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runner with bunion
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runner with bunion

HI, I am just at the beginning stages of considering bunion surgery.  I am 30 years old and have a moderate bunion on my left foot.  I was an athlete in college and still am very active.  Lately, the more I run, the more my bunion hurts.  It used to not bother me, but seems to have gotten bigger and more painful over the last couple of years.  I'm not big on heels... only ever wear them for special occasions maybe a handful of times throughout the year and they are usually less than 2 inches anyway.  My concern is that I will not be able to run if I do get the foot surgery.  As it is right now, I have cut back on my running so that I will not aggravate the joint.  Also, I notice that both Orthopedic doctors and Podiatrists perform the surgery.  What is the difference and why should I choose one over another?
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Hello Dear,
Most bunions can be treated without surgery.,but when nonsurgical treatments are not enough, surgery can relieve your pain, correct any related foot deformity, and help you resume your normal activities. An orthopaedic surgeon can help you decide if surgery is the best option for you
The bone which joins the big toe, the first metatarsal, becomes prominent on the inner border of the foot. This bump is the bunion and is made up of bone and soft tissue.
You should get your surgery done by an orthopedic surgeon .
Refer http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=a00140
Hi swimbug,

Orthopedic surgeons are trained to operate on the entire muscle and skeletal system. They believe in generalizing before specializing, looking at the body as a whole.
Orthopedic surgeons study for four years in a college or university, four years in medical school, five years in an orthopedic residency program and may have one optional year of specialized education. They become medical doctors.

Podiatrists treat all types of foot problems. Many attend four years of college or university. They also attend four years of podiatric medical college, studying medicine and some surgical procedures. They focus solely on the foot. Podiatrists are trained in biomechanics or proper foot balance and the making of customized shoe inserts called orthotics. A podiatrist graduates as a doctor of podiatric medicine, or DPM.
Many also complete one year of a hospital residency.

I hope this helps. Take care and regards
I am currently in my second year of podiatry school and would like to clarify the didactic and clinical training required to complete a podiatric medical program.  

1. You need the same prerequisites in undergrad as compared to MD/DO schools. (although a bachelor's is not required...98% of the students attain a bacehlor's)
2.  MCAT (Medical College Aptitude Test) is required.
3.  During Podiatry school you have 2 years of didactic training and 2 years of clinical training for a total of 4 years.  
4.  After your 2nd year one must take the basic science board exam which is equivalent to the USMLE Step 1 (United States Medical Licensing Exam) and After your 4th year you take another board exam.
5.  Back in the day the residency programs were only 1 year and sometimes podiatrists did not complete any residency.  NOW: all residencies are converting to a 3 year program  i.e. PM&S36 and are required. (The three year program covers forefoot/rear foot/ankle surgery and also all other general podiatric concerns)
6.  There are 3 more surgical board exams that one must pass in order to perform surgery on the main areas of the foot and ankle. These are usually completed during residency.
6.  There are now talks of an extra one year Fellowship upon completing the 3 years of residency to specialize in ankle surgery.

Now, I know orthopedic surgeons are usually top notch in their fields and very bright individuals.  I would just like to ensure the public that the field of podiatry SPECIALIZES in the foot and ankle and therefore I feel are very capable of performing any treatment of the foot and ankle. ( assuming the doc is competent :)

Best Regards to all!!!


I had a severe bunion removed and hammertoe repaired on October 29th.  An orthapaedic surgeon who specializes in foot/ankle did the surgery.  I'm getting about pretty well in a flat Darco boot and have an appointment Dec 7 for a follow-up x-ray, etc.

My only issue, when it rains very heavily, my foot throbs?!  That's a new one. I'm wondering when I can resume my exercise program? I went to the gym 3x a week - treadmill at 3.7 on a high incline and I'm afraid I've now lost my cardio/stamina and will have to build that up again.  I'm anxious to find out when I'll be able to walk at that rate again, and resume my other exercises.
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