My West London Life

Mr David Gordon


Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeon aka The Bunion Doctor, Mr David Gordon, spilled his secrets on 'healthy feet' and his favourite spots to visit in West London.

Where is your practice based?

I work across three separate hospitals, Spire Harpenden Hospital which is in Hertfordshire, Spire Bushey Hospital in North London and at the London Clinic, based in Marylebone.

What is your favourite place to visit or favourite thing to do in London?

I love visiting The Natural History Museum in Kensington, the grand historic building, its high ceilings and the incredible content on display is fascinating to see. As an amateur photographer, I love going to The Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibition. I love seeing unexpected and unusual shapes and sites that can be seen in the natural world.

Another of my favourite things to do in London is to enjoy the outdoor spaces like Hyde Park, Green Park, and Regents Park. There’s nothing better than on a crisp winter day in the sunshine, putting on my running shoes and taking in the beauty of the heart of the city.

Can you tell us about your practice? What inspired you to go into Orthopaedics?

I’m a Consultant Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Surgeon and have a particular specialism in bunions. My practice is not just bunions however, I treat all conditions related to the foot and ankle. I see patients from all over the country as well as internationally, which exposes me to a good mix of cultural global diversity alongside a variety of clinical orthopaedic issues.

My interest in Orthopaedics really stems from childhood. I was lucky enough to have an innate ability to understand how things work in a mechanical and practical sense. As a child, I loved Lego and building airplane models – I was drawn to radio-controlled cars and built several myyself.

Once I left university, I ended up building my own sports car. My uncle was an Antique Restorer so I used to help him in his workshop as a child working with wood and he also used to restore classic cars. It inspired me to understand mechanics, which is a vital aspect of my career in orthopaedics.

My interest in science and biology then blended with my practical understanding of how to fix things – it’s a good combination for a surgeon.

What is a bunion?

It’s a prominence of bone on the side of the foot – not necessarily related to a growth of new bone – but it’s a swinging inward of the metatarsal bone, which joins the big toe.

Is it true that women suffer with bunions more than men?

Absolutely! Now that’s not to say that women have more bunions than men, but they certainly have more symptoms and this is all down to the style of footwear that women like to wear.

Are shoes responsible for forming bunions?  What is the cause of bunions?

It’s a common misconception that shoes cause bunions but they can make them worse. Bunions are hereditary and about 80% of patients will have a first or second degree relative with a bunion. There are tribes that don’t wear shoes but still get bunions.

Do you have a framework on healthy-looking feet for summer?

Having healthy feet is really an year round endeavour and prevention is certainly better than cure, although you can’t prevent bunions!

In terms of appearance, often that’s down to genetics and there’s not a lot you can do, but look after the feet. A quality pedicure would be a good start. If you have dry skin, moisturizing socks can help avoid ill-fitting shoes that might rub or cause unsightly blisters.

You are a keen runner, how do you prepare for 4 marathons in 4 weeks?

I love taking myself out of my comfort zone. I think it’s really important to do this regularly in life, otherwise you’ll never find your true potential. Four marathons in 4 weeks is as much a mental endeavour as it is physical and I trained for 6 months leading up to this challenge. I had an excellent trainer in my good friend John Geller at John Geller Coaching. The most important thing regarding achieving anything in life, is consistency.

I never lost sight of the reason I was doing the challenge and that was to raise money for Steps 2 Walk. So when things were tough I’d think of those children and young adults who were debilitated by foot and ankle conditions and how raising money would help them.

Can badly fitted shoes exacerbate bunions?

Badly fitting or shoes that are too narrow don’t help. Ultimately you need to get a shoe that is soft and wide – that doesn’t press on the bump on the side. There will come a point when the style of footwear that is comfortable is no longer practical for your lifestyle and that’s when it’s time to consider surgery.

What is the latest technique you offer for bunions and how long does it take to recover?

I’ve been performing minimally invasive Foot and Ankle Surgery, particularly for bunions, since 2012.  For me, this is the best technique for not only a lovely cosmetic correction, but more importantly, better function and a reduced chance that the bunion will come back in the future.

In terms of recovery, a typical patient of mine has a couple weeks at home taking it easy and keeping the feet elevated. To start with, you can do either seated or exercises lying down the day after surgery, then progress onto a spin bike at 4 weeks and into comfortable trainers at 5 weeks. Eventually, you can return to impact activities at 8 weeks.

Are there any exciting developments in keyhole surgery on the horizon?

The most exciting development is the launch of a new system that I helped design for keyhole bunion surgery. The Precision System by Paragon 28 is a piece of equipment that is attached to the foot to guide the surgeon in the complicated steps to correct the bunion during surgery. This facilitates surgeons less familiar with the operation, to perform the complex surgical correction more easily, making the technique more accessible, so more bunions can be fixed and more patients can have lovely looking pain-free feet!


Mr David Gordon, Consultant Foot and Ankle Surgeon Aka The Bunion Doctor, London.

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