Summer Fun in RecoveryDr. Narendra Patel is an exceptional, board-certified podiatrist at Barrington Orthopedic Specialists. One of his patients, Deb, was kind enough to share her wonderful success story with us this month.

Deb says, “I am passionate about sharing my experience because I have always believed that knowledge needs to be shared with others, especially those searching for it.”

Deb’s experience with Dr. Patel and BOS improved her quality of life, and we’re grateful that she decided to tell her story.

Hi, Deb! Tell us about your experience prior to surgery. What were your symptoms?

Prior to my first bunion surgeries (right & left) [in] 2019, I had some pain with direct pressure underneath my right foot and big toe. I gradually became uncomfortable in most of the shoes and boots I usually wore. I rarely wore high heels, but when I did my feet hurt especially in the toe box. I gradually had more pain, during and after walking with and without shoes. I wasn't aware that I had bunions until 2017.

What were some of the obstacles you faced when trying to find relief?

In 2017 I consulted with a podiatrist who gave me a plan; however, I couldn't get medical clearance because of a reoccurring UTI.

In 2019 I had heard great things about [another podiatrist]. After meeting with him, he said that I was a great candidate for surgery. I had both feet done in the same year. My left foot healed with no complications.

[After I had] surgery to remove screws from my right foot, I had been complaining of ongoing pain on the top and the medial side of my foot, in addition to the neuroma pain. [I had] surgery on the right foot to shave off more bone from the inside bump. I was still complaining of the same pain.

[When] I reported that I still had pain in and around where the bunion had been, however, [my podiatrist] felt there wasn't anything more that he could offer. I was seen by a few more providers which led to an MRI. Even with the MRI, it seemed that no one had an idea of how to help me. During the time of MRI, the bunion had grown back and the big toe crossed over the second toe. Even light touch to the top of my foot was painful and I could only wear specific shoes to avoid pain and fatigue.

From 2021 until May of 2023, I decided that I would have to 'JUST DEAL' with the symptoms.

I had x-rays and a cortisone shot on the top of the right big toe. The injection did not help. I had two more injections [after that], one injection on top and one injection on the innerl side. [My doctor] also taped up my foot and I was given an oral, five-day steroid.

What eventually brought you to Dr. Patel and Barrington Orthopedic Specialists?

While wearing the tape I had increased pain in both the bunion and neuroma. My follow-upappointment [about this issue] was the first time (that I recall) discussing nerve pain. [Another doctor] then told me about a seminar that he had recently attended, and about Dr.Patel.

On 6/03/23, [I had my] first appointment with Doctor Patel. From the minute I walked into the Schaumberg location, I felt welcomed. I was anxious to hear what Dr. Patel would tell me. I had been praying all the way from the Quad Cities that this doctor, Dr. Patel, would be able to figure out why my foot hurts and that he would be able to help me.

How was your initial experience with Dr. Patel and the BOS team?

I remember talking with Hannah(Dr. Patel’s Assistant). I remember that she seemed to have an understanding of what I was trying to communicate. I had so much history with my foot at that time that I wasn't even sure where to begin, but Hannah seemed to understand me.

After my x-rays, Dr. Patel pointed out some things about my foot that I had never heard of before meeting him. I had an epiphany. Every bell and whistle was going off in my head. Everything that Dr. Patel was saying made complete sense. I didn't say anything, but I was thinking, 'WHY IS THIS THING WITH MY FOOT A HIDDEN SECRET!?!?' I couldn't help wondering what was wrong with me and why this was the first time [I was hearing this.]

It didn't take long for Dr. Patel to figure out what treatment I was going to need and that yes, he could help me. Everything that he said sounded like common sense. He had myattention and my trust.

Tell us about your procedure. What did you end up needing to find relief?

I was not sure what surgery was going to be necessary for my case. I knew that I had multiple issues within my foot.

My procedure included:

  • Right MTP joint fusion
  • Bunionectomy
  • Nerve harvest
  • A muscle graft
  • Nerve transfer to graft

My surgical nurse Kate was amazing. The anesthesiologist was great. I felt well-informed and well taken care of.

What do you see as the difference between your previous attempts to find relief and your procedure with Dr. Patel?

The difference between the surgery from Dr. Patel and the first bunion surgery was correcting both the structural and neurological symptoms.

Tell us about your recovery. What were the challenges?

Once I got the hang of standing on one foot and making some adjustments, recovery went well for the first week or two. The issue I had was with the hard cast. I was having a lot of pain and pressure in the distal part of my foot. My toes were purple and I was concerned about circulation. I was having what physical therapy refers to as “flowering pain.” I did go to the ER, and they were kind enough to split the sides of the cast as long as I agreed to wear an ACE bandage while I was sitting or standing.

I am so appreciative of Hannah's patience with me because I felt like I was calling her a lot. Hannah and Mo were both kind and understanding. Even though I was not their only patient, they both made me feel as though I was.

How are you feeling now? Update us on your progress.

I wish that I was further along; however, I am getting better. I have less swelling and better [range of motion]. I still have the “flowering pain” that runs along the scar, under and around the great toe, and in and around the other toes. My foot actually JUMPS at night. I wear my shoes (Brooks) throughout the day. I've tried some of the shoes that Mo told me about, but they cause me an increase in symptoms.

The couple of times I have walked barefoot for a short distance, it feels like I am walking on a wadded towel, especially under my toes and in the arch. Walking barefoot even briefly causes me a lot of pain. Most of my pain happens from walking too much and at night.

Dr. Patel has already told me that pain is normal for up to one year. Even though the process is ongoing, I am doing better every day.

Is there anything you would like to say to the BOS team?

My heart is full of respect and gratitude for everyone at BOS, but I am especially grateful for the knowledge, the dedication, the concern, and the experience of Dr. Patel that made my surgery possible. I appreciate you, Hannah, Mo, and Lisa.

To learn more about Dr. Patel, visit his page on our website! If you’d like to schedule a consultation, contact our office at (847) 285-4200 or schedule online here.

Don’t wait another day living with foot pain. Visit Barrington Orthopedic Specialists and get started on the road to recovery!