Big toe joint replacement-possible infection?

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I crushed my big toe joint 3 years ago and since then I’ve had 3 surgeries to fix it. In October I had the joint replaced and it was good till 4 weeks ago! 

My toe started with pain and swelling (I barely hit it on my couch cushion and throught it was from that and would go away) but it got worse. I went in at a week after the start and the surgeon just gave steroids and pain meds. It didn’t get better and actually got worse. The color of my foot is/was a different color and it ranges from red, blueish and purplish and the pain is deep aching. I finally made the surgeon see me on Wednesday and he right away goes “that’s not right. We need to get a CT scan to look at the bone marrow” 

I had the CT scan on Thursday and he was in surgery today and I was told I would hear from him, but as usual, no call. 

I honestly can barely wear flip flops and even with those on it feels awful. Has this happened to anyone and it turned out to be a bone infection? It’s been almost 5 weeks so I know it’s not as pressing for him as it is for me since it’s ruinjng my life. 

Anyone have any information ? 

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  • Posted

    Hi Meaghan, 

    You’ve had a toe joint replaced in your big toe, plus other surgeries to it over a period of time , to me what you’re describing definitely sounds like a serious infection, which now is effectively spreading thru your foot, I’m no medical expert , but you have a foreign body implanted in your big to , an artificial bone joint, you’ve had other interventions done as well , which to me definitely has increased further risk to more infections, I’d be demanding action from your go now, or better still would be going to seek treatment from hospital now, go to your a& e hospital department or nearest walk in centre, I’m sure what your saying if correct should help you get immediate treatment, the hospital and surgeon who performed the joint replacement on your big to have a duty of care to treat you as a matter of urgency, you say you’ve had a ct scan a few weeks ago yet are waiting reply back from that hospital department etc, if you haven’t been given any antibiotics/medication what so ever after voicing your concerns at your last appointment I’d be making some serious noise by now ,  so seek treatment now my friend , none of what I’ve said is meant in anyway to worry or scare you in anyway , but your the one who needs to act my friend , I’m more than 100% certain if you can’t get to a go or walk in centre today , then please go to your local A& E hospital,  even the hospital you had the joint replaced at, they will had your hospital records, then it will be down to you to explain your condition and how much now it’s concerning you , if this was me I would be doing exactly that right now. 

    Hope you get this sorted my friend. 


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    • Posted

      Thank you, William! I just had the CT on Thursday and today the swelling is actually lower. The pain is still there, but I’ll take anything. 

      Did your swelling and pain get better for a little bit and come back? I’m calling Monday he has the images at his office so he’ll have them for me on Monday. 

      Thank you so much. 

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  • Posted

    Did you ever get an MRI with contrast? I was told that's the only way an infection on the bone can be picked up. What sucks is I get blood work done every week and the Infectious disease Doctor said it cannot tell if the infection is going away it's only to monitor the kidneys and liver for all the meds I'm on, Really sorry for what you are going through Meaghan

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    • Posted

      No, just did the CT scan. I’m praying if shows something so I can fix this. I’m petrified it won’t sjow anything and I’m stuck in this pain. 

      The swelling actually got better today! The pain hasn’t so I still can’t fit my foot in a heel, but I’ll take some swelling gone. 

      Did your infection site get better and come back? 

      Thank you so much 

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    • Posted

      I'm actually 2 and a half weeks into this, The Infectious Disease Doctor said you can not tell by the blood work if the infection site is getting better I'm assuming only a follow up mri will tell. I get the blood work copy which is done weekly emailed to me, Very interesting, three things came back out of range which tell the amount of inflammation in the body.

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    • Posted

      Ok, I’ll see what the CT shows on Monday. Where is your infection? You’ve only had it for 2 weeks so it was caught right away and treated? 

      Thanks for all the information. 

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  • Posted

    I’ll put this reply another way Meaghan. 

    My diagnosis of osteomyelitis was missed for a number of years , end result, had to have my left leg below the knee amputated , now that changes someone’s outlook on life, because had I known back then I wouldn’t be writing my own comments on many other sufferers as myself and what this does to people’s life’s, not just sufferers but also to family and friends, when it gets serious as mine did I have to fight for my independence everyday, for now and the rest of my life, but this isn’t about me, it’s about you and any other sufferers of osteomyelitis if that’s what been diagnosed, do you really want to keep on suffering when something can and should be done my friend.  I’m just trying to offer some support and guidance, I’m not medically qualified and the opinions and comments I make have been relevant to my own experience whilst still ongoing.  Every one who is or maybe thinks there suffering from osteomyelitis is different, because it can be caused by many other underlying conditions and not that obvious in the first few days/weeks, but surely anyone who feels there are reasons to be concerned, then don’t wait, it’s your health and well-being , above all seek medical advice ASAP, you’ll thank yourselves in the long run. 

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