For Mark Davies, Matthew Solan & James Davis at St John & St Elizabeth Hospital and OneWelbeck

For Martin Klinke at London Bridge, Cromwell Hospital, Chiswick Outpatients, New Victoria Hospital & One Welbeck

Barbara O’Brien

Barbara O’Brien is a 61-year-old from Hertfordshire. Mrs O’Brien had bunion surgery performed by Mark Davies, Clinical Director of the London Foot and Ankle Centre.

When did you develop bunions?

I noticed my bunions about two years ago, although they must have started to develop before that. I had bunions on both feet, with the larger one on my right foot and on both feet, my toes were being pushed outwards.

Why did you choose to have bunion surgery?

You hear some real horror stories about bunion surgery. A friend’s mother had bunion surgery and was on crutches for a year and is still suffering a couple of years later. But I got to a stage when my foot would swell up and become really uncomfortable.

I found it increasingly hard to find nice shoes. I’m 61, but I don’t feel 61, and I wanted to be able to wear a decent pair of shoes.

It wasn’t vanity – the bunion on my left feet is smaller and didn’t cause any problems, so I didn’t have surgery on my left foot. The bunion on my right foot was having a real impact on my quality of life and it was the right decision for me to have surgery.

How did you feel straight after surgery?

It didn’t hurt as much as I expected. My foot was a bit uncomfortable for the first few days, but it was bearable.

I spent two days in hospital and for the first two weeks at home, I rested in bed. I was told to keep my foot elevated and not put any weight on it, so resting in bed seemed like the best option.

I read lots of books – it’s not hard to recover from bunion surgery as long as you can keep yourself occupied.

Weeks two to four

I had been given a special post-operative shoe which protected my toes, but was still flexible and could be taken off easily.

You start to put weight on your foot very slowly and a physiotherapist showed me the exercises I needed to do to build up strength and mobility.

Weeks four to eight

I was a bit scared of putting weight on my foot to start with, but it gets better quickly and the physiotherapy really helps. I built up the distance I could walk by taking out my dog, gradually going further each day.

I started using my crutches less and less, only taking them out in case I felt tired. Within less than two months, I didn’t need my crutches any more.

Two months to six months

It is six months since my operation and I’m back to normal. My foot and toes are completely flexible and pain free and I can comfortably walk as far as I could walk before developing my bunion.

I recently went to a wedding and wanted to treat myself to some new shoes, but took care to be sensible, choosing wedge heels and wore them all day. I’m really pleased about how well the scar has healed – it is on the outside of the toe and you can’t see it unless you look very carefully.

Mr Davies recommended using a bio-oil to help the healing and it has worked beautifully.

What would your advice be to anyone considering bunion surgery?

I’d say if your bunions don’t hurt – leave them well alone. If they do hurt and you find you can’t wear anything other than trainers all day or walk properly, you should have surgery. It does take time to heal but if you have the right operation, it is nothing like the horror stories you might hear.

In my experience, the healing time was very short in the scheme of things and you will reap the benefits for life.

Barbara O'Brien - Bunion Correction Testimonial