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major foot surgery proposed

Posted by Kim R on 4/28/05 at 14:38 (173878)

I was diagnosed with hallux rigidous in both big toes in 2002 as well as bilateral tailor's bunions. I developed the hallux rigidous as a result of extensive mountain hiking. I had the right foot repaired in 02 with good results and was told the left foot would eventually need repaired. It has not really bothered me because I have spent the last 2 summers down unable to hike because of a left lateral ankle reconstruction and a left gastrocnemius recession. Several months after the gastroc recession I noticed my 3 toes extensively curling and the pain became unbearble. I returned to the podiatrist who did the surgery he has placed me in a splint which no longer helps and my toes have become more painful. I have read in many books that splinting long term is not highly affective in treating hammer toes. They feel like they are going to break at times when I walk. X-rays taken reveal spurs and arthritic changes on my little toes, a bunionette on my 5th metatarsal and a loss of space in my fist mpj. I also have a heel spur that feels at time as if it is going to penetrate through the bottom of my heal aslo causing pain with standing and night pain. I was informed by my podiatrist that my range of motion has decreased by 30-40% and thats the reason my other toes are curling. In 2 years I went from needing a minor procedure on 2 toes to a major procedure. He described putting hardware in all toes and a nearly 3 hour surgery. I have worn orthotics for years and have a relatively new pair but I need another pair though I was told that would not correct the entire problem and I would still eventually require surgery and then a corrected pair of orthotics after surgery. My foot does hurt more now then it ever did and I unfortunately have a job that demands my feet. Hospital work is brutal on painful feet. I have been told by many other podiatris to wait as long as I can but the pain has become a more serious problem and I have been told my condition will only get worse which has already proven true to me. How long would orthotics get me by till I would need the surgery if I were to have a new pair made? It seems like such a waste of time to get the 1st pair of orthotics and still need the major surgery then have to get a second pair. I am also curious as to the down time require to recover from such an extensive surgery.

Re: major foot surgery proposed

Dr. Zuckerman on 4/28/05 at 19:06 (173889)

Hi
My first though is what is the condition of the gastronemius and or the achilles tendon . Is it torn, damaged ?

Re: major foot surgery proposed

Kim R on 4/28/05 at 23:54 (173906)

The achilles tendon was lengthened and is in good condition. The strength has been slow to return to to my gastrocnemius but is getting better everyday. I was able to appreciate the increase in strength but its still not what my other leg is. I had very developed muscular legs from all the hiking I previously did. My left leg after being down 2 summers is 2 inches smaller in diameter then my right leg. I am unable to completely do a single toe rise on my left foot. My podiatrist who did those 2 surgeries said I am very likely not to be 100% again. Well after 8 doctors tried to tell me I was disabled for other injuries, I totally overcame them and beleive in my own sheer determination that things will be right, not sure about the toe curling though since that has become worse. I have been avidly keeping up with PT exercises and returned to the gym where I do the elliptical cross trainer about 6 miles a week.