So I scheduled and then cancelled my fusion surgery.
Have tried a modified approach.
I am not under the illusion that I will avoid more drastic surgery in the long run, but I have done a couple of things to improve and lessen the pain.
I already use x-blade in all of my shoes and sneakers:
It's not perfect, but vastly reduces push off pressure on my big toe.
My wife convinced me to see a physical therapist who was exceptionally quack like (especially when he was pushing on my abdomen as he was explain the relationship to my toe). But he started having me do exercises to point my foot outwards. Because of the joint pain, I have been pronating my foot. That had actually lead to some significant knee pain. So after leaving the office, I intentionally started pointing my feet out again. The knee pain has dissipated almost immediately and interestingly enough, with the plate in my shoe, the change in angle on my toe has reduced my toe pain. I combined that with a week on/ week off of aleve and the improvement has been fairly remarkable. Taking aleve chronically is not an optimal solution, but the pain has reduced enough for me to play golf and bike with the inserts. The reduction in swelling has led to a slight increase in the toe mobility.
once again, this is not a miracle cure.
i am probably only delaying the inevitable.
I have no interest in being the 1st guinea pig, but this was interesting:
I simply cannot believe that the ultimate solution that doctors come up with can be toe fusion.
eventually, there has to be something better.
I read the link you provided. It does sound interesting. I'm not sure how artificial joints are done currently, but my surgeon refuses to do them as he said the success rate is extremely low and they have to be undone at a very high rate..
Tomorrow will be four weeks. I'm including a picture of my foot now. It certainly looks a lot better. When it is fully elevated it feels near pain freel with the exception of some electric like shocks at times.
I was given an air boot during my 2 week post-op visit. The surgeon said I could the air boot instead of my knee walker as long as it is comfortable. I have experienced a lot of pain and increased swelling when wearing an air boot. It bruises my foot, especially the top of my foot whenever I use it. I've tried it multiple times over the past couple weeks, with the same painful results.
I don't think it is necessarily from the boot, but it is from have the foot being down instead of elevated. My foot is nearly pain free when I first wake up after having it elevated all night. Then I can usually walk for about 5 minutes before the pain sets in at the base of my foot and travels up my leg into my calf, thigh and even my hip. My pain level is lowest when I keep the leg elevated above my heart as much as possible.
I can't even begin to imagine going back to work in this pain. I'm questioning whether I was better off without the fusion. I know this pain should pass, but it is surprising me how much it still hurts when the foot isn't fully elevated.
Have others had the same experience? How long does this pain last when the foot isn't elevated?
Can anybody give me some advice as to how long I should be feeling this pain. I'm looking for the light at the end of the road.
So glad this forum is here.