Monday, 24 December 2012

Pssst! Want the goss?

I hate to direct you to read the Daily Fail Mail, I really do. But if I'm going to share the gossip, you have to share the pain.

You may have noticed my surgeon is called Ian Nugent.

This is him:

I, erm, borrowed that picture from this website. Credit where credit is (legally) due, and all that.

So, that's Mr Nugent. Now, before I had my surgery, I had a little Google of him. I wanted to find out if anyone had written about having him operate on their bunions, but it seems I'm blazing a trail on that one.

In my searching, though, I found this article.

To save you reading it all (unless you want to) it's about a woman who had her flat feet operated on using a new procedure that took only 15 minutes and involved inserting a "bullet" of silicone into the ankle to prevent the foot rolling over (known as overpronation).

So far so totally not anything to do with bunions.

Underneath, the article has two comments.

The first is this:

Thank you for an excellent article. We love to hear stories like that of Ms. McDonnell and how so many patients like her have eliminated their foot pain with HyProCure. If you are suffering from foot pain, please the HyProCure site to learn more about the underlying causes and solutions. -Fran V, GraMedica

Fran V , Macomb, MI, USA, 26/4/2011 15:43

Which is obviously from the people who make the implant, touting their wares to any unsuspecting readers.

Why unsuspecting?

Because of the story behind the next comment. Which is:

I am a consultant orthopaedic foot and ankle surgeon practicing in the NHS and private practice. I was concerned about this article written by a podiatrist whose views are not supported by the evidence of the medical and surgical profession worldwide. This article infers that this procedure of arthroereisis with the Hyprocure prosthesis is an accepted proven treatment for "flatfoot". The evidence for the results of treatment is lacking and the rationale for the principle of the procedure is flawed. This operation is not recommended as appropriate by NICE for treatment within the NHS and I am concerned that your article infers it is an accepted practice in the orthopaedic foot and ankle world. There is probably an incentive in certain areas of "private practice" for a quick and simple yet unproven procedure to be advertised in the national press, especially as it is considered inappropriate and is unavailable on the NHS.

Ian Nugent , Reading, UK, 26/4/2011 15:03

Ian Nugent? MY Ian Nugent?

Well, yes. If you'll excuse the rather proprietorial tone.

When I had my casts changed, I mentioned this article to Mr Nugent, and that I saw he had commented on it. You probably don't want all the details but it was because I told him I used to be a journalist, and he said there is never 'used to be' when it comes to journalists, ho, ho.

Anyway, then we got to the gossip.

Mr Nugent told me that lady had come to see him prior to having that 'bullet' procedure, I think at his private practice, and that he had told her it wasn't suitable for her. But off she went and had it done anyway

And apparently, three months later, she was back to see Mr Nugent because it had failed!

So there we are. If you fancied it, it may be a good idea to wait until HyProCure have done it on a few more people!

(I was going to say something stronger, but they are American, and Americans tend to be litigious, and I could use the defence of fair comment but I don't want the hassle. I'm sure you can draw your own conclusions.)


  1. But that doesn't make sense cos lady refers to op being done in Feb of year before article was written?

  2. Why do you think that? She wouldn't have contacted the Mail to cancel the article going in as she most likely got paid for it and would lose the money (paid on publication) if it were not published. And the makers of the implant wouldn't want the piece to be pulled either.

    Are you suggesting Mr Nugent has lied? Why would you think he'd do that?

  3. No, just didn't make sense when I read it. I have terribly bad collapsed arches and was thinking of looking into the op...after a few years of saving that is! So I like to believe its going to work I guess.

  4. Ah I see. Sorry! Just before I read your comment i'd been reading a blog full of trolls and I was on the defensive unnecessarily!

    Yes, it wouldbe lovely if there were a less painful, easy answer to foot problems, wouldn't it? Have you tried orthotics (I'm guessing that you have)?

    Have you seen a foot specialist? Is there any surgery that can help you?