The Patient – Simon

A harbinger for my active life (and I hope yours).

This is a personal account of my experience with Dr Nick Savva intended to help reassure others facing a similar situation.  Nick has been a superb friend and support to me during my surgery, but first let me give you some background.

I am a busy, professional and active late 40s family man who enjoys the outdoors and keeping fit…but I have wonky feet (significant hallux valgus so I’m told).  My situation is hereditary although the rigours of my job have exacerbated the pain and discomfort with insoles and other treatments no longer working.

When I met Nick I was instantly reassured.  We discussed my circumstances and I was provided with a wealth of information to help make the right decision.  Initially I resisted surgery.  It sounded really unpleasant and I wasn’t sure I wanted to commit.  Were my feet that bad?  After a period of contemplation and further consultation I decided it was the right time.   Knowing Nick would do the operation was a large factor in my decision.

I was nervous on the day, but it went smoothly.  Nick and his team kept me informed.  The operation took a couple of hours and I was home by the evening.  I was bandaged up and an anaesthetic block made it pain free.  The first two weeks were the hardest, but never beyond a threshold I couldn’t handle.  I kept my foot elevated and read lots of books.  For ten minutes every hour I would use the toilet and make a cup of tea.  I was able to shuffle and put weight through my heel and became an expert at doing the stairs on my bottom.  With regular paracetamol and ibuprofen, I was never in significant discomfort and to be honest, I quite enjoyed the break from work.

A significant milestone for me was two weeks post-surgery.  Seeing my foot was incredible.  Beyond the recovering scars it looked amazing. The shape was so different and even from my untrained eye I could see the surgery had worked.  I was so pleased I took a picture to capture the moment (the first of many to show my progress).  Nick seemed equally happy which gave me huge confidence.

It’s now been four months.  Driving, walking, cycling and swimming all feel normal.  I’m not yet running but my progress seems good.  I’m aware the journey is long – 3 months fair, 6 months good, but I’m happy to be patient.  At no time do I experience sharp or unpleasant pain.  When asked about it I say it feels like I played football yesterday, someone tackled me hard and my foot is stiff as a consequence.  I do keep a folder of pictures on my phone to deploy if someone asks a more in-depth question.  It helps to put things in context.  When I show a before and after comparison the response is always positive amazement at the change.

So this is my experience.  Nick’s caring nature has been a constant reassurance and I’m not convinced I’d have been brave enough to do it without him.  It’s certainly not a straightforward decision.  I’m not declaring this easy or enjoyable.  But the advice beforehand, the big day and the post-surgery care from Nick have helped me enormously.  The symptoms of my condition (a constant pain in the sole of my feet) have gone and I’m weightbearing properly.  I’m genuinely thrilled at the result and feel positive about my future.

If you are contemplating a similar situation, then I hope this is of help.  My closing advice is to listen to Nick and be assured he will do the best for you.  He certainly has for me.