A Podiatry surgeon advised me that I have a severe arthritis in my left foot and need surgery for a hammer toe (my #3 toe) and also surgery to correct a severely deformed left big toe. The big toe's problem is not a bunion with the problem at the base of the toe, but is fused at the next joint up. He advised that he could do outpatient surgery on both problems in the same day. Do not know what procedure he is going to use or whether or not he will instal pins.

I have four questions: 1- I am ticklish. How can the doctor prevent me from moving? I also would get pretty anxious to hear drilling and the like if I am wide awake. 2- If he installs pins, how will it feel when they are removed? Have heard from some that is it extremely painful. Other have posted and said they were painless. 3- In the week or two after surgery, will I experience severe pain or will I just have moderate discomfort that can be controlled by over the counter meds? Know everyone is different. 4- Most important question of all- I love to hike, backpack and fly fish including wading in pretty swift water. For fishing, I often have to scramble down a steep and rubbly hillside with no trails to get to a river. Will my repaired toes make me walk any differently or limit me in any way? Will I be able to walk normally, bending my toes or have to walk duck style? Will I have any balance limitations? Understand that patients heal differently but what can the normal outdoor person do? What possible limitations might there be?

As you can tell, I have a lot of questions but am more concerned with being able to still eventually able to happily return to hiking and fishing. at age 70, I have many more trails to hike and many more fish to catch and release.

Appreciate any input others might have out there.