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Old 12-22-2012, 01:21 PM   #1
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Smile Big toe fusion failed. Now bone graft offered

Over last two years I have had both big toes fused because of serious arthritis but one has failed. A screw head appeared, sticking out of the joint in a lump! Seems booths screws need to be removed but the joint is unstable and I now need a bone graft and two differently placed screws.
Has anyone else had this done? Is it successful and how long does recovery take? I was 12 weeks in a boot that kept my toe from touching the ground last time and it really made my spine extremely painful with the arthritis. I am dreading this. Can anyone give me any idea of recovery please?

 
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:09 PM   #2
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Re: Big toe fusion failed. Now bone graft offered

Hello. I am facing very similar surgery on Jan 14th, except that I have not yet had a fusion. My joint replacement has also failed, causing a full year of swelling and pain. I was told swelling was normal for the first year, so I wasn't concerned until the year was nearly over. My original surgeon sent me to an orthopedic surgeon. who recommends the fusion with a bone graft from my hip to re-lengthen the toe. I've had my pre-op appt with him and he assures me that in 2-3 weeks my hip will feel better. However, facing at least six weeks non weight bearing, followed by another 6 weeks in a boot.
Also very fearful as this is the 3rd surgery on this toe, but first non weight bearing conditions. I am spending first night in hospital for pain control. Also having a nerve block to stave off initial pain in my foot. This specialist said that 60% of joint replacements fail, and that he will not do them! Are you serious? So, in short, I understand your anxiety and am feeling the same way. Apparently we are not alone in this, but I am glad to see a recent post for the same condition. I have complete faith that this will be the final step in a long and painful 3 years. I hope you get to the same point.
Best of luck.

 
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:40 AM   #3
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Thank you for replying to my post. Good luck for your op. I would like to support you and have your support and advice.

I bought some great crutches called Smartcrutch, that allow you to change the angle of the weight bearing handles. I found these so helpful when trying to hop at the start and later to walk with. Used one for the full time with boot on which was 12 weeks with this foot just for the fusion.

Good luck and I will be thinking of you Monday week.

Last edited by Administrator; 01-04-2013 at 10:31 AM.

 
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Old 01-04-2013, 08:28 PM   #4
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Re: Big toe fusion failed. Now bone graft offered

Thanks for your support and good thoughts. Interesting info on the crutches, I will look into that. Not very crazy about struggling with regular crutches for that period of time.
9 more days of limping (at least on 2 feet!).
Take care, will be following your decisions as well.

 
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:26 PM   #5
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Re: Big toe fusion failed. Now bone graft offered

Hey JillZZ, reporting in 1 week after successful surgery to remove totally free-floating artificial joint (!), bone graft harvested from hip and installed along with a fusion of plate/6 screws in my right big toe. I spent the first night in the hospital, although the short stay unit is not recommended for anyone needing rest. My goodness, loud and light and miserable. However, it kept me on oral pain meds as needed, and with help to/from a commode in my "room". The foot has not given me much pain at all, and for that I am exceedingly grateful. My hip, however, was pretty painful when moving for several days. The surgeon said 2 weeks would take care of the hip pain, but I can report after 7 days, it is noticeably better. Except for trying to hop on the crutches, my hip does not appreciate any bouncing! I'm in good spirits, thankful that the healing weeks are underway and that the pain hasn't been worse. My first followup visit is tomorrow, and I am anxious to see under the bandage. Well, maybe not anxious, curious tho. Hope you have made some decisions on your surgery and that you have some peace with those decisions.
Thinking of you, looking forward to an update. Best Wishes Always.

 
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:32 AM   #6
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Re: Big toe fusion failed. Now bone graft offered

Congratulations on having surgery done. I can appreciate how awful one night in recovery ward can be. I had to "bed and breakfast" as one nurse called it and just couldn't wait to go home the next day BUT they did keep pain under control.
How long do you expect to be non weight bearing? As I ave quite serious arthritis in my hands I am looking into renting a Knee-walker and wonder how long I should expect to have to rent. Should I buy one and then sell it??
If you have not come across them, you kneel on a three wheeled scooter and then walk as normal. Guiding scooter with small handlebars. Not sure my dogs will be happy about this??
Hope your follow up appointment goes well. I am seeing my surgeon on 29th January.
Keep getting better and keep posting please x


Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrcilla View Post
Hey JillZZ, reporting in 1 week after successful surgery to remove totally free-floating artificial joint (!), bone graft harvested from hip and installed along with a fusion of plate/6 screws in my right big toe. I spent the first night in the hospital, although the short stay unit is not recommended for anyone needing rest. My goodness, loud and light and miserable. However, it kept me on oral pain meds as needed, and with help to/from a commode in my "room". The foot has not given me much pain at all, and for that I am exceedingly grateful. My hip, however, was pretty painful when moving for several days. The surgeon said 2 weeks would take care of the hip pain, but I can report after 7 days, it is noticeably better. Except for trying to hop on the crutches, my hip does not appreciate any bouncing! I'm in good spirits, thankful that the healing weeks are underway and that the pain hasn't been worse. My first followup visit is tomorrow, and I am anxious to see under the bandage. Well, maybe not anxious, curious tho. Hope you have made some decisions on your surgery and that you have some peace with those decisions.
Thinking of you, looking forward to an update. Best Wishes Always.

 
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:19 PM   #7
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Re: Big toe fusion failed. Now bone graft offered

Hi! I actually bought a used knee-walker off of Craigslist for $80US. Sadly, our normal sized hallways made it very difficult to navigate. Also, it is very heavy to move around as needed. So, depending on your home, give it some serious thought before investing. I rented on for my 2nd surgery and it was pricey. At my appt yesterday, we got a prescription for a 4-wheeled walker w/seat, you can push that around with your knee on the seat and it is significantly lighter and easier to use. And easier to get thru a standard doorway. Either one leaves your knee sore, the padding tain't much on those things!
I will be totally NWB for the next 5 weeks. Then, if the fusion/graft are looking good, I think I will be able to walk in the boot. That could go on for another 6 wks. Each surgery is different, of course. Just be sure to take a list of questions to your appointment and ask how long NWB in your case. Also, ask about a script for your choice of walker, and then check with your insurance (or the other way around).

The good news is that pain is nearly absent, the wrapping is down to a thin white mesh holding some 4x4 pads on, and I'm wearing a sock over it to hold it in place. I can't stand all the bulk of those initial wraps. My 13 stitches are doing their job and I expect a mere bandage after next week.
Well, I will be thinking of you on the 29th as my stitches are removed, and hope that you get good answers from the surgeon. I hope he is an orthopedic specializing in foot surgery?
Have you searched for "how to cope with NWB recovery" on this site? Interesting and reassuring that lots of people manage this recovery and it provides some nice ideas for killing time. Look it up when you have time.
Take care, thinking of you... Cindy

 
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Old 01-29-2013, 05:24 PM   #8
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Re: Big toe fusion failed. Now bone graft offered

JillZZ..wondering about your appointment today. I had one too. My stitches (#13) were removed and my foot looks pretty darn good after just 2 weeks. Very little swelling..less than I've had for the last year for sure. Now it's just wait it out for my next xray on Feb 28th. God, Feb already. I did overdo this afternoon and took a fall, but sacrificed my arm for my foot's sake! No harm done, but a lesson learned. Let me know how your appt went...thinking of you.

 
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:02 AM   #9
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Re: Big toe fusion failed. Now bone graft offered

Hello again. Glad your stitches are out and foot looks good. Makes me feel that I want mine done NOW! Sorry you took a fall but we do tend to get bit ambitious, don't we?
Had my appointment and surgeon put my mind at rest. They will remove the two screws that have worked loose and slipped throughout the joint. Then put in two more screws in different positions which will weaken the joint even more, so they will do a bone graft. Putting plate of donor bone under the joint. Using donor bone because my bones may crumble as I have osteoporosis.
Have to be NWB for 6-12 weeks but that means wearing a wedge boot all the time. Not as bad as I thought. Had that two years ago for 12 wks with right foot and 6 wks with left foot. So have lots of coping experience there. Trouble is with right foot it means I can't drive for up to 12 wks. Yuk!!
Hope to have surgery within 6 wks. My daughter had 2nd hip replacement last Friday and us recovering well. She is 40 and was born with hip dysplasia. Lots of bruising but ceramic joints allow her to play golf when recovered.
Your X-ray end of Feb makes me think that the year is already flying by.
Take care, no more falls! Keep in touch. Thinking of you ...x

 
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Old 02-03-2013, 07:11 PM   #10
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Re: Big toe fusion failed. Now bone graft offered

Jillzz! Boy you have a full plate..and I don't mean the donor kind! Best wishes to your daughter. I hope she recovers in time for a great golf season. As for you, my dear friend, it sounds like you are a little more confident about your pending surgery. I don't know if I could repeat this NWB business. I understand the driving issue as mine is the right foot too. We should be able to go 3 months without driving, but it sure cramps my social life! I've had steady company so far, and that is so welcome! What is your family situation? Daughter live close? Husband? Hoping there is someone willing and ready to help you out. We have no kids, but my husband helps, and I've hired a lady M-Thurs in the am to "do" house stuff. Luckily I'm retired, so no job is suffering.
Well, do take care and let me know when you get a surgery date. Then you can get all the preliminary stuff done and feel more in control. Blessings to you, you are in my prayers. Cindy

 
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Old 02-04-2013, 01:35 PM   #11
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Re: Big toe fusion failed. Now bone graft offered

Hello friend, had letter today giving me another appointment to speak with consultant, this Friday ?? Thought we had sorted it last week?? Now worrying what has cropped up. Roll on Friday.
Lisa has been having times when's she's really really pale and feels unwell, so her husband,Dave, took her to doctor this morning to have 30clips out from her wound and have blood tests. Seems she's anaemic after two major ops in seven months.
I am retired too and celebrated my 70th birthday last week. Am widowed, my husband died 25years ago so I am used to being and living alone with my two small dogs until this sort of thing happens. Lisa 40(only daughter) and Dave50, live 2-3 miles away, so see them fairly often but they have their lives to live. They are golfers and live on the golf courses round UK and Europe whilst I look after their three cats. They do not have children and definitely don't want their golf lifestyle cramped by kids!!
I have a friend next door who is a huge help to me and other friends who seemed to help the first couple of times but I fancy their patience is wearing thin??
Do take care and I will let you know what transpires on Friday. Best wishes Sally

 
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Old 02-14-2013, 03:55 AM   #12
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Hello how are you getting on now? Are you bored out of your mind yet. ?
The appointment last Friday was a complete waste of time. Repeat of the week before appointment. He hadn't written up the notes so another consultant picked it up and sent me appointment ! What a waste of time, money and frustration.
So it seems I will have my toe opened up and the two screws removed, then they will decide if to replace the screws and do bone graft or just stitch up and wait and see. I am in favour of the last option. Worryingly they take bone from my heel (?) or tibia. I cannot believe they would even consider taking it from heel when I need to have Heel-walking boot for 12 weeks. That doesn't make any sense at all but they say they know best. Think I may ask for 2nd opinion.
My daughter is picking up slowly but is very anaemic and pale still. In spite of lots of green veg and red meat and iron tablets. Doctor says its because she has had two major operations in 7 months. Will need more time off work this time to recover fully.
My thoughts are with you. Best wishes Sally

 
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:49 PM   #13
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Re: Big toe fusion failed. Now bone graft offered

Hi Sally, Been thinking I should get back in here and reply to you. I'm still getting pretty regular visits from friends, and my helper in the a.m. helps the days go by. My next appt for xray and hopefully permission to bear weight has been moved up untill Tues Feb 26th. That'll be six weeks after surgery. Getting some swelling lately, but I think it's from not elevating all the time. So, I'm trying to do better. How are your plans coming? Is your daughter doing any better? Do you have a surgery date yet, or get that second opinion? The heel or tibia donor is scary, but I was very afraid of the hip donor site too, and it turned out to be manageable. You asked if I was going crazy, answer: YES! We, too, have 2 small terriers and 3 cats, and my husband is getting pretty tired of being their #1 caregiver. Our Lucy dog now has a UTI, so we're now giving her pills too. I had to take antibiotics for 2 weeks after my last appt, as a culture showed a possible staph infection. Doctor wasn't sure, it was precautionary treatment. Yesterday I came down with a head cold, maybe I've seen one too many people! Everybody around here is sick with something. Well, do keep in touch. Just killing time around here for now. I hope you make some progress in dealing with the doctors soon. Take care of yourself & warmest thoughts with Lisa as she recovers. Cindy

 
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Old 03-08-2013, 05:52 PM   #14
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Re: Big toe fusion failed. Now bone graft offered

Hey Sally, what's going on? Been hoping to have an update from you. Two weeks later, just getting better from the headcold from hell! Went to the surgeon during that time and am walking with the boot until Mar 26th. Can't come soon enough. Getting achy from all the crooked walking. Can't say which foot hurts worse now, my left toes are tired of bearing all the weight. Well, shoot me an update when you can, hope all is going well. Thinking of you! Cindy

 
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Old 03-09-2013, 03:00 AM   #15
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Re: Big toe fusion failed. Now bone graft offered

Quote:
Originally Posted by Purrcilla View Post
Hey Sally, what's going on? Been hoping to have an update from you. Two weeks later, just getting better from the headcold from hell! Went to the surgeon during that time and am walking with the boot until Mar 26th. Can't come soon enough. Getting achy from all the crooked walking. Can't say which foot hurts worse now, my left toes are tired of bearing all the weight. Well, shoot me an update when you can, hope all is going well. Thinking of you! Cindy
Sorry Cindy, I did reply so don't know what happened there!! I haven't heard anything so will ring them next week and ask for update. Unfortunately our NHS run themselves without any thought to patients comfort!
My foot is increasingly sore where the loose screw sticks out so I will be very happy to get it sorted.
You will be SO happy to get out of boot. Makes lower back really play up, doesn't it? Takes ages to recover your posture afterwards, doesn't it?
Lisa is now 6 weeks post-op and sees her consultant Tuesday and hopes to do couple of hours work a day from middle of next week. She works from home, so can wander into her office, do a bit, then rest. Ideal, has worked from home for three years as many firms here find it cheaper and better to pay for employees to have Internet/phones and desks installed at home. Her office is 60 miles away and she and couple of others go up once every two weeks.
Sorry about lost reply...I'm not a rude person normally ����
Love Sally

 
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