My shock absorbers have gone

My feet are killing me. I have had bunion surgery on was successful on the left but was botched on the right and I had to have corrective surgery done. This has led to an arthritic big toe and the podiatrist surgeon now say is need to have it fused. To make matters worse I have always had flat feet (I am now in my fifties) I was given orthotics years ago which I wear I my uggs. More recently I have had back problems and pudendal neuralgia and attended a pain management course at Walton . This I found really helpful. However part of this meant doing more exercise and I have started to walk again . Trouble is this has flared my feet problems and for the past four weeks I have been in agony with pain across the balls of both feet ,across my toes and shooting up through my ankle ,legs and coursing through my whole body. I now realise my back and other problems have all originated from my feet. I feel like I have jumped off a high wall onto concrete all the time! Previously I have been able to wear my trainers and fit flops but now I can't seem to cope with anything. I have had to give up my job because of the pudendal neuralgia and was beginning to make a new life. However every time I try to do something I seem to end up with more pain. The pain centre was all about getting some quality of life back but I trully feel in the depths of despair. My husband ranges form bing very supportive to ranting at me . He just can't cope either. I was hyperventilating in the night and he just yelled . At times I think I should just end it all and I have called the Samaritans . i have two sons who have left home and despite having friends feel really isolated. The thought of being stuck at home terrifies me. The podiatrist says I will be on crutches for six weeks and I cannot face another operation. He says fusion will take away the pain but what about my other foot which is screaming? I am going to seek another option this time from an orthopaedic surgeon . Has anyone had this operation? How long does it take to recover ? Is there anything that can be done to alleviate the pain form my over pronating feet?

13 Replies

  • You poor lass. Pain is rarely simple and once it starts it seems to like attacking multiple areas so we vanquish one and then another zooms in for the attack. I can only offer one little bit of information as was given to me. Flat shoes are supposed to be a no-no, especially ultra flat Uggs. You need a heel height of about one to one and a half inches. I don't mean a separate heel, needs to be all of a piece with the sole. The shoe has be half a size larger to accommodate your prosthetic. It must support you over the front, like a laceup or sturdy sandal - yes, lovely isn't it ! I can't say this will help you but it did help me. Your gait may have changed too, so a new assessment for prosthetics might be necessary. Best wishes.

  • Thanks for your reply. Going to see a podiatrist tomorrow but I think I need some better orthotics. Just seen a programme about Harley street. Apparently there is a shop specialising in these there. We live in the north of England though . However I am wondering if I would be better off travelling to London. They do look very expensive but if they do the job!

  • Yes, I saw that programme. Good luck!

  • For after the operation perhaps someone should be looking at your footwear. You mention Ugg boots and flip flops. Neither are good for walking anywhere rather than round the house if you have any foot, back, leg etc problem. And ' trainers' can mean anything from a shoe with laces to properly fitted and cushioned footwear. Obviously this is not the time but when your feet are healed check out what you put on them and ask your podiatrist what she / he suggests

  • Saw my podiatrist who told me fit(not flip) flops are ok but my feet are clawing trying to keep them on! So have ordered a pair with back straps. Also trying to find sandals with removable insoles so I can get my orthotics in. My back is now screaming and nerve pain course through my body. It only six weeks since I did a pain clinic for pelvic pain and husband angry at me as I seem to have forgotten everything. This is not the case . I can deal with the pelvic stuff but part of managing it was exercise. I can't stand without pain. Feeling there is no hope

  • Im shocked. UGG feels like going barefoot to me. I love them to death. I wear them all year round. Maybe my feet are very different.

  • Thanks for all your replies. Saw my local podiatrist yesterday who swapped my orthotics and insoles around. Am trying to get on with them as they are uncomfortable but supportive.apparently my left big toe joint is going as well. She says having the right toe fused will sped up the inevitable self fusing and hopefully remove pain. Hmmmmm! Just feel so low. My mood goes down very quickly as I seem to be going from one issue to another and all are about pain! I am not good on my own. I have had to give up my job and have tried to get involved with other activities but I need to be able to walk!

  • Oh I understand completely. I have always had problems with my feet. I have flexible flat feet caused by my condition - Ehlers Danlos syndrome hypermobility type. (EDS-H). My feet have got progressively worse- I had bunion surgery on left foot aged 17, and again on the same foot 2 years ago. I've had tarsal tunnel surgery and a bit of bone shaved off the top on the right foot. Then 3 weeks ago I had calcaneal osteotomy and ligament reconstruction on my left foot so I'm non weight bearing for 6 -8 weeks. EDS causes problems with all tendons and my hands are almost as bad as my feet so crutches are so bad for them. I use a wheelchair when outside the house. I would use it in the house but my house is not accessible. I have had many orthotics- the ones I have now are half length and soft. Also the podiatrist suggested I buy hinged ankle braces which do help a bit. I have very severe pronated feet- pain in the ankles, heel bone and under the heels and also the balls of my feet. The surgeon is hoping the reconstructive surgery I've just had on my left foot will solve all the problems as it will realign my foot completely. If it is successful I will have the other foot done. It is so awful having severe pain in feet all the time, having to plan to walk as short distance as possible, or not go out, which shoes are best, which will fit orthotics etc. I wear lace up quite solid trainers mostly. I also have walking sandals for the summer with a lip around the heel to keep the orthotics in. Both these accommodate the ankle brace too. I have struggled from walking for so many years. It's miserable. I'm 43 now. I've gone from limping to one crutch to two crutches to now using a wheelchair. The wheelchair is so freeing! No more pain when out, no more walking the shortest possible distance. It's great! I'm hoping it's temporary- just for a year or so while this foot heals then they do the other one too. But if not successful I will have my ankle fused. And learn to accept the possibility of a wheelchair longer term. Sorry this is so long but I totally relate to your problems and thought you might benefit from hearing my story so far!

  • Oh rowantree you have been having a terrible time. I feel very sorry for you . If your feet are wrong then it puts everything out and no amount of mindfulness will help! I am nothing like as bad as you. Today I have worn my orthotics all day in my shoes......back is killing me so going to Pilates tonight. Hope that helps! I have been out looking for shoes just can't find a sandal to accommodate and orthotic . Where do you get yours from?

  • See an Alexander teacher.

    This problem could be a postural problem where you have not been placing your weight on the triangular arch of your foot. Plus you may have failed to weight shift though the centre of your heel and knee. I could go on to describe incorrect hip head alignment leading to faulty weight distribution on your feet.

    However what I said above could be totally incorrect as I have not seen you move.

    Hope I was able to give you something to think about and was useful.

  • I have had a bad time but there may be light at the end of the tunnel! Even if I need wheels to get me through the tunnel- at least it will be pain free!! My sandals Are walking type- from a camping shop I think , like milletts or blacks. Got them a few years ago so can't remember. It was hard to find some with lips. They are the type with two Velcro straps, flat but my orthotics lift my heel up a bit. I've also just bought berkenstocks but I can't put my ankle brace in them as the soles are shaped!

  • Thanks for your comments. I have answered but not sure where! My orthotics are throwing my back and nerve pain out! Shoes are an absolute nightmare. I feel so despairing as I have just completed a pain management course for pelvic pain. Husband get angry with me as he feels I am not using the techniques I learned. However they were exercise and mindfulness. They worked for the pelvic stuff but not my feet as it hurst so much to walk !

  • When your feet hurt, everything is ruined. Just ask a bride.

    It's a pain in the butt when your feet hurt everyday. I would

    have suggested Uggs. I can't think of any other boot or shoe that

    conforms to the feet shape and how you walk. I'm sad for you..

    I wonder if the thick socks - they are sport socks from Adidas would

    work for you. I too get the thickest socks. .but not for the same problems

    that you have. I do it to pamper my feet to the max. I swear by the

    socks as being the thickest foot conforming socks. Are they expensive?

    yes. A three pack will run you 15 USA dollars. I would want to see and

    feel of the socks for myself and not buy them online. Ada sis makes too

    many kinds of socks. It's the best solution that I know of. I know how

    much ugg boots and shoes cost. It's a bummer if you can't wear them.

    XX Karen

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