Re: toe fusion
My doctor gave me the choice of a cheilectomy and a fusion. He suggested that cheilectomy might not work well, and that if it did, it would likely only last for a year or so. He recommended a fusion as my best option. I was very freaked by this, since I thought there would be a choice in the middle. He let me go away and come back a couple of weeks later with my decision. I did some research inbetween the two appointments and realized that I was headed for a fusion anyway and had my toe fused on October 28th.
Four months have passed and I am very happy with the results. I feel like I have more mobility now. The doctor fused the joint at 20 degrees and used a plate and screws system. I was able to heel weight bear immediately, depending on the pain. I walked on my heel for six weeks and was given permission to walk normally after my six week follow-up. I was prescribed Tramacet and only took that for the first few days. I found that if I kept my foot elevated I was fine. I bought a little folding stool that I took with me wherever I went so I could put my foot up. I had a bit of an infection right after I had the stitches removed and that cleared up with antibiotics. My six week x-ray showed no sign of boney fusion, so I had another x-ray in January. That suggested there might be a bone infection, so I had a bone scan. The bone scan suggested that the foot was healing, and that in the absence of clinical signs of redness etc, it was not likely infection. My last x-ray in February showed it was healing and fusing. The threat of a bone infection was my biggest stress in this process.
Now I am walking for exercise and it is WONDERFUL to walk without causing more pain. It has been a long time since I could say that. I am going to ask my doctor about getting another x-ray at the end of April, for the six month mark to see how it is doing.
I found that the fear of the surgery was far worse than the actually surgery and healing process. I also wonder why I didn't do this sooner. My life would have been so much better.
Life is too short to wear tight shoes. ~ May you have happy feet in 2013.