3rd January 2012 - Back to work, with a 2-mile walk at lunchtime, which was OK but a bit too far.
30th December, 2011 - Signed off by my GP to return to work. One interesting observation is that if I tell people I had a bunion operation I get the impression that they think it is a strange old custom. Bunions seem to be thought of as something that old people got 50 years ago. Consequently I say that I had surgery to straighten my toes. I’ve got to wear the hideous trainers for two more months.
22nd December, 2011 - Second x-ray, and sign-off from the surgeon.
16th December, 2011 - I began this retrospective record of my convalescence. The picture below shows a nicely-healing foot. Even the second toe is getting back into place. Compare the “knuckle” with the picture at the bottom of this page. There’s no pain from the surgery, but it hurts just below the middle toes when I walk.
9th-12th December, 2011 - Lots of severe pain, between the toes and ankle, but not on the big toe. I think this was due to the misaligned 2nd and 3rd toes trying to move back to their natural position after surgery, once the pressure from the big toe was gone. I phoned the hospital to discuss this, and was assured that all was well. Very uncomfortable walking. It was suggested that the pain was due to the way I was walking, post-operation.
18th November, 2011 - I sent this picture to work, to try and get some sympathy. I didn’t.
Very swollen but improving.
16th November, 2011
I realised that I was halfway upstairs and had left the crutches downstairs. Progress. I have now graduated from the weight-bearing sandal to training shoes. I hate these as I never normally wear them
15th November, 2011
Back to the hospital to have the dressing removed and sutures cut. I was advised to try gentle weight-bearing on the operated foot. Signed off as unfit for work until 28th December, 2011. The picture above shows the foot at its worst, with the surgeon’s initials in felt pen on my shin, so that I could be sure the “right” foot was done.
8th November, 2011 - Back to the hospital to have the dressing changed. I was struggling about the house on crutches which caused me a lot of pain in my hands and shoulders. Almost no pain from the operation, and I stopped taking the painkillers, strong Ibuprofen and also co-codemol. During the day, while Alice was at work, I avoided going downstairs as it was too difficult on crutches.
4th November 2011 - I had an operation, a proximal metatarsal osteotomy for hallux valgus correction, to correct the alignment of the toes in my right foot. I had been getting myself in the right frame of mind for this for over a year, and it’s only since the operation that I have been able to read about it on the internet. I have a terrible memory for things like this, so I thought I would record it all here. Some of the photographs are a bit gory. I was taken home in the early afternoon. I remember being in the operating theatre, the gas mask over my face, quite relaxed, then being in recovery an hour later. Simple.
October 2011 - We had a holiday in Wiltshire. On a couple of occasions we walked over 10 miles, but not without me suffering a bit.
September 2011 - Increasing discomfort and further splitting of shoes helped convince me that I needed to go ahead with the operation. I was booked in for early November.
February 2011 - I saw the specialist again and he strongly recommended surgery. I had had operations on various soft parts of my body before, so I wasn’t too concerned about surgery. However, having the prescribed surgery on a bone was something with which I couldn’t immediately come to terms. the surgeon could tell this, and suggested that I wait until I was better prepared mentally. The operation involves having a wedge of bone remove from the toe, before realigning it and pinning and screwing it.
Late 2010 - I was referred by my GP to a foot specialist at West Middlesex Hospital.
2009-2010 - I became aware that the “knuckle” of the big toe on my right foot was becoming deformed, to the extent that it was causing the stitches in my shoe to split.