anyone had a big toe joint replaced?

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I have had a big toe joint replacement = all is not well - eight months down the track = been very tough = can pnly just get a pair of flat shoes on - with difficulty.

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  • Posted

    I month out from a titanium toe implant. It has been, really awful. Had a very bad allergic reaction, to something. Terrible itching. While that has subsided, foot still beyond sore, swollen, reddish blue purple. Big toe won't touch floor, or bend. Have to go with nothing on foot. No shoe, have knee scooter, and crutches. Doubtful I can wear a shoe for a long time. I'm 64, female and  have had many surgeries in recent years and always healed very fast. This was odd. Is odd. But I am determined to get better. Probably take a year. Just know that while some people say they heal fast, some don't.

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    • Posted

      Hello Joe

      I am 57 and 4 weeks into my surgery, i can not put weight on my foot and I using the knee scooter! I try to move my toe and it is quite painful and hurts to the touch. I have not started physical therapy as of yet “maybe in another couple of weeks”. I see that you posted 4 months ago. My question to you is...do you feel any relief yet and are things going better for you? 

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    • Posted

      Hi Gloria,  Quick answer, yes much, much better. But what a horrible experience it's been. Had terrible allergic reaction, to something, skin rash ghastly, all cleared up now. Took seems like a long time. But it caused me to not use my medical boot. As I couldn't put the skin next to anything. So was afraid to walk barefoot for fear of compromising the surgery. So used the knee scooter for three months. Mistake. The leg muscle atrophied when I finally started walking again the knees were failing! Both knees. I'm at 5 months out, today. The big toe like yours, was so sore and at one month I had a lot more going on than a sore toe. So you're ahead of the game in that dept.  So now I'm in physical therapy for the knees. But I'm getting better there. (Arthritis ugh) Thank god for physical therapy. The big toe bends, touches the floor, but it's still swollen , after I'm on it for a couple hours. But there was a time I never thought I'd be doing this good. I may still have to have the implant removed, it seems like I have weaker wrists, popping knees and sore hands shoulders, but I just turned 65, and a lot of that I just mentioned has gotten better, a lot better. Foot looks good and I'm getting my life back. Long answer but, you'll get better, hang in there, and physical therapy will be your best friend. I've been told it's a year before we'll feel back to normal. 

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  • Posted

    I JUST FOUND THIS SITE AND KNOW YOUR POSTING IS 3 YEARS, BUT I HAVE 40 YEARS' EXPERIENCE WITH (1) big toe arthritis; (2) the question of joint fusion; and (3) big toe joint replacement. TO ANYONE READING THIS: **DO NOT - DO NOT - DO NOT** elect or get pressured into joint fusion. Over 40 years of dealing with these issues, the ONLY regret is having the joints fused in my right big toe. In fact, after my first implant from 1978 (age 21) wore out in 1997, I had a new one implanted, but once it became weight-bearing, it was terribly misaligned (not a problem with the surgeon or implant, as I learned years later). We spent the next 5 years (and 8 add'l. surgeries) trying unsuccessfully to achieve alignment, and one procedure was to fuse the joints in my big toe. TERRIBLE MISTAKE! Not only did that fail, but I eventually had the "replacement" joint removed. I instantly became unable to wear standard shoes, and now, 40 years later, I have sudden, agonizing stabs of pain where the bone was fused--and it gets worse and worse as I age. There IS some good news: There's probably enough scar tissue to act like cartilage even if you have no replacement implant done. That's the case with my right big toe, and I'm going to "leave well enough alone." FORUM MEMBERS, FEEL FREE TO WRITE ME.

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  • Posted

    I am almost a year down.  My implant healing process caused the joint to move over so now it looks like I have a lovely bunion on that foot.  I learned to purchase a size up in shoes. Normally I wear 7 or 7 1/2 and now I purchase 8.  I can wear low heeled boots and shoes as I have to dress up at work.  No more cute flats for me as they get distorted while wearing due to the joint moving over.  It feels better then the suffering I had before but is also still sensitive to touch and aches after a day on my feet.
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  • Posted

    I just had the right big toe joint replaced Friday, 2 days ago. I have to say that, so far, I am feeling GREAT! I Had so much pain for several years before in both feet. And now, the left big toe hurts more than the right. I'm having the left done in 2 weeks, and I can't wait! I was given Vicodin, which made me sick, so I've just been alternating advil and tylenol , which is working wonderfully. I am a clinical nurse and on my feet over 12 hours a day, so I'm nervous to go back to work in 8 weeks. If the healing continues to progress as it has, I'll be so happy!! I hope everyone here is healing and having a better experience.

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    • Posted

      I had joint replaced in both feet now. Right foot... spurs were curled over joint. Had them removed, joint rwplaced, and bone shortened. A month out... still have some pain. Doing ROM several times a day. Semi-pleased so far.

      Left foot... spurs rwmoved, joint rwplaced. 2.5 weeks out. Pretty pleased so far.

      I know it will take time for pain. I let them get so damaged after years of dealing with it. Let it go way too long. So I remain patient. Have 4 weeks til I go back to work as clinical nurse, on my feet 12+ hours a day. I am very hopeful.

      Good luck!!!

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  • Posted

    I am 14 months post op from a Cartiva implant. My surgeon confirms that implant receded and I am back to bone on bone. I now need to have a revision surgery. One surgeon wants to fuse the joint and another suggests for me either silicone Sgarlato Gait Implant or metal Arthrosurface Toe Motion implant. I dis not want fusion before nor do I want it now. Seems like joint replacement is next. Has anyone had Cartiva revision surgery and if so what implant did you choose as replacement, and what has been your experience?

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  • Posted

    Yours seems to be the latest post so here goes: I had a right big toe joint replacement done with a titanium hemi implant after years of pain, arthritis, broken toe 2 years ago and bad bone spurs on top. (I am 71 yrs. old). My podiatrist said it was bone on bone (no kidding!), and said the toe was basically fused, so the implant would be the best option. I wore a surgical boot & had weekly checkups (including the day after surgery).

    Yesterday the boot came off (wearing the 3 lb. boot was getting painful in itself), stitches came out and I was told to walk "normally" on the foot (haven't been able to do that in years), exercise it by bending, icing it and take Celebrex 1x a day for inflammation. I have to change a gauze dressing over the incision area and stretchy gauze over that. Wearing a sneaker-type shoe, but was told any shoe would be OK (of course no high heels - I never owned a pair). I didn't overdue it yesterday but today I woke with some pain in the toe. I was told to expect that. It's not too bad and I am hopeful everything will be much better than before the surgery, as after 35 or so years I'd like to be able to walk without having the pain travel to my right knee and hip due to gait changes from the arthritis in the toe. Today I will continue icing it, etc. PS - I saw a video on Youtube of the surgery - if you can stomach it, watch it. I have no itching or other reaction so far from the implant.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I am 67, my arthritis came as a result of an injury about 8 years ago. Sounds like you are 2-3 weeks post op? I have watched the videos. Just wondering, did you get a single hemi cap on the metatarsal, or was it a total joint replacement ie cap on metatarsal and phalangeal bones? My doc wants to do total joint replacement. I am thinking about doing it in May. Would love to hear how you are progressing.

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    • Posted

      Sorry so late with reply. It is now 8 weeks since I had the titanium hemi implant done, a single one on the metatarsal of the big toe. So far - so good 😃 . After the stitches came out, I still had surgi strips on & had to use gauze with that stretchy bandage. that was for another, maybe 3-4 weeks. Then was told I didn't have to use either (but the surgi strips were supposed to fall off by themselves). Everything was fine until the first night without gauze or bandage woke to find one part of the incision (I had 8 stitches) bleeding. Called podiatrist, went right in to his office & he cleaned the incision, replaced surgi strips & continued with the gauze & bandage for about 1 more week. Surgi strips fell off one by one, no problem. As far as pain, I do have some pain, not all in the toe. Have some pain in the top of my foot but that may be due to weak calves from not walking properly for years, etc. Had developed a callus on the bottom of the big toe, but that took care of itself after showering; the callus never was too developed. Still having some pain but nothing compared to the pain from the OA, bone spurs (huge) and lack of cartilege in the joint. I am sticking to flat bottom shoes (good shoes, not junk), I never wore heels higher than 1-2" and never spike heels so that's not a problem. Right now I am wishing I had this surgery done years ago. Not sorry I had it done and would do it again if I had to. Good luck!

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    • Posted

      I had the Cartiva implant removed last Friday (5/24/19) and had the (2) part Arthrosurface implant installed. The only significant pain I had was when waking up in recovery. Once that was managed thru the IV I went home and really did not have any problems with pain after that. Swelling has been minimal and I could wiggle the toe right away without pain. I am wearing a boot, and can walk pretty much normally in it. I can also walk flatfooted around the house on the bandaged foot with no pain, though I am trying to be good and wear the boot as I was told. I had my 6 day post op Dr visit last Thursday . He removed the bandage and the wound site looked great. Also, to my surprise there were no stitches this time. The incision was glued shut. The surgeon says that he likes to do it that way because less scar tissue forms then. My ROM was more than he though it would be in that short time, and I could wiggle up and down the toe freely about 15 degrees each way. He wrapped it back up with instructions to continue wearing the boot and to return in 2 weeks. He also said I should move the toe up and down by hand throughout the day to keep it loosened but don't overdo. If all goes well I will be starting PT in two weeks as well. That's about it for now. I attached a photo from the 6 day checkup. If you see lines on either side of the incision they are not stitches. They are felt tip marker lines that the Dr. drew for reference.

      image

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    • Posted

      Hi Ron, well, that looks good to me but I'm no doctor. Did you have an MD or a podiatrist do it? I had a podiatrist (board-certified). I am still having some pain but not just from the surgery, I think my feet are just shot due to age 😦

      Not much swelling left either; I see the podiatrist next week for my 12 week checkup. He has said nothing about PT; I don't think I need it. I was also told to move the toe up and down, and put it against a wall or solid surface and bend it; I admit I mostly did the former and not the latter. But I can bend it, I even ran just a bit with my dog (not very far, not because of the toe but I was out of breath), I walked 2 miles yesterday, slowly with the dog, and hurt all over: stinks to get old. I think now that the toe is so much improved and moveable, I can start exercising like I should. Good luck with the implant. Any reason why you had the 2 part instead of just one?

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    • Posted

      Hi Cecelia,

      My previous failed surgery was with an orthopedic surgeon. I had a podiatrist this time. He's done a lot of these. He told me to take off the boot throughout the day and move the toe up and down by hand. Swelling is not as bad this time around. In about 9 days I start working into a regular shoe and start PT. I think thats when i'll get a better idea how this worked. It feels pretty good already though all things considered. He put in the two part implant because the ends of both of the bones were deteriorated by the arthritis. I'm glad really because theres no pain at the joint interface, since its artificial. All the best to you. Ill probably post again in a few weeks after PT is underway.

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    • Posted

      no need to reply right away but i'm wondering if the podiatrist removed some of the bone from the ends of the bones? I had some bone removed ( cut off with a saw like on the youtube video) on the bone where the implant was inserted & the other side was resurfaced due to the arthritis.

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    • Posted

      The Dr. did use a tool to reshape the ends of the bone so that the two caps would seat properly. Heres a youtube video of the procedure if you care to see how it was done.

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    • Posted

      I have seen those videos on youtube. I had my 12 week checkup and all is well. Still having some pain, nothing compared to before surgery. I would not hesitate to have it done again, wish I had it done sooner. The podiatrist said to expect some pain until September. He said it might just be irritated nerves. Everything going OK. Hope your foot is much improved.

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    • Posted

      It's about 3 weeks now and the final bandage is off. All looked good. I am out of the cam boot and in a normal shoe now. I start PT on Thursday 6/20. The joint is stiff as expected from inaction, but the only real pain right now is sesamoid. Doc says the lack of arch support in the cam boot is likely the cause and it will settle down in a proper shoe. So far I am glad I did it as well. I'll know more when PT starts.

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