I am considering having a fusion type surgery on my big toe for a hallux rigidus condition. I have been trying to find out other peoples responses to this. Does it eliminate the pain? Is walking hindered, do you need a special shoe once it has healed, how long is the recovery period and such. Please respond if you have any experience with this. So far the feed back I've gotten isn't very positive, but I can't continue to deal with my foot the way it is now. Thanks for any help you may be able to give.
My big toe was fused in March 2004, but not due to hallux rigidus. The recovery for me was not that bad. I was allowed to be partially weight bearing, had two pins sticking out of the end of my big toe for six weeks. After the pins were removed I was allowed to wear tennis shoes, after twelve weeks I was discharged. My shoe restriction is heel height on one inch, other than that I can wear any shoe I am comfortable wearing. The first six months it felt ackward to walk, but now it really does not bother me.
If you have specif questions, I would be glad to try to answer them. Good luck. -eko
"Every good has a better and every bad a worse."
I had my big toe fused on August 10, 2004. That makes it 4 months for me. I struggled with Hallux Rigidus for at least 7 years. The pain and limitations were affecting my life. I am 51, extremely active and an avid hiker. In the last 2 years I had injured and actually broken bones in my foot as I tried to compensate for the loss of flexibility in my toe.
The surgery was the best thing I have done. My pain is significantly reduced and believe it or not there are some days that I actually forget about my foot. The fused joint provides a solid and stable support for walking with no pain. I couldn't believe how much pain I endured until I experienced the relief.
The surgery and recovery is tough. The post surgical pain was more than I expected and I was non weight bearing for 7 weeks, which essentially stopped my life as I knew it. I then started Physical Therapy to learn to walk again. This was great because the therapist directed me on how to adjust my gait.
So, I'm very glad I did this. My foot is still sore and swollen at times. I can walk about a mile and a half without too much trouble. The weather affects the pain. Rain and cold make it ache. But remember, I have only been fully walking since November 1.
I wear orthodics to support my arch and my shoes must accomodate that. I can't wear the cutest shoes in the store but my feet are happy so I don't care?
I wish you well and would be happy to answer any other specific question you may have...Tina
I too am having this done...next week actually. This board helped me make when i was still tossing it back and forth, alot of positive response. If it improves at all it will be worth it. good luck and heal well!
For those of you who have had the hallux rigidus treated, what conservative measures did you try before resorting to surgery? Did you happen to have throbbing at the base of the great toe despite using roomier shoewear?
My great toe is presenting either with hallux rigidus, a bunion, or just a bursa. It is reddened at the friction point as well. I've had numerous reconstructive surgeries in the last four years and have some neuro issues involved so I think this deformity is a residual.
To answer your question about conservative measures...I used orthodics since 1997, my surgery was 4 months ago. I also wore very good shoes. Wolky and Ecco worked the best for me but it depends on your foot structure. Getting a quality fit often depends on a shoe store that specializes in orthopedic shoes. It's hard to fit yourself. I was able to tolerate the pain for several years, and yes I had pain at the base of my toe. I chose not to have more conservative surgery because when I researched the outcomes they were not consistently effective. I used Ibuprophan occasionally and topical anelgesics like capsasian and Biofreze. They helped some especially at night when it throbbed.
Wow, just writing this amazes me because I do none of this now...except wear good shoes and orthodics and I have so little pain.
Thank so much! Do I envy you!
I started very young (high school) with orthotics in my R shoe and for most of my life no one really knew what I had; just an "odd" foot. I ran a marathon on it and it got worse from there. I had a clubfoot and due to a torn ligament in the ankle, it became apparent I could no longer walk on it (was walking way on the outside). I had four reconstructive foot surgeries since Oct 2000 and one included a 1st MT dorsiflexion osteotomy. Had the hardware from that taken out almost two yrs ago (come Feb). The big toe has been getting more irritated since then. I still wear orthotics and invest in good quality shoes. My foot is 1000x better, but I have some residuals going on. I also have little padding in the foot. The 1st MT takes alot of the weight of my gait so I think that toe is being pushed past natural limits.