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My Excellent Toe Surgery Adventure - Hallux Rigidus, Plate/Screw Fusion, and Osteotomy - Page 19

post #541 of 1572
Originally Posted by carvequest View Post

 If they try to talk you into sedation or "something to relax you"  just tell them you have a history of bad post-op nausea/vomiting that is not helped by medications and other bad sedation experiences that delayed your discharge. 


I don't think it's ever a good idea to be dishonest with your clinicians about previous adverse reactions. It can affect medication choices such that you don't get the best medicine for what you need. If you refuse sedation then just tell them that rather than make something up.


Big toe joint fusions are not a rarity. They are quite common and not exactly experimental, although some of the hardware and fixation techniques can evolve.


Mike, I think you would be wise to discuss your questions with your doctor rather than demand certain medications and treatments based on internet forum advice. 

post #542 of 1572

Thanks for another valuable opinion Toecutter. Quite a handle! I have in fact had many discussions about this with my primary physician and there is a note about a reaction to Vicodin in my chart. I also did discuss that with the PA who saw me for a pre-op exam.


All of this doubt grew out of a weird reaction to Vicodin I had and the anesthesia I had during a hernia repair about ten years ago. I've had two or three other procedures since then under various forms of anesthesia and have done OK. (Ever try iceboating? You can hit speeds of 80mph. Or a frozen lake at that same speed. With your face. Not a recommended outcome.)


So I will be having this discussion at least once tomorrow, with the anesthesiologist and possibly the surgeon. I don't think these will be debates but I do feel appreciative of the advise and historical perspective everyone on this forum has contributed. And that will help make me an informed healthcare consumer. I'm just wish I could float through this whole thing and wake up in March.


Hope to be reporting good news soon.

post #543 of 1572

Agree with Toecutter, Mike. Talk to your professionals about your concerns, trust them, and you'll do fine. Probably every one of us can give you a different version of what worked for us, and what didn't. Some experiences are good, some could be better. I personally would take anesthesia, even if it gave me nausea (which I had last month) over nerve issues from a nerve block (which I had last year). Someone else might choose risking the opposite results. Optimally, you will have neither those problems nor other issues. Surgeries are done all the time and do involve some inherent risks. But they are generally calculated risks, which brings me back to trusting your medical team, and expect the best.


And don't go crazy worrying about post-op pain. For my fusion in November, I declined a nerve block, and I took two Percocets every four hours (setting my alarm clock even overnight so that I could take the medicine regularly to keep ahead of the pain) for the first two days, then tapered it down from there. I think I might have taken one Toradol each of those days for breakthrough pain, though I think that on the second day I started lowering my daytime Perc dose to one pill occasionally (at the four-hour mark). The pain really wasn't that bad in the big toe area - it's not as if you are running around on it (I was non-weightbearing for several weeks). I actually had more pain in the bunionette area than the fusion area, which was a different issue. But please don't forget the stool softeners!


Vicodin gives me weird/scary dreams, so I won't take that. But you're not me (aren't you glad?). So you see, everyone has their own story!


If you happen to read this before you head out tomorrow, best of luck to you!!



post #544 of 1572

Well, I came home, took a nap and had a dream that I had only dreamt that I had had surgery. So I was really bummed out when I thought that I would have to through this all again and actually have to go back in and really  have the surgery. But then I really woke up and looked at my foot and saw the boot and the bandage and was very glad I had gone through with it after all. Such a build-up. Unless this is all a dream and I am actually living in Texas.

It went very well. The staff were very smooth and careful and relaxed. So they slowly did this and that and I remember being moved from the rolling chair to the table and that was it. Period. Then like days later I woke up like 100% when they decided it was time and I felt and remembered nothing. Then they slowly undid the IV and monitors and the surgeon came in and lectured me about not moving my toes. And off we went. My discharge papers show that I received acetaminophen, fentanil, and Versed. 
I've got an open top plastic boot with velcro straps and an Ace bandage and probably more stuff under that and I leave it all alone for two weeks and go back for a visit. Oh, and that titanium plate and four (?) screws that will be a part of me for a good long while.
So many nice friends to carry with me today. It really helped. Thanks you guys. Now six weeks of sitting around. Oh, and wondering what's going to happen when the pain block wears off in a couple of hours... But for now things are looking good! And not at all like Texas. 
We'll see how the first 24 hours go. Later.
post #545 of 1572

Good for you, Mike!!


First tip - look at your thermometer and try to figure out if Texas has similar temperatures to what you are seeing, and then write down on a piece of paper where you think you really are right now. This will help later if you awaken from some drug-induced stupor and still can't remember what state you are in.


Second tip - get ready to take some pain medicine. Did they give you a clue when the nerve block might wear off? I remember that when I had a nerve block in my shoulder (for my first shoulder surgery) they told me that the nerve block would wear off in something like 12 to 18 hours (or whatever), so I had just planned on taking some pain medicine when I awakened the next morning since it was afternoon when they gave it. I awakened at 1am with probably the worst pain I could remember having (short of labor) and quickly popped a few pain pills and plastered on a very-welcomed ice pack which numbed things until the pain medicine kicked in. So the nerve block duration estimate - which is only an estimate - was way off. 


As I said, I didn't even get a nerve block with this toe surgery - just local anesthetic along with the fentanyl and versed, and a speck of anti-nausea med. So when I got home, in an attempt to stay ahead of the pain which is the best thing you can do to avoid playing "catch up", I started taking the pain medicine fairly quickly when I felt the first little throb. I think I took just one tablet for my first dose, and then at the next time I could, I upped it to two tablets per dose - again, awakening every four hours for the next dose. And I really felt pretty comfortable, all things considered. The pain medicine didn't even knock me out that badly, and sometimes it even gave me some mild insomnia at night those first few days (random naps don't help with that), so I just read. . . . 


Stay ahead of the pain, even if you feel you might not necessarily need it that badly yet, and you will be happy. Post-op is not a time to be macho.


Congrats and hang in there!


post #546 of 1572

Oh yeah, that sub zero stuff. Very hard to ignore. And I can feel the pain starting to sneak in, about 12 hours after surgery. Maybe a dose of polar vortex would do me some good.


My surgeon wants me to start with tramadol, so that's what's I'm going with. Ice and elevation. How do you sleep with an ice pack on your foot?

post #547 of 1572
Originally Posted by Mike Burns View Post

Oh yeah, that sub zero stuff. Very hard to ignore. And I can feel the pain starting to sneak in, about 12 hours after surgery. Maybe a dose of polar vortex would do me some good.


My surgeon wants me to start with tramadol, so that's what's I'm going with. Ice and elevation. How do you sleep with an ice pack on your foot?


It's important not to get behind the pain.  If you do, catching up is tough.  My first two nights I had alarms set on my phone every four hours so I would wake up and take the percocet.  I was off all pain meds and using ibuprofen after 36 hours.  The six weeks will fly.  I'm ten months post op now and my only regret is that I didn't do this about ten years earlier.

post #548 of 1572

Thanks for the input, Greg! Not only regarding the importance of the Pain Med Alarm Clock, but also how happy you are ten months post-op. I am only within the past few days starting to feel that there might be life beyond limping. Some of the time, anyway. 


Just for fun, today I put on my son's Full Tilts. Whoo hoo! Sure, they are something like a 29.5 and mine are 25.5. . . . but it's the thought that counts! I was just so excited to think that something such as those boots or some other three-buckle might actually allow me to ski again, because occasionally I have become disheartened that I could even get into a ski boot again (despite everyone speaking to the contrary). So, thanks!


Mike, regarding the icing. . . for the first night post-op, I wore what's called a posterior splint, meaning something like a half-cast covering the back of my calf/foot, and thick ACE wrappings around the whole lower leg/foot. The next day, they applied a full lower leg cast which was to be worn for two weeks until I got my walking cast (which I then wore for four more weeks). 


Anyway, even with the smaller "dressing" which I wore the first day/night, there really wasn't much for me to do in terms of icing. I mean, I tried, since so many on this forum recommended it, but aside from putting it on my ankle and maybe somewhere near the top of my toe, it didn't seem that I could really get it anywhere where it felt as if it could really do any good "chillin'" by getting through all of the thick protective stuff around it. But I still tried, when I could. My doctor gave me a cute little foam pillow-thing which sort of made a place for my foot to nestle in, so that it didn't roll around when I was lying down, though I placed a pillow below that to elevate it even more. Fortunately, I normally sleep in casket-mode anyway, so I didn't have to worry about rolling around and injuring it. So if I did put on an ice pack, it would likely be there still in place the next time I woke up. Along with a cat or two. That was annoying - I'm not sure more annoying to me or to them - as I was sort of like a bull moose whenever I did decide to lumber out of bed, with lots of commotion and clunking and pillow/blanket/cat (whoops!) flinging and all. Ah, the good old post-op days..... these too shall pass for you, Mike!


Stay warm, everyone!


post #549 of 1572

Well Kitty and friends. So far so good 24 hours at home now. I had a pretty restful night with not too much pain. I felt it coming on around 5 this morning and took 3 Advil. Then a half Tramadol around 9. An aspirin for clots.Now it's noon and not feeling too much. But I'm trying to follow Greg's advice about staying ahead of the painTrying to keep ice on and take a little stroll every hour or so. My lovely wife is great. It's funny that my boot is more like a sandal, open on top with two velcro straps, a hard plastic sole and sides. They told me that I could walk using just my heel so I am but it seems so different then the others. My plate is on the top of my toe so maybe that's the difference. Sleeping casket-like myself with a turn to starboard now and then with the foot still elevated. 


Not bored yet, just reading, surfing, and thinking about a nap. When I think about the foot then it starts to hurt. But when I think about sailing it doesn't hurt at all. And there seems to be a warming trend. I did try to follow Bob's model so we did get in a little XC skiing on Sunday. That's probably all of that for me this year. It felt great but walking on my arthritic joint afterward told me that surgery was going to be the right course.


Thanks for your kind wishes!


post #550 of 1572
Mike, good luck with your recovery!!

Progress! 7.5 weeks post op. Half size bigger and wide but progress nonetheless. Walking is coming along very well. Struggling, however , with stairs; still coming down one foot at a time. Onward snd upward!

Before and after

post #551 of 1572

WOW, LadyDi - are those your feet inside of SHOES!!!  They look so. . . normal!! Good for you! Yes, I keep hoping and planning that the swelling goes down someday, and that I go up and down stairs normally again. . . and I keep the faith! I am still wearing my Fiona Shrek dress shoes, and managed about five hours in them today. I biked for 40 minutes, with shiny Fiona on the left foot and my Saucony on the right. I am sure that I am the glamour girl of the gym! Maybe I'll elevate my foot all weekend and try to fit into athletic shoes again. . . .  


And good for you, Mike - not so bad, is it? SOOO easy for me to say now that the hardest part is behind me! Don't go back and look at my posts when I was in my funk, though. Had I known it would have helped, I too would have thought about sailing. . . though I'm not a sailor, but I could have tried thinking about it anyway.



post #552 of 1572
Hi All. I have arthritis in my big toes and a year and half ago both big toes had Cheilectomy surgery. Now I am getting ready for fusion in both. I have been reading through these threads and they have been very helpful! Thank you for continueing to update, it helps me to know more of what to expect. One big question I have...Once you have the surgery at what point do steps get easier to do? I live underground and have a significant amount of steps, I realize that for a bit I'll be home bound due to our steps because once I get down there I probably won't want to make the journey back up them until I have to. Which is going to be depressing because I love going outside to play with our animals! So, trying to get this done while it is still winter time! In the end, once I heal are steps an issue?

Thank you
post #553 of 1572
Hi Becky. Are you having both feet done at same time?
post #554 of 1572
No. The doctor will not do them at the same time because we have too many stairs. I plan on doing one then after a couple months do the other one.
post #555 of 1572

With the boot, I went up and down stairs after about 3 days, once or twice a day.  As time progressed, I went up and down the stairs as often as ten times a day.  Coming down was much slower, one foot at a time because the boot shifts the majority of your weight to the heel and there is no flexibility in the ankle.  If your pain in one foot is more tolerable than the other, you might consider doing the worst foot now and saving the other for this time next year.  I'm almost two months post-op and would not feel at all comfortable relying on my operated foot to be my "good" foot yet.  

post #556 of 1572
8 weeks post op tomorrow. I think I have less swelling without the boot. Go figure.
post #557 of 1572

Two days after fusion surgery, I'm not feeling much pain at all, and I'm pretty surprised at that. I took 25mg of Tramadol 10 hours ago and just took two Advil because I could feel the pain starting up again but it is really not bad. Two days spent mostly in bed with a few jaunts with my crutches. I'm keeping the foot higher than my head and trying to keep ice on it. The tightness I was feeling which was probably swelling has gone down. The many stories that have appeared on this forum have prepared me for a big range of possible experiences in recovery. So I'm just taking what comes and trying not to bang my toe on anything as I wander around.


That is a very nice looking scar, LadyDi. Almost nothing to show after only eight weeks! Can't wait to see what I've got.

post #558 of 1572

Mike, make sure it's okay with your surgeon that you're taking Advil. Since it's an anti-inflammatory, some people feel that using it can hinder bone healing. I'm glad you're doing well.

post #559 of 1572

Welcome Becky!! It will all work out with the stairs, I think. I don't hear any of the old alumni of this group saying that they have trouble with stairs. I think that once you are healed, the more you use your feet, the quicker they become more flexible. At least, that's how it seems to me.


I kind of think that maybe I WOULD prefer having my surgeries as close together as I could, just to get all of this disability stuff over with! I occasionally see patients having two knee replacements at once, and even though they might be temporarily really challenged, once they are done, they are done. That's probably what I would opt for, so I could get back to Life! Provided I had someone to help me with everyday stuff, which is something to take into consideration even for toe surgeries (which I probably would NOT want to have done at the same time).


LadyDi, your foot looks so good!!


Good for you, Mike, with handling everything in good spirits. I figured that with your iceboating face-plant experience, you could handle it.


Guess what I did today??? I went and tried on ski boots!! I was able to fit my foot into a Full Tilt slipper.... I mean, boot. It didn't matter to me what it looked like or what skill level it would best accommodate - that fact that something fit onto my foot which could be worn on a slope was all that mattered! I will go again in a few weeks and see if the foot swelling has gone down any more. I started to put my foot into a Dalbello three-buckle, but even though I think I could have forced it on, I suspect it might have been painful coming off. The Full Tilt was so comfy getting on! So now, a little less stress about getting back to activities.



post #560 of 1572

Kittygal, the Full Tilt went on without any difficulty? How about taking the boot off? No big deal?

post #561 of 1572

No problem on or off - at all. My original plan, which I had tried with my son's (big) FTs several weeks ago, was that if I had to, I would first don the liner and then the shell, which is fairly easy to do. But I didn't even have to do that. The tongue folds so easily forward out of the way that all you have to do is gently separate the "envelope" of the liner and gently slide your foot into the boot. Super easy. Even with my old beloved Tecnicas I usually had to prepare for some ankle-pronating/twisting or whatever in order to get my foot into the boot, and the same coming out. I couldn't imagine having to do that now with my foot/toe the way it is - and it looks as if I won't have to worry about it whenever I do buy new boots, if I go with the FT Mary Janes. My foot is still fairly swollen - wondering when it will ever end - but slipping into the FT was pretty much like slipping into a slipper. We'll have to tweak the fit a little, but I'm tickled.



post #562 of 1572
Thanks guys, the stairs really do worry me! It's not just a few - we have 18 stairs to a landing and then 7 more to the living room area then to get to the bathroom I have to go up 2 and then walk about 15 ft to go down 7 more! I tell you what I love where we live but in times like this I wonder what the heck were we thinking buying such an underground home! LOL! I plan on staying in the living room area for the first 3 weeks or so because the trek to our bedroom is down a couple more flights of stairs!
I would like to do them back to back because of the time I am going to miss at work but the Dr says the stairs won't work doing them both at once. I do plan on having my left one done first because it is the worse one at this time. Or at least I think so, we'll see what the Dr says!

That is wonderful you are all recovering so well! I am hopeful mine will go that well! I am looking at end of February for surgery, I have a Dr appointment Feb 14th for a second set up xrays to see if they are ready yet.

Good Luck to you all on a continued success at healing! And I look forward to reading more of your post and looking at your pictures!

Bright Blessings,
post #563 of 1572

After Toecutter's question about Nsaids my clinic called back with their answer. And they do not want me taking Ibuprofin or any drugs of that kind. So thank you for that advice. The pain has become more familiar after three days. Which means I can anticipate what's coming better. Last night I had some real powerful daggers shoot through. I eventually raised my foot high in the air for a few minutes, then lowered it. That seemed to help. More ice helped. And the tramadol helped. I made it through from 2am to 7am then took 25mg of tramadol just to slow down the creeping pain kittens and fell back asleep until 9. Now just coasting in bed until the kitties come back. Then I'll try Tylenol. 


I haven't done stairs yet Becky but maybe later today, or tomorrow. And I am really looking forward to sitting on the shower chair for a good soak. It was also a real blessing to have friends drop off meals. I hope February is a little kinder than January. Tough winter!

post #564 of 1572
Originally Posted by kittygal View Post

No problem on or off - at all. My original plan, which I had tried with my son's (big) FTs several weeks ago, was that if I had to, I would first don the liner and then the shell, which is fairly easy to do. But I didn't even have to do that. The tongue folds so easily forward out of the way that all you have to do is gently separate the "envelope" of the liner and gently slide your foot into the boot. Super easy. Even with my old beloved Tecnicas I usually had to prepare for some ankle-pronating/twisting or whatever in order to get my foot into the boot, and the same coming out. I couldn't imagine having to do that now with my foot/toe the way it is - and it looks as if I won't have to worry about it whenever I do buy new boots, if I go with the FT Mary Janes. My foot is still fairly swollen - wondering when it will ever end - but slipping into the FT was pretty much like slipping into a slipper. We'll have to tweak the fit a little, but I'm tickled.


Very interesting. I may have to check them out for my next boot.
post #565 of 1572
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post

Very interesting. I may have to check them out for my next boot.

If you or anyone else does look at Full Tilt, Toecutter, be aware that they have a few different styles which seem to vary a bit in width. My son has the Booters, but he had tried on the Tom Wallisch and had no room to spare. Both of us are pretty high-volume people (and I am now even more so). So I was lucky that in our smaller ski shops I managed to find what so far appears to be a good fit. I think that Full Tilt is known for being a niche market product for some certain demographic - young kids? Retros? Not sure. But I am going to vote to have them be a niche market product for toe fusion folks!


Ragribben, your house sounds so intriguing! But you are probably right - the living room will be the best place to set up your recovery area, all nice and cozy.


Boy, Mike, I am jealous of all the walking you can do! Good for you!


I just finally got both feet into my extra-wide Sauconys and wore them for most of the work day - I am sure that I ambled or stood at least half of the day. My feet were pretty sore by the end of the day. But after work I went and biked for 40 minutes, just to keep things moving (I tried to be gentle on my healing foot). 



post #566 of 1572

Update on post-op day 5: Doing well. I haven't had any pain meds for 30 hours and really don't feel much. I've been keeping the foot elevated and on ice, even trying to do it while asleep, and that has helped I think. I've done the stairs a few times and my wife is accusing me of malingering. Luckily someone else has shoveled our sidewalks or she would probably hand me a shovel and sent me out the front door. (But probably not.)


So, no news is good news so far. The heel walking is pretty easy, using one crutch to help with balance. Seems like I could just strap on a pair of skis and hit the slopes.

post #567 of 1572
Mike, it sounds like you are getting along just fine that is great! Agreed, no news is good news! Thank you for the update, I look for to continue reading about everyone's progress. It gives me peace knowing more going into this!

Kittygal, yes we live in a decommissioned atlas f missile base. Fully underground! We renovated it into an underground 3 story home that has natural light that comes in through the top of it. It is pretty neat until something like having this surgery comes about! LOL - we have a greenhouse outside, if it warms up I'm half tempted to just put a bed in the greenhouse temporarily!

post #568 of 1572

Oh, Becky, I think we once saw something like that on a TV show about unusual houses (or maybe we just imagined that we did) - that is so interesting! I love cool architectural stuff. But, sure. . . maybe the greenhouse idea for you! However you do it, the time might seem interminable while you are laid up, but by the time you are a few months out and back starting to exercise, the harder times will seem like old memories.


Went to a spinning class tonight and wore two matching shoes! Just big walking Sauconys, and I really took it easy on the standing-up parts. Actually, I just made my own routine and did whatever felt okay, so I didn't actually stand in the pedals overly much. It was sure nice to feel somewhat normal again! Hopefully the foot won't complain tomorrow.


Mike, I had that same idea with the air-boot/ski combo. . . . but talked myself out of it. . . . 



post #569 of 1572

Hi all!


Going on twelve weeks post-fusion in a couple of days (eleven weeks post-bunionettectomy). My foot and ankle are still swollen, but I have been able to wear real shoes for the past week - my extra-wide Saucony walking shoes and also some casual (but sturdy, not fashionable) snow boots (and yes, of course the Drew shoes which I call Fiona Shrek shoes).



 In the Sauconys I wear a carbon plate, but not in the boots. I have been biking quite well and have experimented carefully and slowly with weight-bearing movements with very light resistance on the spinning bike.


I have a couple of questions for some of you old pros @Bob Peters @gregmerz @Toecutter  @segbrown @msdivinedc @sfchock @sgloon @Calirodan and anyone else who can give any input.


Now that I am in shoes, though my foot is still swollen, I am trying to get back to what I call a normal gait, and I am frustrated. Normally I take long strides since my legs are short and I have places to go. I am not so much getting pain in my big toe, but in the toes next to it, mostly at their bases. I suspect that what is happening is that since the big toe will no longer flex, the toes next to it have to learn to hyperflex (actually extend) to carry the weight, and they are not used to it. I am hoping that once they learn their new jobs, that discomfort will go away. But for now, when my foot gets toward the push-off stage of my gait, when I meet discomfort at the bases of those toes, I stop the stride follow-through and end up swinging my hip out to accommodate a rolling stride instead of limp. So my gait feels very awkward, and even though I have received compliments on my new sway, it isn't where I want it to be. Do others find that their stride has changed permanently? Since I have one ornery hip too, maybe my new gait will either harm it more, or cure it. . . . 


I am not supposed to walk barefoot yet, and I found out why when I padded around the house and landed my heel on a small stone - my instinctive transfer of weight toward the front of my foot in a tippy-toe movement didn't feel good.


Which brings me to my next question. Last night I was wearing my snowboots (without carbon plates) and clambering over a snowbank in my quest to get into the bagel store (that's a sport, right?) and my foot slipped every-so-slightly, and I ended up landing on what would be a tippy-toe situation. With my other foot, that would not have been a problem, as all I would have had to do was transfer my weight to my tippy-toes and move on. In this case, I had a quick surge of pain - it almost seemed it was in the joint which is now fused as well as in the toes next to it. It was better within a few minutes, but it shook me up a little. I doubt that I did any damage and will have followup xrays soon anyway. So what DOES happen when you old-timers end up landing on the front of your foot? As long as you are in a firm shoe/boot, I suspect you will only experience minor discomfort, but do you ever walk barefoot around the house? What if you are barefoot in the house and have to hustle quickly because. . . pot boiling over, need to catch something quickly, whatever - do you have to pad slowly toward it?


Third (and final, for now) question: how much of an angle does your big toe lift up? My surgeon said that when I was in the OR, he placed a flat surface on the bottom of my foot and ever-so-slightly bent the big toe up away from that flat surface. From what I have heard, a fusion should be with a 5-10% angle (though I didn't discuss numbers with my surgeon). I did, before the surgery, discuss my sports activities and need to be able to do fast walking even if I can't run (due to back and other issues, such as an aging and argumentative body) and he assured me that I would be able to do all of those things. But when I look at my toe, it looks flat on the ground. He says that it does lift up, in his eyes. Maybe it is because it is still swollen that I can't see the lift. Or maybe I imagined a much bigger degree of bend, since I can't wrap my mind around what the appropriate angle should look like. It's not as if I want it pointing way up so that I snag it on things. So not that I can do anything about it at this point (other than undergoing more surgery, which isn't in the picture for now, as I need to be patient and continue to heal), but I was curious how others' toes look.


My surgeon did offer that I could get my followup xray a week early next week and he will say whether or not I can ski on MLK Day, but I might chicken out and give it a few more weeks, IF all of our snow doesn't melt by then. I don't care about discomfort, but I just really don't want to damage my foot, since I only have two of them.


Thank you all and enjoy the weekend!


post #570 of 1572

I just had my 6-month appointment, and I still have some pain in the joint.  The doctor said I can look into having the plate removed in another 6 months or so.  I might do that, since sometimes it hurts where the plate is, especially at night.  It's not a bad pain, just kind of dull and achy.  Cold mornings are difficult too.


Like you, I still limp a little.  My PT said I'm pushing off my other toes more and off the big toe less.  I just got fitted for new orthodics, since now my whole gait is different, not to mention that my left foot works differently.  The new pairs are supposed to give me more support under the big toe so that I can push off it more without straining the joints that are still mobile.  They haven't come in yet, so I can't yet say how well they work.


I find that coming down on my toes is still bad.  I was trying box jumps (on a very low box) three weeks ago, and once I missed the box and made contact with only my toes, instead of coming down on my whole foot.  It was excruciatingly painful, and it took about 48 hours to feel better.  But I just got an X-Ray yesterday and the doctor didn't see any damage.


Before the surgery they told me I'd be walking around within 2-3 months.  I found that was only partially true.  Yes, I was walking and on ice skates within 8 weeks, but it was still very painful, and the duration of activity was limited.  I had the surgery in early August and was able to get on my skis the weekend after Thanksgiving, but my toe joint hurt and I had to only ski a half day and then take breaks.  I'd had to get new ski boots that fit my feet, so part of it was also breaking them in.  I still have some pain when I ski, but I have less, and I can ski longer without it.  It still feels a bit weird to not be able to weight my big toe the same way inside my boot, or to feel that part of my foot as much.  NOW, after 6 months, they're saying that it can take 6 months or longer to return to full activity, especially for people like many of us, who might define "full activity" as skiing, crossfit, ice hockey, long hikes, etc.   It's something worth knowing before you get the surgery so that you can be cautious about planning an epic ski or hiking trip or something within a few months after your surgery.  


It's also useful to think about extra expense.  I had to rent a car for two months since I couldn't drive my stick shift (about $850).  I've had to buy new ski boots ($360) and new orthodics ($400).  That's on top of surgery and prescription co-pays, ice packs, bandage dressing, etc.


I'm going to have to get my kayaks adjusted too.  Bulkheads that put my feet in a pointed position don't work anymore.  I need a bulkhead that allows me to keep my feet flat.  

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