6 weeks post op bunion surgery unable to move big toes

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I am now 6 weeks post op from bunion surgery. I had both feet first metatarsal osteotomy with screw fixation and left foot hallux akin osteotomy with bone staple fixation.

I had my casts removed today and was sent home with very little information and told to return in 8 weeks for a check up.

I have been able to walk but have very little movement in either of my big toes and can not bend them down at all even when trying to move manually.

I am feeling very down about this and was not told that this could possibly happen and am beginning to regret having the surgery.

Could anybody tell me whether this possibly may get better and I may regain some movement in the toes?

Thank you in advance

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6 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi... this is for everyone considering foot surgery of any kind. I'm almost one year after my hammer toe/bunion surgery. The bunion healed fine, but the toe they put the pin in didn't heal the way it should. I'm going to the best physiotherapist in the city, who said that she went to a conference of surgeons and they said the foot surgery is only 65% successful, which is terrible. She said that the surgeons do their best but they don't understand the feet the way they should.

    I would strongly urge people to ask lots of questions and make sure you are making an informed decision about getting surgery on your feet.

    They never told me they were going to fuse the hammer toe which will never move again. Causes me pain, and immobility which make me walk with a limp as I have no flexibility at the joint. They physio said I should write a letter to the surgeon to make them aware that the surgery.

    You don't appreciate your feet until you can't walk properly and you can't go back and undo a fused bone.

    I'm kicking myself for getting the surgery.

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  • Posted

    At 6 weeks post op I was told I could now wear shoes again, you'll need wide entrance and wide toe area shoes and if no inbuilt support then get a 3/4 orthotic to support your arches. The numbness will gradually fade as you become more active and the bending down of your toes is the hardest thing to do, the joint is stiff and may be sore for a while, be gentle with yourself. My surgeon recommended Crocs and I have lived in them for the past 8 weeks, also the only exercise he recommended was to wiggle my toes 20 times every hour. I massage my feet and especially my toes after a shower, using coconut oil, this has helped to ease the stiffness. I have been seeing a physiotherapist who has helped me a lot, I do feet, ankle, knee, hip and back exercises every day and my situation has improved dramatically in the past few weeks. There are no shortcuts but lots of things you can do to speed your progress, full recovery is generally one year from surgery. It's a tough surgery this and your feeling down is another symptom felt by many, a frustrating time for you. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00667 This is a good set of exercises to try (when you're able) if you can't get to the physio. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    It is still early days..especially having both feet done. Maybe write some questions down and give the hospital a call. Stay positive and think in a few months hopefully things will be better than they were before surgery smile  I had a bunionectomy and 2nd osteotomy akin done 5 weeks ago. I still cant put my toes to the ground, can just about wiggle them,which I do every day, things have to heal and it will take time. I had a Rotating per-articular 1st MT osteotomy akin ostetomy and 2nd MT osteotomy..I havnt got a clue what they did either lol.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for replying I feel so much better, honestly it is such a relief! I certainly need to stop being so negative and I'm going to take your advice and call the hospital.

      Good luck with your recovery, hopefully we both have lovely feet after all this 😁.

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  • Posted

    Hi Kirsty. Don't panic 6 weeks is no time. Your feet will take a good few weeks to settle and heal. My 1st foot took 16 weeks to get better. I have just had my 2nd foot done.  I panicked with the 1st foot thinking it would never get better. But it is now lovely as will my 2nd foot. Have hope keep your feet up and don't panic  

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much, having some reassurance has made me feel so much better.

      I think I had the misconception that everything would be fully healed and I'd be ready to walk as normal. Now I know I just need to be patient and give it time. It such a relief hearing you had success as there are so many negative stories regarding bunion surgery.

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