Cartiva

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I am having the Cartiva implant done in about 3 weeks.   They make it sound like the recovery process is not bad, but reading some of the responses make it sound like it could be weeks before the pain goes away and you are able to get around.   I had resisted the fusion for the past 5 years and was thrilled to hear about Cartiva.   Can anyone tell me about their experience?   Thank you. 

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  • Posted

    Look around on these threads I have been commenting about my journey since surgery day. Today i begin week five. Its an easy recovery. 
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    • Posted

      I can fit in all my shoes! But I was buying a wider width shoe for the past 2 years or so because I couldnt stand shoes touching my big toes, I was in so much pain. My shoes are definitely fitting. I can't wear flip flops yet as my big toe doesnt bend enough yet to wear flip flops. My sons wedding is in January and I plan to wear heels to his wedding. I knew going in that it would take a good 6 mos for all swelling to resolve itself.  The nerve block was about 5 shots all around my ankle area. So my foot was totally numb. But I could still walk out of the hospital on my own power. It isn't that numb that you can't walk. I even went to the bathroom in the hospital after the block was done before I went into surgery. It felt funny with a numb foot but I still knew my foot was there.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the great information Nancy.  Along with numbing the foot, did they put you to sleep?  The doctor mentioned something about giving me something to make me drowsy, but not a strong anesthetic.   Today I have my visit with him to confirm everything for the surgery in 3 weeks.   I have dealt with this pain for 5 years resisting getting that fusion.  I have gotten by with Cortizone shots which helped for about 4 months at a time.   I just did not want to have screws in my toe, plus to be non weight bearing for weeks is almost impossible for me.     I appreciate all of your feedback and so glad I found this board to post on.  
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    • Posted

      You will have twilight sleep which is a liquid pushed thru the IV in ur arm. And then u just fall asleep. I was doing cortisone for the past 10 yrs and then i did it in May and it didnt work. I knew then fusion or this were my only option. I found out this was available and i booked the surgery immediately. The worst part is elevating for two weeks straight. The post op pain isnt too bad. 
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  • Posted

    Hello Gemma,  I had Cartiva implants in both feet exactly 3 months ago.  I still get pain sometimes in one, sometimes the other and sometimes both.  I can only fit into shoes which are extra wide and which I have had to buy.  The swelling around the joint stops me wearing 95% of the shoes I have.  However, the pain is getting better little by little and I am quite mobile.  I have even resumed my Ballroom and Latin dance lessons.  I went to see the surgeon a month ago and he took xrays.  He says the swelling is soft tissue (not the bone regrowing as I thought!) and it will gradually and slowly subside.  Recover is certainly a very slow procedure and I only hope that I will be able to wear my high heels again in the not too distant future.  I would not have the fusion option because I am a dancer and need to be able to wear heels which would not be possible with fusion.  Hope this helps you decide one way or the other.
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    • Posted

      Gemma I am one month post op and basically my foot looks like I have a huge bunion sticking out the side of it.  That is where the swelling is at. I can wear my gym shoes fine, and I have a pair of slip on skeetchers that fit fine. I have been wearing wide shoes for quite some time due to the pain of shoes hitting my big toes due to the arthritis. So if you have been wearing bigger shoes all along those will still fit after the surgery is over. I definitely have movement back in my toe.  I don't need to take pain meds. But I am still icing and elevating after dinner on the couch every night. It may take an entire year for all the swelling to go down. Just be prepared for that. But the pre surgery pain of arthritis in the toe is now gone.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Brenda,  I just want to get this over with.  I have spent 5 years pretty much in pain, although I would get Cortizone shots that would last 4-5 months at a time so that really helped.   I appreciate all of your feedback, and I had no idea so many people have had this done.  I keep thinking I am alone with this procedure but it certainly does not look that way being on this chat board.   I am scheduled for my surgery in 3 weeks, I cannot wait.  I had ask another person on this board too this same questions, I know they numb your foot, but did they put you to sleep?   Gemma
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    • Posted

      They put a nerve block in my foot then they put me under in twilght sleep.  The surgery only takes 30 minutes. I wAs in recovery one hour later. Got to hospital at 11. Surgery at 1. Home at 5 pm. Now if the foot nerve block didnt work then would have had to have general anesthia with the tube down my throat. No over night stays in america. Its outpatient surgery. 
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    • Posted

      Hi Brenda, I am having the Cartiva implant done on my right toe the first of June. I am a ballroom teacher and concerned about the down time of this procedure. Do you think I will be able to resume teaching in six to eight weeks? And how is your foot doing now? Thanks for the input. Tammy

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    • Posted

      hi Michael,

      Thank you for your enquiry. My right toe fusion was done 27th June 2019 following a previous Cartiva implant failure. I am now 8 months past the operation. I can report major success, I walk 6km (could run but my wife can't keep up:) a day with my wife, I cycle 100km a week on my Trek Emonda road bike, dropped 16kg from my heavest weight and darkest moments with that f!;@$!! Cartiva which was put in Nov 2018 15 months ago. To say the fusion only worked is an understatement, it worked splendidly. However the first 6 weeks with zero foot bearing and then 6 more with heal weight in same boot was all a challenge (bumming up the stairs each night and 4 months to start to feel more normal walking. BUT ALL WORTH IT !

      Good luck to all, hope I helped.

      Phil.

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  • Posted

    Hi Gemma,  I had this done in the UK under general anaesthetic.  It only required an overnight stay in the hospital.  Fully weight bearing immediately, walking with the use of crutches for the first 5 days.  Feet up for 55 mins in the hour for the first week.   
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    • Posted

      Thank you Brenda!  They told me they would numb foot and just put me in a twilight sleep.  Will go home the same day!

      This is such a better option then the fusion where you have to be non weight bearing for 6 weeks or more..    thanks again for the response.   Gemma 

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