I have gout and have had flare up attacks in the pass,as a result of that I ended up with damaged cartilige and everyday painful foot . I have been to four spcialist for my foot and the last resort is recommended to have a toe fusion.
I am very nervous about the come.
What do recommend and could explain the procedure?
So there's not enough left for a cheilectomy? That would be my first choice if possible as it leaves you with movement in the toe. If not, fusion is just that - they fuse the joint - sometimes with a plate or other hardware...just depends on the damage, It's fused at an angle so that walking is somewhat normal and low heels can be worn. Since the joint no longer moves, there should be no pain. You are normally NWB for several weeks after a fusion. There are lots of threads on here about fusions that you can read for background.
My doctor gave me the choice of a cheilectomy and a fusion. He suggested that cheilectomy might not work well, and that if it did, it would likely only last for a year or so. He recommended a fusion as my best option. I was very freaked by this, since I thought there would be a choice in the middle. He let me go away and come back a couple of weeks later with my decision. I did some research inbetween the two appointments and realized that I was headed for a fusion anyway and had my toe fused on October 28th.
Four months have passed and I am very happy with the results. I feel like I have more mobility now. The doctor fused the joint at 20 degrees and used a plate and screws system. I was able to heel weight bear immediately, depending on the pain. I walked on my heel for six weeks and was given permission to walk normally after my six week follow-up. I was prescribed Tramacet and only took that for the first few days. I found that if I kept my foot elevated I was fine. I bought a little folding stool that I took with me wherever I went so I could put my foot up. I had a bit of an infection right after I had the stitches removed and that cleared up with antibiotics. My six week x-ray showed no sign of boney fusion, so I had another x-ray in January. That suggested there might be a bone infection, so I had a bone scan. The bone scan suggested that the foot was healing, and that in the absence of clinical signs of redness etc, it was not likely infection. My last x-ray in February showed it was healing and fusing. The threat of a bone infection was my biggest stress in this process.
Now I am walking for exercise and it is WONDERFUL to walk without causing more pain. It has been a long time since I could say that. I am going to ask my doctor about getting another x-ray at the end of April, for the six month mark to see how it is doing.
I found that the fear of the surgery was far worse than the actually surgery and healing process. I also wonder why I didn't do this sooner. My life would have been so much better.
Life is too short to wear tight shoes. ~ May you have happy feet in 2012.