A woman with a foot she’s dubbed the ‘Frankenstein’ because of its odd appearance and overlapping and crooked toes, finally has it corrected in a ‘hellish’ six hour operation on My Feet Are Killing Me.
In tonight’s episode of the Quest Red show, Dr Brad Schaeffer, of New Jersey, is visited by American patient Susan, 52, who admits she’s been left in constant agony for 30 years thanks to her crooked foot.
Removing Susan’s shoes, Dr Schaeffer is ‘shocked’ to see her toes curling over one another, while an enormous structure appears to be sticking out of the side of her foot.
The foot and ankle surgeon diagnoses Susan with an extremely rare case of skewfoot – which is when the body part grows in a bizarre Z-shape.
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A woman with a foot she’s dubbed the ‘Frankenstein’ because of its odd appearance and overlapping and crooked toes, finally has it corrected in a ‘hellish’ six hour operation on My Feet Are Killing Me. Pictured, Susan’s foot before and after the surgery
In tonight’s episode of the Quest Red show, Dr Brad Schaeffer, of New Jersey, is visited by American patient Susan (above), 52, who admits she’s been left in constant agony for 30 years thanks to her crooked foot
‘My foot, it is my little monster,’ Susan says. ‘There’s a big bone sticking out on the side of my foot and a couple of crooked toes.’
WHAT IS SKEWFOOT?
Skewfoot (also known as Serpentine Foot) affects the formation and growth of the bones.
Most people with skewfoot have a foot that seems to form inward or has a C or Z shaped appearance.
- An abnormal walk
- Ankle bone or heel bone are out of alignment
- The bone in the middle of the arch of the foot is triangular instead of square
Some non-surgical procedures include stretching exercises but if the person has severe pain or trouble walking, surgery may be necessary.
Surgery to correct skewfoot consists of cutting the bones, tightening ligaments, inserting pins, and putting the foot in a cast to keep it in place.
Source: St. Louis Children’s Hospital
As well as having an odd appearance, Susan’s foot causes her excruciating pain on a daily basis.
‘When I look at my foot I see a disfigured foot, I see just something that I hate to look at,’ she admits. ‘As I walk I feel the pain in the bone sticking out, it’s a horrible sharp pain. Every step hurts, every single step hurts.’
Throughout her life, Susan’s foot has caused her nothing but problems and, as she reveals, and even got in the way of her wedding day.
‘I was disappointed because I couldn’t wear nice, beautiful wedding shoes like everybody else,’ she says. ‘I had to wear flip flops with a little wedge, and even that was painful.’
Sadly, Susan’s husband passed away five years ago, and her loving sister Sandy has been a welcome source of support ever since. ‘I don’t know what I’d do without her, she means the world to me,’ Susan says.
After 30 years of misery, Susan’s monstrous foot continues to hold her back, stopping her from moving forward with her life.
‘It’s held me back in so many ways, like dating,’ she says, revealing how her foot deters her from meeting new people. ‘It’s just so painful, I’m so tired of it. It’s basically ruined my whole life since it started 30 years ago.’
Walking into Dr Shaeffer’s surgery, Susan explains just how much of mess her ‘Frankenstein foot’ is, but the medic is quick to reply that it ‘takes a lot to shock me’.
But when revealing her problem, Dr Shaeffer is nearly lost for words. ‘Oh wow,’ he gasps, before explaining: ‘Susan’s foot is literally at a 90 degree angle, her bones are going off to the side. It’s definitely shocking, I didn’t expect to see this.’
Removing Susan’s shoes, Dr Schaeffer is ‘shocked’ to see her toes (above) curling over one another, while an enormous structure appears to be sticking out of the side of her foot
Inspecting Susan’s twisted foot, Dr Shaeffer already knows he has a fight on his hands, saying: ‘It’s not your typical bunion or bump, that’s what’s called a skewfoot. It’s creating this Z-look, I mean it’s literally at a 90 degree angle.’
Examining Susan’s x-rays, Dr Shaeffer hatches a plan to correct her foot through surgery, and an excited patient says: ‘I won’t have that big bone sticking out, I won’t feel like a freak anymore.’
Dr Shaeffer explains to Susan: ‘You’ve got a couple of these joints that are out of whack and we’re going to need to realign.’ But in truth, Dr Shaeffer knows just how much work Susan’s foot is going to need to straighten it out.
The foot and ankle surgeon diagnoses Susan (pictured left, with her sister) with an extremely rare case of skewfoot – which is when the body part grows in a bizarre Z-shape
During the operation (above), Dr Shaeffer corrects the 90 degree angle of Susan’s big toe by removing part of the joint and resetting it
‘It’s going to be definitely a complicated procedure, I have my work cut out for me,’ he admits to the camera.
During the operation, Dr Shaeffer corrects the 90 degree angle of Susan’s big toe by removing part of the joint and resetting it.
Two hours into the operation, just as Dr Shaeffer and his team finish putting plates into Susan’s foot to align the bones, they hit a snag that threatens the rest of the procedure.
‘The plate was just not sitting flush with Susan’s bones,’ Dr Shaeffer explains. Undoing all of his work and starting from scratch, Dr Shaeffer and his team reset Susan’s foot with a bigger plate in place.
Fast forward five weeks to Susan’s post-op appointment, and her foot is virtually unrecognisable (pictured)
After six-and-a-half hours of gruelling surgery, Dr Shaeffer finally closes up Susan’s foot, recalling: ‘This was a big challenge that we undertook and Susan’s foot looks great.
‘This was surgery was literally six-and-a-half hours of hell, I feel exhausted but that’s your job as a surgeon!’
Fast forward five weeks to Susan’s post-op appointment, and her foot is virtually unrecognisable, with the patient adding: ‘I never thought that I would have a normal looking foot.
‘After years of having that ugly looking foot I am on cloud nine, this is the best thing that could ever happen to me. Literally, he has changed the course of my life.’
My Feet Are Killing Me airs 10pm on Tuesdays exclusively on Quest Red, or stream on dplay