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Old 10-13-2010, 08:15 AM   #1
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Amputation of 2nd toe as bunionectomy alternative

My mother has a fairly serious bunion where it's pushed the 2nd (index?) toe up out of place which appears to be causing pain in the bottom of her foot. My mother recently saw this foot specialist and the doctor recommended the amputation of the 2nd toe (and not fixing the bunion) as an alternative to the usual bunionectomy and fixing the hammertoe. Her opinion is that the bunion has already gone as far as it will go and shouldn't get any worse than it already is.

To summarize, the main reasons to go for the 2nd toe amutation are:
Relieve pain caused by the 2nd toe.
Relatively much quicker operating and recovery time compared to bunionectomy.
Less potential complications from operation (all she's doing is lopping of the 2nd toe as opposed cutting and fusing bones, inserting screws, and whatnot).

It seems the amputation is a legitimate method of dealing with the hammertoe. Our concern is if the doctor is correct regarding the bunion not further developing. Please note my mother is 65; if she was younger, the bunionectomy would be the more obvious choice but at her age, she'd like something relatively quick, easy, and painless as possible.

I've found a few threads that talks about amputation as well but they are all at least a few years old and there's no recent threads on the topic. I start this thread with the hope that there are others with similar experience and can chime in on this topic. If my mother decides to go with the amputation, I'll log the results in this thread for other's future reference.

 
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Old 10-13-2010, 09:04 AM   #2
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Titchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB UserTitchou HB User
Re: Amputation of 2nd toe as bunionectomy alternative

Well, I'm 64 and I sure wouldn't be having a toe amputated just to avoid a bunionectomy! 65 isn't old. She has many good years left. I'd have the repair done. I had a cheilectomy (similar to a bunionectomy but not NWB) when I was 56. Am going to need another cheilectomy on the other great toe and would not hesitate to do so. Find a good foot and ankle ortho and get a second opinion.

 
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Old 10-13-2010, 12:02 PM   #3
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Re: Amputation of 2nd toe as bunionectomy alternative

Having worked for a podiatry practice and seeing the results of foot surgery, IF it were mine, that's what I would do.
Although ANY surgery has risks, this has much fewer risks than surgery on the bunion and she would never miss that toe.
I would seek a 2nd opinion to see if another doctor concurs with the 1st doctors about the non-need for surgery on the bunion.

 
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Old 10-31-2010, 09:26 PM   #4
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Re: Amputation of 2nd toe as bunionectomy alternative

She saw another doctor who had the same opinion as Titchou. On top of that, my mother, who's Chinese, says Chinese people would avoid amputation if possible (apparently it's their culture or something). So she's going to have the whole enchilada after all instead of the amputation. After a few months, I'll post an update (if I still remember this place).

 
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Old 11-04-2010, 04:05 PM   #5
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Re: Amputation of 2nd toe as bunionectomy alternative

I am 78 and have severe Hallux Valgus problem. My big toe has pushed my 2nd toe on right foot upwards to the point it was causing much discomfort and problems with shoe fitting etc. I considered all options regarding surgery and opted to have 2nd toe amputated and have in fact had surgery only a few days ago. This course of action for someone of my age is much more acceptable than the lengthy recovery time associated with other procedures and I would recommend anyone to take the same decision. I had spinal injection, the operation took 30 minutes and I was out of hospital same day.

 
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:38 PM   #6
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Re: Amputation of 2nd toe as bunionectomy alternative

A little update.

She's had the surgery and currently she's already up and around without any supporting footwear. There are a few issues remaining however. First is that it seems the big toe might be creeping back towards the 2nd toe but we're keeping an eye on it. The other issue is she can't really move her big toe around much at all. The doctor says to give it some exercise but the problem is she's lucky if she can get her toe to budge even a centimeter. We're seeing the doctor again next month but we're definitely not out of the woods yet.

 
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Old 03-02-2011, 06:23 PM   #7
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Re: Amputation of 2nd toe as bunionectomy alternative

2nd toe amputation follow up?

Hi Taunton:

it's been half a year I think since you had your 2nd toe amputated
I'm seriouslyconsidering a similar procedure (from traumatic second toeinjury.)

Now, half a year later what has been your experie nce in weight bearing?

I am a hiker and walker and want to be able to hike again...will the missing
second toe be a problem? I'v heard that the big toe will drift towads the
vacant area... what has been your experience. I'm in excellent health by the way

thank, ruth

Last edited by moderator2; 03-02-2011 at 06:28 PM. Reason: please do not post your email address

 
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Old 03-03-2011, 04:24 PM   #8
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Re: Amputation of 2nd toe as bunionectomy alternative

Possibly final update regarding my mother. The curvature of her big toe turns out to be something she's had before the surgery and is something that affects her outermost joint. Since that curvature hasn't progressed any and doesn't seem to be affecting the rest of her foot nor causing her discomfort, the doctor advises we just let it be. The joints that were operated on is stable and not being able to move her toes much is a minor issue that can be worked on by herself. There doesn't seem to be any other problem that needs to be addressed so we no longer need to see the doctor. If there's any other issue that appears, I'll update here but otherwise, my mother's good.

 
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Old 04-30-2011, 04:30 PM   #9
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Re: Amputation of 2nd toe as bunionectomy alternative

Is she going to physical therapy yet? The only way she'll make the best of her recovery is to go to PT- I am only 1 week post bunionectomy, and my podiatrist insisted that I start PT already. I had my first visit and have been doing the exercises they have given me and in 2 days, I have already noticed a (small) difference in my range of motion. I am supposed to go to PT twice a week, and having had experience with therapy in the past for back and knee problems, I know this is the best course for recovery.
PS- it's usually covered by insurance if that's a concern.

 
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