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Re: anyone ever have fusion of big toe (MTP) joint
Posted by Debbies21
7/22/2015  7:56:00 PM
Can you please tell me the type of hemi your dr used. I had one and about 6 months after surgery, I was on vacation & my daughter & I would take a morning walk around the lake, (1st exercise since surgery.) On the 2nd day, I took of socks & noticed a big bump on my toe. When I got home a few days later, I went to see the dr and he told me the hemi "popped" off the joint. He removed the hemi and after about a year my toe really started to bend & twist. He did a fusion & have been miserable ever since. Hard to complain when you are social with the dr.

Thank you
Re: anyone ever have fusion of big toe (MTP) joint
Posted by susan
8/22/2015  8:09:00 PM
Hello, I have had several surgeries on both of my big toes and recently had both toes fused. I've suffered with arthritis for about 15+ years, so I had bone on bone in both big toes. Doctors recommended that I have hemi toe implants put in, so I did. I had the left one done, then the right one in the same year. After months of physical therapy, I figured that the pain and stiffness was going to be a way of life. Finally, I went to see another surgeon and he said that they were put in 'too tight' and he could redo them and I'd feel great. OK....went in for the first toe, then 5 months later had the second big toe done...More physical therapy, toes froze up and I was a mess again. Third doctor (Dr. Oloff/SFGiants Podiatrist)said that he could remove hardware, do bone graft and fuse the toe. Surgery was on Feb 13 (Friday the 13th). 2 1/2 hours later surgery was over and I went home shortly afterwards. 5 months of recovery, cast changes every 2 weeks, xrays, etc and I"m very happy with the results. Three weeks ago, I had the right toe done with the same procedure. The pain isn't too bad. The toes have been 'frozen' for years because of the scar tissue, so having them fused is basically the same, without the constant bone on bone pain. I actually had NO choice but to have them fused and I'm determined to get my life back, exercise more and I won't have to avoid places that required me to walk any long distance (shopping centers, beach, etc). I have a good attitude, which is so important with the recovery.
Re: anyone ever have fusion of big toe (MTP) joint
Posted by newsdiane
8/24/2015  9:44:00 PM
What exactly do you mean by "frozen?" My MTP joint is swollen and the scar tissue seems to have increased considerably recently (one year post chielectomy and osteotomy). There's less mobility and it is feeling like a "club foot" when I walk. But I'm still dancing!
Just wondering if this is what you mean by "frozen," and what exercises you are doing. I am about to go back to PT 3x/week.
Re: anyone ever have fusion of big toe (MTP) joint
Posted by AustinFrogDog
9/8/2015  11:44:00 AM
I'm not a dancer but was reading posts about big toe joint fusion and came across these posts and thought I'd add my two cents. I was a runner until 2010 when the pain in my right foot big toe area got too bad. Fast forward to March of 2015: on March 12th I had big toe fusion surgery, with a steel plate and seven screws/pins put in my toe. For me, the recovery was pretty easy but I may be the exception, not the rule. I had been inactive for a while due to the pain in my foot, and became depressed and miserable and knew I had to start exercising for my sanity. On April 5th (3 1/2 weeks after surgery), I started walking a little bit in my neighborhood wearing my post-surgical boot. I would initially only walk a mile just to see if it caused the foot to swell or caused more pain. At first it would swell a little bit, and I'd elevate it afterwards. After a couple weeks, I was walking 4 miles each day at a 15 min/mile pace. I kept walking 4 miles/day with my boot on, then kept walking after the boot could come off. I purchased new running shoes when I came out of the boot. This was all with my orthopedic surgeon's blessing but he was very pleased with my progress. It is now Sept. 9th so I'm also 6 months post-surgery to the day. I've now started a combo of running/walking 4 miles and yesterday it took me 45 minutes to do 4 miles. I'm not breaking any speed records, but having the ability to exercise has made all the difference in the world! I think a big part of the reason for my foot's recovery is because I eased into it with the walking short distances while still wearing the boot. This also enabled my legs and core muscles to get toned and used to exercise. I have no pain whatsoever in my foot and feel that the regular walking has strengthened my foot overall. I'm also pretty careful about the shoes I wear - I wear Birkenstocks on the weekend and Vionic / Orthoheel slippers. Dansko shoes are also great (that's the brand a lot of nurses wear). Overall, I recommend this surgery because I had a lot of pain before and no pain now, plus my walking rehab motivated me to get back in shape. Yes, there are some shoes I can't wear because my foot still has a little swelling and will for about six more months or so but I can live with that. My best advice is to use an orthopedic surgeon who has done a lot of these types of surgeries. Dr. Smoot at Texas Orthopedics in Austin, Texas did my surgery and I couldn't recommend him high enough. He was recommended to me and I'm glad to recommend him to others. Best of luck if you decide on the surgery. I'm very glad that I did.
Re: anyone ever have fusion of big toe (MTP) joint
Posted by moviebuff12
10/15/2015  2:47:00 PM
Thanks so much for posting about your positive experience with a big toe fusion. I'm a week away from getting my fusion cast off and getting into a boot. I'm going to follow your path (with my doctor's OK, of course)--easing into walking and strengthening my leg again.

Thanks for the tip!
Re: anyone ever have fusion of big toe (MTP) joint
Posted by mspayne22
11/5/2015  11:55:00 AM
I just had bunion implant surgery along with MTP bone spurs{top of foot} & cyst removal with Topaz procedure {tendon stripping} on Oct 19th on right foot. 24hrs post op, I could not take the pain killers fast enough. Of course I was expecting the pain. By day 4 post op I took naprosyn every 12 hrs and percocet when needed, mostly at night. By day 7 only naprosyn. I started experiencing sharp stabbing pains that would come and go in the implant area. The intensity of the sharp stabbing pains started diminishing around day 9-10. I searched the web to see if anyone had gone through anything similiar, to no avail. Day 10 I had my first outing where I wore my post-op boot when I had to leave the house and walked on my heel about 10 minutes the first hr, then 15-20 minutes the 2nd hr. I did surprisingly well. It was swollen when I arrived back home, I iced and elevated it. Day 14 I had an appt. so I velcroed up my post op boot and I walked and stood about 30 min out of an hr this time. Not as much swelling but I iced and elevated it anyway. Day 16 I had my 2 week post op appointment yesterday. Some stitches were removed. My Dr. said the sharp stabbing pains are nerves healing. And she was pleased with results so far. I was told to park my knee scooter and wear my post-op shoe to ambulate now. I was a little nervous. Then she said to take the dressing off when I get home to allow my scars to heal, now I'm really nervous! The dressing was my security blanket. When I return in 2 weeks she will change me to a better shoe. And yes Im still experiencing very mild sharp pains in implant area. My midfoot has dull aching pains that come and go. Well today I soaked my foot in plain epsom salt and applied antibiotic creme, then nervously and very carefully moved to the bed to elevate it and allow the scars to dry up. But when Im ready to get up I will place gauze over scars and ace bandage to protect wounds from the heavy post op boot. I hope this gives someone an idea what to expect with this sort of surgery. I will update in 2 weeks so those who are interested can follow.
Re: anyone ever have fusion of big toe (MTP) joint
Posted by Valdera
12/7/2015  6:10:00 PM
I had my op on 24th August and was very careful about post op recovery. All was going well and I waited the suggested 12 weeks before trying 'sports'. I was having the op so that i could go back to ballroom dancing. sadly my one try out of dancing has set off problems which have not diminished with further rest. Had another Xray yesterday and just off to DOctor to see if there is a reason for constant ongoing pain. I wear pedometer and after having got back up to 5000 steps daily just before my dance trial I am now down to 2-3000 daily even on pain killers. Am beginning to wish I had read this forum before I had surgery. I can't even walk barefoot on carpet without feeling if I have 'a stone in my shoe'. Wondering if this is the end of the screws ??? Any advice welcome please.
Re: anyone ever have fusion of big toe (MTP) joint
Posted by CazAnn
12/11/2015  6:41:00 AM
Hi there Valdera

I had a right MTPJ fusion exactly 3 years ago at 53 years of age and I found that the timeframes given by the surgeon to resume normal activities (never mind sport!) were overly ambitious. I had an excellent post operative recovery and minimal pain, but once I started to resume normal amounts of standing and walking (like taking public transport to work, walking around the office or city) I would get spasms in my foot that would literally stop me in my tracks. No way would I have felt up to sport after 12 weeks, even though I got this timeframe as well. Swelling came and went for the first 6 months - even with normal activity. I'd say it took me 9 months to a year to stop being conscious of it.

After the first month I felt extremely frustrated by the fact that I wasn't progressing according to the timeframes I was given after (supposedly) a textbook recovery. I consulted a sports physio in the same group as the surgeon who basically told me to be patient and gave me simple exercises to do at home to strengthen surrounding areas which were having to work differently. I also went to the sports podiatrist who made small modifications to my orthotic through a period of trial and error over several weeks.

3 years on - I still miss the flexibility in my right foot but I can wear heels or wedges of 2 inches or so occasionally. However, I suspect the toe was fused too flat because the interphalangeal joint (above the fused joint, beneath the toenail) feels overworked and gets stiff and occasionally painful. When this happens, I clench the interphalangeal joint (to try and stop it moving too much as I walk) which affects my gait and causes twinges in my knee.

I had a bad day today which is how I stumbled onto this forum. It's interesting to hear other people's stories, because it's the other joint in the big toe that plays up for me. Most times I go along OK but on a bad day I'll still dust off the rocker sole shoes that I would often wear before the fusion to give the other joint a rest.

The biggest mistake you can make is thinking you will restore pre injury function. I'm a bit cranky about mine because the main reason I went to the surgeon was to get a large bony spur removed (that I think I partly caused trying to mobilize my big toe wearing exercise sandals). The joint itself had gone past being painful but I was told that it had to be a fusion as I had no cartilage left and the spur had formed to try and protect the joint.
Re: anyone ever have fusion of big toe (MTP) joint
Posted by Bellaroma
12/24/2015  4:53:00 AM
Hi everyone. It has been really informative reading all these posts. I have always been very active, done lots of dancing from classical, to tap dancing, to salsa. I also worked standing up wearing heels for many, many years. So eventually I had Cheilectomy and microfracture of the chondral lesion surgery just short of 2 years ago at age 63. I have not been without pain, not been able to wear any heels at all, nor had freedom of movement when walking during this time. So I contacted the surgeon and he advised that, as previously discussed, that I would eventually need further surgery ie toe fusion. However he did not explain at the time that it could be as soon as 2 years!!! On reading all the comments here I do not wish to do that. So yesterday I had a consultation here in Spain, where I now live, and they have suggested Stem cells. It is said that stem cells regrow tissue and healthy new cartlidge. This is a pretty new procedure and they do not know exactly the results, at least here in Spain. It is also something that is not covered by my Health Ins and will cost me Euro 12,500 for both feet. So I am wondering if anyone has heard about this, has had stem cells procedure and what are the results. I have read the article below which is very positive (these days at about 100%) about this procedure and, in particular, for the big toe joint. Love to hear from anyone about this.
Re: anyone ever have fusion of big toe (MTP) joint
Posted by Ava
1/14/2016  12:39:00 PM
I have acute arthritis in my big toe from tennis My family has highly discouraged me from fusion I saw L. Hewitt did it but he's a guy I am 50 I just don't want to be in pain Any suggestion would be greatly appreciated

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