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Hammer Toe Surgery

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Old 04-23-2013, 08:27 AM   #1
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
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alemana HB User
Red face Hammer Toe Surgery

I have a few questions.

I am having Hammertoe surgery this coming Friday April 26, 2013. This is from a progressive degenerating neuro muscular disorder called Charcot Tooth Marie Disease.

They will be operating on all five toes of my right foot, fixing the hammertoes, straitening the toes, and surgically fixing the joints that connect directly to my foot including releasing ligament tension to the toes.
I will have at least 1 screw in my big toe and possibly more in other toes depending on what he finds during surgery. I will also leave hospital same day with pins coming out of each toe.

Doctor said I will have stitches removed at two week point and pins removed at 4 week point.

Q0.5. How much help will I need post op? I am a mom of a 21 month old, 11 year old and 12 year old, also a 17 year old but she is at boarding school.
Will I be able to manage on my own?

Q1. Dr. told me to expect not to sleep for first two weeks because the pain will keep me up. He is planing only to give me percocet for pain management. My question is has anyone had pain like this? Is he over exaggerating it or will it be this bad.

Q.2 Ladies, I just had a hysterectomy, rectal and bladder surgery 3 weeks ago. When I was at pre-op apt. I said to the doctor that I thought that this would be better pain wise then having major surgery on your abdomen. He then said this might be worse. Has anyone had both of these things done? If so which one was worse on the pain side?

Q3. If you have this type of surgery what pain meds did you use and what seemed to be the most effective?

Q4. Dr. told me best place to put ice packs was the back of my knee that would help the most. This seems counter intuitive, but has anyone else been told this or found it to be effective? What was the best "ice pack" you used?

Q5. While it bed what device was best for keeping your foot elevated? In two regards, while sleeping and while sitting up in bed on lap top?

Q6. I have very bad balance due to Charcot Tooth Marie Diease, I can't use crutches because I am very unstable on them. Will I need some type of support walking? I am mostly concerned because of my balance issue..

Q7. How long did you wait to drive? I am especially wondering this since its my right foot. Was it complicated to learn to use exclusively left foot? Any tips?

Q8. I am a dental hygienist so I am up and down all day, epically when taking x-rays. I have been thinking two weeks post op I can go back to work. What you you recommend, is this realistic?

Q9. 8 weeks after surgery I am scheduled to volunteer at a youth summer camp in the Blue Ridge mountains. There will be lots of walking up and down mountain and I'll be on my feet most of the day.
Reading previous posts it sounds like my expectation of being w/o pain by that point might not be accurate? Any thoughts will I be up for this or am I being unrealistic? Will I still need ice packs and to elevate my foot at the 8 week mark? At what point post op would you say you were back to 100 percent?

Q10. For those of you who have this surgery done, after full recovery and looking back was it worth it? If you had to make the choice again did the benefits out way the process? I am supposed to have the same surgery done on my left foot in the fall. Will I still want to do that? Or is it not worth it???
If it wasn't worth it or you wouldn't do it over again why?

Q11. I have a 21 month old, any tips on protecting my foot from the sweet little miss who treats my injuries as a target she needs to hit?

Q12. Should I sleep alone for any amount of time post op? Or is it safe to share bed with husband?

Thank you ahead of time for any advice you may give

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Old 04-23-2013, 10:10 AM   #2
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Re: Hammer Toe Surgery

I hope your surgery goes well! I can't answer all your questions, but I can recommend looking up a thread on here that has answers to a lot of them by several different people. Tactics for coping while non-weight-bearing after foot surgery
that is the name of the post, put it in the search box. I have a niece who has that same disease your have the Charcot Tooth Marie, she is a lot older than you and sad to say wheelchair bound at this point. I am having bunion and hammertoe surgery on May 1st. So if you want to vent with me I'm a good listener
I don't see how you are going to be on your feet and able to be a camp counselor and hike and stuff in 8 weeks. You better talk to your surgeon about that. Everyone is different and their Dr's recommend whatever is best according to the proceedures done. I'm going to still be in a non walking cast in 8 weeks. And have to have my foot elevated 90% of the time. Do read the posts in that thread, there are so many helpful suggestions. Also, do take that list of quiestions with you and ask your Dr he or she should be giving you most of that info, especially on when to expect to go back to work and things you'll need. I definitely recommend getting a knee scooter instead of crutches, although you can't completely eliminate them. Also you will need help the first few weeks for sure!

Good Luck,

Old 05-16-2013, 08:31 AM   #3
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Re: Hammer Toe Surgery

Alemana - How are you doing? I didn't see your post earlier.

I had repair on two hammertoes (and some additional foot reconstruction) on May 1. I'm doing OK with crutches and the boot. I was "mostly" NWB for the first two weeks (getting up with the crutches only to go to the bathroom and to and from bed. But I had the stitches out on Monday and now can start being up a little more and putting a little more weight on that foot. The hammertoe pins won't come out until early June.

I have found that the pain pills I was prescribed (hydrocodone) were fine to keep pain controlled. In fact, I am down to taking only 1-2/day. I had a hysterectomy/pelvic floor repair surgery years ago, maybe similar to what you described. It's hard to compare the two, since one is abdominal and the other involves bones. I'd say the hysterectomy pain was worse at the beginning, but resolved sooner. I find that my foot surgery pain doesn't bother me too much for most of the day, but is worse in the evening. I'm thinking that is maybe because I am just getting more tired (and cranky?) and feeling sorry for myself because of the immobility, etc. by the evening!

I won't attempt to answer all your questions because I assume/hope you already found answers. But I would love to know how you are doing.

Old 08-25-2013, 10:56 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 1
crewsgirl HB User
Re: Hammer Toe Surgery

Hi Alemana,
I just had a modified McBride Right bunionectomy with repair of 4 hammertoes 2 weeks ago and I am very interested in how your post-op recovery turned out. I am using a knee walker which is fabulous for getting around the house independently, but I can't imagine caring for children with this aircast and being NWB. Let us know how you are. Thanks and good luck to you and your family.

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