will this be a hassle at the airport?
Let me just say that online you will find some truly godawful pictures of bunions. My feet do not look nearly that bad in most respects. My toes are not gnarly or rotting or utterly displaced. I just have a bad painful condition, and it has long prevented me from wearing flip-flops and sandals and the like. My kid noticed it for the first time not long ago. He recognized it as a booboo, and tried to get me to explain what happened to my foot. that I'm older, and it's much more painful, insurance will finally take it seriously.
I have a pair of gorgeous Frye sandals that I am saving just to celebrate the surgery, once I'm healed.

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