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The response to the question below was authored by Marc Mitnick DPM

foot pain on the ball of my foot after bunion surgery

by Kelly

I had bunion surgery in June and still having problems walking on my foot.The ball of my foot and pain between the big toe and second toe is really bad...extreme at night time.. and the longer im on it..the worse it gets.The only shoe I can wear is flip-flps and thats not really conducive to Boston winters..I've tried a foot insert from my Pod., and every kind of athletic shoe with no results. My Pod wants to remove the screws from my bunionectomy and the fibural sesamoid bone, based on the location of my pain and my inability of fully press my big toe to the floor. Has ony one else here has the same surgery and with what outcome? Thanks!

Hi Kelly,

It does sound like your pain is from an irritation of the fibular sesamoid bone, BUT, it has only been four months since the surgery so to still have some residual pain is not out of the realm of normal.
Before consenting to more surgery, try some Physical Therapy along with continuing to wear a cushioned orthotic.
If after doing that you see a continued improvement on a weekly basis I would do nothing else. If, however, therapy and orthotics do not begin to relieve your symptoms, then you may have to consider additional procedures.
Marc Mitnick DPM

Comments for foot pain on the ball of my foot after bunion surgery

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Sep 20, 2018
Can’t walk after 13 weeks still in a ton of pain.
by: Kathryn

Kelly I am having the same problem. It was getting better and healing quite well a few weeks ago and now I can’t even touch my foot where the screws and plate is. The skin is so thin on my feet that I can see the plate and screws. The ones in my second toe are painful and when I put weight on my foot, that toe doesn’t ever touch the floor. Also, I’m having pain on the ball of my foot mainly under my big toe. My foot swells up when I’m standing or walking for more than 5 min. I’m thinking I want the screws and plate taken out but maybe I should wait a few more months. I’d like to go back to work at some point. I fell very hard off of my knee scooter the morning after surgery and tore my rotator cuff both front and back clean from the bone. I’m trying to heal from shoulder surgery now as well. I’m wishing I would have had cortisone injections instead of surgery about now. I missed my entire summer!!

Aug 26, 2017
4 months post surgery and about to have the other foot done..
by: Tara

I had my bunion surgery on my right foot 4 months ago and will be having my other foot done is less than 2 months. All I can say is please do research and get second opinions before having the surgery. I absolutely love my podiatrist! He is such a perfectionist that he took longer than expected on my surgery due to making sure it was just how he wanted it. I never thought the swelling would go down or that I would ever walk normal again. Best decision I ever made was to get the podiatrist to let me start physical therapy. We had never talked about it but I knew I wanted to wear heels again (I'm in my early 30's). From day one of physical therapy I could wiggle my toes and move them up and down!!!!! The PT really focused on breaking up the scar tissue which allowed me to be able to move my toe! I have had such progress...all I can say is do your research and go to physical therapy as early as your podiatrist will let you!

Jul 31, 2017
Pain after bunion surgery
by: Chris

I had bunion surgery 6 years ago. I was not told of the possibility that my big toe would not touch the ground and I might have pain in the ball of my foot. It is getting worse with pain in my middle toe (shooting piercing pain) because the big toe is pushing on it. I have spent hundreds on shoes only to hope that the next one will work. It never does.. I can only walk in flip flops or without shoes. It is miserable. I thought the pain before was bad but it doesn't compare to this. Worst decision I ever made!😡

Jun 21, 2017
by: Stacey

I had bunion surgery in Sept 2015
Since then, the pain has been horrible and by the end day I barely can walk at all
My big toe stands up above the rest of my toes,, so much so that I only touch the ball and side of my foot when I walk
You can see the the ligament in my big toe stretch so tight it so uncomfortable
The way I walk now has cause my toes to to separate so much
That the space between my second and third toes are huge and my last two are so close they rub blisters on each other
My big toe stands up so much it make holes in my tennis shoes in top of the shoes in a short amount of time
I don't know what to do
Please I need advise

You should consult with another foot surgeon in your area.

Marc Mitnick DPM

Jun 18, 2017
Wish I never got talked into this crap!
by: Rob

I am almost to the point where I am going to start a huge awareness group to be cautious of foot doctors and their lies. I had my bunion surgery when I was 19 and it was so uncomfortable ever since, but I am afraid the discomfort may be getting worse :( Most shoes I wear are uncomfortable, I find most relief wearing sandals but then it causes me to walk flat footed which also causes discomfort the more I walk. This s*** is a nightmare and if my doctor would have been honest with the possible side effects, I would have never have went. I have such a grudge against the doctor, very charming nice and he seemed honest like I could trust him. He has ruined my trust in most doctors I am actually afraid of them now. Hope that anyone reading this finds relief, because this affects your day to day life and I had to quit playing drums (which is my passion) because the pain was too intense on my foot!

Jul 08, 2016
Surgery at 14
by: Vanessa

I had bunion surgery on my right foot at 14. I fractured my right foot playing basketball and instead of just setting the foot and letting me heal, my doctor said I should also get the bunion surgery as bunions would "affect me later in life," since both my mom and grandma had them. When I was 16, I began experiencing a bit of discomfort in my left foot and again, went into surgery.

Fifteen years later - I'm 30 years old and because the pain in my left foot is so bad, I've learned to walk on the outside of my foot. Even just *touching* the area under my left foot hurts, never mind putting pressure on it. My job requires me to walk, climb ladders, and lift things, and it's getting to be such a struggle just to stay on my feet for any length of time.

Last year I went to a doctor but he said it was just arthritis and to go back if it gets worse. But I've done my research and I don't believe it's arthritis. I believe that when they did the surgery, they shave some of the bone on the big toe (like in almost all bunion surgeries) and then the second toe had to compensate, putting more pressure on this toe than nature had intended.

The pain is intense. If I step wrong or if I try on the wrong shoes, I literally stop and wince, trying not to call out.

Never did either of the two doctors I saw in my teens tell me this was even a remote possibility.

Jun 14, 2016
Wish I hadn't had bunion surgery
by: Mary

I had bunion surgery on my right foot in November 2015. (I was supposed to have the left foot done shortly thereafter, but due to severe swelling post surgery, I decided not pursue the left foot.) Seven months later, I am in more pain than before the surgery. I have a non-union of the bone, but that is not the problem. The portion of the bone that has not joined together (top of foot)
does not hurt. The former bunion area does not hurt. But the ball of my foot REALLY hurts! My gait is off because of compensating for the pain on the ball of my foot, so now my hip is affected. If I had known this would be the outcome, I would never have had the surgery. The bunion pain in my other foot is no where near the pain I am experiencing post bunion surgery.

May 27, 2016
Worse off after two years
by: DJL

After having bunion surgery almost two years ago. I am worse off than before. It was not just elective, I was in a lot of pain and could barely wear any shoe comfortably. Now my right foot has turned inward and I still have swelling, pain and cramps, not to mention corns on my little toe. My shoes look deformed due to the shape of my foot. My left foot now has plantar fasciitis, most likely due to over compensating for my right foot. I am very displeased with the way things are going. I too was better off before the surgery, as I now lose my balance due to an unstable gait, which causes back pain. I plan to go for a second opinion. Good luck all!

May 24, 2016
6 years after Bunion surgery...
by: Jackie

My surgery was Not Elective, I couldn't walk 50 feet due to the protruding bunion.
My "doctor" told me I had to have this surgery or risk not walking at all. The screws he placed had to be removed 3 months after surgery as they were sticking out through the bottom of my foot. I could not walk. Did I mention, he broke my foot while doing this surgery!
Here it is, 6 years later and 30 feet is the maximum I can walk.
The pain is so severe at times, I wish he'd have just cut my whole foot off.
Second & Third opinion: If I have another surgery, it is guaranteed I will not walk again.
Good luck to all. There is no end to the pain.

Apr 24, 2016
Bunion Sugery 7/30/2015
by: Betty

Bunion surgery 7/30/15. Left for Florida for the winter months in Nov. I was in so much pain under the pad of my foot. Felt like I was walking on pebbles. If I stayed off of the foot it was ok. I had a screw in the big toe. Now the toe next to my big toe is leaning on the big toe and bending down. As soon as I got home I made a appointment and saw the P. Wed. of this week. Said I had a neuroma under the 2nd and third toe. Gave me a cortisone injection and wants to see me in three weeks. If I am on it very long it still hurts, but not as bad as it did. The first toe looks like it is broken, but he said nothing about that. My big toe is shorter than the other foot. I have a bunion on that foot and will not go through this again. My bunions are and were not that bad, just would get sore if I wore the wrong type of shoe. The pad of my foot gets red and swollen if I am on it very long. Anyone else end up with a neuroma under the pad of the foot after bunion surgery. Did not have this before the surgery. Any comments would be appreciated.

Apr 12, 2016
Bunion pain
by: Stacey

I had the same surgery in September of 2015
And I am experiencing the same problem
Unable to walk for any period of time because of the pain on ball of my foot
So then I start walking on the side of my foot till it starts hurting
Plus my big toe doesn't touch the ground stands above the rest
Then after 4 appt with therpy and 6 weeks post op
My dr said he didn't need to see me anymore
Even after seeing my toe wouldn't lay down
I am so tired of the pain and not to be able to do the things I use to do
Even going shopping is to painful

Mar 03, 2016
Regretting surgery
by: Anonymous

Had a bunionectomy in 2014. It is now 2016 and I feel that I am worse off than before the surgery. Pain and swelling in foot. Feels like I'm walking on the ball of my right foot. My left foot is starting to turn inward at the heel and my shoe slips off my foot. I too wish that I had never had the surgery. I still have pain and now no shoe is comfortable.

Jan 03, 2015
Foot pain
by: Caroline Bordeaux

I had foot surgery 2 years for the second 3 on the first.The first one was because of my foot going numb so the doc went from my understanding broke my foot to remove all off the nerves and put a pin half in my ft and the other sticking out. Along with removing bunion off both sides of my foot. 6 wks recovery became 3mths an it still weren't better. 9 mths after I was having another surgery because I was still hurting. This time he removed a bone. To this day I'm not sure why. I went back to the doc. and was told I needed a 3rd surgery, by this time I decided to go to another doc. and he said no I did not need another. But the funny thing is neither one can tell me why it still hurts and why it stays swelled up on the top of my foot where the pin is.

Jul 31, 2014
bunion surgery stay away!!!
by: Anonymous

It has been two years since my surgery; I wasn't told that I was getting pins. I have an auto immune disorder. My foot was so much better before; It is my right foot, I have so much numbness I am afraid to drive. The pain is going all the way to my knee. I went to physical therapy and had shots in my foot as well. I was told it is scar tissue. I am off balance as well I feel like Im going to fall. forget heels I could wear them before the surgery I am so upset with my decision

May 13, 2014
cramping in my feet and numbness
by: Anonymous

My feet were swollen and I could not stand for hours to work. My big toes were turning in. So I made the decision to have the surgery.
On January 2013 I had bunion surgery on both of my feet. The doctor asked me before surgery if I wanted to change my mind about having both done. To this point I had not been told this is the wrong thing to do. Six months later I had the pins removed because they were causing pain. I had to be put to sleep again for surgery.
It is now 2014 and I am having cramping in my feet and numbness in my toes. I have to change shoes several times a day. I wish that I had lived with the pain that I had before the surgery.

Aug 20, 2013
Tired of THIS
by: lily

well i feel for you all, its been way over a year for on both feet cut the sides brokes my big toes and put a screw in them, ive had cortizones shots, phy. thereapy lots of it, i also have a ball on the bottom of my feet and toes feel like numb now im getting really bad feet cramps. im tired of buying like 30 prs of slippers a year, have to wear really padded slippers. wear tennis shoes and still my feet dont like them and now i wear slippers basically all the time. this sucks. i quit going to the foot doctor about this a long time ago because he was tired of seeing me. thanks Lily

Feb 09, 2013
pain after 2 years after bunion surgery
by: Lynn W

I had bunion surgery going on 3 years ago! I still have severe pain! Nothing seems to work! I cant wear any type of dress shoe, and Most all Tennis shoes are very uncomfortable!
I have had many treatments to lessen the pain, but so far not much works! I wish I would have never had this surgery, I am much much worse off than before I had it!!!! I wish all of you the very best who had this surgery!
If anyone out there had this surgery and know what to do to take this aweful pain away , please let me know, Thanks!

Apr 20, 2012
1 year after bunion surgery
by: Anonymous

I am only thin 110 lbs athletic and could not wear shoes not from pain but bunion cuased sores to form where all shoes cut across foot. Dr told me it would only get worse it was a bunion, but had not pain. I decided to get bunion surgery exactly one year ago. He could not get screws in at time of surgery used pins. I still cannot exercise i had 28 physical therapy sessions then another 9 with another therapist. I cannot walk more than 10 minutes without pain under ball of foot. I cannot exercies do my pilates or yoga. He says my dr it is the sesmoid bone I have sesmoiditis i read it happens if toe is not realigned correctly. Is this the doctors fault or not. I got a second podiatrist opeion and he said that is what happened it happens sometimes with bunion surgery. I am so depresses I wear sneakers only. The next step is cortisone shots but I feel there may be something else wrong and wondering about seeing orthopedic doctor foot and ankle specialist maybe get some help. Does anyone have some answrs?

This is the perfect example of why people should not have elective surgery on body parts that do not hurt. In the case of bunions there are a number of conservative therapies that could have been tried.
Now, unfortunately, you are stuck with the results of a surgery that did not work out as expected.
This should serve as a lesson to any one reading this post and contemplating elective surgery. "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
Marc Mitnick DPM

Jan 27, 2012
stinging after surgery
by: Anonymous

I ahd bunion surgery in the middle of Dec. Everything has been going fine until this morning if felt like a bee inside my shoe stinging everytime I took a step. When I removed my shoe it got better. I can not walk around work with no shoe all day. Does anyone else have this problem and what could be causing it. I had a pin put in my right big toe and a v cut out of the bone. The stinging is at the base of my toe a little below the beginning of my incision.

Feb 15, 2010
Foot pain on the ball of my foot after bion surgery
by: Susan - California

Hi Kelly,

I had surgery on November 20, 2009. Today is February 15, 2010. I had the same surgery and the same painful problem. My pod said it was adhesions in the foot, essentially scar tissue. He gave me a cortisone shot right on the top of the foot where the great toe and second toe meet. That part of my foot was very hard, lumpy and immobile. After that I went directly to physical therapy. It has softened the top of the foot in that area and brought the great and second toe almost to the ground. I also have more feeling in the great toe. It has been a week now and I feel 70% improved. I have also exercised the foot, iced and heated. I continue to message the area to break down the adhesions. I still feel like there is a ball on the bottom when I first step out of bed in the morning. I am hoping to get a second cortisone shot.

Nov 20, 2009
foot pain after surgery
by: Anonymous

I am now 13 weeks after bunion surgery and I can only walk for about 10 minuites and then the pain starts my heels are painfull and my toes and ball area are so painful I could cry I have tryed inersoles and heel inserts with no improvement I have brought lots of different shoes and trainers and I still have pain. I still have swelling at the side of my foot but no pain in the area or the big toe I can move it ok with no pain is there anyone in the same boat as me.

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A well organized site containing much information written in a manner that the average reader can comprehend.


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I came to your website, via www.foot-pain explained .com which I think is also your website? I thought explanations for different types of problems were well addressed and thoughtfully stated for the patient in mind.


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You have an amazing and extremely informative site. I enjoyed looking through all of the data and stats.


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Thanks again so much for the information in the article. Very interesting.


Great article. I have had plantar fasciitis since I was in high school……..

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Yours truly,

J.C. Forbes

Thanks for the Response, you hit it on the head.


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Thank you for your time and expertise in answering my question…..


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First, thanks for putting together this website. Its the most informative site I have found dealing with foot problems. Last June I started having pain and swelling at …….


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First of all, thank you for having all this useful information available in one place. I've been through most of your website and based on my research, pain and evaluations I think I've narrowed things down quite a bit.

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Thank you for the best site I have found when researching foot pain.

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Madison, Alabama
Thanks for replying so quickly. I was a bit concerned. I think your website is great, and chock full of info.....


Denison, TX
Dr. Marc, Thank you so much for your reply which seemed to be right on. I have researched many sites but you put me on the right path to the possible answer. My foot pain may not rule the rest of my life after all! I believe I'll make a sign that reads, "THE END IS NEAR!" Thanks Very Much,


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Just a wee word of thanks for your wonderful website...It is a terrific service...Thank you for providing your knowledge and help...With highest regards, m ebeling

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Tampa, Florida 33624

Thanks for a most interesting website, which has helped a lot.



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I thank you for putting together this incredible website.


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First, I want to let you know that you have the best web site I've found related to foot issues. (The only thing I had difficulty finding was the "ask a question" page.)


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New Zealand

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I searched the internet everywhere for a clear description and illustration of my symptoms/problem. was where I ended my search with answers. If I lived in Jersey (left 30 years ago) and didn't live in Florida I would definetly make an appointment with Dr. Mitnick.

Thanks, Kathy

1st of all THANKS A LOT for your great site......


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South Carolina
Hello! I want to thank you for such an informative website! I found you based on my ankle pain search and am happy to realize that there may be a relatively simple cause and solution....


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...Thanks for your fantastic service.


Arlington, VA

Thank you so very much, that would be much appreciated. I love those insoles, by the way. (referring to Superstep orthotics)

Kelly W.

San Clemente, CA

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Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so much for your reply. I did let my physician know and they took an x-ray - all is well! Also, thank you for providing this wonderful site, it is very helpful with lots of useful information! I appreciate your gift of time! God bless.


Dr. Mitnick, Thank you, you were 100% correct. The pain finally brought me to the ER. I spent 8 days in the hospital. The Doppler you spoke of was able to show that there was no pulse in that foot. This was an arterial clot that split and traveled throughout my leg. My leg was almost amputated. I am in rough shape but have all my parts intact!! You certainly know what you are talking about. Thank you for taking the time to answer. Yours Truly!


Staying at home after hallux surgery I spend quite a lot of time seaching info useful for avoiding problems which might come back. Today I found your site and I am .... delighted it happened. It's one of the best site I found last days.



Thanks for taking time to read and answer so many questions. It is truly a public service!


Seattle, WA

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!!


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Also, and importantly, just want to praise this web site. Thorough and thoughtfully presented, it certainly must be of considerable assistance to anyone with a foot problem. Terrific -- and very interesting.I trust the address comes up easily for those seeking information.


New Jersey

Thanks so much for answering my question. You've been more help to me than my own Dr. has been lately. Thanks again....I hope to be able to walk without pain someday.


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Thanks so much for this website Dr. Marc! It is so nice that you have this ask the doctor feature..I'm sure I'ts been helpful for alot of people. I will try what you suggested and see if it helps...thanks again!


Evansville, IA

Dear Marc

I just want to say thank you for the quick response and the good info. I find it amazing and a super nice thing that you do here by answering medical questions at no charge.

Russ W.

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Your website is full of a lot of helpful information, and I am very impressed with the time in which you responded to my post. Thank you again for your time and consideration in your response.


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San Diego, CA

Dr. Mitnick, Just want to say thank you so very much for your quick response and very informative reply! After reading what you had to say, I called the doctor's office and was able to get in and see him the same day as my injury. Toe was x-rayed and luckily, it is not broken or fractured. Very badly bruised and will probably lose the toe nail. And although my toe and toe nail are still very black and blue and very sore, they ARE both starting to feel a little better. So again, thank you! I am so very happy that I came across your website. The service you provide is outstanding and immeasurable!


Albany, NY

Thank you so much for all of your advice. In searching the web for people dealing with this same issue i can tell you that you are a Knight In shining Armor! If I lived in Jersey I would gladly be your Spokesperson. Hopefully next time you hear from me it will be good news. God Bless,

Jill S.

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Whichita, KS

thanks again, this site is very helpful.


Boston, MA

Like others have stated...This site is amazing and I am so thankful that it was created.

....Keep up what your doing. Your a life saver.



Thanks again for the information provided on your site. It's easy for non-medical folk to understand your writing, and helps provide better communication between patient and doctor.



Wonderful advice

by: Anonymous

This is the best site for foot problem info.

Thank you for this information. This description fits my pain and inflammation behind my 2nd toe perfectly.

by: Max

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Again, I really appreciate that you responded to my inquiry, and that your mention of Parkinson's helped me to find my way to a diagnosis of this difficult to diagnose disease. Most patients see on average 16 doctors before they are diagnosed. I hope that you can help other people that ask for your expertise in the future.

Barb D.

I just wanted to say that I am very greatful for this website!! I have had a fusion in my rt foot and am finally getting a little bit better......


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Again, Thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to answer my question....your an angel!


Thank you for your response. You have provided some great insight (to my question)....


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Thank-you so very much for responding so quickly and in such detail to my question!! I will give my surgeon a call today!! This website is terrific!!!! Thank-you again!


North Carolina
Many Thanks Dr Marc!
Thank you for your response. It sounds like a good plan to me. He did not cut the wart out first ...


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Thanks again doc for having this website and we STILL need qualified Podiatrists in beautiful sunny Tampa Bay (Bradenton) Florida.

Bessie Mae

Dear Dr. Mitnick, Thank you so very much for taking your time to answer my question. You have greatly relieved my anxiety related to the continual tingly I feel in my feet. I will share your response with my podiatrist next week. God bless you for having this question and answer page on your website! Most gratefully,

Lynne T.

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Your webpage is excellent, I commend you on sharing your knowledge to the public.


New Jersey

Thank you. you were more detailed than what others have told me they finally called from the last xrays and my son is now in a cast for 2 weeks he did have a fracture that was not noticeable.

a mom

location unknown

I have read your website and I have to admit that I am amazed at all the information that is on here. I have learned more than the three years I have been going to several doctors that I have seen!!


Lenoir, NC

Thank you so much Doc for a quick and thorough response!


Bellevue, WA

I cannot thank you enough for your response, opinion, and suggestions! I want you to know how much it means to me, and I'm sure everyone else who has ever asked you a question! I feel like you're a lifesaver and have empowered me to take a stronger role and stand up for myself and my feet!


location unknown

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