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MySQL Full Text Searches and Secondary Index

It is my understanding that anytime you use a full-text index in MySQL that  the full-index is always used - regardless of whether or not a better alternate key is available. This can result in significant inefficiencies if there are many, many matching words in the full-text index that need to be excluded from the results for other reasons.

I am looking for an optimal way to exclude all records from a full-text search except for the ones that meet my secondary WHERE clause condition which uses a traditional MySQL index.  Can this be done?  If so, suggestions would be appreciated.  Does MySQL 5.5 perhaps handle  this scenario more efficiently than earlier versions?
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virmaior
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