Cheilectomy problem

Posted , 5 users are following.

I had a cheilectomy and bone spurs removed on my big toe 2 years ago. My toe will not totally straighten out and will not touch the ground. This has effected my walking. I am now getting painful corns on the bottom of both my feet from not putting even pressure on my feet. The arthritis is already back in the operated toe. My toe hurts to bend it. A podiatrist said my ligament is too tight and needs to be cut. Another said for me to try orthotics. I spent $400 on custom orthotics that have not solved the problem. The cheilectomy recovery was so much harder then I thought it would be. I got an infection in the incision 2 weeks post op which I know delayed my healing. I am scared to have another foot surgery but know I need my big toe flat for proper walking. Anyone been through this? Suggestions? I am a first grade teacher and on my feet all day. I need 2 feet that work well. I am disappointed that I didn't get a better outcome from the initial surgery done by a foot surgeon at a well known orthopedic group in Philadelphia. Supposedly the best.

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Were you instructed to do mobiltiy exercises (manually manipulating) for your toe after surgery?  I'm only a month out from my surgery to remove spurs and shorten the metatarsal.  The exercises are painful or just hard to get my toe to move.  My big toe also does not touch the ground. I have to relearn to walk with pushing off my big toe. 
    • Posted

      Hi There.... I was instructed initially to just keep foot elevated and iced. At 2 weeks I got an infection in the incision from I think being on it too much, as I went back to work. I think the pressure of my foot being down a lot reopened the incision a bit and I got an infection. I had to take more time off to really keep my foot elevated so that it could reheal. There was a possibility I would need to be opened again and that really scared me. This caused the staples to not be able to be removed until 4 weeks and my not being able to do any exercises until around 5 weeks. It was very painful and difficult to move. I tried to do the stretching exercises but I don't think it helped. I think I should have been sent for formal therapy and not just on my own. I really want my big toe to be flat so that I can walk normally. That surgery recovery was just so much more than I expected. How are you 4 weeks out? Are you still home from work?
    • Posted

      I'm sorry about all the issues with infection. I missed 2 weeks of work and dr said I was fine to return as long as I wore the boot.  I am on my feet for hours so only do shorter shifts and have to get back home to let it recover.  At one month I'm out of the boot but have to wear cushioned athletic shoes.  It feels so awkward to walk.  It feels like the pad of my foot is more elevated than my good foot.  Walking my gait ends up going to the outside.  I still can't move my toe much on it's own.  I have to manuallly move it.  It hardly moves down.  I am going to a PT today to see what insight she has to share.  Like you, I want my foot to feel flat again.
    • Posted

      I can relate. I am definitely walking on the outside. Am now getting corns on the bottom part of both my feet from pressure in the wrong spots which really hurt. I am a first grade teacher so rarely am sitting and walking all day up and down steps. I also have 2 replaced hips and don't want my gait to make them wear out sooner then they should. I will be 50 in August and have a 4 1/2 year old so, too. I got married later and obviously had Timmy later. The podiatrist said I already have arthritis coming back into the joint just a year after surgery. Not happy news. I just don't know what the answer is.
    • Posted

      I agree the recovery was much more painful and long than i expected. Result is not good here either.

  • Posted

    I had Cheilectomy 4 months ago(Big joint and smaller joint of the same big toe). Still in constant pain. I walk with a limp. I had before and after xrays and it looks worse after. I got a cortisone shot today. I'm 48 and very active. I'm a rock climber, runner, backpacker and need my toe to work. I was told the surgery had an 80% succcess rate, but I'm starting to doubt it. I apparently fall into the 20% group. I was told that if it still hurts, then it didn't work. I was told I have to wait for a year before re-evauating but that joint replacement and the same surgery again are the only other options that doesn't include fusion.

    I too have just found out that I have a corn on the bottom of my big toe joint - I've never had one before nor did I know what that was for about 3 weeks.

    I'm getting other opinions from other orthopedic surgeons, but getting in to see them is a long wait....4-8months each. I'm going to see 2 sports medicine doctors that will at least understand my desire/need to be able to be active again. I won't  settle for riding a bike or swimming.

    I'm lucky to be able to sit for work most of the time, but my life is built around rock climging and backpacking and hiking. My friends (who I don't see much now), my passion in life. This is a death sentance if I can't get this fixed.

    I'm looking into other options but the reviews are mixed. Interpositional Arthroscopy(putting tissue between the joints to act a a cushin, or hydroGel.

    Joint replacement has a low sucess rate and doesn't sound good. (full or partial)

    Very frustrated.

    • Posted

      OMG Kirsta4435 sadly its so nice to see someone else that has what I have, I like you am very active and the toe is worse after the op than before like about 90% worse.My job is also on my feet 3 days a week at 10 hour days so its very painful to say the least. I want a non surgery option if I am able, so please do keep me posted and I also will if I find a solution, one option was to see a nerve specialist as this is something that can get cut accidently but easily in surgery. I also feel your death sentence as I cant run, walk the dogs far and even driving is painful.

  • Edited

    I'm sorry for the things you folks are going through. I know very well now, as you do the degree to which this impacts life. This toe is a major part of balance and health of the whole body - even impacts the opposite leg and foot.

    I have Morton's toe - a shorter first metatarsal. It's a harmless variation about 30% of people have. No problems with this my whole life. I injured my big toe, though and needed the cheilectomy after arthritis set in.

    I had this surgery about 3 years ago and regret it. Painful, long recovery and, my foot is much worse.

    The big toe is shorter, still, than it was and the difference in length, now between big toe an second has put all the pressure on second toe. Big toe is barely functional and second toes is taking tremendous pressure and hammering. It often feels like that second toe and others are breaking. Forefoot swells and is painful. Ball of foot is swollen and developing neuromas.

    Lately, the forefoot, ankle, lower leg, inside of knee have become so painful, I cannot keep up my walking and exercise which are important to me. I'm 67 and weight-bearing exercise is important.

    The guy that did my surgery is a respected foot surgeon, but I called six weeks ago for an appointment and it will be another six weeks before I get in. Maybe the doctor is reluctant to see the results of this surgery.

    Walking and active lifestyle are critical to my overall health as I'm 67. I have been sitting out exercise for about 6 weeks now.

    If it there is any possible repair for this, the co-pays will be on me - a significant hardship, and even as painful as the recovery, it would have to be done if attempt to correct it wouldn't cause more disability.

    Anyone else have similar experience with shortening of the big toe and impacts to second and other toes?

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