Bunions posing problem that no doctor seems able to answer

My fiance has bunions, which very quickly became a major problem for her within the past year. She often suffers from extreme pain and sometimes can barely walk. The pain is intermittent and experienced as a sharp, stabbing pain in the foot that has the smaller bunion. There seems to be no pattern to when it comes and goes.
I bought some orthopedic shoes for her, and that helped a little, but she still sometimes got the extreme pain. Her podiatrist had her do certain exercises, and that helped a little, but then the extreme pain continued to come back. They gave her orthotics, and that seemed to help, but then the pain got worse. Then they adjusted the orthotics, and the pain got worse still. Because the podiatrist suggested that maybe the orthotics were causing the problem, now she's not wearing the orthotics anymore, hoping that maybe not wearing the orthotics will be the cure (even wearing the orthotics was supposed to be the cure).
Her podiatrist had said that a cortisone shot was an option, but he thinks it's not the right option now because he thinks her pain is caused by the orthotics and isn't the right kind of pain to use the cortisone.
Her surgeon and other doctors have recommended that she's not a good candidate for surgery, because her bunions are so small. Also, she's afraid that because the orthotics seemed to make her feet worse, maybe the surgery would make them worse still.
Surely the state of podiatry isn't so primitive that they don't have any good solutions for such a seemingly common problem? Are there any options for her? Are there other specialists she should see, such as maybe a neurologist (since maybe it's a problem with a nerve in the foot?). Are there any answers?

Posted By Jonathan on October 22, 2005 at 08:24:23:

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