Bunion removal surgery and metal pins question

Posted , 23 users are following.

I had a bunion removed on December 23, 2013. A slice of the big toe was removed (primarily the bunion) and two pins were inserted for stability.

After two months I started to experience pain when walking, and can center it around the location of the pins. My podiatrist made the suggestion yesterday that it might require the removal of the pins, but wants me to try physical therapy first.

Question is, has anyone else encountered this? I'm 47 now. Before the surgery I was fairly active, playing soccer (football) up to four times a week, as well as basketball. I'm worries about extending the recovery time, and the ensuing changes that make returning to my prior activities.

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  • Posted

    I have no pins although I do have one screw in the big toe.  I highly recommend PT. I truly don't believe I would have pushed myself like this and been this far along without them.  Hope this gets solved for you.
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  • Posted

    Hi Diagro....I don't have pins that will stay in the toes but ones that stick out and will be removed at 6 weeks. I have read however that using screws or pins that can stay in is very common and one article stated that in about 20% of cases in the end they need to be taken out. It sounds like trying the PT is a worthwhile thing and I hope it works out for you. I have also read that once out discomfort was alleviated and there was more flexibility. My understanding is that recovery from the screw removal is nowhere near the length of time as the original surgery. Good luck to you!
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  • Posted

    Hi diagroo. Two months is no time at all to be wanting to resume your footballing acivity. I think you MUST continue to be patient and I can tell you that the discomfort you feel in the location of the surgery is not uncommon. I likve in the UK and had my surgery on 27 November 2013 and today (Easter Saturday and 20 weeks post surgery) I still have twinges but am more or less back to normal. The swelling still occurs if I have been on my feet for too long but this does recede is I rest my foot on a stool. You do not say whether you still have your foot bandaged. Mine was in bandages until 20th January 2014. A period of around 8 weeks. people's surgery requirements vary and mine was a substantial bunion ( this is considered substantial if the toe is bent at an angle of 30% or more. Mine was bent at a 37% angle. I also had the adjacent 2 nd toe opereted on as it was a hammertoe and I had a K-wire inserted into it for 6 weeks I have screws in the big toe where the bunion was previously). To return to the pai you mention when walking. Please don't ignore the fact that you've had surgery to one of the highest load bearing and high impact bearing parts of your body and this will need a lot of careful  nurturing to ensure that when it is fully restored it will be a good recovery. Trust me if you start getting fidgety and wanting to do too much too soon you and your poor foot will pay the price. And it will be nobody's fault other than your own. You have been warned!!!!!

    Why are you seeking advice from a podiatrist? My surgery was carried out by a proper qualiofied othorpaedic surgeon who specialises in foot and ankle surgery and who also is advisory consultant to some sports organisations in Yorkshire ( soccer, rugby etc). My surgery was carried out under our UK National Health Service. I did not pay to have the procedure carried out privately.

    Good luck!

    G

    Good luck

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    • Posted

      Hi Gillian,

      i have just just read your post and wondered if you could tell me if your screws in your big toe will stay in or can it be taken out once the bone has healed.

      i am having the same surgery as yourself end of July a wire in toe next to big toe that comes out after 6 weeks just not sure I like the idea of the screw staying in it making me feel anxious not sure why, I also have Fibromyalgia which I cannot do anything for the pain but this I can so that's what's helping me to stay positive one pain I can try and sort.

      be lovely to hear from you

      best wishes

      cindy

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  • Posted

    Hi diagoro , why don't you contact the consultants secretary and tell her your concerns , they may come up with some suggestions , hope you get on ok 
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    • Posted

      I have Kaiser insurance here, and everything is in house. Rather than offend my podiatrist, I'm giving her a bit longer to figure it out. I really have no reason, other than pain from surgery 4 months ago, to want to move on.
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  • Posted

    Hi, I had pins in my first bunion op, I was 52, one pin moved and was painful, I could feel the end of it! I saw the surgeon and went on operating table again, he numbed the foot with several injections and withdrew the offending pin. The toe was fine, the removal did not slow down recovery. This is because the foot had already started to heal, they can tell this from the x-ray. Good 

    uck. 

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    • Posted

      Hi Maria, checked notes, it was 6 weeks after the initial surgery. The pins had to be extracted as they had moved, they would not have removed them if they had stayed in place.

      I don't regret having them done but they are not perfect and sometimes I get pain and movement of big toes is limited so cannot fully bend toes. Hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. Do you recall where the pain was for you? I am 6 months post surgery and have been in pain since day 1 under the call of my foot and also the top of my foot. Bones have not fused yet so surgeon won’t temove the screws.  Sooooo frustrating 
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  • Posted

    Hi.  I have screws/pins in my foot and 3.5 weeks post op.  So far only mild discomfort.  I am very activr too and desperate to do more exercise, however, I am trying limit my activity.  From what I have read/heard recovery time seems to vary so much from person to person, but if you have doubts get it checked out.  I would think physio/therapy would be a good thing to have!
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  • Posted

    Thanks for all the suggestions and thoughts/comments here.

    I've been patient so far, haven't tried to push myself, but believe I should be able to walk without pain at this point! In fact, the docter said I should be able to run by now.

    I'm going to give physical therapy a few tries, but than going to push harder for answers.

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