'My Feet Are Killing Me': Dr Brad Schaeffer enlists Dr Haller's help to fix Steve's 'hammerhead shark' feet

Steve's 'hammerhead shark' feet could be attributed to a flawed diet and a poor lifestyle choice

                            'My Feet Are Killing Me': Dr Brad Schaeffer enlists Dr Haller's help to fix Steve's 'hammerhead shark' feet
'My Feet Are Killing Me' Season 4, episode 2 (TLC)

Dr Bradley Schaeffer helps Steve get rid of the "worst case of gout" he's ever seen. Dr Schaeffer worked with Dr Sarah Haller to save most of Steve's feet and remove as much gout as possible.

If you loved the horrific blackhead extractions and pimple poppings on TLC's 'Dr. Pimple Popper,' chances are you'll appreciate another medical transformation TV program on TLC, 'My Feet Are Killing Me.' This show chronicles the daily activities of foot and ankle surgeons (also known as podiatrists) from opposite ends of the country. One of the show's famous podiatrists, Dr Schaeffer, treats foot problems in Hillsborough, New Jersey. In the latest episode of 'My Feet Are Killing Me,' Dr Schaeffer is confronted with one of the most severe gout cases he has ever encountered.


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Steve recounts his first bout with gout, which occurred 18 years ago. What began with merely the big toe has now resulted in two feet that are swollen to the point of immobility. Steve's gout became increasingly painful and intolerable over time. There was not just physical growth making his feet look like a hammerhead shark head (as described by Dr. Schaeffer), but Steve was also suffering. When Dr Schaeffer asked Steve to describe his pain, he said it felt like he had glass crystals in his joints. When the doctor got a closer look, he discovered that one foot was worse than the other. Dr Schaeffer described the scene as "gnarly" and claimed that he had never seen a gout attack so severe in his life.

When Steve brought his situation to Dr Schaeffer, he had masses of gout settling in the main areas of his foot. A condition he described as Gouty Tophi was most likely the outcome of a poor diet and a lousy lifestyle. Steve, who is works as a cattle rearer, nearly lived off of it. Dr Schaeffer explained how Steve's current state could have been caused by excessive consumption of red meat. Kathy, Steve's wife, explained how she had tried for years to improve his diet but failed.

Dr Schaeffer's first step was to make sure the bones around the affected area weren't mushy. During the surgery, Dr Schaeffer and Dr Haller attempted to save most of the feet. They tried to remove the uric acid buildup first, then cleaned the area before inserting screws into the bone. He was terrified of finding a fragile bone in there since it would mean amputation, something no one wanted. The doctor was concerned that the build-ups would harm the metatarsals. He peered deep into the toe joint to see if the bone was strong enough to support it. He also attempted to scalp gout from the fifth toe.

After removing all gout, the doctors fused his big toe Steve was scheduled for a 6-month follow-up after the plates were set. During the follow-up, Steve demonstrated significant progress and disclosed that he had changed his diet.

'My Feet Are Killing Me' Season 4, episode 2 (TLC)


'My Feet Are Killing Me' Season 4 airs every Wednesday at 9 pm ET on TLC.

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