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vrouw63 11-06-2010 09:16 PM

Toe joint fusion surgery--anyone had?
Had surgery almost a year ago for severe hallux rigidus , my half joint replacement in my right foot (MTP-1 joint) hasn't worked. Orthopaedic surgeon is now recommending fusing the bones (arthrodesis). Should reduce/eliminate the pain but I'm afraid about losing range of motion (which I don't have now anyway). Anyone had fusion surgery for big toe joint problem? What are pros and cons? How was recovery? What questions to ask the doc? Thanks!

Titchou 11-07-2010 06:02 AM

Re: Toe joint fusion surgery--anyone had?
Lots of folks on here should reply as many have had successful fusions. They fuse it an angle so don't worry about being able to roll up on it when hiking, jogging or wearing low heels. Are you near Baltimore? Suggest you see Dr. Mark Myerson...operates on a lot of Ravens, etc. Very good sports med foot & ankle ortho.

Northwind 11-07-2010 08:34 AM

Re: Toe joint fusion surgery--anyone had?
I had my big toe joint fused a year ago. I was shocked when the surgeon recommended it. I went through all kinds of anxiety as I prepared for the surgery. Now a year later, I have my life back.

My toe was fused at 20 degrees. Now it feels like I have more range of motion. It must have hurt at 10-15 degrees before. I can walk normally instead of with the wonky gait I had before. Best of all, the pain is gone. I did have a bone infection scare that turned out not to be ......just a radiologist who apparently could not read fusion x-rays.

I am now curling weekly and am walking at least 1-2 miles per day with my dog. I have been tempted to try jogging. That foot would handle it well. I doubt my other foot or ankles would like me to jog.

I have written many posts about my experience. Probably if you click on my name and look for my posts, you will find more of what I have written.

Fusion is a creepy thought no question. At the same time, when it is the right procedure, it is wonderful. Now I can say that I have a titanium reinforced toe to kick butt!:jester:

Good luck

debbie g 11-07-2010 12:25 PM

Re: Toe joint fusion surgery--anyone had?
i also had toe fusion, but my big toe does not move at all as it is fused. i can do everything i did before. the hard thing for me is to try to find cute shoes. look on my name also.

dahlia1045 11-07-2010 02:58 PM

Re: Toe joint fusion surgery--anyone had?
My podiatrist is suggesting partial big toe joint replacemnt. I'm nervous about it, but don't want fusion. I don't have too much pain, but have trouble wearing many shoes and it is making me walk differently because of loss of flexibility. Has anyone had recent joint replacement? Any doctor suggestions in the Chicago area? thanks!

Titchou 11-07-2010 05:51 PM

Re: Toe joint fusion surgery--anyone had?
Has he discusssed a cheilectomy? I had one and it worked great. But you do need some cartilege left to do it.

vrouw63 11-07-2010 06:06 PM

Re: Toe joint fusion surgery--recovery??
Thanks for the replies, appreciate it. I'm in my mid-forties and am very nervous about fusing. How long is the actual recovery? Do you leave the hospital in a cast and can't do anything at all for 6 weeks or so? As you can see, my doc has not done a lot of explaining.

vrouw63 11-07-2010 06:09 PM

Re: Toe joint fusion surgery--anyone had?
I've got no cartilage left....had a half joint replacement almost a year ago, and had xrays this past friday that show I have no cartilage left at all, which is why he's recommending to fuse it. But I'd like to know more about the recuperation period!

Northwind 11-07-2010 07:44 PM

Re: Toe joint fusion surgery--anyone had?
My joint does not move either. I asked the surgeon if it would fuse naturally. He said not completely, and that it would become more painful.That made my mind up.

My procedure was the one with a plate and five screws. I was able to heel weight bear as pain would allow. I stayed home for two weeks and then went to work with a stool to elevate my foot. I was able to put weight on the front of the foot at six weeks, and could start driving at that point. I never had a cast. I know there are other ways they fuse the joint that involve longer periods of non-weight bearing.

I was really freaked about the idea of a fused joint. Really, it is a relief on so many levels and I do not miss the motion of a joint. After all, it had not moved properly for a long time. I would have loved to have had the range of motion restored, but that was not in the cards for me. I would not have a partial joint replacement because it seems there are not many good results at this point.

Jimh1 12-28-2010 11:39 PM

Re: Toe joint fusion surgery--anyone had?
Hi, I had no cartilage left. Had the big toe fused Nov. 29th. and was in a softer cast for about 9 days. My doctor than put me into a hard cast with no weight to be put on it at all. The only problem is that the cast bothers me alot but at this point their is no pain. He used a plate and 5 screws to put it together. I will update you after the 30th., which is when I see him again.

Jimh1 12-30-2010 04:12 PM

Re: Toe joint fusion surgery--anyone had?
Well, went to doctor and he put it in a walking boot ( they consider it a removable cast). The foot is numb, ankle hurts and I need the help of a crutch or walker to get around. All of this he said was normal and would get better every day. The one thing I can say is the pain is gone in my toe and foot. I will be in this for another 30 days, which he only wants it coming off when I sit in the shower. All this being taken into consideration, I would do it all over again.

Northwind 12-31-2010 10:25 AM

Re: Toe joint fusion surgery--anyone had?
Hi Jim, sounds like things are progressing nicely! Happy healing.

vrouw63 02-03-2011 07:19 PM

Re: Toe joint fusion surgery--anyone had?
Thanks for sharing your experience....I havent been on the board for awhile and checked it today, as my fusion surgery is scheduled for next month and I am getting very nervous! Thx again and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Jimh1 02-03-2011 08:47 PM

Re: Toe joint fusion surgery--anyone had?
I haven't been on the board for a while also. Just an update. On Dec. 29th was taken out of hard cast and put in a walking boot. On Jan. 29th was told to start wearing a shoe as much as I can tolerate. Happy to say Jan. 29th was the last day for the walking boot. I have been in a shoe ever since. My toe is still a little numb and the top joint is starting to loosen up more but NO MORE PAIN!!! Just a bit of advice, do exactly what the doctor tells you, don't rush it. I basically was nwb from Nov. 29th until Jan. 29th, and the results show. The other thing is if you can rent the scooter thats called a "Free Spirit", it will make your life a whole lot better. Take care and good luck.

cloud1959 02-04-2011 04:13 AM

Re: Toe joint fusion surgery--anyone had?
I had triple arthrodesis (fusion) and big toe osteotomy on Oct 12th last year. Range of movement is lost but at least I don't have the pain I had prior to surgery. It's a long road and healing can be frustrating at times. I'm glad I had it done and now look forward to getting the other foot done. I don't know if this is the fusion you mean but if you have any questions about MY recovery I'd be glad to help.:wave:

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