I had pins in all three toes. I thought the big toe would have screw or plate where the bone was cut but it only had wire.
Eight weeks on I have had all wires removed and started weight bearing. I had last stitches out today. My foot is very swollen and have no toe movement. My second hammer toe stands up and cannot lie flat because next toe is bent.
I pointed this out to my doctor today and he said maybe he made a mistake about that toe. He told me to walk and exercise to get toes moving again and not bother with crutches although I have to limp.
I went to see a Physio as I was worried and he insisted on an xray first. I have had no xray since before the surgery. It showed that the bone that had been cut has not joined and has actually moved.
I am now waiting for another doctor to view the xray before we decide on what needs to be done. I am upset and concerned. I am going on holiday in 5 weeks time and had hoped to be walking fairly well by then.
Shoes are a nightmare. I have found a pair of flat sandals with velcro fstenings, most unattractive but functional. Despair of wearing anything else at the moment.
Yes, I am fed up. Has this happened to anyone else? :-(
Brie, I've had the same surgery you need done on Oct 2, 2012...not quiet 3 mos ago. My doctor also made another incision on the inside calf muscle because he said that my calf muscle was too tight, helping to lead to some of my problems. I'm walking very good now but have to get off my feet more often than I used to because of swelling a some pain. My toes aren't as flexible as they were before but I don't expect the big toe to ever be again. He said they might not be back to "normal" for about up to 2 years. It was very painful but I'm glad I went through it. I am having my other foot done the middle of January 2013 but I don't have the hammertoe problem on that foot. I'm hoping it will be a faster recovery than the first. All that said, I wish I wouldn't have waited this long to have the surgery. Reading these posts helped me to realize that this isn't an easy surgery and it takes a long time to heal.
Thank you for coming back with your personal experience with this surgery. I have only just picked it up as we went away in November for almost 4 weeks and came back for Christmas and then away again for New Year. My surgery is on this coming Tuesday and I am very nervous indeed. I will be under local anesethic so again will take in music to hopefully shut out all the horrible noises. I accept I have to go ahead as my foot is badly deformed now and can only get worse. It actually still does not hurt apart from the calleous underneath caused by the dislocated second toe. The surgeon said that I should regain full movement to the toes so hopefully I will. You are now 5 months on from your op..have you continued to improve and do you have more flexability than you had say back in November? I hope so. You must be much further on now. Does your toe look almost back to normal? I look forward to receiving your update Micki, best wishes Brie.
Brie, It is nice to hear from you. It has only been 3 1/2 mos post op now and I really have to say that I'm getting pretty much back to almost normal and yes, my foot looks much better than before except of course for the big incision on the top. I can easily live with that! My big toe has more flexibility than it had 3 weeks ago when I responded first to your post. I am very happy as this was my worst foot of the two. I've been swimming a lot to try to work it without a lot of pressure on it like running would be but I hope to be back to running within a short time. I'm 56 so I know I won't bounce back as fast as others have. I went in for surgery on my right foot Thursday but they ended up not doing the it because they were not prepared as they were the first time. I have problems also with intubation and can only be given numbing nerve blocks in my legs instead of being intubated. So... we will reschedule it for later. Another week or two would have put me closer to a vacation I have planned and don't want to be pushed around in a wheelchair or take my knee wheeler, so I will wait now until we get back. By the way, make sure your dr prescribes a knee wheeler for you, they are a life saver especially to get around in the bathroom, etc. I hope your surgery goes well...I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. Please let me know how it goes for you. The first couple of weeks I asked myself why I did the surgery but it did get better. I hope you have lots of help and remember that knee wheeler! : ) Praying for a quick recovery for you, Micki
Micki, thanks for coming back so quickly to me. I am so pleased to hear that you have experienced great improvement over three weeks ago. That is really encouraging and you must be heartened and can see that hopefully you will regain full use again. I keep my fingers crossed for you and be careful not to overdo it. The swimming sounds like a great idea. I go in tomorrow! I will ask them about the kneeler as I have not got one at the moment but I do have a wheelchair ready. May I ask you a few questions?
Did they provide you with the velco shoe and said that you vould go to the bathroom walking on the heel of this shoe from day 1?
They say I will not need crutches, not just me but anyone who has this op with them
I am nervous of falling which is why I have the wheelchair to move around the house.
Would you say it is a good 6 to 8 weeks before you could wear a normal pair of shoes? You have said that you could not weight bear for 8 weeks.
Is the initial pain bearable with paracetamol etc
I always sleep on my side but assume I am going to have to sleep on my back with the leg raised on pillows.
I am having localised surgery. With a tourneqay and injectioins abovemy knee and in my groin. They will keep my leg asleep for two days to carry me over the first 48 hours. It sounds like a great idea for pain management. Did they carry out a similar procedures with you?
Sorry for so many questions but these type of problems weigh on your mind.
I am trying to be organised for when I come out of hospital.
I hope to hear from you before I leave. I leave here at 1.00pm tomorrow.
Best wishes, Brenda.
Hope this get's to you before you leave...
I'm glad to answer your questions. I was nervous when I went in the first time and wished that I had talked to someone who had gone through this surgery before hand to know a little of what to expect.
I would definitely do the knee wheeler over the wheelchair if your insurance covers it. It isn't as wide and getting to the bathroom is so much easier, especially in the middle of the night.
On that same thought, I also had a commode over the toilet to help push up with my arms that first week. It really helped. I also used it to take showers because with the hammertoe I couldn't put my foot in the water until after the pin is out (6 weeks). The easiest way was to sit in the shower on the shower seat with my foot outside the shower curtain sitting on my knee wheeler. I also bought a cheap plastic shower curtain and slit in up from the bottom to about where my knee was sticking out over the tub so that water wouldn't drain out the shower. I hope you can understand this. I also bought another suction cup shower mount thing so I could lower my shower head to rinse off better and wash my hair. (we have one of the kinds you can take down).
They did provide the velcro shoe after my cast boot came off 2 weeks after my surgery. He took x-rays of my foot and gave me the velcro walking boot then. My doctor would NOT let me put any weight on it though until after the pin was out at 6 weeks. I could balance with it but not put weight on it. After the 6 weeks I was able to put some weight on my heel and used a walker or crutches. 7 weeks, more weight on my foot and 8 weeks, I was pretty much walking unassisted and bearing weight fully on it.
You will definitely need something to get you around. Going up and down the few stairs to the garage was very hard. It was a little hard to get the knee wheeler up and down them when I was alone. I'm glad I could still drive because the surgery was on my left foot first, but sometimes getting the knee wheeler in the trunk was hard because I had to hop on my good foot, balance and lift it in and out of the trunk. The handle bars fold down easily but make sure you have the medical equipment store show you how it's done.
I'm glad I used the knee wheeler and walker because I believe my foot healed better faster because I did not put weight on it too soon. I had 5 incisions on my foot and that just had to heal before the weight, it was very sore, especially where the hardware was put in. The knee wheeler got me around real easy and at work I could use it to put my foot up at my desk. You will need to keep it up most of the time because of swelling - it wasn't until after 2 1/2 mos that I finally didn't have to put my foot up.
I could just begin to put my normal shoes at almost 11 weeks out. My foot is just a little longer so cannot wear my old tennis shoes. I have some other flats I can wear but nothing like my boots or anything that comes up higher on my foot yet. The top of my foot still seems to be thicker than normal, it might still have some swelling but I'm not going to buy new shoes until I'm sure the swelling is all gone. I have a really wide pair of flip flops (the kind with one wide strap over the top of the foot - I couldn't wear the normal flip flops - and they are all I could wear for a while.
Also, because the velco boot is so much higher than my other shoes, it kept throwing my knee out. I was so glad to finally quit wearing the boot because of that. So try to find a shoe for your other foot that puts it on the same level. It's hard.
The initial pain was hard. I usually have a high tolerance for pain but there was so much pain. I hope you are married or have someone to help those first few days. The only way I could sleep was to take morphine and I usually try not to take any pain meds. It was very hard to get comfortable and most of the time I resorted to the recliner. I would get muscle cramps at night in my legs, I hope you don't. Take any and all meds you can for pain to keep it under control, don't let the pain get away from you. I was able to almost be off of them by 2 weeks, and completely off by 3.
Yes, sleeping on my back was hard too. That is why I did better in the recliner.
Yes, they did a nerve block on my femoral and sciatic nerve because I cannot be intubated. It worked well until it wore off at 24 hours. 48 hours would have been better. Morphine after that.
It does help to be organized. I hope you get along good. Please let me know how it's going and post anytime.
Praying all goes well,
Thank you for coming back to me with the answers it has been very helpful. I am due to leave in 2 hours so last minute preparations taking place.
I have bought one of those frames to help in the shower and the toilet so that is good. I have not time to reply to everything but what you have written is a great help, so many thanks. I will come back again after my op and I can email.
Very best, Brie.
Hi Micki, I received your post just before I went in, thank you. I do not think I mentioned before that I live in France, we have been here for 4 years. It is now 7 days post op and I am good. Like you I had my bunion removed and toe straightened and the second hammer toe had to also have a pin which will be removed after 5 weeks. The surgeon could not straighten it without the pin in my case. He also had to work on the me tarsal bones across the three toes. It sounds as if we have had identical surgery more or less. He also said that I was quite flat footed and he did extra work by cutting out metatarsal bone to give me back an arch. That was a surprise. From now on we differ greatly with our experiences in the beginning and the processes post op.
They deadened my nerve below the knee and the process is to keep it under for 2 days. So that after 48 hours the pain
with medication should be tolerable. I was in the hospital for three nights and the op was on the second day. The evening of the third night they started to let the leg come round and replaced with medication through a drip and tablets
and morphine push if I needed it. I think I pushed it twice when I was coming up to the next medication due. I had no real pain at all and also since I have been home I have just taken the meds and no pain. I stopped taking them after 6 days because I had no pain. Slept through the nights without pain. So lucky. Another difference:
Day 3 Time to go home. I had no cast just a really well bandaged foot. My Velcro shoe was ready and I was told from this day onwards I had to walk a few steps a day. I could walk to the bathroom and to the bed for 3/4 times a day initially. I was told to put my full weight on the foot and not to worry as the shoe is such designed that the actual toes were not on the ground and not takiing any weight. The physio said that I must put full weight as the metatarsal bones had to find their way back into place again. The surgeon also told me that I might hear some cracking but that was normal as the bones find their way back into place again. I was nervous but to my surprise it did not hurt and I walked a few steps from my bed straight away. Since I have been home I have increased the steps and the surgeon has said that I can walk as much as I can, but to build up slowly initially and as soon as I feel any pain then I have done enough. The rest of the time I sit with my leg elevated. I have 5 weeks of this and then I change to a different Velcro shoe for two weeks when I start some weight bearing on my toes if he feels I am ready. But, meanwhile I do not need any crutches as I am walking on both feet and I use the wheelchair for further distances. So far my experience has been good and I now just have to be patient with the weeks ahead. Where I must sit with my foot elevated. I have Mike around to really help me but I can get up and take myself to the bathroom from the living room when needed which is a real asset. Do you have any other questions regarding my procedures? Keep me updated with your progress. Hope all continues well, Brie.
Wow, that is really great. The metatarsal procedure must have made a big difference in the recovery and probably the doctors procedure. I have a really high arch and my dr had to release some of the muscle tightness causing that. I always loved my high arches because I used to be in gymnastics and I had lots of flexibility in my feet, but I guess that wasn't great for my feet and somewhat became a problem with my bunions...so my surgeon said. --so he made an incision in my calf muscle to release it some. I never was a dancer or could wear high heals. I always tried to be very careful with my feet because of my bunions. I can't believe how better my foot has been the last two weeks. The only way I can tell I had anything done is that my big toe is still a little stiff and my whole foot is a little stiff when I first start walking. But once I limber it up some...I'm off and going. I'm glad I was able to get it done and am wanting to get the other done as well, as soon as I can after vacation with my husband, and sister and her husband of course. I am so ready to go to the beach and warmer weather as it is very cold here this winter. Although two days ago, it was almost 70 degree's...today is 15 degree's. Well, I'm so glad all went well with you and that you are well on your way to healing. Let me know how you get along. !I wish you the very best! Micki