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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Thinking About Bunion Surgery: What is the next Step?

Hi Dr. Blake,

I am a 65 year old very active woman.  I have been a runner for over 40 years, and in more recent years have added cycling, hiking, and yoga.  I did a 600 mile walk in Europe last summer, and a 500 mile walk in Europe 2 years ago.

I have a bunion on my right foot near my big toe and also have arthritis in the big toe.  My bunion has now progressed to pain such that I can't walk more than a mile without a lot of pain.  I have come to the realization that it is probably time for surgery.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area and am not sure how to find a podiatrist for the surgery - one with lots of experience, well regarded, metal vs plastic implant?, etc.  I was a Kaiser patient until December when I turned 65 and now have insurance that I can use more universally.  Where is the best place to go for a bunion surgery in the San Francisco Bay Area?  Can you recommend a skilled bunion podiatrist?  Probably sounds funny making such a big deal about a bunion surgery.  But I have tried to put it off as long as possible and want to go to the best.

Thank you so much for your help.  I would not have been able to run for 40+ years without the skill and care of podiatrists.

Best Regards, 

Dr Blake's Response:

Thank you so very much for your email. I would definitely get the opinion of 3 surgeons. Please start with my partner Dr Remy Ardizzone, very skilled and use to dealing with athletes. I have no trouble if you end up going somewhere else, but it is a great starting point. To me, the problems sounds like you need arthritis surgery, and the bump of the bunion also removed. If they only do the bunion, and leave a lot of arthritis, you will be very unhappy. But, with your x-rays in hand, get these opinions and see what makes sense. Find out the type of surgery, the post op course, and what you can expect to do afterwards (can you ever run again?) I hope this helps. Rich

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.