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Old 06-19-2006, 04:29 PM   #1
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scarletlace HB User
Estimate on the cost to fix hallux rigidus

I will soon be seeking treatment to correct hallux rigidus on my right big toe. I will not seek fusion as a option since I need to wear heels as part of my profession. I am hopeful a total joint replacement will not be needed but only the removal of the bone fragments ect. I am trying to perpare for the sticker shock of surgery. Could someone please give me an idea what to expect the cost could be? Is a hospital stay required or is this an out patient procedure? How long is the recovery process? For those that have had the surgery, are you happy with the results? Anything you can share to help me better perpare would be very appreciated.

 
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Old 06-19-2006, 04:48 PM   #2
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Re: Estimate on the cost to fix hallux rigidus

The pain is far worse than the cost. Mine was out paient and about $14,000, total. The fusion should be decided on the best way to correct the problem. If all goes well you should be completely non weight bering for 6-10 weeks, then to a cam walker for another 3-4 weeks. The pain is nothing less than MYSRIBLE. Do you smoke? They tell me that smoking is the #1 reason for non-fusions, this you don't want. I am a nonsmoker yet I am now preparing for my third revision. This time will be a natural bone fusion from my hip. I have not walked for 8 months. I certainly wish you far better luck. Are you using an orthopedic or a podiatrist? My advise is use an Orthopedic! Would I do it again, NEVER. Do you have constant pain that makes you limp? Are you able to function on a daily basis with out TRULY suffering? Foot surgery is worse than natural child labor, and I have a high tolerance for pain. I would not have my right foot cut on for any amount of money. Good luck to you and I'll keep you in my prayers.
Sherry

 
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Old 06-19-2006, 05:26 PM   #3
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Re: Estimate on the cost to fix hallux rigidus

Although, in all honesty I hated reading your reply. I must say thank you for giving it to me straight.....I asked for it! I do not smoke but will be using a highly recommended podiatrist. Fusion is not an option at this point since pain or no pain I must be able to wear high heels, I need my toe to bend, thanks why I'm getting it fixed! That and of course the intense pain I'm living with that you mentioned. I am very sorry to read about your results, especially if the 1963 at the end of your user name indicates your birth year. I am 42 and although I am only able to wear slippers and tennis shoes comfortably I do experience pain everyday that is getting increasingly worse and is effecting how I live my life. Thank you for your prayers. I will include you Sherry into mine and wish you the best of luck with your recovery!

 
Old 06-19-2006, 05:43 PM   #4
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Re: Estimate on the cost to fix hallux rigidus

scarletlace:

I had a cheilectomy done by a sports med ortho surgeon here in Birmingham, AL. Since you are in San Antonio, I would suggest calling the Spurs and finding out who they use. This is often a sports related injury (Shaquille O'Neal had one when he was with the Lakers). It is commonly known as turf toe, runner's toe, tennis toe, etc.
After the surgery, I walked out of the hospital (it was done outpatient). Went straight home, popped my meds and went to bed. Got up for bathroom, a little tea and that was about it that day. The next day I was up walking, eating, napping, no problems. I had it on Wed and went back to work on Monday. Two weeks post-op the sutures came out and I was shown the exercises to do. And do them you MUST!
Very critical to recovery. Six weeks later, went back to doc and was told all was fine - and it was. Told me to get back into regular shoes as I could (I had been wear Merrell's up to then). Was back in low heels about a couple of weeks later and progressed from there. Almost three years later, I jog, dance (Cajun and Zydeco which are vigorous!), do whatever I want. Sure, it gets sore some. But sore beats the heck out of what I had before!

This should last me 10-20 years, depending on how much abuse I give it. Next would be an implant (like a hip replacement) and then fusion (where the toe no longer bends) is the last resort.

My insurance paid all but maybe $300 of mine. I don't remember the exact amount of all the bills but would say around $7,000.
Hope this gives you a good overview of my experience. If oyu have any questions, please ask. I'll be away from the board for a few days but will be back!

Last edited by Titchou; 06-19-2006 at 05:45 PM.

 
Old 06-19-2006, 05:53 PM   #5
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Re: Estimate on the cost to fix hallux rigidus

I thank you for your diary of what happens with this procedure. I was worried about the recovery because I am very active and want to get back into a more normal flow of life asap. Excerise though however painful will not be an issue since total and complete recovery is my end goal. I do have one question asked unanswered by you and that is cost. I know this is a very private question but I ask it because the money spent for this repair to my foot is going to stop my ability to continuing saving for my 16 yr olds college fund. She wants to become a pyciatrist so I'm looking a at huge, long term expenditure. Your answer to this question will help me arrange and budget for both of these major events in my/our life.

 
Old 06-19-2006, 06:05 PM   #6
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Re: Estimate on the cost to fix hallux rigidus

I went back and edited and added that! Sorry....if you need more of a procedure - sometimes screws may be needed, that could add to the cost. Mine was very straight forward with nothing unforseen when he got in there. But remember, it was 3 years ago and healthcare costs have skyrocketed.

 
Old 06-20-2006, 04:29 PM   #7
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Re: Estimate on the cost to fix hallux rigidus

I had an osteotomy with plate and screw fixation. The hospital, as previously agreed, wrote off their portion, so I do not know how much it was. The anesthesia was billed at $1300, and I'm asking for a more detailed statement to find out why, as I was expecting about half that for the hour and a half I was in. Not intubated, etc., just an iv with drugs. The surgeon's fees are just under $3000, and the first 90 days visits are no cost, but they add $50 for cast materials, $200 for applying it, and $100 for each xray, taking a minimum of 2 views, each time I go in. Being uninsured and having to sign a note, I am a little freaked out. (The girl originally told me it would be about $50 a month, but AFTER it was done, said it had to be paid in 12 months, so you can figure it's "a bit" higher, and getting higher every time he sees me) I'd suggest asking the surgeon's business office, and finding out for sure what each strip of gauze will cost. Do the same with the hospital, and the anesthesia providers, the hospital will tell you who they use. Good luck! Kim

 
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