I am concerned about my scarf and Akin bunion operation post operative recovery

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I would appreciate any advice that anyone has to offer. I had the scarf and akin procedure undertaken on my left foot in May 2015. The surgery was performed by an NHS orthopaedic surgeon. I had a preexisting hammer toe of my second toe. Following surgery, the advice was two weeks non weight bearing, foot elevation and pain relief. To be honest the pain wasn't too bad. I was then advised to heel walk in a flat surgical shoe for 6-8 weeks. I wasn't offered physio, crutches or exercises. After 12 days I saw the surgeon and the dressing  was removed. There are three screws in the big toe that are permanent. He said the wound was healing nicely and to wear a foot splint for 12 weeks, he would review me again in 12  weeks. My problem is my big toe and 2nd toe do not touch the floor, I have a massive gap between the big and second toe. I am experiencing a stretching pain under the second toe, which is a great discomfort. My big toe is numb, but I did expect this. The ball of my foot is swollen and bruised. There doesnt appear to be signs of infection. I am now six weeks post op and I feel despondent that my foot looks more disfigured than pre surgery, more painful. It isn't possible to put on my usual wide fit shoe, I feel like my foot would break as it is so rigid if I tried to put on the shoe. HELP is this normal or do I need to ask for a review, I dont want to be a wimp

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  • Posted

    Hey there i am 18 weeks post op on my left foot,and it is just about back to normal still swelling but can actually fit in a shoe.It was exactly like yours i thought it would never get better i also was having pain on the ball of my foot side of my foot and my ankle killed felt like something was very wrong,think it was with not using it i could not get the heel toe thing going but then suddenly it was there so am happy ,it is a long recovery.

    Have just had the other foot done 2weeks ago but this time i had mis surgery so no scar but still same recovery i expect? although i am a bit braver this time and not being so anxious about it. I have avery big gap between my toes looks weird,but i did with the first one and now its not so noticeable!

    Going back to the othe foot and shoes i was about 14 weeks in and bought a pair of sketchers a size bigger as it was all i could fit into.

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    • Posted

      Thank you, thats abit more reassuring. Does your big toe touch the floor? I fear it may never happen. I am supposed to be having the second foot in a couple of weeks, but felt I needed advice about this one first. Do you work, i was hoping to return to work at the end of august. We are all individuals and recover differently but there are stories about people running around after 6 weeks. Thank you and good luck with your second recovery.
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    • Posted

      Hi,my left foot toe still not touching the floor but it is movoving but still stiff.

      Ihave been off work for 18 weeks ,i would have been able to go back maybe at 16 weeks but they knew i had other op to come so said not to bother just get strong for nxt one.I too have noticed some people seem to be up and about so quickly but we are all diffrent and i would not have been able to go back to work until about 16weeks as it was so very painful walking ,i had a horrible limp.My doctor said everyone is different but most of the people she had seen with this surgery all took a long time to recover.The occupational health also said the same. Maybe if i was a teenager it would have been different lol!!

       

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    • Posted

      You are right we are all different. I feel that if I had the op a few years ago prior to getting complications, hammertoes etc then recovery would have been quicker.  From experience my advice would be get them sorted as early as possible before complications set in. Thanks again, all the best
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  • Posted

    Hi den I had bunion and hammer toe surgery around the same time as you (15 may in my case) and although my big toe touches the floor the second and third toes (which I had implants put in to correct hammer toes) do not touch the floor. At this stage I think the swelling underneath the toes is major contributing factor to this. I think we have to be patient with this swelling business as it seems to take a long time before it goes. I know what you mean about the look of the foot too as mine looks unsightly and disproportionate. It looks fat and ugly which doesn't inspire one with confidence. Again it can all be a bit disheartening as the whole business has been quite an ordeal. I think it might be a bit early to think of returning to your pre-op shoes. I was advised that I should go from the walker boot thing in about a week (making a total of six weeks in that) to a soft trainer (a size or even two sizes bigger than usual to start with. The swelling seems to go on for several months at least I have been told. Apparently it reduces gradually but can take some time. I sense that like myself you very much want to speed the process up and this can be frustrating. I have been told that exercises like trying to gently move the toes or scrunch then up as if you were trying to pick up marbles with them, are helpful. Also gently pushing the toes down manually towards the floor every now and then can assist recovery. Mine seem impossibly stiff so I can relate very much to what you are saying. From what I have gleaned from others on here your symptoms are normal and for both of us it is very much a waiting game. You are not being a wimp by the way. Well if you are then I am a wimp too. It is a very scary and worrying busness all this foot surgery business. And I for one have found myself feeling anxious and depressed a lot of the time. It feels like there is a big ball under my toes and it is not so much painful as just very uncomfortable. My big toe is numb like yours. Sorry I can't be more helpful but your experiences certainly seem similar to mine and those of others who have posted on this site. I wish you all the best in your recovery and as I say it sounds quite normal to me. I just wish I could fast forward a few months down the line!!
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply, its really good to have these blogs and to be reassured. I have a sheet of exercises that a friend gave to me. She had the surgery in a different area. I do them religiously and because the surgeon didnt offer them to me, you sometimes think you may be doing more harm than good. One of the exercises is picking up a tissue with your toes, well I dont have a prayer of that! But I am sure it will come with time. I am probably slightly more concerned because the second op is imminent. Ill speak to the surgeon on the day of the second surgery. My main concern is the big toe going down, the massive V between the toes and the overstretching underneath. I understand what you mean about the stiffness. Im feeling anxious too but as you say its a waiting game. Just need it to be ok for the end of August to resume work. Thanks for your advice and good luck with your recovery, 
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    • Posted

      Hello. My bunion/ hammertoe surgery was Feb 13 and I am only now relieved of pain and swelling. I had physical therapy as well. I also developed a ball under my toe and was told it was scar tissue. It was treated with a compound ointment and cross friction, a type of rubbing and pressing on it. I also  practiced picking up marbles with my toes and was told to manually press the joint of my big toe down. This whole process was way longer and intense than I imagined. Good luck to you
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    • Posted

      Hi Toni, pleased to hear that you have done so well. Are you in the UK, what is compound ointment? I might try the marble exercise, i tried it with a tissue, but cant do it as yet, not so worried about that. The splint that I was given works whilst it is in place, but as soon as I remove it, the toes revert back leaving a huge gap. Like you say its a long process, thanks for your story, much appreciated.
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  • Posted

    Hi den, all that you are describing is normal.  I can remember that after 6 weeks I improved more rapidly.  I am about 12 weeks and, although my foot is much better than at 6 weeks, I still get the swelling, aches and niggly pains in my foot though.  I managed to get into a wide skecher trainer for the first time last week, and have been using sandals up to now.  I still cannot fully put my big toe flat on the floor but I can now move it slightly towards the floor.  There was a wide gap between my big toe and second toe but as I wear socks and fitted shoes it is getting narrower.  The doctor said he over-compensated because the toe does move back a bit.  

    I had my hammer third toe straightened but that hasn't been too successful as there is a dimple like scar and it's still sore, I'm going back to him in August.

    We need lots of patience to get through this op, and when you think about it, we've had major surgery on an important bone in our body, one that needs to be strong for us to walk.  Good news from Shona at 18 weeks, I look forward to being closer to normal again! 

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    • Posted

      Thanks Barbara I m pleased that you are recovering, yes it good news to hear from Shoan doing so well at 18 weeks, its just patience really. I cant put a sock,on at the minute, I ve tried a bigger one too, because it causes a tightening sensation in my foot. I hope all goes well with your next appointment. Good luck
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  • Posted

    I am in a similar situation to you! I am 5 weeks post op, not had much paib. I am still in the Darko heel walking boot, but was never told 'no weight beariing.' It's healed up well, I saw the surgeon at ten days' post op for bandage removal and a quick look. I also have two screws and a staple which will stay in permanently. He said all looked ok (just a visual check). I see him again this Tues for a 5 1/2 week check which will include Xrays. I have been given no physio or excercises/advice, but  this is my second foot surgery and so I figure it is just up to me to get on with it!  My first surgery (on the other foot) left my big toe still leaning towards my second toe, but the surgeon (different surgeon) said he didn't want to 'over correct.'  That foot feels fine, but i do still wear a toe separator because the big toe rests quite heavily on the second toe and i don't want a recurrence ot the bunion. I have read that our natural foot shape is somewhat curved and the toes should taper in at the front; that is what makes our toes fit ok into shoes!  When i  initially saw the result of this second surgery, big toe much straighter and a wide gap between my big and second toe. i initially thought it was a better job than the first foot. But I did wonder if this would make it more difficult when it came time to put on a shoe.  The time is almost here, Den. i have some Skechers soft fabric shoes, a size larger than my normal size. I wore them last time from about week 6-10, and had no discomfort at all adjusting to shoes. Most people go into velcro sandals but this will not help me back to work. My foot needs to be covered.  Apart from a need to have my toes safely protected, even by a light fabric shoe, I am certain nobody will want to see ugly toes in my  workplace! But right now I fear that the big toe is so rigid that it will hurt or break or compromise the screw/bone knitting that's going on under the skin  if forced into even those soft shoes. Swelling under my big toe, right in the middle joint is an issue for me also, as well as the ball of the foot. Not painful though, and I am not suffering from stretching sensations as you are. But as with you, big and second toe do not touch the floor. I would like to  think that walking in a flatter shoe rather than the heel walking wedge shoe will help bring the toes down. I will ask the surgeon about this Tuesday and let you know. Overall, I do think making you wait from 12 days to 12 WEEKS is an exceptionally long time between reviews. Are you signed off work for that entire time?
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    • Posted

      Thanks Alice, its good to hear everyone elses experiences. Im actually wearing a darco splint, it wraps around the foot, there are loops that pull the toes down and held in place by velcro, so whilst I am wearing this for 12 weeks, it will have to remain in the surgical shoe. I did anticipate being off 8 weeks, but due to the second surgery, this will be one period of sickness and recovery all in one go, thats why I am so anxious to know that this foot is recovering 'normally' I feel as you do that of I tried to put my foot in any shoe, it would compromise the healing process. I feel that he has taken my big toe too far to the right.  It would be good to know what advice you are given next week, good luck 
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    • Posted

      Hello. I am in Tasmania Australia. I had double bunion surgery 3 months ago. Its been the hardest thing I have ever done. I am walking a bit better but worried about my rught foot. My big toe seems to be bending towards to other toes and because of this my second toe is so squashed I have a bone starting to stick out. It also feels like I have a very tight shoe on. Even when I don't have shoes on. Wondering if anyone is having this issue.
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    • Posted

      Hi Pauline, it is difficult, its major surgery to the foot. I think you are very brave having both together, not sure I would have managed that. My big toe is going away from the others. I think the tightening maybe part of the healing process. My foot tightened more when I put a sock on, so I stopped wearing them for the minute. Looking at all these stories, I think recovery is longer for some more than others. Do you have a follow up appointment, good luck
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    • Posted

      hello Den. Yes I have a follow up tomorrow so hopefully they can tell me if it's ok. Thoughout this whole experience I have not been very imformed by what to expect. So hopefully my recovery is going ok. I am worried about the sensation I have. Lets hope they can reassure me. I shell update tomorrow.
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    • Posted

      Hi Den,

      The consultant was happy with the xrays yesterday, so was I!  He told me to get rid of the  Darko wedge shoe as soon as I can get into my soft fabric Skechers. He didn't seem too concerned about the fact that soft shoes will put slightly compress the very straight big toe, and did not advise me to wear sandals as an alternative.  He said I should walk on my whole foot now, even barefoot indoors until I can get the shoe on. and avoid the temptation to walk on the side of the foot. The  numbness,swelling, discolouration, shooting pains are all normal, as I was told after my first surgery last year. The surgeon said the fact that my big toe is markedly separate from the second toe is not unusual and like everything else will settle into a more natural position with time.  He said try to work the toe up and DOWN to make it start touching the floor.  I think the boot you are wearing, with the loops which pull your toes down, must be helping to ensure your toes are roughly where they need to be for now, but you will have to work to regain the flexibility in them. Advice once you are walking is to put the foot UP for a little rest to reduce the purple colouring ( it helps accumulated blood drain away) but otherwise, even with swelling, walking is the best physio.  All good advice, in my opinion.  He would not declare me fit for work until 8 weeks have elapsed, and has told me just to get used to walking on the foot as instructed first. Last time I went back at 6 weeks, with a note for 4 weeks' light duties. This time, looks like I get to be a lady of leisure for a bit longer!

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    • Posted

      Thanks Alice, thats great all positive news. Its good you are in sketchers too. I religiously do exercises. Yesterday and today, mine has much improved and I am walking round the house without the shoe.  It sounds like you are doing great and thanks for your advice
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