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Post Triple Metatarsal Bone Fusion-screw loose

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Old 09-07-2009, 12:10 PM   #1
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tetapouche HB User
Unhappy Post Triple Metatarsal Bone Fusion-screw loose

I posted before about the triple metatarsal arthrodesis on my left foot on May 4th. Everything was going along just dandy until the fourth week when I got my cast off and was put in a weight-bearing surgical boot. Worse. Fourth of July. EVER. So, I had to go back into the cast for another week or so then back into a surgical boot. That seemed to work ok but still far too much pain for this point in the process. Went through the whole physical therapy regime, actually was in the middle of it when something seemed to pop up on the top of my foot. Then the PT took to telling me to stop if I felt any pain-of course if I did that, I wouldn't do anything. So, back to the surgeon about a month ago and turns out one of the screws went rogue. The doc said that from the xray he couldn't see whether or not the fusion was totally healed so he thought we should give it the maximum amount of time to heal before removing the screw (because if it wasn't totally healed, removing the screw could ruin the fusion, I guess). So that's what I'm doing. So I'm five months post surgical and I still can't walk any significant amount without incredible pain without the boot, which, incidentally, is nearly disintegrated and cost $399.00. Even with the boot, I'd say I have a good hour of walking a day, at most and I mean cumulatively. I'm back at work full time, luckily don't really have to walk much for that. I am basically at the same point I was six weeks post-op. Except !!! the screw has totally migrated so that you can fully see it on the top of my foot, just below the skin lying sideways, even some of the ridges in it. It is stable, I mean it doesn't move around if you push it, at least not discernibly. I'm thinking this fusion was a wash. It does feel like bone on bone. According to the surgeon, the joints were far more disintegrated than showed on the xrays, so I don't know. Maybe there wasn't enough intact bone there to fuse or something. I followed all post-op instructions to the T, have no other health issues (other than the arthritis) and no other complications...except my toes were purple when I had the cast on and had to keep the foot elevated THE ENTIRE 6 weeks. Which I did. I don't have healing problems, the bone graft site under my knee healed just fine. I'm not overweight. I'm only 44. I don't get it. I usually heal really quickly, hell, this is my fifth orthopedic surgery. I can't keep this up, I'm a single mom, supporting all of us and have to work full time. Luckily my employer is quite supportive of me. But I still have to have the right foot done, too. I mean, obviously I have no choice, but I really need to not be on disability yet (sometimes I feel like I've been staving it off my entire adult life) Anybody with similar experiences? Also, I am under the impression the surgery to remove the screw's no big deal-if, god willing, that's all I have to get done. True??

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Old 09-08-2009, 06:37 PM   #2
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dlh HB User
Re: Post Triple Metatarsal Bone Fusion-screw loose

I had my big toe fused 4 years ago and a week after surgery my pod took an xray because the pain was out of control and a screw had come loose. Happy New Year to me!! ( the second surgery was 2 days before New Years) He did surgery 2 days later and re did it all. Maybe because it hadnt begun to heal but I felt so much better after that 2nd surgery. I had my screws removed a year later and it was a piece of cake! Nothing like the fusion recovery.

Last edited by dlh; 09-08-2009 at 06:39 PM.

Old 09-26-2009, 12:08 PM   #3
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david335 HB User
Re: Post Triple Metatarsal Bone Fusion-screw loose

i had an ankle surgery and had severe pain after the surgery. the dr that performed the surgery thought it was from the screw rubbing against the bone so I did a second surgery to remove the screw. the surgery is no big deal. it is a minor surgery. I wouldn't be worried about the surgery. I would be more concerned about whether the overall pain will go away and the surgery in abstract sense was worth it.
feel better...

Old 09-26-2009, 01:27 PM   #4
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tetapouche HB User
Re: Post Triple Metatarsal Bone Fusion-screw loose

Hey, thanks. I was thinking the screw removal couldn't possibly be as bad. Hopefully the screw gets removed in a couple of weeks and that's that although still not sure about the fusion taking. Like I can walk ok if I'm walking forward but I cannot pivot or move my foot anywhere but completely straight ahead so who knows. I don't think it's the screw since it's visibly on the top of my foot, just below the skin, really. I guess we'll see-for now I'm trying to enjoy the little walking I can do-hey mobility IS mobility.

Old 06-26-2010, 09:35 PM   #5
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mm21 HB User
Re: Post Triple Metatarsal Bone Fusion-screw loose

I also had a ankle arthrodesis Nov 09 and in April 2010 after getting out of the cast in Feb I told the doctor that the bottom of my heel was killing me. He gave me 2 injections then I think thought that would solve the problem but DIDN'T.. The area that was hurthing was towards the corner of the heel where one of the screws was inserted. Its now almost July and finally the doctor said that he won't remove the screw because it hasn't fully healed and instead wants to hit the screw further up into my tibia... I've also had the fad pad around the screw area atrophy so he's going to suture the area.. Now I'm going to have surgery in 2-3wks..Not looking forward to it, but like I told the doctor I sure didn't have the fusion not to be-able to walk.

Old 06-27-2010, 03:11 AM   #6
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tetapouche HB User
Re: Post Triple Metatarsal Bone Fusion-screw loose

oh, that sucks. I almost don't want to tell you how mine ended up. (if it even has, indeed, ended). Before the surgery to remove the screw, the surgeon decided it might be a good idea to to do a cat-scan. Turns out of the three bone fusions, one had healed partially, the others not at all and the bones and screws were basically clunking around together inside my foot. I've had RA since I was a teenager, but never any other dx, but, long story short, turns out I now also have osteoporosis. Which is why nothing healed. Again, long story short, had the damn thing redone, this time w/ a post-surgical bone growth stimulator and 7 mos post am the closest I've been to healed so far. I'm not completely convinced that we're done w/ this foot but due to labor dispute at work and my surgeon dropping out of my insurance network in the middle of this whole thing (without telling me-gotta love this healthcare system) I'm giving it a bit of time. I will say this-if your doc suggests a bone stimulator (which costs over $5000.00, btw) it actually might be a good idea. I initially thought it was a bunch of hocus-pocus but it def made a difference. Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

Old 02-27-2011, 08:30 PM   #7
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StMar HB User
Re: Post Triple Metatarsal Bone Fusion-screw loose

Can anyone remove a fusion rod in the subtalar? Can anyone revise an unnecessary metarsal fusion?

A podiatric surgeon in central IL reconstructed/destroyed my foot--I still walk on bone at the arch; pronate badly; have a misaligned foot-ankle that the subtalar fusion (of a healthy joint) was supposed to correct. At the same time, he fused my healthy, perfectly functioning metatarsals to hump up the foot so it would improve the arch Eighteen months later, the metatarsals are still painful and debilitating, gait destroyed; I only hobble, a little.

The good news is that a good orthopaedic surgeon in FL removed 4 long screws in the foot: 2 were impinging into joints; a third, in the heel, so painful I could not stand on a hard surface. Now I stand in the shower!!
The high level of impingement pain is gone, but the metatarsals atrocity remains.

Equally bad is the fusion rod in the subtalar. It is not usual, so maybe he just wanted to try one? To remove it would tear up the foot, and so far no reputable surgeon will try it. It is in the way of the ankle replacement device that will best handle pronation and alignment. I must, and will, have an ankle replacement soon, even if it isn't that one.

I may have more faith in orthpaedists than they do, because I believe that when these needs are recognized as legitimate, and a solution sought by searching medical minds, it will become possible. < edited >

Last edited by hb-mod; 02-27-2011 at 11:26 PM. Reason: Please do not post, or request contact information, such as email address, phone or name.

Old 02-27-2011, 10:52 PM   #8
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: melbourne victoria australia
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petalmagic HB User
Re: Post Triple Metatarsal Bone Fusion-screw loose

im not sure about medical jargon but gee i feel for you as im in a sorta simalar position.. there is talk of fusion with my foot although my surgeon shook his head in the no way look.ive just posted pics on my tag please read it as i feel my life is down the tubes as well although still employed.. im not back at work and think my retailing 8 and half hrs days are well and truly over... petal

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