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Old 08-27-2009, 03:21 AM   #1
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stiff big toe after bunion surgery

Hi has anyone experienced a stiff toe that has not much movement 6 weeks after being operated on.
I only had my slipper cast and bandages off for three days but i have noticed a problem in trying to bend my big toe forward and backwards.
Its really concerning because it alters the way i walk and i have been walking on the right hand side of my foot which is not good.
I had both feet operated on but my left foot seems to be ok and is quite flexable .
I was wondering if any body else had this problem and can it come good again. Please help.
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:33 AM   #2
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Re: stiff big toe after bunion surgery

Having it immobilized for 6 weeks can contribute to this. Were oyu told it was OK to bend it now? Given any exercises to do? Usually those consist of trying to pick up a small towel or washcloth with the toes and pulling it out and then up and down. I found that one easier to do in the beginning when taking a bath as the warm water loosened the muscles. If oyu had hardware installed with the surgery, it may effect what exercises you can do at this point. I'd check with your surgeon to be sure if he didn't give you instructions.

 
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Old 08-27-2009, 06:43 AM   #3
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Re: stiff big toe after bunion surgery

Hi Titchou ive seen you posted many times before thank you for replying. Yes my surgeon told me i could gently flex the toe back and forth i tried t5he towel thing that you said but no luck there. I would also mention that i still have a pin in the second toe to correct a hammertoe that comes out next thursday do you think it will be a little easier to bend when that comes out?
I have two screws and a staple in that toe that are permanent.
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Old 08-27-2009, 08:56 AM   #4
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Re: stiff big toe after bunion surgery

I had that with my left foot.. for some reason I had a lot of scar tissue around the joint. Took me 9 months to get it to bend fully. It slowly would get more and more mobile. I wouldn't push the toe too far with the other pin still in. Also, once you are healed up, soak your foot in warm water with epsom salt and THEN try to bend the toe, it helps loosen things up. My last surgery (on my right foot) I did not have the same problem so it varies from person to person.. and apparently foot to foot!

 
Old 08-27-2009, 10:30 AM   #5
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Re: stiff big toe after bunion surgery

It will just take time to free it up. Like I said and the other poster did as well, soak itin warm water...I would stick my toe under the running water as hot as I could stand it when I took a bath. That helped warm it up so it moved easier. And I sat at my desk working it as well during the day. Good luck!

 
Old 08-27-2009, 03:09 PM   #6
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Re: stiff big toe after bunion surgery

Definitely wait for the pin removal and speak with your doctor. The warm bath method works well. Someone on this board recommended scouching down in the bath and slowly pushing yourself back with your toes. This worked well for me. Six months after my surgery I started Zumba, which is a type of latin dance inspired aerobics. The exercise really loosened up my foot, making it stretch more than when walking. Some people go to PT and find the treatment helpful. Good luck with the pin, I think you will find your healing will quickly progress after the pin is removed.

 
Old 08-28-2009, 12:24 AM   #7
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Re: stiff big toe after bunion surgery

thanks for all your advice on trying to get rid of the stiff toe.Had some physio today just little movements on the stiff one for the time being until the pin comes out of the hammertoe. the other foot i have to scrunch it up as much as possible twenty times five times a day and then try to pick up a marble [dont know about that one]. i also had some night splints made to wear in bed for the next couple of months. I have also taken the advice of the soaking in hot water to try and move the joint forward and back, after not having my foot in any water for six weeks this feels like a real luxury.
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:12 AM   #8
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Re: stiff big toe after bunion surgery

Another question which id forgot to ask about is scar tissue. I have heard it mention in a few threads but because i wasnt up to that part in recovery i didnt take much notice at the time could anyone tell me what i should be doing?
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Old 08-28-2009, 05:50 AM   #9
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Re: stiff big toe after bunion surgery

Moving of the toe will prevent build up of scar tissue. So be very compliant about doing them.

 
Old 08-28-2009, 11:16 PM   #10
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Re: stiff big toe after bunion surgery

Hey Pearl, massaging them really helps. I used to massage my feet on the incision areas, toes and balls of my feet every 3 hours when they were ready to be massaged (2 weeks post op for me). The mechanical action creates "microtears" on the scar tissues so that the scars can break down faster as well as other suggestions of exercises and movement of the joints to improve flexibility.

What I use for massaging the incisions is olive oil mixed with a few drops of tea tree oil which not only smells nice, but has vitamin E and anti-microbial properties. Other oils can be used as well. Some said that it doesn't matter what oil and medium one uses, it is just the massage actions that help to break down the scar tissues.

Happy recovery!

 
Old 08-29-2009, 04:23 AM   #11
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Re: stiff big toe after bunion surgery

none of my shoes are fitting me with the swelling on the top of my feet and also my toes are quite puffy. What kind of shoes would be good for me? .When i walk barefoot in the house the soles of my feet really ache so i need some that are quite cushioned .
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:21 AM   #12
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Re: stiff big toe after bunion surgery

I hate the way they look.. but I bought a pair of crocs for my recovery. They are generally roomy so they are easy to get on and off. Wore them mostly around the house. I bought a pair of oversized sneakers when I went back to work.

 
Old 09-01-2009, 03:51 PM   #13
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Re: stiff big toe after bunion surgery

Thanks my husband has a pair of crocs that he uses around the garden i tried them on and they just fit even though they are two sizes bigger than i normally wear. When i get my pin out tomorrow i will visit the shops and look for a comfy pair of sneakers. The soles of my feet get really sore and im only walking around the house with slippers on i still walk with a slight limp as the right foot has the stiff big toe and the second toe has the pin in. There is still swelling even the ankles are still swollen this is now my seventh week since surgery and i suppose im gettimg really impatient.
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