Hi everyone! I was just sitting here and thinking about life after the fusion.......
So, once the toe is completely fused are people able to run after? Is the toe like a bone (i.e. if you were to break it would it heal like a broken bone or would it have to be fused again)? Is life pretty much the same after, just heal restrictions?
If anyone knows, could you let me know I only have about 4 weeks left and am wondering what my life is going to be like after.
Hi Lizzy, Good to hear from you!! I guess we are all just sitting around waiting for things to FUSE!! I was told by my doctor that the only restriction would be heel height and that would be limited to 1-1 1/2 inches. That remains to be seen. I hope someone who has actually healed answers because I would like to know too!! The distal joint of the big toe still moves. HA!! My cast is so long to the end of my toes that not much at all moves right now. I can passively wiggle the end of the big toe a little but it sure won't move on its own! I am 3 weeks tomorrow and 3 more weeks until my next appointment. The cast is only a little loose but starting to feel like bunched up socks under my arch so I hope I can last until my next appointment. The heat wave has broken....I couldn't manage much at all the past few days but now is just general boredom! This too shall pass. It sometimes feels like something is tightly squeezing my toe joint and it is heavy. Does anyone else have this feeling? The twitches are still there as well but not as often. Does it feel any different at the 6-7 week mark? Sophie
Funny, I was just wondering the same thing on what happens!!!!
I'm 8 weeks tomorrow. I have 4 more weeks to go till I know if the fusion is working. I hate the pressure in my toe like a small vise squeezing my toe......not really painful but definately uncomfortable and having to move my foot around to a position that doesn't make it feel that way. I don't have the twitching though.
Sophie....I don't envy you for you having a cast. Hang in there!!!!
Lizzy....We are back to back by a week? Everyone is in the same boat and interesting to keep in touch everybody.
Life after fusion, I can answer that, of course it will be a little different for each of you.
Heal restrictions will be a way of life, your doctor should be able to give you an idea of heal heighth you will be able to wear depending on the final angle of the big toe (remember geometry?)
Yes, you can run after, you might have to find the right shoe, but it can be done.
The only thing that I did run into problem with at first is when buying dress shoes for work, I had to watch how they cut across the incision and fusion point, it was sensitive for a long time. Work of advice - massage it, rub it with a towel or washclothe to desensitize the scar tissue. Rub vertically and horizontally. Better to do it as soon as you can than later.
Also when you are permited to become weight-bearing, do toe scrunchies by placing a towel of the ground and by flexing you toe, scrunch the towel under you foot. It will be hard with out the big toe, but will really help with the flexibility of your other toes and your foot. It will also help the tip of that big toe to get moving as well.
There's some advice from one who has been there and done it. ~Ellen
"Every good has a better and every bad a worse."
So, I am going completely crazy waiting for this toe to heal. I think I am so much more antsy this time, because my surgeries were basically back to back My foot doesnt feel all that much different than it did a few weeks ago. I still have that tight feeling in my toe...kinda stiff in a way...but at the same time it doesnt feel stiff ( I don't know...I'm weird ). I was wondering if anyone ever feels like they are bending their toe, but you know you aren't? I know that sounds a little crazy, but I really hope someone knows what I am talking about Besides all of that I am just trying to keep myself from going completely crazy Before my surgeries, I was extremely active...I went to the gym every other day, I had 2 jobs, and I am in grad school. SO, sitting on my butt for the past 6 months is driving me nuts.
Anyway, enough of my complaining....I hope everyone else is doing really well!
Lizzy, I have the hard cast on so I can't see the joint...only the very end of my toes. But if I wiggle my toes up and down, it feels like that joint is moving. I know it's not because the cast is so tight and holding it in place. I do agree that it is a weird sensation. It really is only the distal joint of the toe that is moving. The tight squeezing vice type feeling is from the trauma to the joint because of the fusion. I spent a good part of today cleaning the house from the wheelchair. I was amazed at how little I got done and the length of time it took!!! I am limited but creative. I think I am really going to have to hire someone especially for the bathrooms....hubby is away and the teenagers just don't get it!! I thought I would be able to put up with a mess but it is really wearing on me....and I am VERY tired but at least I will sleep well tonight...I hope!! Grumble!! Grumble!! Sorry!! Sophie
Lizzy....OK, I have been thinking about this all evening. I have stuck my finger as far into the cast as it will go...teehee...and it sure feels like the joint is moving when I move my toes....BUT I know it's not so how's that for poor proprioception!!!! I am sure it is just the distal joint of the toe but with my eyes closed it feels like the whole 1st mtp joint moving!! By the way...how did you know it failed last time?? This is my second surgery too! I was in a cast from Nov. 18 to March 27 with a 2nd metatarsal shortening that took forever to heal!! So yes I agree...it will be wonderful to be able to walk around pain free eventually!!
I sure know what everyone is talking about when it feels like the big toe is moving but it's not. I don't think the distal part of my toe will move because the Keller sort of made a mess of everything. In the end I believe the entire toe will be fused. I have plate and screws in my toe so I know it can't move. I hate the vise grip feeling that is in my toe. The unnerving part also is that I'm also dealing with second and third toe fusion so I know eko's suggestion with the towel would've been a good one for me if I didn't have all these fusions!
Frustration with getting the house cleaned is an understatement. Just getting laundry done when you have a 2 story house. My husband works in another state so comes home late every evening and my teenagers don't "get it" either!!!!!!!!!! I know I had a blow out with my daughter about the cleaning and laundry yesterday
Wow, I love the fact that people here are so helpfull, informative and supportive.
Lizzy21 - you are not going mad - to have put up for the past six months is just WOW!! I couldnt explain the sensation in my fused toe joint untill I read everyone's posts - then again I dont let myself think about it too much, apart from at Lunch when I come on here because I can't leave the building and go for a walk - oh how nice that will be! a girl can dream!
that leads me to say - I dont actully know what I miss doing the most since my op! its a close call between standing in the shower, taking a break from the office at lunch and going for a walk, driving the car or not using crutches!! It will be FANTASTIC to put trainers on again - Im hoping that the time for that will come v. soon as I see the surgen tomorrow and apparently he will want me to try! yey!!!
What do you miss the most? Surely it can't be cleaning!!!! :-) lol!
First off I want to say good luck with the doctor appointment tomorrow.
What I miss the most......lots but I will pick one........going to the store to shop (and I hate shopping!!!!!!!!!!!). It is too much for me to shop with crutches because I have rheumatoid in many joints. Our little store in town does not have wheel chairs. I have 4 more weeks of NWB (oh how I hope x-rays show fusion then!!)
Really appreciate everyone's postings. Thank you for sharing. So much to learn from you all! A bilateral cheilectomy 1.5 years ago has apparently made my arthritis worse. I now have two doc's, an OS and POD who have say fusion. I am at a quandry. I am no stranger to the OR so I don't take it lightly. But the thought of no pain is more than I can imagine at this point. What is this 'stiff toe' thing all about? Do you wear shoes? walk? limp? Are there non invasive options at this point? I am thinking prob not. What are your thoughts and what are you doing and not doing with a fused toe? Anyone's toe not fuse after the surgery? I hear that happens sometimes also. Anything you want to share is appreciated tremendously. BTW I am a 54 yo female does age make a difference with this procedure? thanx
MTP Fusion is not a pleasant thought process when you are thinking about the lost movement of a joint. My one toe was fused 2.5 years ago when I was 40, age does not make a difference with the procedure. Some people will talk about joint implants, the jury is still out on the success of those. The success of a joint implants depends on the skill level of the surgeon and a loton the patients ability to handle one. The foot is one tricky orthopedic challenge. You need to decide what is best for you. Unfortunately I am not aware of any non-invasive treatments.
Essentially when they fuse your big toe, the joint where the big toe meets the foot is removed and the bones are pushed together, and as they heal they are fused into one, therefore the "stiff toe". Good surgeons will place these bones at such ankle so that you will be able to walk, rolling off the front of you foot as you normally do now. When you stand barefoot, you toe will not touch the ground, but it is not raised in the air so that it is obvious, the angle of my toe is 15 degrees, factor in tissue are the bone, it is barely noticable to those who know I have had it done. You are able to wear shoes, walk and even run if you so desire. The only real restriction that I have encountered is shoe heel height, and going up on on tippy toes.
Every doctor has his own surgical protocal, so you'd have to ask you surgeon about non-weightbearing, weightbearing, etc. Basic recovery is 6 to 8 weeks, but it will be 9 to 12 months before you hop out of bed in the morning and it feels "normal" to you.
Good luck, let us know what you decide and remeber we are here to provide support and share our experiences. -eko
"Every good has a better and every bad a worse."
Hi everyone! Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. I would say the one thing I miss the most is being able to stand up on two feet in the shower! The way I do it now is to stick one foot outside the shower and rest it on the side of the tub, while steadying myself on my good foot. It is a little crazy
Janie & Sophie-
I hope everything is going well with your recoveries I only have 26 more days I can't wait! I still have weird feelings in my toe, but I am guessing that is to be expected....at least I am hoping. Everyday I get so scared that this is going to fail again...I really don't know what I would do. I am only 23 and feel like the past 6 months has been an eternity. Anyway, enough complaining! I hope everything is going really well and I look forward to seeing how everything is going with you.
Hi and welcome! I had a 1st mtp fusion on dec '05 and we discovered it had failed about 4 months later So, I had it redone in June and am still recovering. The reason as to why it failed are a mystery to my OS and myself. Everything went great for the 12 week recovery period...minimal, if any swelling, not really any pain, and it looked good. Then it began to gradually move back to the way it was before. I am only 23, so I don't feel that age is really a factor in the procedure/recovery, but I could be completely wrong. Anyway.... Good luck with the fusion, if you have it. Keep us updated so that we can be here to support you through your recovery
The reason we knew it had failed, was 1) it was pretty painful to walk on and 2) it went back to its original position. The problem w/ hardware in your toe, is that I don't think it would go back to its original position if did not fuse. So, I am really not sure how would you tell it didn't fuse otherwise.
Thank you so much for keeping us all informed of what is to come...you are so helpful!
Thanx Eko. You mention heel height. I can't remember the last time I had height on a heel! I am thinking this fusion will alter my walking forever but then again the condition I have right now will and is altering almost everything now and that is forever too so I need to wrap my head around this a bit more and think of it differently. So, were you active before all this happened with you? Are you walking ok and/or limp but no pain? Man I might even be a nice person again if I had no pain! Miss just plain ole moving around, not that I was athletic but a walker and low impact type of stuff like yoga. But ya can't do that with toe problems! What are the advantages and disadvantages to having an OS or a PD?
The last surgery I had was real scary but I was going to die if I didn't have it for sure. There was NO option and the prognosis with surgery was bleak also but what's to think about there? Now this is a bit different. The probability of death with arthritis in the toes is not on the radar screen. So maybe I am even thinking too much, donno. Here's a stupid questions though. Does season matter? I am thinking that recooping in the winter (I am in New England) may be less desirable BUT I couldn't imagine being cooped up or recooping in this heat right now either. Slush and snow and crutches are not warm and fuzzy feelings to a stocking covered foot in the cold! What time of year did you have yours in and does it make a difference at all? The doc I just saw recently said nwb for X weeks and there would be a cast.
Hey thanx, ya know I am liking this, I actually just got home a bit ago and rushed to the computer to read more stuff on this site.
have a good night :
Hey Liz, you are 23 and brave; hang in there and it will get better! hard to believe but this will be a dim memory soon enough. How is this one going? Second fusion cuz the first didn't work? I had heard there was a chance the fusion wouldn't take. And then told that some of the unsuccessful ones can go without being redone and some need to be redone. I am a real neophyte on this stuff so bear with me. But truly hang in there, I am sending you a bunch of positive vibes.
Oh I haven't read anything about weight Does weight have any bearing on all this stuff? I am 5'5" and 150. Gained 20 pounds since I quit smoking and probably 15 of it in the past 9 months ARGH
take care Liz