Any one out there have any thoughts on whether fusion is the way to go after still having problems after a bunionectomy in April 2008? Saw ortho guy last night, said he could remove my fibial sesmoid (which he said doesn' always work) or fuse the bone. Did my podiatrist screw up? The ortho guy said he didn't think he did. (But the pod referred me to the ortho guy). I am going to seek another opinion from a pod here in my town. The pain is driving me nuts, please help!
see what the other dr says. i think after your 2nd or 3rd opinion you might have an answer. if it is the saizmoid bone-then go for it. if they all dont think it will work you have no other choice but fusion. keep posting.
I too had a cheilectomy 2 yrs ago but always had pain even after surgery. Was told by three docs to fuse since there was no cartiledge left. I should have never even have had the cheilectomy as i feel like i wasted 2 yrs hoping the pain would go away. I too started out with a pod and since have turned to an ortho surgeon who specializes in feet and ankles. He has been great and i have all the confidence in him. I am 12 post op and have confidence this is the answer even tho i still have alot of discomfort and pain trying to walk, but everyone says once the fusion heals since there's no more joint there's no more pain. Can't wait for that day. Be careful about doing anything with the sesmoids as i hear that doesn't always help and might only hurt your cause. If a doc sees no more cartilege, in my opinion there is nothing else to do except fuse.
Good luck, and get a couple opinions before committing.
Debbie, didn't you have a fusion? I see a podiatrist for another opinion on Wednesday. I am so frustrated. I am in a lot of pain. I hate the thought of more surgery and the disruption it causes to your life, but I can not continue living like this, it is not what I call living. I am alone, so that makes it even more worse. Very scared of ending up in a nursing home.
Debbie, what about activities - can you walk without pain, run? Do elliptical. I hurt so bad I can bearly walk and standing for any period of time is a killer as well. I am only 48. Shoes don't really matter. In fact it was those stupid high pointly pump shoes (as well as heredity) that got me into this mess. I just want to be pain free. How long was recovery for the fusion? I live alone and I will need help.
i can do everything. you are right about the pointy shoes. that what did me in, also. i ski, play tennis and work out all the time. each fusion is different. i was in a nwb cast for 12 weeks and then a walking boot for 4 weeks. i went into a wide gym shoe and started on the bike and eventually the treadmill. swelling takes aLONG time to go down.
I had the same recovery time as you with the 12 weeks nwb and am into the 2nd week wb with a boot. Just for kicks, today i thought i'd try to put my foot into my new brooks ariel that i've been wearing on my good foot for a couple weeks. Well, talk about a weird feeling having absolutely no give in my fused foot to squeeze it into a shoe. It took me no time to slip the walking boot back on and say forget it. Exactly what kind of shoe did you wear once you were out of the walking boot? On my next appointment with the doc, i really don't want to walk out of his office in this *&$^% walking boot, i want to be in a flip flop/shoe of some sort.
i hope you can walk out in a flip flop. the very 1st pair of shoes i put on after 16 weeks was a boys gym shoe. i went to target and paid $19. i did that because i am a size 6 and boys gym shoes are made very wide. after a couple of weeks, i bought wide new balance gym shoes. i then went to an ortho foot store and bought several pairs of ugly wide shoes. after that i went to nordstroms and bought some cute wide shoes. i gave away sooo many pairs of shoes and just kept hoping i would fit into some of my old ones. i am glad i kept them because now i do fit into most of them. its been 2 and a half years and this fused to still sucks to have!
Yea, i'm already having anxiety wondering what i'm going to put on my feet when my 4 weeks is up in the walking boot. My daughter graduates from college on June 12 and i'm getting quite nervous about my foot attire. I'm not sure why i'm posting this, maybe to get fashion advice from debbi g, the old pro, after 2 yrs with the stiff toe!
Debbie - did you say you needed the fusion because of a botched bunion surgery? I am just wondering if that is what happened in my case. Went to another pod in town and he is looking into things. He had x-rays taken that showed more of what is going on with the sesmoid bones themselves. He has all the x-rays and is going to study the progression of the arthritis. I really thing the pod who did the surgery screwed up. What do you do in that case?
hi you guys, what to wear after the boot for graduation will be a tough one. i would get wide sparkle gym shoes or if you can wear flip flops, buy a beautiful pair. chub, there is nothing you can do if the bunion surgery went wrong. sometimes i think maybe i didnt let it heal enough. you cant prove anything and you have to go with the flow. i still think you need to go to an ortho and not a pod.
Debbie, it looks like a fusion is in my future. Any thing you can tell me about it. I am scared, but in pain walking or standing. My quality of life is just about zero! I don't work out any more (maybe stationary bike once in while) and very depressed. Thanks for your help!
I sure wish I had found this earlier. I am 9 weeks post op for a toe fusion and I think I am doing well but am thankful to have found it now. My surgeon does not encourage the removal of the sesamoid unless there is a fracture but did reshape the sesamoid in my case as it was causing some of my pain.
Chubstercat - I was in the same place as you. Unable to do anything for two and half years. Couldn't work out at all and walking was so painful I avoided almost all activities. Very depressing. I had bilateral bunionectomies in 2006 and that is when the trouble began. I can tell you after seeing three surgeons a year of Physiotherapy, every orthotic, shoe and brace available and even accupuncture I decided to go with the fusion. Since I have Rheumatoid Arthritis and rely on injections to keep me mobile I had to exhaust all of these options as having to be off my meds for 3 weeks before and 3 weeks after the surgery is a problem of it's own, but I could not take the quality of life any more. I am pleased to say that I think, as Debbie says it is a good option, but will take a long time to heal. I would do it again just for the relief I have seen so far.
MySoreFeet- I recently had to fly to Chicago to my brother's wedding and know how you felt. I came to the conclusion that there was nothing else I could do but wear the #?%* boot as the swelling still prevented me from getting into a sandal or flip flop. I tried to just find something really nice to wear to make me feel better. No one except US customs really cared and it was quite an experience being checked closely between the meds I was carrying and the scanning of the boot. Sure glad they do the job they do though as you never know. I think I will be in this boot another 6 weeks unless the swelling goes down, but keep trying different shoes in the hopes!
Debbie - thank you so much for sharing your experiences. You are truly the most experienced in this area. I know now what to expect and won't be disappointed, however, I am so encouraged to hear you have been able to resume all of the activities I did before. I was told by my surgeon that this surgery is successful in most cases, but that it takes a long time to completely heal. Once again thank you for sharing.
grec1, I think my pod messed up the bunion surgery. I am going for a flouro-x-ray with injection on Thursday by a foot and ankle ortho. He says he has not had good luck with removing the sesmoids. I am so depressed. Feel like my life is ruined. In fact, I walked out of the orthos office on the first visit crying. Please let me know how this fusion is going, because I may have to do it. I can't take living in this pain much longer.
Last edited by Chubstercat; 05-18-2009 at 08:25 AM.
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Chubstercat, If a fluoro-x-ray with injection is the same as an image guided steroid injection here in Canada, I had three of those as well with no success. I had completely forgotten about that treatment until you mentioned it. It my case it gave me 24 hours relief at best. You are right, surgeons do not like to remove the sesamoid because it serves such an important purpose housing a tendon and removal leaves the tendon very vulnerable. With being unable to do many weight bearing exercises because of the RA is bad enough, but then not being able to simply walk and basically having to sit most of the time is so depressing and I can understand completely how you feel. In the last year I developed Spinal Stenosis as the result of a car accident some time ago do I am really counting on this surgery to get me up and moving again. So far, I am being truthful with you when I say that 4 days after surgery I was completely off all pain meds and have not had to take one since. I really feel that this has already been successful and will continue to take all the time necessary to heal properly. Being patient is not always my best quality, but this time it is very easy. Try and keep positive (I know how hard that is) and stick with the ortho surgeon's recommendations. I figure if having a odd looking toe is all I have to complain about once I am healed I can live with that.
Yes, that is what it is. I have had cortisone in the past with no success. I guess they can also tell more about what is going on from this as well. I never heard of it until now. Let me tell you, this pain is making me miserable, keeping me from enjoying life and desparate for a resolution. How long are you NWB? If you are working, how long are you going to be off of work? I live alone and all of this is even scarier. Thank you so much for responding and I wish you a quick healing and being able to enjoy life without pain!
Last edited by Chubstercat; 05-18-2009 at 10:38 AM.
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I see you are still wondering about a fusion if that's the right thing for you. I understand your anxiety, i went thru it as i'm sure most of these posters did. I'll tell you, if you find the right doctor, and you'll know it when it happens, then it'll make making the decision alot easier. I fooled around with a pod for too long with no progress, decided to go to the foot pro, an ortho surgeon specializing in feet and ankles. I trusted he was telling me the right thing which was a big toe fusion. I am now 16 weeks post op and will be removing the walking boot this thurs and dealing with shoes. I won't say it's been easy because it's been a loooong 16 weeks, 11 weeks nwb then 4 weeks walking boot. I've had many many aches and pains since weight bearing, meaning very sore knee, back hip and now my ankle is the problem. Doc said this would happen as i didn't weight bear for so long and now i'm stuggling with trying to walk correctly without bending my toe, very weird feeling. I think i will do pt starting after this appt with the doc.
My advice to you is to find the right doc and just do it! I was like you, i'm very active with working out, biking, walking dogs, doing fun stuff with kids, but it was all very miserable for a long time with pain. I'm very optimistic things will be back to normal and i will be pain free for the first time in many years, literally!
Good luck with your decision and keep posting, i think it helps keep you sane.
Yes they did need bone from my hip, which really did make my toe look normal again. Since the podiatrist did his number 2 years ago on my toe, he had shortened it which reallyl played hell on my second toe. So the ortho surgeon said if he used a hip graft he could length the toe back to normal length and would help take some of the pressure off the second toe. If you have that done, don't be afraid, it was no big deal. My doc had used a gel pack after surgery on the incision on my hip, so i really had no pain or discomfort at all during the healing. I have screws and a plate holding everything in place. I can probably have all the hardware removed in a year he said. We'll wait and see on that. Doc really never said anything about shoe gear, i've gotten most of my info about that from these boards. I'm still in the boot till the end of the week and am getting a little anxiety about what i'm going to do about that. I'm wearing a Woolrich fleece slipper right now and am walking slowly, but at least walking. I'm having some pretty substantial ankle pain for that last couple weeks, but was told to expect knee, hip, back and ankle pain during this recovery. I've been working out on the bike, elliptical and lifting some weight for the past month and it's not been to bad. If i get uncomfortable i ice, then it feels alot better. My goal is to jog again, but i'll give it quite abit more time for that. Just walking without pain will be the nicest thing of all. Most of all my activity has been just in the past month after 11 weeks nwb. If you have a hip graft the doc said it'd be 12 nwb, normally w/o graft it's about 8 weeks nwb. I played it by the book, i wanted this to heal like no other. I was not interested in risking screwing up the fusion and it seems to have paid off so far. At 11 weeks the doc said it looked healed to him so that's when i started the wb.
Keep us posted on your progress.
Good Luck, believe me, it's a long road, but hopefully a road to NO MORE PAIN!