How long does pain last?

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I had left metatarsal osteotomy and akin osteotomy 3 weeks ago.  Discharged with huge padded dressing and velcro wedge shoe and instructed to use crutches at first and gradually increase weight bearing. Pleasantly surprised at first, managed with little pain relief after first week.  Had initial dressing removed after 2 weeks, foot looked good, well healed but stitches not disolved yet.  Another huge padded dressing applied by the surgeon, and told to keep on for further four weeks and to wear wedge shoe at all times, crutches just to aid balance.  Some days virtually pain free, but then suddenly have odd days when pain is quite severe, sometimes shooting pains, today just feels very bruised over side of joint.  Is this usual,  - am I perhaps doing too much on the good days,  The very hot weather hasn't really helped as the foot swells up inside the dressing which is very uncomfortable.

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  • Posted

    Sounds like my experience except when the dressing was off after the second week I just had the boot. I have not had crutches but got sticks from physio as I was so unbalanced it hurt my back and hip. Haven't used them much. I should have gone back for X-ray 2 weeks ago but appointments mixed up so I go next week. I have started to weight bear without the boot as I assumed that is what would have happened if the appointment had been on time. My pain has been non existent really apart from lately and it sounds like yours. When it begins to hurt stop and rest! Does anyone know how long before normal footwear or driving from op begins?


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    • Posted

      See my remark to Lynda97529 about the boots/shoes i'm using!I have been trawling second -hand shops cos I suppose the foot will continue to be variable in size.

      I hope to get back to drive in about 2 more weeks - 8 weeks in all since the op. I sat in the car today, but had a feeling that the pressure on the toe would not be good, especially in slow-moving traffic, or emergency stop/

      I believe the swelling takes quite a while to go. My foot is a better colour but is still swollen, which is why I can wear nearly none of my shoes. Patience is the thing, I think.

      Good luck

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  • Posted

    I agree about the shooting pains, although with me they only lasted about a second each.

    The feeling of being bruised for me was on the parts of my foot which I was walking on to avoid the wound - ie heel and instep.

    Mind, I have had no stitches.

    Discomfort is what I felt - not exactly pain. I really did quite alot including walking to the bus stop and using the bus to town, from week 3. Am now 6 weeks on and the dressing is off too. I am still wearing larger shoes, after not using the surgical boot any more - open toed, velcroed sandals and a knitted 'ugh' boot which has easily manipulated knitted bits right down beyond the ankle : it would appear that the swelling takes a few months to go. Galoshes if it rains? Do they make them any more??????

    Suggest just resting up regularly when you can and staying in bed longer if you can in the morning. Look on the internet for some exercises when you have the stitches removed, especailly ones which stretch the tendons on the back of the LEG where the foot was operated on, as apparently thse can stiffen up and make it awkward to walk downstairs - but do ask doctor cos your particular op might be different from mine. I ;learnt to wiggle my toes up and down by grasping it,  which was scary at first, but seems to work to make the toe stay less rigid.

    Good luck!

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  • Posted

    Lynda, this sounds very familiar. I also got the odd day of sharp pains, I put this down to soft tissues around the nerves adjusting although I also spoke to a consultant and it is sometimes the case that a nerve can be damaged during an operation and this can causes similar pains. I found the sharp pains did not return, they lasted a couple of days. The swolen foot can only be releived by raising the foot which ineveitably means you cannot walk for long periods. I did try and push mine and put up with the swelling and aches, in retrospect it did no harm (my foot is OK now) but it did no good either. It just takes a long time to recover, Now, at 6 months after the operation the foot is pain free unless I do exercisies like the Lunge and even then its not bad. I found myself getting impatient with the time it takes to recover, at one point I thought there was something wrong because of the redness/swelling persisting for a long time. As a rough guide I think I had 2 days of sharp nerve related pains, about 3 months before the redness/swelling was totally gone. Now I am walking, running, cycling normally. One thing I noticed was a tendency to continue to walk asymetrically for some time, this is a natural reaction to the operation, the foot was trying to protect itself, I was not putting full pressure on the big toe joint. This adjusts over time.  

    I would not worry about things too much, just be patient and raise your foot as often as possible. There is no point in pushing hard (as I did at times), I suggest you wait until the bones have fused more before you push yourself.

    Good luck with your recovery,  Kevin

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    • Posted

      Thanks very much for the reassuring comments - I am realising that I must be patient and it is only when I overdo things that I get the swelling and the pain - when it is painfree it is so tempting to get on with things. 
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