Post Hammer toe/toe shortening surgery

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Hi Everyone

I had my 2nd toe on both feet shortened to correct my hammer toes on 31 July 2014.  I am now 11 weeks post surgery and am starting to get concerned as my left foot seems to be healing perfectly, although the toe is still slightly swollen I can see the bone structure a shape of my 2nd toe.  My right foot 2nd toe is still very swollen (looks like a saussage) and the toe is slightly elevated. My consultant has suggessted I come in for an X-Ray (at the cost of £150) to see whats going on inside the toe.  After paying a fortune for the surgery I am a bit reluctent to pay for the X-Ray unless absolutly necessary. Has anyone else experienced this problem, one foot healing faster than the other? If so how long before the swelling starts to go down and will me 2nd toe ever touch the ground again?

Thank you 

Tanya 

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15 Replies

  • Posted

    I am having troubles with my 2nd toe that was shortened as well. I had the Lapidus Procedure (bunionectomy) with 2nd toe shortened on Aug 20th.  My big toe is doing great but the 2nd toe is drooping down (opposite of what your toe is doing).  I am very concerned too.  I don't want to be tripping over it.  I see my doctor this Friday and will be addressing this to him again.  I have addressed it to him before and he said it was because it is swollen.  I have a feeling that there is tendon damage (which an xray would not show).  I am too very concerned.
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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply.  I had pins to hold the toe in place which were removed at 5 weeks and all of my previous follow up appointments before then have been fine.  I have been back at work and driving for the past 6 weeks but the swelling of my 2nd toe on my right foot hasn’t improved much. I am now searching to find out if anyone else has experienced the same problem and what the outcome was for them, should I pay to have the X-Ray…

      I would love to know how your appointment goes on Friday and I wish you all the best of luck!

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  • Posted

    Ok I will give you the update of my appointment Friday.  I did not have pins, I have a same permanent screw.  I don't see how an xray would show tendon problems?  I would ask your doctor this.  Thank you for your well wishes and back to you!
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  • Posted

    Hi tan tan. Although I did not have both feet done I can hear your concern. You have already paid a lot of money and I consider insurance for our future health. Is there nowhere you can get an X-ray cheaper than that? If you are concerned. And need to know it is peace of mind. I think we all appreciate now just how valuable our feet really are......
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    • Posted

      Hi Fran, thank you for your comments. Because I used a private hospital and paid for all my treatment, I would have to again.  To be honest I wasn't worried about the swelling too much even though the left toe swelling has reduced, from reading everyone’s blogs I just thought to myself it would correct itself in time as many people have reported that it can take 6-9 months even a year in some cases for the swelling to go down.  I contacted my surgeon this week to say that I was a little disappointed that my right toe was slightly long than my big toe still and hoped that both right and left toes would have been a similar length.  He asked me to send a picture which I did and said that the right toe looks rather swollen still and suggested an x-ray, which has now concerned me.
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  • Posted

    Hi Tan Tan I had double akin scarf and mallet toe surgery on a second toe 10 weeks ago.  The bunion surgery is giving me no grief but the mallet toe surgery is.  I have had a screw put I the toe and toe shortened with tendon transfer from one side of the toe to the other.  I believe the tendon transfer replaces the pins you had.  My toe is slightly elevated but this is no problem what is a problem is that the tendon doesnot like its new position and feels like rough cardboard between the toes and sometimes under the toes.  Movement is also restricted by what is obviously a very tight tendon in a new position.  Hopefully time will correct this.  I have been having weekly physical therapy on it but slow progress. Toe is still swollen but not sausage like.

    my surgeon told me to strap the toe if it became elevated.  To do this use a narrow piece of strapping tape and wrap it around the toe once crossing over the tape at the back - think the design of ribbons people wear on their lapels/clothes to signify things like cancer week etc

    I have been told by physical therapists that secondary toe surgery is a much more difficult recovery than the big toe. If you believe in your heart there is an issue with your toe pay the money for the X-ray and get it sorted.  Try and recall whether you injured the toe doing something post surgery.

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    • Posted

      Hi Jane88780.  Thank you very much for your comments, I think I might give the tape a try although in recent weeks my right elevated toe does seem to be falling. I am away for a couple of weeks with the children as they missed out during the summer holidays as I was laid up in bed mostly or taking it very easy. I did take it really easy post op and was very conscious of knocking or banging and people stepping on my toes. I am considering that I might have to have an x-ray on my return.   I think my main worry is if something is wrong and I have to have it corrected, I really cannot take any more time off work, I have already had 5 weeks off after my op, plus I am now taking my last 2 weeks of my 5 week holiday entitlement, in fact I'm 2 days over my entitlement, so I have had over 10 weeks off this year if I include sick days with the children etc.
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  • Posted

    Yes indeed surgery on the lesser toes is trickier than on the big toe and they take longer to come back to a form of normalcy. I am 6 months post op 2nd toe hammertoe correction with arthroplasty and Chevron Osteotomy on the bunion.  The 2nd toe lagged far behind the big toe in healing and to this day is still slightly swollen, a bit sore when pressing on the joint and is  pinkish in the hot shower. It also was drifting higher post op.  I attach a picture of it's condition 16 weeks post op on the day I had a second surgery to correct the big toe angle and do a tendon release on the 2nd toe to have it not be higher than the others.  I am confident that all this will resolve itself by the time a year has gone by....which would be considered normal.
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    • Posted

      Hey Rana Toronto, Thank you for your comments.  Yes I see what you mean from your picture, I do hope over time it resolves itself.  What has your doctor said?
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    • Posted

      After my 2nd surgery tendon release on the 2nd toe and Akin osteotomy on the big toe on that foot all has been resolved.  The 2nd toe no longer is above the others and the big toe no longer pushes it. The 2nd surgery was done by a different surgeon whom I had consulted with when I was unhappy with the first surgery results.
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    • Posted

      How was that 2nd toe and 2 nd tendon release  surgery ?  Was it a painful recovery?
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    • Posted

      No.  I had it done minimally invasively (keyhole) given the fact that I was going into toes which were only 4 months post-op.  I was in a post-op shoe for 4 weeks but that was mainly because of the Akin Osteotomy....the bone needed to heal. I was astounded as to how there was minimal discomfort.
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  • Posted

    Hi Tan Tan, ok I went to see my surgeon yesterday and this is what he said about my second toe that he shortened, that is drooping down.  He said that the tendon is swollen and stretched and he feels that when it tightens up my toe will raise back up in position and if not then tendon surgery.  But we won't know until 6 months down the line.  He said he would rather have the toe dipping down then raised up , because when the tendon tightens it raises the toe up. 
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