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Big toe fusion

mallymally Posts: 25
edited 5. Jun 2016, 05:00 in Living with Arthritis archive
I think I have finally decided after nearly 2 years to see about getting my big toes fused. My biomechanic can no longer get steroids into one of them as the bone growth is too bad. I found those injections to be so helpful. He also says that a surgeon at a nearby hospital would be very sympathetic despite some being unwilling because I am young for such an op. Also my knees are now very painful. I believe that this is because I balance on my heels and walk on the outside of my feet. So really today I am trying to get my mind clear that I am doing the right thing because I see my biomechanic again next month and while he is happy to refer me to a surgeon, he will only do so if I am clear in my mind that I will accept the offer of fusion if it is made. So my list of good and bad points are:

Good points

A good chance of being to walk pain free

Slowing down my knee degeneration which has been fast

Being able to do more as my legs and feet are so painful that they are having a serious effect on my life now.

Fewer painkillers. They can't be doing me any good.

Bad points

I will lose my job as my sickness rate is appalling but it's only a matter of time before I'd have to resign anyway. This could be financially disastrous and I like my job.

Surgery making things worse but at the minute I can't see how that is possible.

Managing stairs after surgery as I live in an upstairs flat

Having to give my horse up for some time but I can't do much with him as it is.

Any other points I haven't considered would be welcome. I have been having sleepless nights pondering this

Comments

  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You seem to have weighed up the pros and cons very well, mally.

    I'm sorry, I know nothing of big toe fusions but this might help http://tinyurl.com/zg5ouu8
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • mallymally Posts: 25
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Stickywicket. I can't even wear heels of 1 inch at the minute so that would be a bonus haha
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    The bit that, frankly, astonished me was where it said that the risk of bones failing to unite was 'up to 50% if you smoke, and can be
    higher in patients with diabetes.' I knew smoking was bad both for arthritis and anaesthesia but didn't realise it could affect the outcome so much.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • mallymally Posts: 25
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    That bit is scary. I was told that smoking slows down healing. But there again, everything is blamed on smoking these days so you tend to take it all with a pinch of salt. Nevertheless I quit smoking last August.

    I have also been told that age is on my side with regards to the success of the surgery
  • mallymally Posts: 25
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks. I may ring on Monday as things took a turn for the worse yesterday. The pain in one of my knees was awful and it felt like it was going to give way when i put weight on it. I went to urgent care today and it seems that my gait is damaging the ligaments in my lower legs. I have to see about physio in order to avoid it happening to my upper legs.

    I am thinking of phoning my biomechanic on monday to see if my appointment can be brought forward but work will have a fit. I'm wondering if they'll allow me a years unpaid leave when the time comes for surgery
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,993 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think you're on the right track here. If your gait is currently very bad it might not be the best time to have a toe op which would, presumably, impact on your gait for some time. It might be better to strengthen those ligaments first but, as you imply, your bio-mechanic would probably give the best advice there.

    As for work – who knows? You can always ask.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
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