leg and back pain from gait abnormality/ foot surgery
Hi! I am 55 and healthy. I had Bunion surgery 30 years ago on my right foot and for the past few years i have pain in my right ankle, leg, lower back on my right side when i walk for any length of time or wear any shoe with an insole/structured arch support. Also, my calf muscles get tight (on the right side only). My right toe is much shorter due to the surgery and does not really connect with the ground when I walk. this foot has a kind of a mound on the bottom of my foot where the ball of the foot is and my arch is much more pronounced. I had no surgery on my left foot and it is normal. I have tried insoles but the contours hit the bottom of my right foot in all the wrong places. I am looking for an insole to help with my problem as i now have a job where i stand and walk all day. I have seen podiatrists who say they cant help cuz i am not "pronated" or because i don't have bad pain in my actual foot......reading your answer about gait problems and back pain sound like what may be going on with my foot! Thank you for any recommendations!
There is certainly a possibility that there is a connection between your right foot issues and your back. If the right foot is not doing its "fair share" during your gait cycle and you are forced to compensate in your walking, then there is a fair chance it could affect your back.
A few points worth mentioning.
The life expectancy for any orthopedic procedure
is not indefinitely. Even with a perfect procedure being performed, the same factors that caused your initial bunion are still in play, in fact, probably exacerbated simply because you have aged. So, it would not be surprising that once again you have issues with your right foot.
You have the right idea, that using an orthotic to make up for the deficiency in your gait would be the direction you would want to go. You unfortunately have been to the wrong podiatrists. I do not understand "not enough pain". Does that mean unless you come crawling into their office, they cannot help you?
I also do not understand "you do not pronate enough". So what? Pronation is the cause of many foot and leg problems, but it is not the only cause.
I realize you have tried some orthotics and they do not seem to fit just right due to variants in your foot structure.
Having said that, a custom orthotic can be fabricated to overcome and accommodate the majority of deficiencies in a foot. This is accomplished both in the structure of the orthotic and the particular materials used to make the device.
Since further surgery is not a realistic option (and may not be an option at all), I think you need to find a podiatrist in your area who specializes in biomechanics and the use of orthotics.
A customized orthotic will redistribute your body weight more evenly in your foot, it will accommodate any residual structural deformity in your foot as a result of your surgery, and will help absorb shock when walking or standing which could go a long way in helping your back.
Hope this information helps.
Marc Mitnick DPMDISCLAIMER