I've been reading a lot of threads with people that have had big toe fusions. As far as I can see they are always for the lower joint of the toe (the one closer to the ball of the foot).
I am preparing to have the other joint in the big toe fused. It is the joint closest to the tip of the toe. I am interested to know if anyone has had this joint fused and what was your experience.
What my doctor has told me to expect from this surgery with regards to recovery is a whole lot better than what other people have been reporting for fusions of the other joint. He said that I can walk in a boot right after the surgery. He said the pain that can be controlled with just tylenol. And finally he said the pins will be removed in 3 weeks.
I guess I will keep a log of my progress for anyone's future reference.
24 hours post surgery: I have two pins bridging the joint that is being fused. Sensation has returned in the toe and it is tingling but there is really no pain. As stated I am not using any prescription pain meds. I could put weight on the foot but for now I'm choosing not to.
1 week post surgery: The first week after having the surgery has gone fairly well. At first I didn't feel comfortable walking so I stayed in bed for most of three days only getting up occasionally with assistance.
The toe was buzzing and felt tight during this period. There were a few instances of moderately intense pain for which I took pain medication once, otherwise I stick only to tylenol and advil which I use twice a day.
A few days after the surgery the doctor applied topical medication to the incision wound and rebandaged the toe. Since then it has felt very good most of the time. I have been standing and walking a lot and I am bearing full weight at the encouragement of the doctor.
3 weeks post surgery: There is no pain in the toe anymore. The only exception is when I flex the toe. One mildly concerning thing is that the toe becomes numb when I sleep. It feels similar to the feeling you get when you cut off circulation to a part of your body. Hopefully this will stop soon.
The doctor removed the stitches and all the dead skin covering the toe. This made it look more like a normal toe again.
X-rays were taken and it was decided that the pins will stay in for a few more weeks.