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My Excellent Toe Surgery Adventure - Hallux Rigidus, Plate/Screw Fusion, and Osteotomy - Page 41

post #1201 of 1572

Welcome Aussigirl and pjp45.  Well my bruising and swelling is beginning to subside. I'm hoping that my foot begins to look like the pictures of everyone else's foot pictures, in about another week.  Aussigirl, to answer your question about the blood thinning, I was placed on a regiment of one 325 mgs of aspirin per day, for 30 days. As far as my toes are concerned, I can wiggle all of them, including my big toe, without any discomfort. Thanks msdivinedc and Brooke for the info about the calcium and vitamin D. I started taking that, after I read your posts. My question to everyone is if anyone experienced stiffness in their ankle, after wearing a boot for weeks? I was told that I would remain in this post-op shoe, the whole healing process to avoid stiffness to the ankle. I know all doctors do different things for different reasons, but I am still on track for weight bearing and walking, which is really my biggest concern. I'll be looking forward to your progress report on Tuesday Brooke. I'm hoping all goes well for you. I hope that you continue to heal well Aussigirl and you grammadiesel.

post #1202 of 1572



Did you do anything special for rehab after your surgery?

post #1203 of 1572

Hi everybody, This is my first time on this blog,  I am still trying to come to terms with what happened after bunion surgery on m right foot Oct 29,  At my two week check-up the X rays showed I had accidentally fractured the 1st MPJF Joint and needed to go back into surgery,  The following week when I woke up from surgery my surgeon told me a piece of the metatarsal head had splintered and he couldn't reduce the fracture as the joint was unstable so he had no choice but to fuse the joint,  I've been in shock ever since, trying to adapt to what happened and I have a lot of questions: how will I walk without a limp - the dr says I won't;  what shoes can I wear - I know no heel above one inch,  Will I ever feel normal again?  Unlike most of you, I did not have arthritis in the toe, so this surgery was totally unexpected.  My bunion surgery on the left foot last spring was okay.  From what I've read, MPJ Fusion is often indicated for what is called "Revision" Bunion Surgery - my case,  At this point I am at the five week mark post fusion,  After two weeks in a cast - that was rough - I'm now in the heel walking boot, and next week the Dr. said he will put me in a walking boot for six weeks.  Since this was my right foot I have not been able to drive, which has only intensified my depression.  It has been important to me to read all your stories and know I am not alone in this,



post #1204 of 1572
Hi Toegal, very sorry to hear about what you are going through. . After everything I've learned from my Dr and this blog we should be able to walk just fine and do basically anything except high heels. I'm only 2 weeks post op so I can't personally attest to anything. Hopefully there will be some people a little further along that can help give you some more encouragement and positive feedback. I can definitely understand your depression. I had my right foot done and was told I wouldn't be able to walk or drive for 6 weeks. I almost didn't have the surgery because I didn't think I could manage the time off but the pain was too bad. I know your original situation was different and I would be pretty upset too as most of us had months or years to adjust to the idea of fusion and opted for it ourselves. Praying that you have a speedy and not too painful recovery. I get a little down and frustrated at times but am just praying, trying to keep a good attitude, and taking it one day at a time. I'm glad you are here and truly believe the people on this site will be a wealth of information and support for you. Hang in there!!!
post #1205 of 1572

Brooke B


Thank you so much for responding to me.  Your kind words mean a lot to me.  

post #1206 of 1572

Toegal, that stinks you're going through what you're going through. I'm sure it must be hard coming to terms with it. The good news is that people in general do incredibly well with a fusion after it's healed. In many ways a fusion is more reliable and predictable than a bunion surgery. Some people actually choosing to have the fusion the first time around without even considering a bunionectomy just because they wanted a "one-and-done" type of procedure. Reading through this thread demonstrates how well people can do, so hang in there! Give it a year and you'll likely be back to doing just about anything you want to do. 

post #1207 of 1572

Thanks Brooke and Toecutter for your support.  Knowing there are people out there who are going through this is uplifting for me. While I did not suffer from arthritis of the MPT joint like many of you, I did have to endure years of pain from bunions on both feet.  Ironically, the left foot which I had done last spring was in far worse shape than the right.  I decided to have surgery on the right foot to prevent the eventual worsening of the bunion.  I wouldn't be so upset if I had known before the second surgery on my right foot that fusion was a possibility - I would have been better emotionally prepared.  I'm still recovering from the first surgery.  I'm not a runner or skier like many of you as well - but an avid swimmer, and not being able to swim for what will be three months is incredibly depressing and has not helped.  Swimming is a great mood elevator and I really miss it. The dr said after next week, when I'm in the boot (a CAM walker? not sure) I can do some gentle pilates or yoga - maybe chair exercises at the JCC.  I'm worried about walking of course but also what kind of shoes I can wear - how will the elevated toe fit into shoes.  Yes, vanity is part of the reason I'm so upset.  I love fashion shoes - cute ankle boots, clogs, sandals.  A really depressing experience was going to a comfort shoe store last weekend to get a flat ankle boot for my left foot - which has taken a real beating from all this and is still not fully recovered - was an obnoxious shoe salesman who tried to sell me on Rocker bottom shoes - UGLY.  I think I read in an earlier post one member who said she was also steered into those rocker shoes and she nearly fell down the stairs. So I went to another store and bought a suede Beautifeel Ankle boot - expensive but considering my only shoe this year not too bad.  The salesman there was not so high pressure, and said I don't necessarily have to wear rocker bottoms, but shoes with firm soles.  I don't know if I'll eventually be able to wear that on the other foot,  And I also am stressing on what shoes to wear when I can finally put a shoe on my right foot in mid January probably.  Maybe UGGs?   

post #1208 of 1572
Hi, everyone. It's been 14 weeks since my toe fusion and I'm been out of the cam walker and wearing my Brooks Adrenalines for three weeks. My foot is still enlarged and I still feel stiffness in my ankle and soreness on top of my foot, Bootstrap. My doctor says that it takes 6-8 weeks in shoes (enclosed shoes, no slippers, clogs, etc.) for the swelling to go down. I will have an evaluation for physical therapy because my knee hurts from limping in the cam boot. If the therapist gives me exercises to do with the ankle, I will share.

Toe gal, I'm sorry to hear of your experience. After healing and perhaps physical therapy, I bet you will walk without a limp. I, too, am curious as to what shoes I might eventually be able to wear as I haven't been able to wear anything fashionable for years. Rocker bottom shoes aren't for me either! For your "first" shoes after surgery, you might consider good running shoes like my colorful Brooks. I am wearing my pre-op size; per instructions, I removed the insole for four days to get the shoe on (doctor said insole should be reinserted in at least 10 days). My Merrill hiking boots also fit; haven't tried on anything else yet.

I successfully navigated two airports on Sunday to spend the week with my son and family. Happy Thanksgiving and continued good healing to all!
post #1209 of 1572
Hi All! Had my 2 week f/u appt today, stitches removed and the Dr said everything looked great. Minimal swelling and bruising. No x-rays at this point, she said they will do them at my next appt. So I now have a very festive red cast that looks like a stocking 😀and is so much smaller, lighter and more comfortable. Still nwb and was told to come back in 4 weeks. As I checked out and scheduled my next appt they had nothing available as that is the week of Christmas. This was a big fear and I figured I'd have to wait 5 wks. They called back and talked to my Dr and she agreed to let me come in 3. So... I'm gonna keep this baby elevated and iced as much as possible over the next 3 weeks and pray that I can get into a boot and start walking a little ahead of schedule. May not happen and I could end up with another cast but a girl can dream!!! I took several pics today but can't figure out how to get them on here...any pointers? Trying to upload from my phone.
post #1210 of 1572

Hi everyone!  Brooke, I'm glad everything went well with your post-op appt.  Do you have a knee scooter?  I found that very helpful for the first two weeks, when I was in a monster cast.  And Grandma C, thanks for your kind words and advice.  I'm going to look into the Brooks Adrenaline shoes for when the Cam Walker comes off (in seven weeks) hopefully.  Are you guys taking any Vitamin D/Calcium supplements?  I'm not sure if I should.  Happy Thankgiving to all

post #1211 of 1572
Thanks Toegal, I can't believe how much more comfortable I am in the cast. I was able to do about 30 min of pillates today (all floor exercises) and it felt wonderful. I tried a few times in the splint but it was too bulky and loose so I was afraid it might bang against my toe and hurt some thing . I do have a knee walker and love it. Best investment ever. Bought my own off amazon, it cost about the same as renting one for 2 months. I started taking calcium 600/vitamin D 800 combo supplement a few months before surgery and plan to continue at least until it's completely healed. I'm in my 40's and my primary physician says vitamin d is important at my age so I will talk with him about continuing after.
I haven't even started thinking about shoes for after the boot so I'm anxious to hear what works for everyone. I have a surgical shoe I wore before surgery due to pain, that and really cushy flip flops were all I could tolerate. Figured I would just wear that but I have a feeling by then I will be dying to wear real shoes again no matter what they are! Happy Thanksgiving and healing to everyone!
post #1212 of 1572

Hi All, I am 10 weeks post-op, and just started physiotherapy.  After just 2 sessions I think I have turned a corner, and am very encouraged.  I was having considerable pain and discomfort in my tip joint, to the point that I thought the fusion angle was too plantar flexed, and I thought I'd never get past a flat-footed shuffle.  The PT said that my tip joint movement is severely limited, maybe because of swelling, maybe because of the years before when the MTP joint was stiffening up, so that whole area wasn't being used normally, or maybe from a tendon tightening from the surgery.  We are working on mobilizing the tip joint, and working on the scar tissue, and general flexibility of the whole foot, and boy does it ever make a huge difference.  He measured the fusion angle and said it looked fine to him.  Phew..


Also starting on some strengthening and flexibility exercises.  I used a knee scooter and did some heel walking in the post-op shoe for the 6 weeks after surgery.  The knee scooter was great, but in 6 weeks, the calf muscles atrophy considerably and the ankle is also affected. Too much heel walking can also bring its own set of problems. In my first week wearing shoes, 8.5 weeks after surgery,  (I use New Balance 928's in EE width and a size larger for the 'big' foot) my good side has taken a lot of strain from compensating.  I severely strained my good side glutes, hamstrings, piriformis... I've recovered by rest, ice, foam rolling and massage, but that prompted me to go to physiotherapy to get myself balanced out.  I'm so glad I did.  I'm doing some stationary bike and rowing machine, just as general exercise, but the physio exercises are more specific.  Even though my surgeon said I didn't need physiotherapy for a fused toe, I found I need it for everything else affected by the toe.  Getting back strength in the ankle and calf in a controlled, careful way, working on flexibility in the tip joint and other toes and ankle, will hopefully help to avoid other problems that can come from compensating.  


So I highly recommend physiotherapy when your surgeon says it's ok.  Good luck everyone at whatever stage you are at!



post #1213 of 1572

Hey all. I'm glad to hear you're doing so well Brooke. It sounds as though that your going to pass me in progress. My swelling and bruising continues to subside and is concentrating just around the surgical area. Thanks GrandmaC for the info. I can't wait to be as far along as you. I still have 15 days left until my next appt. and can start my 25% weight bearing with crutches. Next week will be my longest, because at least the week after, I can start my countdown. Toegal, my right toe was fused, so I understand how you feel about driving. I think Brooke summed it up well when she said "One day at a time". That's how I'm taking it. I wish all of you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving and happy healing.

post #1214 of 1572

Brooke and Bootstrap, Toegal, and Aussiegirl, Grammadiesel and pjp45, I'm going to be following right behind you.  My surgery is scheduled for 5 days from now - Thursday.  Is that the same day as yours, GolfingQueen?  Brooke, you said your foot doesn't do well hanging down?  I'm a church organist and plan to take only two weeks off from playing.  Do you think that might be too ambitious?


I've been getting nervous, but reading your posts makes me feel better!

Edited by NevadaSue - 11/28/15 at 11:40pm
post #1215 of 1572
Reading through the new posts. I am definitely going to start the vitamin D/calcium. At the age of 45, I think it will be beneficial. I also appreciate everyone sharing the differences in their recovery. My surgeon said that I will be completely NWB for 4 weeks and most likely in a boot. He stated I would have to sleep in it or another special shoe. I'm curious how much that disturbs your sleep.

One thing that I appreciate about my doc is that he is making sure that all of my needs are met before surgery, i.e. knee walker, crutches, Rx for pain meds, wheelchair, etc. This helps me feel a little more at ease. My husband and 16 year old son have told me that I am not allowed to get nervous until my pre-op appointment which is January 7th. They said it would be wasted energy. Good to have people help keep me in check, I guess! I am getting nervous though. I know that now that it's officially the Christmas season, January 7th is going to be here soon. Please keep posting your outcomes and tips to help the recovery process!
post #1216 of 1572
Hi everyone! 3 weeks post op today and doing pretty good. My fused foot gets a little sore/uncomfortable when I overdo it but otherwise I don't have much pain. I was fortunate to be able to take 4 weeks off work but with the holiday last week I was on the go quite a bit. NevadaSue, I do think at this point I would be able to keep my foot down for probably an hour or so at a time. Are you able to prop yours up even a little bit while you play or in between? It may also help to ice it while its down. I have a couple freezer packs I got at CVS and they come with a cover and velcro strap that I put on over my cast. The Dr said the ice will penetrate the cast and help reduce swelling. They have been a huge help.
And pjp45, I was really nervous a few months out and especially the week before. Yes that was a huge waste of time but don't imagine i could have helped it. It has been a challenge but not near as bad as I thought. Even though I'm still not walking and expect some pain when I start, it has been so nice not having the daily pain I had before surgery. Will be thinking of you guys!
post #1217 of 1572
Hi Brooke,

I'm so glad everything is going so well for you post op. It sounds like you are making great progress!

post #1218 of 1572
Thanks C.C.smile.gif
post #1219 of 1572
Great to hear that everyone is making good progress! I also take calcium/vit D to help with healing and I used a knee walker for the first month or so (bought on Amazon). Pjp45, I slept in my big boot for 8 weeks and, yes, it disturbed my sleep. It improved after four weeks when I could ditch the extra 8" of elevation in bed. I'm 15-16 weeks post-op now and started PT yesterday to strengthen my knees and lower body. Being in big boot for 11 weeks (walking lopsided for the last 7) messed up my right knee. I will go to PT twice a week for the next month and then we will reevaluate. The therapy will help my body recover and prepare me for fusion on my right toe around Feb.1. Left toe that was fused 8/14 is great though the foot and ankle are still tender and enlarged. time to do my morning at-home PT! Good luck to Nevada Sue and Golfing Queen with your upcoming surgeries. And thank goodness for online Christmas shopping!

GrandmaC (aka Cindy)
post #1220 of 1572
Glad to hear that many of you are doing so well. Wasn't able to keep up with all of the informative postings recently since we hosted a crowd for several days for Thanksgiving. Now l'm in countdown mode and trying to get prepared for my upcoming surgery next Monday (cleaning, freezing easy meals, last minute shopping). Last night my husband asked me some questions and I realized that I didn't have enough information! H I'll be calling the doctor tomorrow to find out more about what to expect. For some reason I had the impression that I would just walk out with a boot on without crutches or other aides. Doesn't sound like that's the case for any of you. A friend is a nurse and has given me advice about how to mange the pain pill consequences, but I think I may have underestimated the physical restrictions. Will let you know what I learn.
post #1221 of 1572
Golfing Queen, you'll have a busy week with your last minute preparations! I think that most of us were non-weightbearing for a number of weeks. My foot was well-wrapped and inside of a big boot (went up to my knee) when I left the hospital but I couldn't heel walk or anything. I bought my knee walker (Drive Medical DV8) from Amazon for around $182. I also had a shower stool that I used to help get out of the house along with the knee walker. My doctor said that I needed a stack of four pillows to elevate my foot; I bought 8" leg wedge instead (a crib sheet wraps around it nicely to make cleaning easy--an idea I read on this site). Also, I kept a hairdryer by my couch to make it easy to dry the inside of my boot a couple of times a day. I also made sure I had my cell phone with me in case I needed help when alone or when my husband was in another part of the house. It will be interesting to learn what your doctor tells you. Good luck!

Grandma Cindy
post #1222 of 1572

Brooke, thanks for the tip about the ice pack from CVS.  I'll have to go over there tomorrow and look for one.  I have peas and corn in the freezer - that's usually what I use!  GrandmaC, that really stinks that you have to do PT for the other leg.  Do they have any suggestions for keeping things even after the next surgery?  Oh, I checked out the wedge pillows and ended up buying a mattress pad thingy that is packaged in a lump that seems perfect for the elevation.  It was only $7!


Today I had my pre-op physical with a new primary car doc.  I haven't had insurance for 4 years, so haven't had a PCP.  I've been to a lot of specialists this year to take care of this and that and just never got around to getting a regular dr.   I called five weeks ago for today's appointment - took that long to get me in!  I explained that I needed a pre-op physical.  Well, I get into the exam room and the nurse says, "we don't do pre-op physicals for new patients.  You have to schedule another appointment for that."  I was in total shock.  I told her it took me five weeks to get this appointment and that I'd been specific about the reason for it.  Told her I was having surgery in TWO DAYS.  She basically told me "too bad".  When she took my blood pressure it was really high, lol!


So, the doc comes in and tells me the same thing the nurse did.  She said she can't sign off on a pre-op for someone she doesn't know.  I asked if I could make an appointment for tomorrow and she said if I could get one, sure.  We go through my history, yada yada.  I told her my whole sad story about how I planned this surgery very carefully and that the timing is critical.  At the end she listens to my lungs, looks in my ears and throat and says maybe she can do the report after all, but I need to get a chest x-ray.  (My surgeon said he didn't need me to have one.)  Doc takes my blood pressure two more times and it's still sky-high.  She tells me to go to my happy place and that she'll be back in a few minutes to do the BP again.  I'm starting to panic thinking she'll not release me for surgery because my blood pressure is too high.  I go to my happy place, lol, and the numbers drop back to normal.


So, off I go for the chest x-ray.  I haven't heard anything since then, so hopefully everything is fine.  I'll call the surgeon's office tomorrow to make sure they got the report.  In the meantime, I cooked several meals today and put them in the freezer and did a little bit of cleaning.  Tomorrow I plan to finish cleaning, do some laundry, change the sheets on the bed and wash the dog hair out of all my blankets!  I also need to find time to visit a friend (95 years old) who had a stroke last week.  Running out of time..... I've waited so long and now it's coming so fast!

post #1223 of 1572

Oh yeah - I also banged my shin for the second day in a row on the hitch on my car.  Now my good leg hurts worse than my bad one!

post #1224 of 1572

So, I spoke with my doctor's assistant this morning and had all my questions answered.  IF he does the surgery he's planning to do (meaning that if doesn't find any issues), he's planning to put me in a bulky dressing with a post-op shoe (not a tall boot) that will allow me to weight bear on the heel only immediately following the procedure.  I won't require crutches unless they or I feel I need them for balance.  They recommend I plan to limit my activities for at least 2 weeks but I will be allowed to drive my car after a couple of days as long as I'm not taking the pain meds.  They recommended elevation and ice to reduce swelling, and said I could shower as long as I didn't get the bandages wet.  Sounds a bit different from everyone else's experience so far but we'll see if this is the reality after next week!  Still in the planning stages to be off my feet for a couple of weeks.  Off to my last planned cardio class today, followed by 4 days of golf before I start my sedentary phase :-) 

post #1225 of 1572
Oh my gosh, NevadaSue, I would have been in a panic too! Praying they get your report and surgery goes as planned. Look for the ice pack that lasts for about 8 hours. You can put it on and sleep all night and it doesn't move. Sounds like you might need one for your other leg too! Lol. I've had a few mishaps since surgery resulting in both knees hurting (luckily at different times) so having a couple ice packs came in handy there too.
Golfing queen it sounds like you will have a little less downtime than most. My dr is very conservative and told me that from the start. If I remember correctly from reading this thread there were quite a few people with less restrictive aftercare. Really wishing I were one of them right now. Being in a cast I can't tell if I'd be able to walk right now or not. My hands, knees, and back are all pretty sore and I find myself getting antsy! Anyways enjoy your cardio and golfing! We'll all be back to our normal activities in time smile.gif
Good luck to you both in your preparations!
post #1226 of 1572

7 loads of laundry done, 5 meals frozen, and the house is immaculate!  Pre-op report got to the surgeon and it's a go for tomorrow morning!!



What did you all have in your "nest" when you came home from surgery?  What did you wish you'd had?  So far, all I can think of is a bottle of water, a book and my computer!

post #1227 of 1572

Today marks my 5 year anniversary of my 1st foot surgery so decided it would be a good day to post.  Went skiing last weekend and happy to announce it was the 1st opening day in years that my feet were pain free AND were  able to edge properly on hard pack.  It was very appropriate that it happened over Thanksgiving weekend.


This year's addition of cork type foot beds hand made by a DPM and punched out Lange boots was the right comfort combo.  The increased edge control was made possible by  finally being  able to properly "roll the ankles" and the 2nd round of ski boots and foot beds.   


My inability to roll the ankles enough to tip the  skis with oversize shovels that got popular  shortly before my feet got real bad was most likely caused by the fact that many of the muscles  used to do this ankle motion are inserted in the big toe and they were getting stiff like the toes.  It took a long time to get back the inversion/eversion muscles used to initiate the turn on shaped skis.  They were stiff for years so had to try a variety of exercises to get things mobile.


After 3 surgeries between 2 feet my feet still have issues and sometimes regret not having them fused in the lst place.  I knew very little about fusion and feet in general 5 years ago.  Thanks to this site I feel more comfortable about fusion if the biting pain returns.

post #1228 of 1572

.NevadaSue ; I always had a charged phone with me.  Large pockets to hold the phone.  Wish I would have bought a mini fridge for cold drinks and ice packs. Don't forget to water the house plants like I did.  It's hard to do on one foot. 

Edited by carvequest - 12/2/15 at 8:00pm
post #1229 of 1572

I kill houseplants so I don't have any - one thing I don't have to worry about! 

post #1230 of 1572
Good luck Nevada Sue! I'm still in the planning phase for my surgery in 4 days. Will be interested to hear if anyone else "walked out" of the surgery as I am supposed to do. Also, any other handy tips. I'm planning to buy an ice pack and waterproof cover today so I can shower. I already own an 8" wedge (from a previous surgery) - great idea to use that for elevation!
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