A registered nurse in Duke’s cardiovascular MRI unit, Aiken is constantly on her feet.
“I first noticed something was wrong with my left foot when it felt pinched inside my shoe,” Aiken said. “I began having a hard time finding shoes that were comfortable to walk in 10 hours a day and spent a lot of money trying different kinds of nursing shoes that didn’t help.”
Over time, her bunion -- a bony bump near the big-toe joint -- became red, swollen, and painful. It forced her big toe out of alignment, pointing to the left instead of straight up.
“It hurt so badly I would cry after work,” said Aiken. “I didn’t want to do anything except come home and put my feet up. I stopped going to the gym and walking my dogs, and as I became less active I gained weight. When your foot hurts that badly, it affects every part of your life.”