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Old 10-27-2009, 04:18 PM   #1
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Hammer Toe Surgery w/Smart Toe Implant

I had hammertoe and bunion surgery three weeks ago today. I had two hammertoes fused with an implant called "smart toe" which is suppose to be better than the pin sticking out. With this implant, there is nothing to remove. However, although recovery is suppose to be faster and pain not as severe, I am not convinced I should have gone this route. I am still in the boot of course and cannot put my foot flat on the floor. I walk sort of on the side and heel of my foot which is difficult. My toes are swollen very badly especially under the bottom, and when I walk, it feels like I am walking on a ball. It is an awful feeling. Has anyone else had these implants and what are your experiences with the swelling and pain? Doc says PT will not help. I am getting scared because doc originally said I would be off work for 6to 8 wks, but I don't see how that's possible considering I can barely walk at 3 weeks. X-rays looked fine he said when I went to doc last week.

When should I see progress? Any suggestions for the toe swelling? I ice my foot and keep it elevated, but my back is starting to really bother me I guess from the way I have to lay down. I just want some relief. Is there anything I can get OTC that may help. Can anyone please shine some light on my situation? Thanks for your help!

 
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Old 11-09-2009, 02:54 PM   #2
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Re: Hammer Toe Surgery w/Smart Toe Implant

Hey there, I too, had my hammertoes fixed. It's been a little over 2 months now. My toes still swell. The doctor says it will stay this way for at least 3-6 months. I had the pins in 3 of my toes. I can tell you it sounds like your pain was just as bad as mine. Same time frame with the walking on the side of the foot. I'm just now wearing flat shoes (went to target and bought a size larger) to fit my foot in them. I was wearing sneakers to work for about 3 weeks. My complaints are that my 2nd toe is completely fused together, won't bend at all. Are the splints they placed in your toes supposed to dissolve? It seems like you would have stiff toes for a very long time. Did the DR tell you around what date you be able to move/curl your toes?

OTC medicine that helped me is Ibuprofen, and then I took some Tylenol PM for sleeping. I had lots of problems adjusting my back at night. For some reason the DR's make it sound like this surgery is a quick bounce back, but from what I've read on these forums, it is not the case. Total recovery can be up to a year, which includes running. No heels for a very long time. Hope you feel better, and only time will tell!

 
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Old 11-09-2009, 04:36 PM   #3
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Re: Hammer Toe Surgery w/Smart Toe Implant

Thanks for the tip on the OTC meds. The doctor has me taking Naproxen twice a day. I have some Tylenol PM and will begin taking it tonight. I went to the doctor last Friday and my foot was swollen so badly that he wrapped it up using some type of medicated pad. The wrapping is so tight....it hurts worse now. He told me to leave it on for 5 days and I am trying to do it and see if I get any decreased swelling. I kept telling him I cannot put my foot flat on the ground to walk and he said I should be able to do this by now - tomorrow will be 5 weeks since surgery date and I am not making any progress. I am supposed to be off work for 8 weeks but I can't see myself being able to go back in 3 weeks. I am still in the boot and go back to see the doctor in 2 weeks. What a horrible mess?

The doctor told me (after the surgery) that I will not be able to bend my toes ever again because the "smart toe" device has fused them together. Had I known this up front, I would have never had this surgery. My second and third toes cannot bend. The big toe feels more normal than the hammertoes but they are all swollen and painful. I just can't believe I can't walk without horrible pain at 5 weeks. The doctor kept saying everybody is different and I know this to be true. I have a coworker who was back at work 2 weeks after surgery...just unheard of.

What kind of sneakers did you get? Are there any that doctors usually recommend? I have a feeling my doctor will take me out of the boot in 2 weeks and I need to know what to buy. I am so nervous that I will never be able to walk normal again. How long did you stay off work?

 
Old 11-10-2009, 09:55 PM   #4
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Wink Re: Hammer Toe Surgery w/Smart Toe Implant

Hey there, I went to DSW shoe ware house and purchased some slip on velcro Easy Spirity brand sneakers. They had no heel, like a slip on shoe/mule. These worked perfectly. This was only after my pins were removed. I was only out of work 1 week. I had a cast on for 7 days, then they put me in a Aircast boot. I had the pins in for 5 weeks total. I had crutches at work, I have a desk job, so I can pretty much hobble into work, and then prop up my foot. Don't worry, you will be able to walk again. My foot is still sensitive at 9 weeks, can't walk on the wood floors with the ball of my foot barefoot. I also recommend Crocs. I bought some online a size too big, so that the swollen foot will fit. I wish you the best, and give it some time!

 
Old 12-21-2009, 07:03 PM   #5
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Re: Hammer Toe Surgery w/Smart Toe Implant

Helpme43 and Spunkytx,

I'm contemplating having the Smart Toe Implant but from what I'm reading I'm thinking it might not be a good idea. I have had bunion surgery on my left foot in April 1994 and didn't get a shoe on my foot until October. I was on the couch for a week but not fully because my daughter was then only 7 and I'm a single parent so still had to be a mother. I did learn that you have to keep your leg/foot up and have the blood go away from the toes. I didn't do that so this time I will do things differently. Tylenol PM or Advil PM should help a lot. I used my sudo Birkenstocks for shoes for a long time. Fortunately it was the summer.

So my discussion with you guys...do you suggest doing the Smart Toe implant or not? I'm reading that you can't bend your toe after. This time I have to have a bunion removed on my right foot which has created a hammertoe next to my big toe. Needless to say I'm in pain. I don't look forward to this again and when the doc told me about the pins I was totally grossed out. Then tonight I see on the news this article about the Smart Toe so please give me your thoughts. Thanks!

 
Old 01-03-2010, 04:59 PM   #6
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Re: Hammer Toe Surgery w/Smart Toe Implant

Hi Meistermom:

The smartoe devices have been nothing but a nightmare for me. This Tuesday will mark 3 months since my surgery and my toes still hurt, and foot still swells all the time. I still cannot walk. I can deal wih the swelling on the top of my foot but it's the bottom that bothers me. Right underneath the two toes that have the device inserted, the swelling is terrible. It feels like I am standing on a ball. I literally cannot walk without the surgical boot. The bunion toe feels o.k. but the hammertoes hurt like crazy. They even hurt to the touch. I can hardly bear to touch my foot in the shower or when I am trying to lotion my foot.

With the smartoe device, you may not be able to move your toes ever again; I mean even the toes that were not operated on. It affects your entire foot. My toes are stiff and the doc says I will not be be able to bend them since the joints are fused together with the device. If I try to do so, the device may break and then I will be in big pain and likely would need another surgery. Literature tells you that you will recuperate quicker with the smartoes as opposed to the pins in your toes, but so far, I do not like the meaning of the word "quicker".

I don't want to scare you but I want to give you all of the information that I did not have before my surgery so that you can make an informed decision beforehand. Talk to your doctor about it. I didn't know what questions to ask because I had never heard of the smartoe until the doctor mentioned it. Good luck to you. I hope you have a successful outcome. Keep me posted and let me know if you have any questions along the way.

 
Old 01-04-2010, 11:28 AM   #7
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Re: Hammer Toe Surgery w/Smart Toe Implant

Hi HelpMe43,

My doctor didn't even mention the Smart Toe I saw it on the news. She told me she was going to break it and pin it and then I watched the article, that's what got me started on this whole thing. I've done this once not exactly looking to get this done again. And now I read an article about Dr's thinking it's better to be in your barefeet which for me is great because I hate shoes LOL. I'll let you know how I make out...getting the courage up again to make the appointment. Thanks for the insight. I can suggest to you to keep your foot up and ice it as much as possible both top and bottom. It does take a long while to get back to where you were before the surgery. Unfortunately being the lowest extremity doesn't help.

 
Old 03-24-2010, 09:27 AM   #8
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Smile Re: Hammer Toe Surgery w/Smart Toe Implant

Quote:
Originally Posted by HelpMe43 View Post
I had hammertoe and bunion surgery three weeks ago today. I had two hammertoes fused with an implant called "smart toe" which is suppose to be better than the pin sticking out. With this implant, there is nothing to remove. However, although recovery is suppose to be faster and pain not as severe, I am not convinced I should have gone this route. I am still in the boot of course and cannot put my foot flat on the floor. I walk sort of on the side and heel of my foot which is difficult. My toes are swollen very badly especially under the bottom, and when I walk, it feels like I am walking on a ball. It is an awful feeling. Has anyone else had these implants and what are your experiences with the swelling and pain? Doc says PT will not help. I am getting scared because doc originally said I would be off work for 6to 8 wks, but I don't see how that's possible considering I can barely walk at 3 weeks. X-rays looked fine he said when I went to doc last week.

When should I see progress? Any suggestions for the toe swelling? I ice my foot and keep it elevated, but my back is starting to really bother me I guess from the way I have to lay down. I just want some relief. Is there anything I can get OTC that may help. Can anyone please shine some light on my situation? Thanks for your help!

 
Old 03-24-2010, 09:32 AM   #9
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Re: Hammer Toe Surgery w/Smart Toe Implant

I had a smart toe implant placed 6 weeks ago. I started walking one week ago without the aid of a roll a bout scooter and or crutches. I need to force myself to get back to normal biomechanics of walking. My sis and brother in law are both PT's and they both told me to back an effort to get to total weight bearing on the ball of my foot. I've developed a habit a walking on the outside of my left foot and hence a slight tendonitis has developed. This is not good. Therefore I am forcing myself to walk with a normal gait. The ball of my foot is still a little swollen. However, the scar in minimal and my other toes are fine. I am pleased with the outcome, yet bored to tears since I am not back to my regular workout routine. Hopefully I will back to my old self by summer. I suffered with foot pain for two years. I finally sucked it up and got the surgery. Hope this helps.

 
Old 03-24-2010, 09:35 AM   #10
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Re: Hammer Toe Surgery w/Smart Toe Implant

I am six weeks out from surgery. I don't have pain, however the ball of my foot is still swollen. I am pleased with the results. I have to force myself to get myself back to normal amulation. My gait is off but I am working on it. I hope that I will back to normal routine or exercising by the summer. My scar is bearly visible and I continue to wear sneakers to work. I just purchased a cute pair of white sneaker like Clarke shoes. They are very comfortable.

 
Old 04-12-2010, 06:04 PM   #11
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Re: Hammer Toe Surgery w/Smart Toe Implant

I had surgery 8wks ago for bunion and hammer toe and the Smart Toe was used. I have seen real progress the past 2 weeks in terms of the swelling and redness and my ability to stand and walk without pain. Having said that,
I have been surprised at how long I have had to ice my foot and elevate my foot at the end of the day, even thought it no longer hurts. The key now has been a good pair of shoes- like Keen or Clark. I got a half a size bigger for now. They are not really my style, but are great for comfort.
I agree that the redness and swelling are alarming, but with patience I am very confident that I will be walking the golf course this summer. I also dream of the day I can wear heels again!

 
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Old 04-13-2010, 11:03 AM   #12
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Re: Hammer Toe Surgery w/Smart Toe Implant

Good luck, I still haven't had my surgery. Would rather have another kid than have another foot surgery. My first one took a long time to have the swelling go down and actually put shoes on my feet. Do let me know how you are coming along. I don't think that I'm going to go the Smart Toe Implant but haven't really discussed that with my doctor. Will keep you up to date.

 
Old 05-12-2010, 06:57 PM   #13
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Re: Hammer Toe Surgery w/Smart Toe Implant

I had hammertoe/foot reconstruction surgery seven weeks ago. I had two toes fused using pins. My doctor still does not want me to put full weight on my foot. I see him in two weeks and hopefully he will let me start to put weight on it. I have been getting around with Roll About, don't know how I would survive without it. I also had metatarsal bones for toes 2, 3, and 4 shortened and each has screws. I am also surprised that after 7 weeks there is still considerable pain if I don't keep it elevated. I can only put it down for about 20 minutes at a time. It is my understanding that after fusion your toes won't bend with or without the Smart Toe implant. I would like to know how some of you are doing now that more time has passed. I also feel like I will never walk normal again. I wasn't walking normal prior to the surgery so any improvement will be good! My doctor says if I do what he says that I will walk pain free. I am thankful that I don't work otherwise I don't know how I would ever be able to stick to his regime. So far I have done what he say....we shall see!!

Good luck to you all!

 
Old 12-09-2010, 11:13 PM   #14
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Re: Hammer Toe Surgery w/Smart Toe Implant

I had this exact surgery on my left foot Sept. 14, so it has been 3 mo. The swelling is normal as is the feeling like your walking on a ball. That went away at about 10-11weeks. All 4 of my toes were hammertoes and in fact one of the bones was coming down pushing against the bottom of my foot. Very painful. I had the K-wire in those toes. Started out in a hard cast, at 6 wks. went to the air cast and then at 9 wks. went to the walking shoe and am still in it. They did my right foot today (same surgery) but were able to use the smart toe instead of the wires and am in the air cast with no weight bearing for 2 weeks, and then we'll go from there. These surgeries were well worth it for me.

 
Old 12-10-2010, 12:51 PM   #15
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Re: Hammer Toe Surgery w/Smart Toe Implant

"I will not be able to bend my toes ever again because the "smart toe" device has fused them together."
Does not affect you in any way not being able not to bend them.

I had 3 toes fused, but no other surgery at the time.
I was in a cast for 2 weeks and then a boot for 4 weeks, regular shoes afterwards.
Never had any real pain to speak of, would hurt once in a while when I bumped the pins into something. Mostly was a non-event for me.

Can anyone explain to me what the "Smart Toe" is?

 
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