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When to expect no pain from big toe fusion?

Dodgytoes27Dodgytoes27 Posts: 5
edited 26. Jan 2020, 11:09 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi there - im a 33 year old male who is 4 months into recovery from a right big toe fusion due to arthritis. My consultant said it was a successful operation and that the bones had fused well. However, i am still experiencing a degree of pain when i stand or walk for even a short time. When can i expect to be "pain free", or is there really no such thing as 100% pain free?. I realise that everyone heals at different rates, so, is 4 months not really long enough to expect no pain? Sorry, im blethering on a bit, but would like to hear other peoples experiences of their recovery and when they were finally pain free. Thanks everyone. :smile:


  • lavenderladylavenderlady Posts: 409
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi I had my toe done on may 18th and had been on A/bs since as the toe was swollen an xray monday showed the plate had snapped the bones were not fused am now in a plaster and find out tomorrow my fate, funnilyu enough I've not really had any pain from day 1 maybe a slight ache and certainly none with a broken toe, which is wierd they did totally removed the joint it was so badly deformed and used a plate and 3 screws, hope it eases soon michelle
  • anniekanniek Posts: 39
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi ,I had big toe surgery (although not fused none of the toes move ) with 2 screws in it i also got 3 toes fixed as well with 3 more screws ,Im now 3 month down the line and still in pain with a lot of swelling ,walking and standing is murder ,I went to see the consultant today and x rays showed a lot of soft tissue swelling he said it will be another 3 months (because I have RA )before the swelling goes down and a further 3 month before a notice a difference in my foot ,he told me to go back to normal activities and the more I walk on it the less the swelling will be ,hope this helps a little and hope you start to feel a difference soon ,I know how you feel as I was beginning to dispair with it all ,Anne :smile:
  • Dodgytoes27Dodgytoes27 Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thankyou for your input so far. I guess patience is going to be the key. In my case,my job as a postman, has caused the arthritis due to prolonged wear and tear over the years. First day back at work today on light duties, but I found even standing only for a short while, to be uncomfortable. And now, thinking to the future, im seriously doubting whether I will be able to physically carry on in the job. My left toe is gradually getting worse aswell, so surgery will be an option at some point. My consultant did say there was still tissue swelling, so, perhaps this is the cause of the discomfort? Thanks.
  • skezierskezier Posts: 12,150
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Dodgy toes,

    Welcome to the forum.

    I haven't had a big toe fusion they have taken the joints out and fused 4 of the other ones but the big one they just took out 3/4 of the ball joint and put a pin through it.

    The toe were painful for a while but its 20 years ago so I don't remember how long they took. I do know I was still iffy on the 4 months later.

    the toe joints were three quartered after being halved and failing to improve it too much, they also straightened out the top bit that I had broken on both feet and plated them up.

    I had infection swelling and pain with that for about 18months in all.... Feet hurt cus they have a lot of nerve endings so they are slower to recover than other bits of you.

    Hopefully it will settle but pain free... I don't know. mine aren't but the toes and feet have been helped no wend by the rebuilds they have had over the time. hang in there and it should, with luck settle for you. Nice to meet you. Cris x
  • dachshunddachshund Posts: 7,801 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Dodgytoes.
    i had a triple fusion just under my toes and my big toe straightened on the 6 june.
    my foot is still in plaster and i'm now putting weight on my foot
    i have had no pain just a bit of a ache around my ankle that only lasted a fortnight my foot is still swollen.
    i had three xrays and they were ok. i have the plaster off on the 6 sept.
    good luck i hope things improve for you soon.
    joan xx
    take care
    joan xx
  • lavenderladylavenderlady Posts: 409
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    i have already posted that today having seen my consultant I am booked in 17th aug to have my snapped plate and screws removed and then left to see if the bones fuse naturally if not will be having a bone graft done, wish i never bothered :(
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Dodgy toes,

    I had my gig toe fused 8 weeks ago and was also wondering when the slight swelling and pain from walking would go away. I was never put in any cast and told just to walk on my heal and the side of my foot (which have also gotten sore). My surgeon is away on holidays and I won't get the results of x-rays until 10 weeks after surgery. I'm getting impatient to walk normally without pain. Any update on your progress?

  • Airwave!Airwave! Posts: 2,427 ✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I had my first one done 14 years ago, I have learnt that you don't get something for nothing, I still get pain now. All the weight goes on the other joints and they are now affected by arther(feet/ankles/knees/hips) , often when no weight is on them.

    You will find that a well cushioned shoe such as a walking boot helps, due to the angle that the fuse is set at(a few degrees upwards) I find that wearing a size bigger than normal helps and don't do the laces up. Walking is not easy so I use my bike(non-weight bearing). I went back to work after six months and was medically retired from my job soon after.
  • WilliamJ999WilliamJ999 Posts: 2
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    As you said it's been four months but the pain is still maybe it will take few more months like 2 or 3 to get a pain free toe hopefully else better to consult a doctor.
  • colinreidcolinreid Posts: 10
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hey guys. My right big toe looks swollen as well after 8 weeks and Im worried that maybe something has happened. Im not sure if its because Ive been wearing a shoe a lot now though?
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,994 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    This is an old thread and I doubt the users will return. Therefore I'd presume it all went well for them in the end even though it does seem to produce very varied recovery times. I guess, if you're anxious about yours, you could always ask your surgeon or GP for an x-ray to check that all is well.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
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