November 07, 2022

Parisa Afshar took time during the COVID-19 pandemic to reach new heights – literally and figuratively – and she is familiar with recognizing and seizing opportunity. The IT manager of 27 years came to the United States in 1994 after completing her master's degree in Paris, France. In her programming career, she has worked for the United States Postal Service, and now, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. 

She and her husband have two adult children, both away for college. She jokes they would be enjoying the empty nest, except for their kids keep coming back! Parisa enjoys watching movies and TV series and consuming stories both by reading and listening to audiobooks. She also loves to travel as much as possible. 

The Right Time 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, while her work was mostly done from home, Parisa decided to finally have foot concerns checked out. She made an appointment with Julia Partin, DPM, a foot and ankle specialist at Washington University Orthopedics. "I loved Dr. Partin from the get-go, she is friendly and caring and really put me at ease," Parisa shares. "She took her time with me, never rushed a visit, and she is a fantastic listener." 

Long-Standing Issue 

For 15 years, she had a bump on her middle toe on the left foot, and for three years she was experiencing numbness in the middle toe. She found herself in an uncomfortable situation no matter what she did. She would wear cushions for her left foot, and required tightness in her shoes for stability, but would experience numbness when worn for too long. This issue became increasingly irritating when Parisa began hiking with her sister.

New Hobbies and New Heights 

She hadn't been much of hiker until her sister convinced her to try the outdoor activity while indoor activities were limited and everyone was ready to get out of the house. It was after hiking the Mighty 5 National Parks in Utah that Parisa's foot finally let her know it was time for surgery. She had surgery with Dr. Partin in December of 2021 after they determined Parisa had a good chance of making a full recovery for an upcoming hiking trip in July the Alps. 

Time for Surgery 

The December surgery addressed the 15-year-old bump on her middle toe, which was actually bone, causing nerves to be pinched and that middle toe to go numb.

Dr. Partin shares, "Parisa came to me after having ongoing foot pain for about 15 years that had progressively gotten worse over time. She had a common and painful foot problem known as a bunion, which was so significant that she experienced pain with activity, tingling, and aching in the foot when in certain shoes. She became reluctant to participate in activities that she loved because of the foot pain, such as hiking.

We first tried nonsurgical treatment for the bunion. However, the treatments did not alleviate the foot problem and she decided to go forward with surgical correction, performed as an outpatient procedure. She progressed through surgery and post-operative recovery with the goal of resolving her foot pain, wearing shoes comfortably, and resuming activity without pain."

Parisa was dedicated to her recovery and followed all of her post-operation instructions. Recovery was not without it challenges, like 10 days of crutches and keeping her casting dry while showering, but Parisa had her sights set on the Alps. 


Dedication to Recovery 

After her dedication to the recovery process and check-ins with Dr. Partin, Parisa was cleared to climb. In July 2022, she and her sister traveled to France, Italy and Switzerland to hike the Alps. Their trip included nine days of hiking 12-12.5 miles each day, and her foot was ready for the challenge. She completed their hike, including steep uphill and downhill grades, with no issues. 

"Like many people, Parisa has a bucket list of activities that she wants to do and places she wants to go," Dr. Partin explained. "For years, she had her sights set on a hiking trip to the Alps. She met her goals, her foot pain has resolved and she checked hiking in the Alps off of her bucket list! I was so happy to hear that Parisa not only hiked in the Alps, but did it without pain," Dr. Partin said. 

Parisa is thankful to Dr. Partin and the WashU Ortho staff for their caring and courteous approach to expert patient care. Up next, hiking in Toubkal, Morocco! 

Learn why patients choose WashU Ortho for their care.

To schedule an appointment a foot and ankle orthopedic specialist, call (314) 514-3500 or request an appointment online. 

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