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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board


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I've learned a great deal from the posts on this site, so I thought that making a record of my basic details might help someone else.

I injured my foot when I was twelve (sports injury) and developed what I thought was a small bunion. The L big toe didn't hurt until I was around 35. It began to ache after I went for a long walk; orthotics helped for many years. It wasn't until just age 65 that I became clear about the so-called bunion. It was, of course, bone spurs / arthritis in the first mtp. I had a cheilectomy as recommended, and the pain rapidly became worse as the joint collapsed. Finally I consulted the University of Iowa Orthopedics Clinic, where I had fusion surgery last Monday. They did an ankle block as well as general anes.

Even though I had read the many posts about nwb strategies, it wasn't until Day 3 that I really "got it" that I can't walk and will have to use only one foot for at least 10 weeks. This Thursday I move from a splint to a cast, and that cast will be redone two weeks further on. I know from the cheilectomy boot period that the boot is awkward and heavy, but I'm very much looking forward to that transition from cast to boot. It's hard to sit so much of the time, even with Netflix, books, magazines, knitting, sketching, telephone calls, visits, and all the rest to pass the time. Two weeks ago I was able to limp into the ocean and jump in the waves (however painfully); now that feels very distant.

Two problems have come up in the past few days.

One is that I worry about "being perfect" in my nwb. I lost my balance while scootering into the bathroom and had to touch my bad foot on the ground. No way to tell if any damage has been done; probably not, and I'd imagine that many people have these little events; but it's still troubling and kinda lonely.

That "lonely" part extends directly to communication with the UI Ortho Clinic people. In person I found them totally engaged and professional, but having had to call in with a question (for some reason I've been getting cramps in my foot as I fall asleep, followed by very severe pain) I felt that I was immediately labeled a bad patient and simply couldn't get anyone to listen closely to my question. There are intimations of similar complaints in other posts, especially where people assumed that one mtp would be like another in the amount of toe lift (or whatever). I'm sure that surgeons get weary of explaining what will happen, and certainly some are better than others at such explanation, but I'm realizing that anyone having this surgery may run the risk of feeling abandoned after the Big Event and before the first check-up.

I'll continue to update after I see the surgeon this week.

All the best to everyone!





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