I’m 23 and in constant pain

Hi, I’m Daniel and I’ve got clubfoot with my right foot being the only one affected.

I’ve had a total of four surgeries with only the initial position correction working efficiently. My big toe was also fused together so it can’t bend this was to stop it sticking up when I walk but I think it made it worse, the other operation I’ve had are heel alignment and also I’ve had some ligaments moved about sorry don’t know the actual names given to each surgery off the top of my head. Anyways all my other toes are permanently dislocated and are completely useless as none of them touch the floor when I walk.

A few years ago I was told I have early stages of osteoarthritis in my ankle bone. Now buying shoes is a nightmare—my left foot is a size 8 and my right is a size 6. It doesn’t matter what shoes I do get as I always have the battle of trying to keep my foot straight so it’s easier to walk this never happens for long maybe if I’m lucky I can do this for about 5 minutes before it’s then not doable.

I’m in constant pain because of my foot and it limits my ability to get around as it’s too painful for me to drive as I’ve got barely any up and down movement in my foot. This has also caused another issue with my knee now clicking constantly.  Two weeks after I was given inner soles that were meant to help me walk better the clicking began and so did the pain and it hasn’t stopped since. I’ve had blood tests, X-ray and an MRI scan to see what was wrong with them all coming back with no issues. I was told for months by my doctor that the pain must be in my head as they don’t know what’s causing it but they’re still wrong as it’s still here even after taking pain relief and also going to physiotherapy and even to the gym once a week since January nothing has changed. I believe it’s caused by my foot turning outwards which makes me walk on the outside edge of my foot which then turns my knee cap to shift and my leg to go slightly to the right.

I’m very worried about how this will affect me in later life. If I have any children I would like to be able to play football with them and I wouldn’t want this to stop them doing what they want.

Thanks, Daniel

10 thoughts on “I’m 23 and in constant pain”

  1. Im also 23 and I have the same issues with shoes, i buy trainers and tend to go through them in a couple of months i used to get a size 4 and 6 to fit my feet but its just too expensive. It’s strange how our surgeries differ, considering we were born around the same time and both live in the UK i never had toes fused but I believe a large staple shaped thing was put in my foot to hold something in place but not sure if it was removed after my last surgery

    1. SJ. Daniel and I have been chatting about clubfeet. I don’t have them but have studied them since having a very close friend at school years ago. Which foot is worst for you (not sure whether you have one or both) I’m Steve and would love to chat further with both of you. Where are you based?

    2. Hi SJ, I started buying my trainers online as it’s cheaper so it’s not a big deal if I go through them so quickly as they’re cheap compared to shop brought ones. It is odd all bar the first position correction surgery I’ve deemed to be more bad than good to myself because of there inability to do anything to change how I walk or even the pain itself.
      I’ve got a large staple in the top of my first metatarsal and also a bolt permanently inbedded within my heel as they where going to take it out but couldn’t find it funnily enough as they where the ones who put it there.
      If you’d like to email me and keep talking about anything really my email is
      daniel.creed @ study.beds.ac.uk
      Thanks Daniel

  2. Hello Daniel,
    I am so very sorry you are in such pain. (I have 72 yrs experience with surgically corrected severe bilateral clubfeet, rotated originally to my mouth. 14 surgeries enabled me to walk, wear “regular” shoes ages 12-44 or so, then, mid-40s, I dislocated toe 1x, I know it was raised, put in place. Some of us have bent/curled/ odd toes from in utero. Some are normal. If you had surgeries, did you have Ponsetti treatments?
    I suspect heel cords were lengthened (back of leg), ligaments moved under front knee, ankles, (ankle difference). Pain management specialists helped my mood. Fits you better, hard to find molded shoemakers, podiatrist no longer do. Consult with different ortho? Might have more experience, be new, having only 1 foot affected is difficult. I used to think 2 was worse, not so. Hope something helped. I care

  3. Daniel, thanks for replying. I do think, despite the hideous look of the boots they do work well. The shaping and insole design and roominess certain help to accommodate the clubfoot. I only know of one company here in Norwich where I live that will do these alterations etc. now. Where do you live? What do you wear most? Do you still have the boots? I’d love to see them and your feet too! Nice to chat once again to someone like yourself. My email is norsox @ yahoo.co.uk

    1. Hi Steve, yeah they did work well for the time they fit me. I live in Luton and I almost always wear trainers. I no longer have the boots as I had them made for me over 10 years ago now. Thanks mate I’ll send you over an email later today

  4. Daniel, I read your story with deep sympathy. I have been studying clubfeet for some years now since having, and sadly losing, a best friend from school who had two clubfeet. Him and I explored the deformity from a school boy angle and with school boy humour most of the time. He wore “old-fashioned” orthopaedic boots on his feet. These were not the most glamorous footwear but they certainly did the job. They allowed his short, very high arched and, like yours, outside walking feet to function to a degree. Yes of course his gait was still very awkward and very “clubfooted” but he found them easier wear than squeezing into and forcing normal shoes on. Unfortunately these boots became ‘non PC’ after the 80’s and were kind of ignored. It sounds to me that your clubfoot would benefit a lot from having a custom boot to live in! Please get in touch as I’d love to chat more to you about your feet and the problems they cause.

    1. Hi Steve,
      I used to have a pair of custom made hideous looking boots but after a while my other foot outgrew them and after that I wasn’t able to get another pair made as they stopped doing it at my hospital. Since I was about 13 I’ve not worn a pair of shoes as they cause my great discomfort to my ankle and heel I only wear boots for special occasions and such. I think a specially made pair would help me with walking on the sole of my foot instead of my side.

  5. I had a lot of problems in my feet. So much pain I could t walk in them. I usually wore out a pair every month.

    I went to these guys out in Vernal, Utah and I’ve been pain free for almost a year and the boots they adjusted and worked on are still in great shape.

    I think you should call them and see if they think they can help you. Randy’s dad had clubfoot like us, so he’s made it a specialty of his.

    Best of luck.


    1. Hi Manuel,
      I tend to abliterate trainers so quickly too. I’ve had a look at the website but I’m not too sure if they would be able to help as I live in England. But if they could help me that would be grand

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