After effects of fusion?

Posted , 11 users are following.

Hi

I've just seen a Surgeon who said the only option for my bunions is fusion.  However, this would mean that I had to wear absolutely flat shoes.  I wore shoes with about 1 inch heels to the consultation and was told that these would not be suitable - ever!  Is this really true?  One of the reasons (apart from the pain) that I want my bumps sorted is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to find shoes to fit over them and also fit well at the heel.  Will fusion actually get rid of the bump, so if I have to wear flat shoes, I can at least wear 'normal' width fittings?

Any help/advice/experiences would be great.  Thank you.

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  • Posted

    Sally, I had bunions on both feet done with both big toes fused.  I have very flat feet and my surgeon said this was the only way he could guarantee that I didn't have to have it done again.  I have finally gotten used to the fact that I can't bend my toes, but I'm able to golf and jog and do everything I was doing before.  Yes, it's feels different, but I'd do it again.  I have no bunions anymore and went shoe shopping yesterday.  Since my toes are now straight, I'm wearing a half size larger, same width than before my surgery. I tried on a pair of shoes with a 1" heel and I think I would be able to wear them, but not sure about much higher than that.  I also had two toes on the left foot and one toe on the right fused and honestly, they're the ones that are slower for me to get used to.  If you have doubts about what your doctor is telling you, get a second opinion.  If there's one thing I've learned, every surgeon has his/her opinion.  Good luck to you.
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    • Posted

      No, my feet haven't swelled for several months, even after jogging and walking the golf course.  Uneven ground is still difficult for me to walk but I think that's because the toes that were fused don't bend.  I can live with it, because my feet look so much better now.  I am 67 years old and have just painted my toenails for the first time!  I can wear any shoes I like as long as they're not too high, but again, no big deal.  So glad I had this done.
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    • Posted

      Hi there,

      i have had my big toe fused due to bunion and second toes fused at second joint, but I am 7 wks post op and finding it difficult walking on the foot properly, I am also flat footed, and seem to walk with a limp, as I cannot get the balance right. My ankle is hurting because of it. How are you walking?  Not sure if I need to see someone on how to walk now, though that sounds really stupid.  

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    • Posted

      Hello Lynn,

      My problem isn't bunions, although they seem to be forming slowly, my issue is arthritis and bone spurs in both big toes. I've seen two doctors and they both suggest the fusion for both. I've been trying to find someone who has had both toes done. What I wanted to know is did you have both done at the same time? if not how long did you need to wait until the second one was done. I have constant pain in both, ironically, more so in my right, however they said my left is worse. The doctor I spoke to for my second opinion was more for the fusion than the first, however the first was going to clean the spurs and told me that eventually when the arthritis got worse that I would have to have the fusion done sooner or later. The second doctor told me that if it were his mother or sister in the same position as me, he would strongly suggest they do it as well. I guess another question I have for you is, how long after the surgery were you able to function and get back to normal walking? I don't wear heels now and haven't in a very long time and not being able to wear the shoes I wore in previous seasons, I'm afraid I won't even be able to wear my 2 inch cushion shoes I am wearing now, which are the only shoes I am able to wear, so knowing I will never ever wear heels again is already something I have gotten used to. However, my doctor has told me that I will be able to wear anything as long as it is no more than an inch heel. I just don't want to have to wear old lady looking orthopedic shoes for the rest of my life since I'm only 52. Are you able to wear what you want (cute flat shoes) without pain and compensating for your "stiff" toes and lack of mobility, does it bother other areas of your feet?

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    • Posted

      Lee, I had both bunions and big toes fused at the same time.  I also had the next two toes on the left foot and one on the other foot fused at the same time. I can wear any flat that I want but a 1 inch heel is about the maximum because my toes don't bend. About 7 weeks after the surgery I was able to resume light jogging and golfing without swelling or pain. It's been about 5 years since my surgery and I don't regret it. My bunions were very bad, so you may have even an easier time than I did. My best advice is to do EXACTLY what the doctor tells you.  Keep your feet elevated and enlist help for the first week at least. If you have any other questions, just ask.

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    • Posted

      I had both big toes fused at the same time.  My doctor didn't want to do them both, but I told her I didn't want to go through recovery twice, and I didn't have the time to do it either.  I made sure I had someone with me who could do things like cook meals, wash laundry, get mail, take out trash, drive me to appointments, and feed the cats for at least 3 weeks.  She's my angel!   I bought a mini-fridge and placed it right next to the recliner where I planned to spend the next 6 weeks of my life with my laptop and the TV.  The doctor put me in rocking surgical boots so that I could get from my recliner to the bathroom and to bed, and I used a walker to make sure I wouldn't fall over. 

      It's been 7 weeks since my surgery.  I started driving this week.  I still wear my surgical boots when I'm shopping, etc., and I use the walker whenever I'm not in the house because I'm still catching my balance on my new feet.  I had to buy shoes that are two sizes larger, not because of the width, but because it's hard to get your feet into shoes when your toes won't bend. 

      If I had to do it over, I would definitely do both feet at once.  Just plan on going nowhere and figure out what you're going to do with the time before the surgery so you can have everything right next to you.  Take your pain medicines - don't tough it out, and elevate and ice all the time.

      Best of luck!

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    • Posted

      Lynn - and everyone on here!  Thanks for sharing.  When you say you had your big toes fused, do you mean at the base of the toe or the top of the metatarsal bone where the bunion sticks out, or were they fused down at the base of the metatarsal (about two inches below the base of your toe)?  Two of the surgeons I've talked to are suggesting lapidus fusion at that lower joint (and this forum makes me realize I need to get clarity on the exact procedure they suggest at the top of the metatarsal).... and I am trying to understand how inhibiting it would be to not be able to flex that part of my foot.   A third surgeon is recommending osteotomies at both joints that don't involve fusion and I'm wondering if that is the better way to go.  I appreciate any insights.Thanks a ton in advance.

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    • Posted

      Susan - mine were fused at the first metatarsophalangeal joints. The phalanges are the bones that are actually in the toe.  The metatarsals are in your feet.  My surgery fused the joint that connects my foot to my big toe, where the big bump is at the base of the toe.
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    • Posted

      Thanks.. I've done a bit more research to clarify my understanding of which joint is which.  The joint my surgeons are suggesting to fuse if the first tarsometatarsal (TMT) joint.  I'd like to find out if people find the resulting lack of movement at that location problematic.  I do a lot of sports and I want to keep doing them!

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    • Posted

      Maybe these will help you. 

      Moderator comment: I have removed the link(s) as they were broken. If users want this information please use the Private Message service to request the details.

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  • Posted

    i am 46 and have just had my bunion done and three other toes shortened. Although I have some arthritis in my toe joints my surgeon said that he felt i was too young to be restricted to flat shoes and has left me with bends in my toes. He did say that when i got older and the arthritis might be a bigger problem that he could do something to the joints but i would have no movement in the toes. It sounds like what you are talking about.  I assume that the bumps of the bunions would be removed. Good luck with your decision. 
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