What is the REAL recovery from surgery?

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I am 19 weeks post-op.  I have been told that swelling could last 6-12 months post-op.  OK, fine, I can deal with that.  But I can't find any informations or discussions on the "real" recovery.  I still can only wear one pair of shoes (a pair of hiking shoes) that are half size larger than my normal size.  I was released from the doctor at only 8 weeks.  He doesn't need to see me again.  Said "it'll heal in time".  My question is, how much time?  I still have significant swelling.  My second and third toe are still numb.  And my big toe won't bend.  Is this normal?  How long before I can walk normally again?  When can I wear normal shoes?

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  • Posted

    I think you may need to see your  doctor . I am almost 18 weeks from scarf op and I have the same sort of problems., I can tell you the joint is still swollen and does not want to bend, I too can only get a couple of pairs of shoes on.. I have the numbness as well.  I am doing exercises  and massaging the foot , please see my backwards threads on here and you will see  that many of us are the same.   I  think you ought to see Dr to get  reassurance on these problems. Please update us on here to let us know how you are.
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    • Posted

      I have been in contact with my doctor and he continuously reassures me that this is 'normal' and it could be up to a year before the swelling is gone.  He is not concerned at all.  I just had not seen anything anywhere about swelling lasting this long.  I'm just kind of looking for reassurance that I'm not the only one in this situation.
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  • Posted

    It seems that there is no structured prediction as everyone heals differently and has different procedures and levels of fitness and mobility.  When I meet people who have had the surgery and are a few years on they generally say six months before you feel like a recovery and a year before it is back to normal....and I guess that is if all has gone well.  I met a lady yesterday who had the procedure age 30 and now 12 years on can still not bend her operated foot as much as her other one so back to 'normal' may also vary for people.  My goal is pain free and I am a long way from that at the moment so currently do have regrets in case it does not work out that way and try to remind myself that it was painful before the op and that it would have got worse......maybe!!
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  • Posted

    Julie i am 1 1/2 yrs post op. I found it was about 6 months til i was comfortable with all shoes but 12 til complete mobility returned, that is to be able to point my toes completely. At the 12 months point all was good except i still had numbness in 1 big toe (i had both done), full sensation has not returned and i don't think it will. Lise

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    • Posted

      Thanks!  I'm not really concerned with the numbness so much as I have issues with numbness anyway.  I know eventually I won't really notice that.  It's more of the swelling that bothers me more than anything.  Because of the swelling, none of my toes bend "normally".  The big toe won't bend nearly as much as I thought it would at this point.  But based on your response, and the others, it seems that this is not completely out of the ordinary.  Its just annoying!!
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  • Posted

    Hi Julie, I am 70, live in Southern England and had the Scarf Akin procedure done 15 weeks ago. I am walking well; bend all my toes well too; can climb ladders etc (to get into my loft!) - in other words my foot is strong and flexible. I have very little discomfort apart from occasional nerve jumping but that is growing less 'jumpy' with each week. There is swelling if I sit too long, and my foot does then turn a lovely shade of puce! I find that walking is the best remedy for this. It gets rid of the swelling quickly and any stiffness soon goes too. Having just returned from a few days in the country I was amazed how well I managed to do a fair amount of brisk walking without a problem. My foot foot coped really well with climbing up and down hills, as well as striding out on the flat. At the moment I can only wear my ordinary flat lace-up leather shoes (made by Ecco - mens and ladies). They are a dream as they have good support all round as well as having a gentle orthotic footbed which helps support both arch and toes. My left shoe is laced quite loosely as this is the operated foot, but each week the swelling is getting less. The incision site is still sensitive to touch but the numbness is not so bad now as it was. I was warned that sometimes numbness never goes, but hey, that's one of the risks. I'm just so thrilled to get rid of that horrible, ugly bunion - thanks mum and dad! I have two screws inserted into the metatarsal bone below the big toe, and this caused me a lot of soreness at one stage recently but all suddenly it had simply gone - Amazing. It's as if different parts of the foot are healing each in turn. I was discharged from my consultant at 7 weeks and as far as I am concerned, that's it now. It's up to us to exercise and rehabilitate ourselves. I was told it can take up to a year before you get the true picture of how your foot will be and that everyone heals at different rates. Have you tried briskly massaging your foot to stimulate and restore good circulation. BioOil is good for moisturing the skin and helping to soften the scar but E45 cream is far cheaper and does just as well. I'm hoping that by July I shall be able to wear 'pretty' shoes once again as we have a family wedding to attend and I don't think 'hobnail boots' would look good with a new summer dress and fancy hat, do you? Good luck Julie and be patient, it does take time. LadyPink
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  • Posted

    Hi Julie,

    I am 11 weeks post op scarf osteotomy and release and have the same problems so was a bit troubled that you are still having problems. No one told me it would be this bad. Am trying to walk but my big toe will not bend much either and the more I walk the swelling gets worse therefore limits the next day. I feel like I'm in a vicious circle of exercise/pain/swelling and wearing one pair of soft shoes a size too big and extra wide! The surgeon said at 6 weeks to ditch the walking boot and wear trainers, my toe will not flex enough to get into a normal shoe never mind trainers. Really need to get back to work as not qualifying for any SSP or ESA.

    Are there any physio exercises that will help? I massage several times a day and manually manipulate the joint but not making any progress.

    Thanks, any body?

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    • Posted

      Hi Susan I am 12 weeks scarf and akin and similar to you but have been Able to wear a size bigger trainer since week 7ish.  I think trying to walk is the best exercise and slowly build up confidence to walk through the operated foot.  I am also standing back to wall and doing toe raises.  Not getting much bend but is improving and do feel I am getting a freer feeling in the toe.  The middle of my foot aches after doing it and I get shooting pains in the toe too but am persisting.  I am getting some physio tomorrow but over the phone she said I sounded normal for the stage I am at.  It is a sllllllooooooowwwww recovery and you need to be patient...I'm not but know I need to develop that 😉.  When I am sat I have rotated my ankle form the beginning too to just try and get more circulation.  My foot is like brand new baby skin so not sure it will want to get all used and hard again but it is just going to have to get used to it.

      lots of foot massaging too!!

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  • Posted

    Julie, 

    try and get to a physiotherapist, it's worth it. I was given exercises the same as Sue, but standing towards wall and raise up and down 10 times both feet, then 5 separate on each, also to stand for 2 mins on an inclined board to stretch calf muscles. These to be done 4 times during the day. Hard to start with, but, after a few days the swelling  lessens. I'm 17 weeks in, but can only wear 3 pairs of very old shoes/trainers. And like Ladypink, I find the more you move around, the less the swelling is. I was also dismissed by the surgeon after 10 weeks, or 2 post op consultations.

    hang in there, I'm waiting (I hope) to get the feeling back on the tops of my feet and the 2/3 toes of both feet.

    The physio tells me a year, anything sooner is a bonus.

    Caroline

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    • Posted

      I have been seeing a physical therapist for about 5 weeks now. It has helped - more in that I have been able to compensate for the lack of movement and swelling rather than making it better.  Fortunately, I'm not in any pain - it just doesn't move the way I think it should by this far post-op.
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  • Posted

    Hi Julie,

    I am only 10 weeks post-op. I was told by my ortho surgeon that this is not easy surgery and it has a long recovery period--for a complete recovery, it can take a year and there would be swelling for many months post surgery. My big toe doesn't bend either. MY PT instructed me to manually bend it back and forth and to try picking up marbles with my toes. That has been an amazing help. At first, I couldn't pick up any of the marbles.. Now I can do it with easy--just not with my big toe. I was told that my shoe size might change and so I'm expecting that. Right now, I am wearing a soft sneaker that is three sizes larger than my original size and using crutches with little hope of walking on my own in the near future. Hang in there!

     

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