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Hallux Rididus in Both Toes

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have been diagosed with what the doctor referred to stage 4 arthritis. I believe this condition started from jamming my feet in ski boots that were too small in my youth. I am now 57 years old and I can't say I have extreme pain but more day to day discomfort from walking in a way to compensate for the problem. The thought of new shoes is a nightmare to say the least. The only shoes I can really say are semi comfortable are my flip flops and my crocs.

 

I am a business man and have to wear dress shoes from time to time a dread it. I have read alot of nightmare stories online and really don't know what to do. I am concerned about losing my job a a result of long recovery time. My Podiatrist wants to do joint replacement and made it seem like it was not a really big deal. After reading the online stories I am convinced that it is a big deal. I live in Eastern North Carolina on the coast near Morehead City and would like to see if anyone on this forum could make some doctor recommendations. Any reccomendation would be welcomed.

 

 

Thanks,

Cole Lee

post #2 of 10

With stage 4 hallux rigidus you're almost certainly going to need surgery, but joint fusion has more proven results than implants. 

 

In case you haven't seen this thread, it's enlightening:

http://www.epicski.com/t/112386/my-excellent-toe-surgery-adventure-hallux-rigidus-plate-screw-fusion-and-osteotomy

 

These two have the best credentials in your area (doesn't guarantee competence):

http://www.carteretfootandankle.com/our-doctors/

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey Toecutter,

Thanks for you comments. I am going to have to put the surgery off as long as I can because of job constrains. I want to get a jump on things for when the time comes. I was diagnosed by a local Podiatrist. What type of doctor do I need to see next for a second opinion? I did read some to the "My Excellent Toe Adventure". I have to tell you it scared me to death. I am a type A personality that I can't imagine having to be in bed for three weeks. Thank you so much for the feedback.

post #4 of 10

If you need to buy some time a steroid injection into each toe joint might help, but with stage 4 it might do nothing at all.

 

For a second opinion I'd look for a board certified podiatrist with the ACFAS credentials or an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in Foot and Ankle. The main thing is you want someone who's done the procedure a lot.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

What is a typical recovery time for a double fusion? If I read my company handbook correctly I am allowed up to 12 weeks. 

post #6 of 10

Recovery depends on a lot of factors but 12 weeks is realistic before resuming full activity, and one year is common to "feel normal." That doesn't mean you can't walk for 12 weeks but how long would depend on the fixation (hardware), bone quality, surgeon preference, and more. Also, it would be uncommon to do both feet at the same time. 

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks Toecutter. Is it normal to not have severe pain with stage four arthritis? My big toes are uncomfortable but do not cause me severe pain. Is it possible that they have fused themselves and if so is surgery inevitable? We are 2 hours from Raleigh and Duke. Do you know of any great doctors in that area? Thanks again for your help with this.

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colelee View Post
 

Thanks Toecutter. Is it normal to not have severe pain with stage four arthritis? My big toes are uncomfortable but do not cause me severe pain. Is it possible that they have fused themselves and if so is surgery inevitable? We are 2 hours from Raleigh and Duke. Do you know of any great doctors in that area? Thanks again for your help with this.

 

My mother's toes fused themselves, and she feels much better. My dad had replacement, I had replacement then fusion, and mom had auto-fusion, I guess you'd called it. It hurt pretty good until then, though.

post #9 of 10

Your body is trying to fuse the arthritic joint on its own.Once motion reduces to nil, pain stops. Some people, like segbrown's mother, can wait long enough for it to happen but it can take years to decades. Surgery accomplishes the task in weeks to months.

 

Can you get to Gastonia? This doctor is excellent: http://www.carolinaorthopaedic.com/experts/robert-c-olson-dpm

 

Otherwise you can look up someone closer via the search tool on the right side of this website: http://www.foothealthfacts.org/

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

I think mine have fused on their own over decades. i have had this problem for years. In doing so the big toes has pushed the next toe and forced it to bend. Is there a product that can help with that? I will check out the links. Thanks again.

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