Lapidus Procedure 5 years ago on right foot.... still having pain

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I have found these posts helpful to read through and l to know that there are so many of us out there with foot pain following bunion procedures. I had a lapidus procedure done 5 years ago by a podiatrist in northen Virginia USA who has been recognized by many different organizations as the best in the area. i thought this is going to be a a great result. Well, the foot looks a lot prettier but it hurts SO much worse the the bunion pain ever did. i would gladly take my kickstand of a bunion back and trade it for this pain.

I had the first metatarsal end and the first midfoot bone fused together by cutting the cartilage off and roughing up the bones and then hitting them with 3 large screws to hold it in place. i also was talked into doing the bunionette on the side of the foot (pinky toe) area as well. which i dont get too much pain from although it has thrown off my balance to catch myself when i fall to the side.. (leave the bunionette if you can it helps with balance)

Since having the surgery, my foot has felt so different and not in a good way. at times, it does not even feel like my foot. like i am wearing someone elses foot with pain.

Last year in september, i was so sick of the pain (pain in foot where surgery was performed and pain in the back of the calf, uncomfortable tightness) i went back to the podiatrist who did the surgery and asked him to remove the hardware that i was having pain. he was able to remove 2 of the 3 large screws. the other is buried in the bone and said he would need to break the bone to remove it so i asked him to leave it alone and not remove that one.

Now, a year after the screw removal surgery, i have had the worst pain since i had the initial surgery. my entire calf was extremely tight as well as all the tendons on the inside of my arch, down to my big toe and under the head of the first metatarsal.

i took myself to the podiatrist again and explained to him all the severe pain i had over the weekend and he quickly diagnosed with plantar facitiis and gave me a night split and an injection in the facia on the heel of my foot. i was not happy with this so i went to an ortho for foot and ankle 2 days later for 2nd opinion. he sent me for an MRI and to also look into having a nerve test done that i have set up for NOV14 due to the waitlist for this nerve dr. he told me to come back when i had all these tests complete so he an have a real good look at me. there was confusion with the MRI center so i ended up going 2 weeks later for the test. i asked them to send the results to my podiatrist, who did he surgeries, the ortho who asked for the test and then also my general doctor.

i had a follow up appt with the podiatrist set already for this past Monday, yesterday and so i went. he asked about the plantar facitiis and i told him that the pain in the foot was still there in the entire arch and also in certain spots inside the sole as well as tenderness in the toes and on top of the foot. lastly, i told him about the bruising feeling under my first metatarsal head and the crunching and slipping that i had been feeling when i got out of the bath with no shoes on.

he pressed on the sesamoid bone and tears came to my eyes.. now he has diagnosed me with sesamoiditis as well as plantar facitiis. he gave me a steroid injection in the lateral sesamoid and I FELT PAIN FREE for 8 hours due to the pain block he mixed with the steroid injection. he then told me to go to physical therapy and they will help me with the sesamoiditis, foot stiffness to build up the strength in my foot... what? ive been out of any surgical shoe for well over a year my foot is strong.... he also recommended that i have dry needeling done, like accupuncture. however he didnt tell me how to wrap my foot for my new condition nor did he tell me to pad the area or not to walk on it for a while. he didnt offer any further prescriptions for inflamation or pain. he just didnt follow through.

2 hours later, i took myself to my general doctor to tell him whats going on with me and to get a referral for the best podiatrist or foot surgeon in the DC area. he gave me a blood work sheet and wants me to have an MRI of my back and knee due to some pain and numbness while driving and then we can talk about some pain medication when i come back..

(i wasnt in much pain due to the pain block administered in the sesamoid by the podiatrist at the time so i didnt push)

well, i taped my foot up this morning and put on my tennis shoes and ate 800 mgs worth of ibuprophen as well as a 500mg tylenol and out the door i went to do my sales rep job. i drove which is painful die to arching of the foot so i tried to brake with the heel and gas with the entire foot. i walked on the side of my foot mostly from store to store that i visited. by 3 pm, i was in severe pain and crying on my way home. i called the general practioners office but hes off on tuesdays so no getting him to call me in something for my pain and anxiety. i came home, took more ibuprophen, and drank a large vodka with sprite that helped relax me and now im up at 2:15 am with pain and cannot sleep...... thats the reason for all this rambling, i cant sleep....

if anyone has had any similar stories with the lapidus procedure, please respond

if your reading this post considering the surgery.. please reconsider, i would take my ugly throbbing bunion back anyday....

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    dianna,

    im so sorry youre dealing with pain right now. im 2.5 weeks post op i had my first metatarsal fused with the first bone and one screw put in. currently cant walk or even move my big toe around feels so stiff and swollen like my big toe might burst.

    i think looking for second opinions is definitely the right choice and id say to stay optimistic. a dr will help you

    im so sorry youre dealing with this right now. stay strong

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  • Posted

    I went to a podiatrist and was told not to have my bunions done until I couldn't walk. the reason being if it went wrong I'd end up in a wheel chair. one toes dislocated it was pushed so far out of position it had to be fused. because of the blizzard funding in the NHS I couldn't go back to podiatrist and was referred instead to an orthopaedic surgeon. He operated on one foot and although the look isn't perfect as it heals,I was told up to 18 months it feels better and better. in January I'm going back to get the other foot done.

    I've always understood that surgery of this type carried risks it can and does go wrong. However these choices have to be made.

    I,'ve been there laid awake with the toe joints thriving and I feel for you. There have been days when there hasn't been enough pain killers or alcohol in the world and it makes me cross when people go into this type of surgery purely for cosmetic reasons.

    I hope eventually you get what you need.

    Good luck

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  • Posted

    I had to lapidus surgery in February and although the recovery was extremely long and painful I don’t regret it. However for about two months I had no pain whatsoever or issues. Then I went through a stressful time at work and I had to of been bending my foot weird or something. Now my foot on the sole ? hurts all of the time. It almost feels like I regressed back.. It’s not painful where he actual bunion was it’s on the bottom where my last three toes are. Ever since the surgery I have a clicking feeling when I work or push down on my foot. I really did enjoy that month or two or a had no issues. I don’t want to go back to my orthopedic surgeon and be told I need more work done. I feel that should’ve been enough going through all of that 😕. I do hope you find relief. I’m sure I will end up going back soon because it is pretty ridiculous and frustrating to go through all of that to end up like this. I do hope it’s just because maybe the muscles tightened back up. ..

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  • Posted

    Hi there,

    I'm so sorry to hear what you are going through. I had my Lapidus surgery (along with a McBride bunionectomy and Austin osteotomy) done 9 weeks ago on my right foot and am about to get my left foot done on 11/7. I am walking without crutches and steadily getting better, but I had to go to physical therapy to get there. I was non-weight bearing up until last Thursday and after one PT session, was able to walk with one crutch. Over the weekend, I was able to walk carefully crutch free. I've had three sessions now and am able to walk and drive. It has not been easy. The PT had to strengthen my arch and leg muscles as well as train me to walk again with the new shape of my foot and at times, I would be nearly crying as he stretched out my toes and massaged my foot to break up scar tissue.

    I would like to recommend PT, but it sounds like you may have structural issues stemming from the surgery. My recommendation is to find an orthopedic surgeon to look at your foot. I chose an orthopedic foot specialist to do the surgery because they are doctors and are trained to look at the structure of your foot in relation to the rest of your body. Podiatrists do not have a medical degree and my surgeon has told me many of his cases are revisions from surgery done by podiatrists. Five years is too long to live with the pain that should have been gone long ago. Please get a second opinion with a top notch orthopedic surgeon specializing in ankle/foot surgery. Good luck!

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    • Posted

      Hello, I just want to clarify for those who read this that podiatrists do have a medical degree. After 4 years of undergrad, podiatrists must complete 4 years of medical school and then an additional 3-4 years of surgical training. The training is specialized specifically to the foot and ankle. It has not always been this way so your doctor may have been uninformed of the new training requirements and surgical experience required of podiatrists. Orthopedic surgeons are required to complete similar training but training is usually focused on more then just the foot and ankle. I agree that finding a good surgeon is key to a positive outcome. All the best!

      -Holly

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