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  • Metatarsal fusion revision surgery - yes or no?

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    Old 07-03-2015, 10:17 PM   #1
    laursa
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    Metatarsal fusion revision surgery - yes or no?

    Hi everyone

    I was diagnosed with a hyperflexible big toe via a weight bearing scan. Two years ago now, my surgeon fused the first and second metatarsals and removed a mild bunion in the hopes that this would sort out pain and swelling in that area. Swelling around the hardware (specifically the plate) lasted a while but has calmed down now. However, my big toe is completely stiff. My surgeon was surprised as he didn't expect so much scar tissue to form (I was 27 when I had the surgery and very active). This doesn't cause pain so much as discomfort on a regular basis and I've had to completely change what activities I do now (no running or long hikes without causing swelling and a stiff feeling). My second toe is also now significantly longer than the first (it wasn't before). This doesn't cause pain either but again discomfort when it takes the load for the big toe and it sometimes sets me off balance eg in yoga. I'm not sure if this is due to the length or simply that the big toe isn't taking weight anymore because it's so inflexible.

    My surgeon recommended surgery to: shorten the second toe, remove the hardware, remove the scar tissue, AND loosen the fusion (if that's the correct term).

    Due to the intense recovery period last time and general concerns about surgery risks including that I'll end up either worse off or with the same stiffness, I'm not sure whether this is a good idea. I feel I can "manage" with my foot, but it's certainly not in the best condition to return to the activities I want to do, and I'm only 29.

    It's scheduled for the week after next but I'm not sure whether I should go ahead. Neither my GP nor my surgeon seems overly confident, I think there's no real answer but I'd love to know your opinions on whether this second surgery might end up better or worse.

     
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    Old 07-03-2015, 10:32 PM   #2
    WonderCat
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    Re: Metatarsal fusion revision surgery - yes or no?

    I've had 4 different foot surgeries, 3 on one and 1 on the other. I have a lot of arthritis now and regret having had that much work done, although it was all medically necessary. My right bunion should probably be re-done, but I'll never do that again. If you aren't in significant pain, I'd go to a physical therapist who can break up the scar tissue for you. Even if it's been awhile, they can still break it up... it'll just take more time. It's not worth it to have foot surgery if you don't have to.

     
    Old 07-04-2015, 05:56 AM   #3
    Titchou
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    Re: Metatarsal fusion revision surgery - yes or no?

    I'm a little confused. The point of fusion is to cause the joint to not bend. Why did y'all think that would not be the case? Or am I missing something? I just had my big toe fused and I know it doesn't - and isn't supposed to bend any more. That was the whole point of the surgery. So I am confused by your statement. Also, I am told that it cannot be un-done. The joint won't work right as it's been "damaged" so to speak to make it fuse. And it's been fused at an angle so that I can hike, jog, etc. Perhaps I'm just not understanding what you had done.

     
    Old 07-04-2015, 02:19 PM   #4
    left foot
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    Re: Metatarsal fusion revision surgery - yes or no?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by laursa View Post
    Hi everyone

    I was diagnosed with a hyperflexible big toe via a weight bearing scan. Two years ago now, my surgeon fused the first and second metatarsals and removed a mild bunion in the hopes that this would sort out pain and swelling in that area. Swelling around the hardware (specifically the plate) lasted a while but has calmed down now. However, my big toe is completely stiff. My surgeon was surprised as he didn't expect so much scar tissue to form (I was 27 when I had the surgery and very active). This doesn't cause pain so much as discomfort on a regular basis and I've had to completely change what activities I do now (no running or long hikes without causing swelling and a stiff feeling). My second toe is also now significantly longer than the first (it wasn't before). This doesn't cause pain either but again discomfort when it takes the load for the big toe and it sometimes sets me off balance eg in yoga. I'm not sure if this is due to the length or simply that the big toe isn't taking weight anymore because it's so inflexible.

    My surgeon recommended surgery to: shorten the second toe, remove the hardware, remove the scar tissue, AND loosen the fusion (if that's the correct term).

    Due to the intense recovery period last time and general concerns about surgery risks including that I'll end up either worse off or with the same stiffness, I'm not sure whether this is a good idea. I feel I can "manage" with my foot, but it's certainly not in the best condition to return to the activities I want to do, and I'm only 29.

    It's scheduled for the week after next but I'm not sure whether I should go ahead. Neither my GP nor my surgeon seems overly confident, I think there's no real answer but I'd love to know your opinions on whether this second surgery might end up better or worse.
    You mentioned that your surgeon doesn't seem overly confident. Is he not overly confident that it will fix the problem? I'd be really hesitant is he's not even sure it will really help.
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    Last edited by left foot; 07-04-2015 at 02:21 PM.

     
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