Hi everyone, I am new to these boards and need some help.
I have large bunions on both of my feet which personally don't really cause me alot of problems, however, it makes it so hard to find any cute shoes to wear so I do want them off. My biggest problem is the fact that I have osteoarthritis in the top of my foot (midfoot) and makes walking very difficult and if I walk very far the pain becomes excruiating. I went to my podiatrist and he wants to do a lapidus bunionectomy and a fusion of the metatarsal cuneiform joints. I know I will have to have this done on both feet eventually but can anyone out there tell me what to expect? Should I have this procedure done? I heard that once you start fusing the joints that it puts more pressure on the adjacent joints and eventually you will have to have those joints fused also. I'm very nervous about this and wondered how painful is this really going to be? Will I be sorry if I do it?
Hi! Welcome to the boards! Unfortunately, I haven't had to go through the procedures you've mentioned, but I know there are several people on here who have had bunionectomies and fusions (not sure if together or at the same time like is being proposed to you) and hopefully they will share ther experiences. I will say I agree with TITCHOU to be sure the surgery is done by a board certified foot/ankle ortho surgeon! Good luck!
Thank you! I thought going to a podiatrist since they deal only with feet would have been 1st choice. I will definitely look into seeing an ortho now and seek their advice.
I really would appreciate any of you that have had these procedures done to let me know how well you got along and how long were you off work? I have a desk job (which will be most helpful) and would be able to keep my foot up while I do my work. How soon do you think I could go back to work?
I had the lapidus/fusion, along with a host of other procedures (calcaneal osteotomy, lateral column lengthening with a bone graft, gastroc recessession, and a couple of other procedures) which makes it hard for me to separate the pain/healing of the lapidus from everything else. But my experience is that the recovery is long and slow (I'm 6 weeks post-op) - personally, I would have surgery only for pain (which it sounds like you're experiencing), and not for ease of fitting into nicer shoes, but others may feel differently. I went back to work at the 4 week mark, with difficulty. If you search 'lapidus' on these boards, i think you'll come up with some posts from people who just had the lapidus/fusion, and that may help give you a better sense of the recovery....
I had my big toe joint fused three years ago, so it's close but not the same thing. I was also being seen by a podiatrist who was the one to suggest surgery. He would have done a procedure that would have retained and improved the range of motion in the joint. I saw my GP who referred me to the ortho. The ortho suggested a fusion or a cheilectomy, and said he felt the fusion was the best thing for me. Well, that freaked me out. He suggested that I do some homework and come back to see him. To get to my point, the procedure that the podiatrist was suggesting does not have good results over all, and for my foot, fusion was the gold standard. I suggest what others have suggested, go get anoter opinion from an ortho. If you decide to go with the recommendations of the podiatrist, at least you have done it with a more informed opinion.
Good luck. My foot surgery gave me my life back. In fact, last year I walked in a two day, 60 kilometre walk for cancer.....I never could have done that pre-surgery.
Life is too short to wear tight shoes. ~ May you have happy feet in 2013.
Thanks for this information. I definitely will go see an ortho and get his advice. I have to do something because I have no flexibility in the top of my feet and as I said in my previous post, the top of my foot gets so painful I can hardly stand it.
I guess I should tell you why all of us are recommending foot/ankle (not general) orthos as opposed to podiatrists. I have zero against podiatrists to clear that up first. I've even been a patient of one...twice. However, it was for my plantar fasciitis and injections and orthotics and that was it. Or those things, he was excellent. When it comes to major reconstructive surgery of my feet, I would like a medical doctor to do this please. Podiatrists aren't medical doctors. They don't go to med school and then do a subspecialty in podiatry. They go to podiatry school. Orthos are medical doctors who go to med school and then do an intern year and 5 years of general surgery before they specialize. Then they do an ortho fellowship and then those that are foot/ankle board certified do an additional fellowship in foot/ankle surgery. By the time they see their first patient their first year as an attending (on their own completely), they've been operating on all parts of the body for nearly 7 years. Whatever emergency comes up during surgery (and believe me-as a SICU RN, they see plenty), they can deal with it expertly. That's not to say podiatrists can't deal with emergencies, they can or they wouldn't be allowed to operate; however, they do not have the extensive overall body experience that orthos do and typically think in a "feet only" mindset vs "how does this fix the thr issue but fit in with the overall body" mindset. Does this make sense? I loved my podiatrist and should my plantar fasciitis (God forbid) ever come back, I will make an appt with him immediately. When it has come to my 2 reconstructive ankle surgeries (and any future ones-again God forbid), I will only let my foot/ankle ortho near me! Oh and the general ortho-I made that mistake in the beginning with my first ankle surgery. Don't do that either. I have a long story on that one too!
I personally had fusion surgery but not the same one you're looking at. It is a long and slow recovery. Right now I am having a set back due to an incident in physical therapy that resulted in one of my fusions being broken but up until that point everything was rather routine. I had surgery April 20th of this year. Mine included subtalar and talonavicular fusions with achilles lengthening.
Pain was rough the first few days. I had to spend two nights in the hospital at doctors orders. After going home I was on percoset and it did a pretty decent job at managing my pain. You have to be prepared to rely on others a bit to help you with some simple things. (Ex..I couldn't do my own laundry because my basement steps are dangerously narrow and I didn't trust going down on crutches) It is easy to get down on yourself but just have to keep your head high.
In regards to podiatrist, my doctor is a foot and ankle specialist. He is a certified podiatrist but also certified in foot and ankle reconstruction surgeries. He had excellent credentials and I have known many people to refer him. He is very thorough and explains everything in great lengths to better help his patients understand. I hope I have helped you some. Take care!!
Last edited by moderator2; 09-20-2012 at 06:35 AM.