After 15 months of being patient and waiting for my foot to feel normal following bunion surgery, I finally went for some second opinions. According to two different drs. (one being a DPM and the other an orthopedic surgeon) they both came to the conclusion that I have had a botched/failed surgery . They both advised me to try some conservative methods (using met pads in my shoes and stretching my calf muscle) and if those fail to provide me with enough relief that I can live with, then I would have to decide if I want to have more surgery to try and correct the mess that the first dr. made. So I am wondering if there is anyone else out there that has been in a similar situation to mine and what did you do? Did any non-surgical methods work, or if you had more surgery, did it solve your problems or just make things even worse? I am just so upset over all of this and really wonder when this nightmare will end or if I will ever feel normal again. Any experiences you can share would be so greatly appreciated. Thank you for any replies.
This is a good question to ask and I think there are some out there that have had failed surgeries. I haven't, but at my last appointment (on Monday) my doctor said my bone was thinning...this after two and a half months of saying she was impressed. I am left wondering, and hoping that my process isn't going backwards instead of forwards. What I have found is that I haven't fixed the cause but seemed to have opened a can of worms as I have more issues now than what I started out with....and one of the original problems, sesamoid pain, hasn't resolved yet and I was told the surgery would be very helpful with that. I'll be looking forward to reading some of the responses to this thread...thanks for posting it!
Thanks for your replies Ladies - Debbie, what kind of procedure did you have done initially and how did it fail? Also, what kind of revision did you have? Both of the drs. mentioned the Lapidus procedure, which I understand involves fusion. The orthopedic surgeon had me go for more x-rays and once he sees those he will be sending me a detailed report. I have an appt. with one more specialist (another O.S.) in a couple of weeks. I figure I might as well get as many opinions as possible. So we'll see what happens. Thanks again.
i had real toe fusion where it will never bend again. i dont know anything about the lapidus. i had regular bunionectomies. did they say why your bunion surgery failed and what kind did you have? i was not given a reason why mine failed and i was so naieve to get a 2nd opinion.
I had a modified Austin procedure where they cut the bone at, I think what's called the 1st MPJ. Apparently it is one of the more common procedures. I believe the Lapidus is where they cut the bone up closer to the top of your foot by your ankle. I was told by the OS that this is what he would have done in the first place as I have hypermobility and that would have made my foot a lot more stable. As it is now I think my bones are kind of a mess as in they're not where they should be exactly. My big toe is jamming and my range of motion in that toe is at around 30 degrees compared to the toe in my other foot which is around 90 degrees. This causes me to over-load the metatarsal heads in the lesser toes and is apparently the cause of my pain. Hopefully I will understand it all more once I get the report. Debbie - Where is your toe fused?
I had the lapidus surgery in my right foot in June 2007. I can answer any questions you may have about this procedure. You are correct in that a cut is made in the bones closer to the ankle and two pins are inserted down from the top of the foot. There is about a four inch incision on the top of the foot going from the big toe to near the ankle. A cut here realigns the arch of the foot in three dimensions and makes for a more stable foot. This procedure is the more involved one and is usually done for severe bunions, which I had.
Since the cut is made between major support bones, a cast or hard boot is usally worn for 6 to 8 weeks, during which there is no weight bearing on that foot (NWB). It's been 10 months now, and I can notice that my right foot feels more solid while walking, even though it is still a little sore, and my left foot is kind of floppy because of a hypermobile 1st metatarsal joint. I will have to have the same procedure on the left foot. It sounds as though the two doctors think that the more involved procedure would have been a better choice of surgery for you. I hope you don't have to go through surgery again. Good luck.
Hi Monster Bunion - Thanks so much for the information. I sure hope it doesn't come to more surgery, but my instincts are telling me that conservative treatments aren't going to be the answer. Couple of questions: Did you have a hard boot or a cast? Depending on which, could you ever remove the boot, or if you had a cast, how big was it? Also, I am wondering if you have much stiffness and limited range of motion, and if so, where is it felt and does that bother you? And how long before you felt reasonably back to normal without limitations or do you still feel like you've got a ways to go? I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my questions.
I "technically" had a failed procedure in that my doc had to do a toe revision right at the time he did my bunionectomy because when they did the bunionectomy -- the bone was straightened so my toe was in proper alignment but the toe was twisted so they then had to "revise" the toe itself and manipulate the soft tissue to get it to lay flat. I am 4 1/2 weeks post, my toes look straight and all the exrays look fine but I am still in the non wieght bearing boot and I won't really know if all was a success until I start walking on it as that is the true test. (I had an AUstin by the way)
I know the thought of a second surg must be killing you I know it would me but if I truely believed in the long run I could walk without pain it would be worth it and I think for all of us who have the courage to go through this that is the bottom line. Find out the best doc for this though-- sounds like the first one made a bad choice and should have taken a closer look at your situation prior to the surgery..
Did you have a severe bunion? Were other toes involved?
I had a hard cast. It was open at the bottom and lets the tips of the toes show, and goes just up to the knee. The cast is changed after the first week, the second week, the fourth week, and is removed after the sixth week if fusion of the midfoot takes place. Each time the cast is removed, they take an x-ray to see how things are going. After 10 months, I still have a little stiffness but everyday it gets better and I am pleased with my range of motion, it is better than before surgery because of my bunion. The soreness remains for a long time in the bunion joint. I still don't feel completely normal, and am always conscious of not to overdue things and to give my foot a rest (everyday, the rest period gets shorter), I am able to do most things now, and could run from the path of a car if I had to, but I choose not to do running yet just because I don't want to mess things up. I
think by 12 months things should feel completely normal. I don't think about my foot as much now, which is nice. Before, I would think about it 24/7. For me, I kept having setbacks and the first four months were really hard. Then gradually, I think it was November 1 when I was able to venture out and make one errand a day, then two errands a day, then errands the whole morning. I was able to drive (it was my driving foot) about three weeks after
hi tootsie, my toe was fused from the bottom. the only thing on my toe that moves is the tip. i hate it so much. i am sorry you might have to go through surgery again. at least this time the drs know what they are talking about. ask as many questions as you can. when do think the surgery would take place if needed?
Thanks very much for the replies and information everyone. The thought of having revision surgery is certainly not pleasant, especially when there are no guarantees. I have one more appointment with another O.S. next week, so I'll see what his opinion is. At least this one is covered by my medical plan. Getting a few opinions is wise, I realize, but boy it can also be confusing too. I've had two different recommendations for conservative treatment and the pod wants to send me to a neurolgist to rule out RSD, whereas the ortho said I do not have RSD. But at least they both seem to agree on what is at the root of my problem. Debbie - As far as when I would have more surgery, I have to give the conservative treatment 2-3 months. Then it depends on which surgeon I would choose. I think I would definitely go with an O.S. this time. If I wait to go through the medical system with the ortho that I saw last week, I am looking at a year. If I pay out of pocket and jump the queue, then probably a few weeks following my decision. The ortho that I am seeing next, I'm not sure, could be a little less of a wait, but would probably be anywhere from 3-6 months. Thanks again for your time one and all.
I'm not sure what everyone here means by a failed bunion surgery???? Do you mean the bunion returned? What caused your surgery to fail?
Hi wmkcolors - In my case, I think it was the doctors' (that evaluated me) polite way of saying that I've had a "botched" surgery. I will know more once I have received my written evaluation. But from what I gathered from my consulations was that my bone has not drifted back to it's previous position, but that the procedure the surgeon chose to do, given my hypermobility, has created what I would say is an inbalance and is causing me to over-load the rest of my foot. So what caused the surgery to fail - I would say poor judgement on the part of the surgeon by failing to take into consideration the mechanics of my foot which has left me with a toe joint that does not have adequate range of motion and a painful foot because it does not function as it should. Hope that makes sense.
I think most people here, with bunionectomies, are striving to achieve better ROM. Most have a stiff toe joint. That seems to be a common theme. I am doing aggressive PT, which does cause some pain and swelling, 4 months postop, but, from what I understand, you really have to work hard to work the toe joint. I am making slow progress, but I have to do my PT several times a day. Are you doing PT? It seems like most people who have problems are those who don't move that toe joint over and over again; etc., including loading it, say with your body weight..... When did you have your surgery? PT should begin by 8 weeks.