Cartiva Recovery 15 Weeks Post Op - Anyone Else?

Posted , 7 users are following.

I had a Cartiva implant done 15 weeks ago on Feb. 27. Recovery had been a nightmare. So far have had, in this order: the big walking boot, the small walking boot, an "appropriate running shoe (wide), back to the small walking boot, back to the big walking boot today.

I have been on Norco and then an Rx for inflammation (28 days, 2x a day). Pain is getting worse. I had 12 PT sessions that are over with the PT saying "There is no more he can do for you." I have had an Xray and yesterday an MRI. 

Results of MRI - perfectly normal healing. Translation -  you are still swollen and that is what is causing your severe pain. So, back in the walking boot I go, but not before being administered a monster Cortisone shot today, directly in the big toe knuckle.

Apparently my body is not healing as quickly as ALL of the other doctor's patients. I am the only one who has EVER had "complications" and this much swelling.

I am 61, weigh 125 lbs, 5'4 and am in excellent physical shape. I eat well and take care of myself. So, I am having a really hard time understanding this recovery. Eight years ago I had a pin put in my other foot for the same issue - bunionectomy - and the recovery was done by now. 

Oh, I am also wearing a toeless compression sock for at least nine month, every day.

Yesterday, I was so depressed and in pain I literally could not function. Because my gait is off, and I cannot walk properly, my back and upper neck are stiff and sore. The frustration post-surgery is hard. I expected a quicker recovery time and swelling for a while, but not pain.

I am in another forum on here about the Cartiva. Some of you reading this probably have heard my story, except for the MRI, which just happened.

Anyone else experience a recovery like this. I am a very positive person and put my trust in the doctor and I feel like I should be patient, but my intuition is telling me something is amiss. I will follow the directions about the boot for 2 more weeks, when I see her again. Would love to know your experience with Cartiva if it was for the same issue as I have. Second toes and other surgeries are not what I had. Just the big toe - bunionectomy (which I think I have spelled wrong) Thank you!

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12 Replies

  • Posted

    Sorry to hear your troubles.

    I have post traumatic arthritis from

    A great toe injury 2 years ago. 

    I understand gait being off, bc toes are crucial to walking!!

    I was contemplating cartiva, but am thinking twice after ur post.

    Did u try prp or stem cells in the joint first??? 

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    • Posted

      No, I didn't. Was never mentioned or offered and is not very common in the US. Yes, think twice about Cartiva, altho people abroad seem to be having better results. Not sure where you are from, but good luck and review all of your options.

      The pin I have in my other foot was way easier and still holding up well eight years later!

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  • Posted

    Hey there

    I am in NY and a lot of doctors here do prp for multiple areas of the body.

    It’s costly, but I hear worth it.

    I’m speaking to a foot surgeon next week about the shot.

    My orthothic she’ll greatly, but when I move a certain way sometimes it gets me. Prob bc the cartiledge is ripped in an area and cant hold the “load” of the movement.

    I’m learned worn down or ripped anything loses its ability to sustain shock.

    Anyway, hope u find relief soon!

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  • Posted

    Hi Iorjie,

    I have a similar situation.  5 months ago I had a cartiva implant in my left big toe and am still in pain. My gait is off and I'm afraid that I'll have other problems from that.  I'm 66 and in good shape but this is really putting a cramp on my lifestyle so I'm having another surgery to correct the problem with the guy that did an orthotic compression on my right big toe about 5 yrs ago.  That one was fine after about 3 months.  So damn the cartiva !   I wish I never heard of it !

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  • Posted

    Hi I am now 8 months post and the pain gets worse. 

    Simsy

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    • Posted

      After 6 months and still feeling the pain with every step,  I went to a podiatrist who said he could see what was wrong from looking at the x ray. He operated on it 3 weeks ago and it already feels better ! 
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  • Posted

    Stem cell seems like the way to go but I have heard that it's still about 5 yrs off.   The cartiva is a crap shoot.  If you have it done,  go to a Podiatrist that understands the mechanics of the foot and toes.  I got the wrong orthopedic surgeon who didn't have enough know how ! 

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  • Posted

    I'm seven weeks in and I'm in so much pain.... I've been on percocet and now Norco 7.5 two at a time and didn't even touch they pain.... i have no movement at all toe is stiff constant burning sensation... yesterday was my first day back to work after six weeks and I'm in worse condition than before surgery. My incision is beautiful, cut swelling, huge knot of side of toe, the weight of a bed sheet hurts so so bad,. I've been tested for gout and for infection both negative. What the hell is wrong? I'm so so upset, there pain is increasing and today with the drug problems your are afraid to all for pain medication... hell I just want answers I'm not getting.

    Cissy

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    • Posted

      7 weeks is nothing! I, too had the big bump which is finally going down after 9 months, post-surgery. Try to wean yourself off of the drugs. Elevate and ice when you can and take ibuprophen for pain. You have to be patient, which I was not at the beginning. Took me months to accept the surgery is awful. I had the bed sheet thing, too, by the way. It does get better. I can no longer walk more than 2 miles, cannot box anymore, which was my passion and running is out of the question. The only shoes I can wear are Brooks running shoes PT in January for that issue. Not a pleasant experience at all. But again, 7 weeks is way too soon to feel better, I am so sorry to say, based on what I went through. Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Sorry to here about your situation. I went through the same thing back in February. Let this Orthopedic surgeon talk me into the Cartiva . He said "It's the future with no metal and you'll be 100% in 6 weeks.

    BS ! After 6 months of pain when walking I went to an old Podiatrist who fixed to a certain extent with a surgery called an Orthotomy with Compression. I don't think the Orthopedic guy understood the mechanics of the foot. He could only do it one way like one size fits all ! My big toe will never be the same but at least I can walk pretty fast and jog a little without being in pain.

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  • Posted

    I had both great toes operated on 8 months ago. At first, everything seemed to go well, and the pain in my feet was much better. Then it got worse. Right now I can't walk more that a few blocks, and I always have pain. Last week I had a follow up appointment with my podiatrist and X-rays revealed that both implants are impacted and the joint is once again bone on bone. My choices now are either live with it, remove the Cartivas and have them replaced with Swanson implants, or have the joints fused.

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  • Posted

    I had both great toes operated on 8 months ago. At first, everything seemed to go well, and the pain in my feet was much better. Then it got worse. Right now I can't walk more that a few blocks, and I always have pain. Last week I had a follow up appointment with my podiatrist and X-rays revealed that both implants are impacted and the joint is once again bone on bone. My choices now are either live with it, remove the Cartivas and have them replaced with Swanson implants, or have the joints fused.

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