Re: If you have had your big toe fused, please respond
I think if you're diagnosed with stage 4 hallux ridgidus, there's no other answer than fusion. i lived in so much pain trying so many other options besides the fusion that it was rediculous. i think the thing that finally got me in the direction to fuse was a doctor i finally trusted and thought he knew what he was doing. i messed around with a podiatrist for years and finally realized the orthopedic surgeon was the way to go. i am now 6 weeks post op and have been non weight bearing this whole time with 6 more weeks to go. doc did a bone graft from my hip so that adds 4 more weeks of NWB to the recovery. all in all it will be 12 weeks NWB then 4 more weeks in a walking boot then probably some physical therapy. i won't lie, this has been way harder than i ever thought, not because it's all that painful, but just to not be able to get around very easily and no driving and pretty much just staying home has basically sucked. i've got a husband that spends alot of time on the road for his job so have spent many a day alone with the dogs and logging plenty of t.v. time. i just keep thinking if this leads me to be pain free, it'll all me worth it, so that's what keeps me going. after surgery i was in a VERY heavy splint and pretty much only got up to take bathroom breaks and brush my teeth. that lasted 2 weeks, quite gruling. after that i was fortunate enough to have been given an air cast instead of a plaster cast. the air cast was removable so i could ice whenever i wanted and could remove it to shower. if you get that option, go for it. just be oh so careful when you're foot is exposed. i can't really say at this point i'm glad i did it, but i am half way there and feel the worst is over. i'm looking forward to walking without thinking about how painful each step is. good luck with your future and just figure you're going to need a fusion at some point and your pain will not magically disappear, so you might as well pick the time of year you won't mind being housebound for several weeks and go for it.
i'm 51 and was a runner for many years and am looking forward to getting back into shape and working out without pain. keep your chin up and think positive.