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    Old 03-19-2008, 11:37 AM   #1
    lcweiden3132
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    Bunion surgery - excessive scar tissue/adhesions

    Hopefully someone here can help me gain some insight. I am now 7 weeks post bunionectomy. As I discussed with my doctor, I tend to create excessive adhesions internally and keloids externally after a surgery....my hysterectomy scar took 3 years to finally break down and soften. If anyone has had a similar issue can you please respond? What did you do to reduce the buildup? I have done everything my doctor has asked of me....flexing the foot, pulling the toe back, even stepping on tiptoes, massage, chiropractic help, taping the toe down so as to "stretch" the skin/muscles/scar, splints with spring loaded pads to hold the toe down/up. I don't know what else to do. My toe is not budging. I *was* extremely active prior to this surgery. My doctor says "It has only been 7 weeks", but I see it as seven weeks of no shoes because I can't bend the foot to get into a shoe, no walking as I can't wear regular shoes (sneakers) and it increases the pain of the scar on the joint. This is a long time to be inactive. I feel like I am losing my mind and my hope of ever returning to my regular activities. My other toe needs surgery as well, but now I am very afraid to do that. Help please.......

     
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    Old 03-19-2008, 11:52 AM   #2
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    Re: Bunion surgery - excessive scar tissue/adhesions

    I don't know if this is the same thing or not, but I had breast implants two years ago and after about a year I went back to my plastic surgeon because one of the scars was raised and irritated (my incisions are underneath my breasts). He gave me cortisone shots - I had two. That seemed to flatten the scar but that was about five or six months ago and it has started puffing back up and is very uncomfortable after wearing a bra all day. He had told me that if the cortisone didn't work, he would go back in and correct it. I guess once my foot gets better and I can walk I will go back and have him check it again.

     
    Old 03-19-2008, 12:27 PM   #3
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    Re: Bunion surgery - excessive scar tissue/adhesions

    My feet are incredibly screwed up after two rounds of ops plus I have RSD...even after the first op I lost a lot of ROM. Nobody could ever explain why until my current ortho..he explained the adhesion thing. We tried therapy to break them up but at some point the pain of trying to 'tear' them apart is more than you can take...he said if we can get my RSD to the point I can have another foot op he can release the adhesion when I am knocked out...by cutting or tearing. I asked what's to keep them from coming right back during the subsequent healing? He said they can but didnt know the odds.

     
    Old 03-19-2008, 12:44 PM   #4
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    Re: Bunion surgery - excessive scar tissue/adhesions

    i wound up with more scar tisssue on my 2nd toe just from hammertoe surgery. i followed everything the dr told me and my toe will not bend on its own. that was over 3 years ago. my new dr cleaned out all the scar tissue and it looks like a new toe. BUT it still will not bend even with more pt. i guess the damage was done. since you take a long time to heal, maybe this is to be expected. i really dont know. maybe a 2nd opinion will help.

     
    Old 03-19-2008, 04:02 PM   #5
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    Re: Bunion surgery - excessive scar tissue/adhesions

    Everything I have read about scar tissue, adhesions, and particularly keloids, is that if you go in and break it up, or tear it, or anything else, it just builds back again. This is my fear....it just continues to build up over and over again. I also found that the more I worked at my toe trying to get it to bend the more irritated it became, swelling more and becoming even more stiff. I feel like I just need to leave it alone but yet, I am afraid if I don't do anything then I lose any motion that's left. Leaving it to become completely stiff. Not a good prospect for someone who is used to walking 5 miles every other day. I'm so frustrated and disappointed. I did what I thought was the right thing and ended up with more problems than what I started with. And to add insult to injury, I still have to do the other foot but now I am afraid.

     
    Old 03-19-2008, 04:06 PM   #6
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    Re: Bunion surgery - excessive scar tissue/adhesions

    I understand...I went from running 50 miles a week to 4 years later not being able to walk at all without loads of pain.

    Surgery should be banned unless it is life threatening IMHO. Far too many people have their lives ruined. And when you say this inevitably someone says it worked for them and of course people listen to them...if you say anything bad you are accused of being negative and not supportive....we all want to believe things will turn out good but often they dont and to ignore that like ti will somehow change that fact is irresponsible. I trusted people and doctors opinions and ignored the bad ones because I thought they were just negative or whiney...they were right and I was wrong...I am in my mid 30s and now I will pay forever...I have lost everything and am barely making it from day to day.

    My advice is to stop now unless you are 99% sure (since 100 is impossible) it is a good idea.
    Remember...you do not HAVE to do the other foot. If you are not happy with this one it would be insane to do it again...trust me I was stupid and had them both even after the first was iffy...I trusted the doc who said it would improve over time...it got worse.

    Last edited by cooper99; 03-19-2008 at 04:13 PM.

     
    Old 03-19-2008, 05:46 PM   #7
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    Re: Bunion surgery - excessive scar tissue/adhesions

    Cooper, what complications, specifically, did you have, with such an adverse postop experience? Thanks. Did you seek 2nd opinions about corrective surgery?

     
    Old 03-19-2008, 05:53 PM   #8
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    Re: Bunion surgery - excessive scar tissue/adhesions

    wm dont want to hijack lc's thread so i will try to be as brief as possible...basically my osteotomies were positioned wrong...I had nerves and muscles cut and damaged..and lost most ROM due to scarring and bad angles. I developed neuromas and more damage because of shearing in the new crooked feet. Tons of therapy and money and I was still worse than before. I sought loads of opinions on the repair attempt a few years later and was assured it could be improved at least some. During that op the new doc did both feet at once and changed the procedure mid stream (he said he decided a different approach would be better) and it really messed me up worse. I tried to sue but the cap laws and doc's insurance company won before it got started. I then developed RSD and that complicated things ten fold...it is incurable too.

    If I had never let a doc cut me I would have a life now...maybe I wouldn't be running marathons but I would be able to stand and walk and enjoy at least something. Now it is 24/7 of horrid pain and only pills even let me sit all day. I have spent everything on physical and mental therapies and treatments and for nothing.

    If you told me I would be here 4 years ago I would have never believed it...that such a supposedly routine thing would ruin my life. I lost it all...health, job, retirement, savings...all gone. I cant even afford to fight for disability with a lawyer....it takes years and cost a ton anymore.

    I caution anyone having foot surgery to think if it is really so bad that you cant live with it as it is...because you could be me and then what?

    Last edited by cooper99; 03-19-2008 at 06:04 PM.

     
    Old 03-19-2008, 06:04 PM   #9
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    Re: Bunion surgery - excessive scar tissue/adhesions

    In 2004 I was in a near head-on car accident in which I suffered a fracture at the last vertebrae in my spine. After MUCH research, 8 different opinions from 8 idiot doctors (how was I supposed to decide on major surgery if I couldn't even find two doctors who agreed what should be done??), I decided that fusion surgery (which was the end consensus) for my spine wasn't for me. Through walking, different therapies, and a wonderful chiropractor I avoided the surgery. Over the years I have experienced increasing pain in my feet from the bunions. I was born with them, I've always had the bumps and pain, and as I aged (now 43) the pain is increasing and is constant. The more I walked oddly to avoid pain in my feet, the more I was feeling pain in my back. My choice to do the foot surgery was one of "the lesser of the two evils". I had gone to one doctor who just wouldn't talk about surgery. He gave me metatarsal pads to put in my shoes, toe spacers, and cortisone shots. When he told me I could no longer get the coritisone shots he started handing me pills which never actually did anything for the pain....some made me ill, some did nothing. It hurt just to put shoes on let alone attempt to walk in them for any distance. At this point I decided that dealing with symptoms was not the way to go. Fixing the eternal problem was what I needed to do. I was in a no-choice situation with increasing dibilitation. I never wanted to have to do the back surgery, but foot surgery I felt was the alternative. I did TONS of research. Talked to about a dozen people who had had it done...either one foot at a time or both at the same time. All had good outcomes. All were walking in shoes by 5 weeks. One person I knew had both done at the same time and was up walking by the fourth week. Their scars looked like a pencil mark on the side of their foot. Being as active as I am, as fit as I am, and as proactively health concious as I am, I felt confident I was doing the right thing. Everyone is shocked at the slowness of my progress, everyone cannot understand why I am not further along. I cannot understand it. My past years of contact with the medical world has left me less than positive in any experience I have had...whether it be surgical or just check-ups. Surgery should not be done unless absolutely necessary. I felt that was what I was up against. I either had it done, or become debilitated and eventually deformed. I'm only 43. I wasn't ready for deformed. As it stands right now, the pain in the "good" foot is quite uncomfortable. I know I'll have to have it done. Again, I don't have a choice. I can't NOT walk. I still have to get groceries, clean the house, get the mail, etc. I still have to do basic living. I need my feet.

     
    Old 03-19-2008, 06:11 PM   #10
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    Re: Bunion surgery - excessive scar tissue/adhesions

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lcweiden3132 View Post
    Again, I don't have a choice. I can't NOT walk. I still have to get groceries, clean the house, get the mail, etc. I still have to do basic living. I need my feet.
    I am not trying to freak you out or argue tih you as I totally understand...but I was in the same boat and now I am 100x worse....I THOUGHT I had no choice before the first ops...I THOUGHT I would have no life or ability to function unless I acted...now I see that life would be heaven compared to this...

    Maybe I shouldnt say anything to anyone and hope they get lucky...but far more people than most know have bad outcomes..and I wish someone had been able to stop me before i lost it all...id give anything to go back. Now I just hope life ends soon...I am literally just surviving minute to minute.

    If you go forward I wish you the best...it CAN work...

     
    Old 03-20-2008, 11:03 AM   #11
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    Re: Bunion surgery - excessive scar tissue/adhesions

    You didn't freak me out. I just wanted to give people some perspective on why I chose to do this surgery....after much thought and research. It was the same with the research on the back surgery. Most people didn't have a good outcome. There were few and far between the ones that actually did have a good result. Sometimes one doesn't have an option and has to hope and pray that the outcome will be successful. I am very sorry that you've had so much trouble. I know how debilitating it can be and how very frustrated, angry, and depressed one can get when in an instant you've gone from 100% freedom to feeling unable to function. I *know*, really I do. Been there a couple of times now.

     
    Old 03-20-2008, 12:18 PM   #12
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    Re: Bunion surgery - excessive scar tissue/adhesions

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lcweiden3132 View Post
    Sometimes one doesn't have an option and has to hope and pray that the outcome will be successful.
    Thats where I am stuck...things are so horrible now I want to try and make it better...but everyone around me including most docs are saying stop and deal with it. Easier said than done. If I had done that in the beginning I would be fine...but now I AM truly disabled. I am stuck because surgery can make RSD worse yet they are also saying the RSD has no chance of remitting at all if I cant deal with the foot pain and problem...i can't move either way.

    If I had stopped after the first op even before the RSD came I would be limited a bit...but able to live a half way normal life...now I can't manage anything.

    I am already wanting life to end so in my mind what does it matter but since it CAN get worse I am scared to death. Nobody will support me if I were to go forward so that's even worse.

    Knowing what I know now I would NEVER have had surgery to begin with and I recommend that to others. They may THINK it is bad but they really have no idea what bad is.

    BUT...lc...something that struck me with you is that you had one foot done and it isnt satifactory...so it doesnt make much sense to risk that again on the other and maybe end up with BOTH feet messed up...I stupidly did that as I figured the doc knew what he was talking about and just doubled my problems.

    Last edited by cooper99; 03-20-2008 at 12:20 PM.

     
    Old 03-20-2008, 03:10 PM   #13
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    Re: Bunion surgery - excessive scar tissue/adhesions

    lcwieden, you probably are doing too much to your toe and you are irritating it. you have to know your limits. after pt today my therapist found more scar tissue on the bottom of my foot. this is 1 reason my 2nd toe will not bend and there is nothing the dr can do about it. if he was to open my toe again he could damage a nerve and then i would not have a working foot let alone a toe. scar tissue may come back, but if its in a working joint i think activity would help. cooper, why cant you get disability? you should of had this a long time ago. do you have family and friends that can help. you are crying out for help and i hope your family hears you. we are all too young for this. post on your own thread and maybe someone has more ideas for you.

     
    Old 03-22-2008, 04:33 PM   #14
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    Re: Bunion surgery - excessive scar tissue/adhesions

    It is funny you should say that....I've noticed, and mentioned to my doctor, that the more I work at it, the more that I bend and flex the toe, the stiffer and more swollen it gets. I've told her we should just let it be right now. She insists that I continue to move it. I've now left it alone for about a week and it is less swollen, less painful, and with a tight bandaid over the scar, the scar itself is becoming more flat. I still have issues with pain right in the center of the scar....feels as if I have an open wound that is deep and raw in the center. I've got to say, what a stupid place to put an incision! Right on top of a joint that has to move (which in moving continues to irritate the incision), and where every shoe seems to have flexion (and that bend in the shoe on the joint digs into the scar and joint). Really bad place to put it. It's like when you have an open wound on your knee or elbow, it scabs open, until you bend the thing, then it opens up again and takes forever to heal. Thanks for all the input.

     
    Old 03-24-2008, 10:31 AM   #15
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    Unhappy Re: Bunion surgery - excessive scar tissue/adhesions

    I had another question. Anyone have a problem with a sharp pain in your foot when you walk, after you've had the bunionectomy? This pain is one I had hoped would be resolved with the surgery. It goes from the sesamoids up through the bunion area to where the scar now sits. The pain is very sharp (enought to take your breath away) and occurs with each step. I had had sesamoid pain prior to the surgery and thought that the surgery would relieve that. Things keep adding up to make me think I did the wrong thing.

     
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