Thank you for responding to my questions, sounds like we have had some similar experiences. I see my doctor in a few weeks and now have many questions for him. Over the weekend I noticed that if I step up on a curb with my left foot first I have pain due to the pressure placed on my big toe, I need to learn to be more aware of this and step with my whole foot. I also have a tendency to try to reach for things on my tip toes which is totally intolerable now. Sounds like my choices are limited and just a matter of me having a long discussion with my doctor and saving up as much leave and sick time as possible.
I am enjoying all the great information and pictures shared on this thread!
Thanks for joining and I'm glad you found this thread.
I'll just offer a friendly reminder that when you start adjusting the way you walk and the way you do things based on how much pain your toe causes, you are changing things up and down the rest of your body. For me, those changes affected my knees and back. I'm simply saying that we should all be aware of the fact that none of this happens in a vacuum. When our gait changes due to problems in the feet, it can have other bad effects elsewhere in the body over time.
Also, I'm not sure if you've said where you live but hopefully it's somewhere you have access to more than one doc. I don't think a great toe fusion is a horribly difficult surgery to do, but it's best if your potential surgeon has done as many as possible. Second opinions are almost always a good thing.
Good luck with everything.