i went to the dr today and he read the cat scan and my toe fused! i was so nervous and now i am so happy. i am going to have surgery oct 18 for all the hardware removal. i know i will have to wear a boot for a month and then a gym shoe. i have a screw loose(in my toe) also in my head, so thats what is causing pain now. i forgot to ask him what happens if taking the hardwear out does not work. please if anyone has had hardwear removal tell me what it is like. thanks for all who have replied and will reply to this. this health board has been wonderful. debbie
I had a fusion in Feb 04 and then had the plate and pins removed in June 05. It was so much better than the original surgery. I was on crutches for about 2 weeks. After the first week I was back in the CAM walker and just used the crutches to help. I think I wore the CAM walker for about a month after the removal.
I was able to do the procedure without general anethesia. I had heavy sedation and an ankle block. It was great. I am having an osteotomy on the other foot in December. Foot surgery number 5, but the first one on the right foot.
Good luck to you.
I am so happy for you!!! I had a twilight sleep and a block that lasted most of the first day. I went into a surgical shoe and was on crutches for only about a week except for shopping or other long distances. It was 8 weeks ago today and now I just experience periodic achiness but over all I'm getting much better. I still limit how much I walk but I can do Walmart or Costco without the scooter! I can't believe so many of us are finally seeing the other side of this. Best of luck, and keep on postin' .
Hey debbie g, I was wandering if doctors can tell if your toe is fused if they look at x-rays. What type of procedure did you have again? I went to the doctor today and had an x-ray and he said my toe is fused.....(at only 8 weeks?) I am trying to walk normal again but it is hard because I think my whole leg is weak. My podiatrist said I have no restrictions and I thought that was weird because I can't even walk normal yet. I won't be seeing him for awhile because I'm going down south for college this week so I am not sure if that's a good thing!!!
[QUOTE=BunionPatient;3214556]Hey debbie g, I was wandering if doctors can tell if your toe is fused if they look at x-rays. What type of procedure did you have again? I went to the doctor today and had an x-ray and he said my toe is fused.....(at only 8 weeks?) I am trying to walk normal again but it is hard because I think my whole leg is weak. My podiatrist said I have no restrictions and I thought that was weird because I can't even walk normal yet. I won't be seeing him for awhile because I'm going down south for college this week so I am not sure if that's a good thing!!![/QUOTE]
i want to thank all of you who replied. you all made my daY. bunionpatient, i had big toe fusion nov 06. i was in a cast for 9 weeks and a boot for a month. x rays cannot show a fusion only a cat scan. i would have your foot checked out before you go. did you have a toe fusion surgery?
Debbie, Congratulations! I am so happy for you that the CT scan showed that the joint was fused. What hardware are you having removed? Do you have screws or a plate and screws? By all accounts, this removal surgery will be nothing like the original fusion surgery. I have had many screws and a plate removed on two separate occasions.
Bunion Patient, I respectfully beg to differ with Debbie on the xray issue. NORMALLY, only an xray is used to confirm fusion. The consolidation of bone is clearly evident on an xray. IF there is continued pain and swelling, a CT scan is done. There are a number of different reasons. The hardware may make the diagnosis by xray alone difficult. While the joint MAY look fused on the xray, part of it may have not fused and only a CT scan will show that. So USUALLY an xray will suffice unless there is continued PAIN and/or SWELLING. Your doctor has said he sees consolidation of bone at 8 weeks and yes, that is very likely but it takes up to a year for FULL consolidation. You can resume activity as he says but do so with moderation at first. I don't think he means go out and play a game of tackle football or raquetball. Just go to tolerance and eventually that level will build. Let the pain be your guide. Each day will get better and better but, remember, it is not a constant upward climb. There will be days when you hurt more. As long as the painfree days are increasing and the overall pain level is decreasing.....you are doing fine. Good luck and take care, Sophie
Thanks debbieg and Sophie for your responses. debbieg, I had a midfoot fusion...Now I have a better understanding of the fusion of x-ray vs. the catscan. I'm assuming that x-rays cannot show everything a cat scan can. And Sophie, when I was reading your response I was like hey she sounds like a doctor! lol, because the way you describe things and how much knowledge you seem to have about these things. Alrite thanks everyone!!!
Last edited by BunionPatient; 09-18-2007 at 07:42 PM.
hi sophie, thanks for responding. i am having a plate and all the screws removed. i hope this will be the end of toe fusion saga. i really would like to know after you had removal of hardware, what did you experience. also, do you think toe fusion lasts. i would love to hear from you or anyone else with hardwear removed. by the way, i hope you are doing well and you do sound like a dr! your posts help so much. i hope you are not in any pain. debbie
Thanks for the compliment both of you but remember, Your doctor is ALWAYS the best one to look to for SOLID advice.
Debbie, I had 2 screws removed (the joint wasn't healing because of allergy to the stainless steel)and they were replaced with one titanium screw and some donor bone. Then I had that removed and it was replaced with a plate and 5 screws and a bone graft from my own heel. From what I have researched and from others I know who have had plate and screw removal.....this surgery is not nearly as painful as the original. There is no bone being surgically broken or manipulated in such a way as to cause extensive pain. You have to go through the whole dissection thing to get to the plate and also the whole healing of the incision!! It will, of course, be sore but not in comparison to the original surgery. What you need to remember.....the bone is small and you are having screws removed which will leave holes in the bone and cause it to be vulnerable. You need to give the bone time to heal and the screw holes time to fill in!! You do not want to risk fracturing the bone while it has holes in it. As for the fusion itself....that will always remain solid if it is solid now. You no longer have two bones there with a joint in between. You now have one longer bone!! No ifs, ands or buts!! Unless you were to go out and BREAK it.....like you could break any other bone.....it is as strong as any other bone in your body. I hope that makes sense. I wish you the best for this upcoming surgery and I hope you feel much better afterward. I have heard that a lot of people just feel better with the hardware removed. Sophie
Last edited by sorefootsophie; 09-19-2007 at 06:14 PM.
thanks sophie. i am going to be very careful after the surgery. i dont want anything to go wrong. i am going to follow everything the dr says. would you happen to know why my 2nd toe which had hammertoe surgery wont lie flat? it sticks up like the big toe after fusion. the dr has cut the tendon 3 times and it goes flat , but then it goes up again. i would appreciate any response. thanks, debbie
Debbie G, I am new to these boards, so maybe this is the wrong way to go about this, but you can offer your opinion to my questions? I think you and I had some of the same ailments.
I have an implant in the MTPJ which is starting to move backwards towards my foot. The reason is that the foot, up against the implant, is starting to degenerate, which is giving too much space between the foot and the implant. As such, the implant is moving backwards but pulling on the toe at the same time, causing it to go up all the time at about a 15 degree angle.
My OS has told me that enough is enough, this is the end of the line, and it's time to fuse the joint together. However, because of the space and the shortness of my big toe, he needs to do a bone graft.
How happy are you with your procedure? Painful as my OS is telling me it will be? Did you have a bone graft, and if so, where did it come from? I don't know if he will be able to use my heel because of the space he needs to make up. Hips are probably going to come into play.
Hi Debbie.....good luck! As for the 2nd toe question- I think the reason for the 2nd toe issue is because the big toe is fused and you don't actually bend the toe when rolling off because the 2nd toe is too close to the fused area.
Sort of hard to explain but I think it just "hangs" out. I think the 3rd, 4th and 5th are further away from the fusion site and "act" better. Just my observation!
hi janie and dbgoalie, janie i think you are right, but the hammertoe was done before the toe fusion and it never layed flat. thats the part i dont understand. if anyone else knows about hammertoes, please reply. db, the fusion is a long and somewhat painful recovery. now i can say that it is worth it. i had the graft from my heel and that did not hurt at all. i think we sound very familiar with our toes. make sure you have a great dr and ask a lot of questions. i have a metal plate and 5 screws in my toe now, but that will be removednext month. i have a couple of screws loose-no pun intended so it is irritating my toe. i replied to your thread, but i dont know if i answered all the questions so write back. debbie