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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board

Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index

Hi Ladies - Most of you won't recognize me, I posted on this board way back in May - Aug of 2004. I come here and read once in a while and couldn't help but post in hopes I could help with my experience with my bunionectomy of March 23, 2004. I needed the surgery 20 years ago but put it off as I was very busy raising my three children, by the time I had it I was having a lot of pain. I think the biggest part of the problem for those of us that have had to go through this is many of us have drs. that do not fully explain things. I too had the toe broken and had two permanent screws. My doctor said mine was severe. He believed in patients being up in a flat rubber soled light weight shoe that had two velcroe straps by the third day, and he believed you should be up frequently and that you should shuffle your surgery foot along while putting all your weight on your heel. Well, let me tell you, the pain was greater than 9 and 10 when having a baby. I have a high threshold of pain (I delivered my three kids without pain meds, it hurt but I got through it), so when I say it hurt, it really hurt. I accidentally stepped down full weight on the fourth day post op and fractured my foot. I was down for a month due to that. After the month, the doc put me in the $400 "boot" that Perrin had. The reason you can get up in it is because the sole is hugely wedged, straps on the foot and leg to the knee and absolutely no weight goes on the front 2/3 of the foot. It is absolutely amazing that without the boot, you can do nothing without pain, but with the boot you feel almost nothing. I only stayed up in mine 15 minutes at a time though, but I too was able to do some cooking etc. If I felt any pain, I would sit down. To make a long story short, I started physical therapy and after two weeks I started wearing a very wide tennie. Sad thing is, I got worse instead of better. My physical therapist and doctor did not pay enough attention to what was happening to my foot, it started swelling worse than at first, turned absolutely purple, my pain levels went to ten all the while being on high amounts of pain meds. They just kept telling me "no pain, no gain". Finally in August I sought a second opinion because I was sleeping about an hour a night, the pain was horrible and I was getting worse, not better. Within 15 seconds, the new doctor diagnosed me with RSD/CRPS, (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy), a rare nerve and vascular disease that I will have for the rest of my life. Had my first doctor listened to me and even looked at my foot (half the time he didn't even walk over and look at my foot during my visits), I could have had some nerve blocks and possibly have been cured. This needs to be done within 3 to 4 months, so by the time I got with Specialists that deal with this condition, it was too late. Any way, listen to what your body tells you. Seek second opinions if things just don't settle with you right, and most of all pain is a signal to slow down, that's why God gave it to us. I understand why Perrin could overdo it in the boot, it really does keep the weight off so there is little to no pain. However, if you overdo it even in the boot, the foot will let you know that night or the next day. I am currently on a regiment of drugs for RSD, and have been able to get back some normalcy of life. After being down a total of nine long months, every mundane chore of life for me is an absolute blessing. My ortho now thinks I have avascular necrosis of the big toe joint, due to the screws I can't have an MRI and due to the RSD I can't have surgery for a replacement. (Surgery makes RSD spread up your leg and possibly into rest ofthe body). So in retrospect I can say I certainly did not know that a bunionectomy would result in something that would totally change my life. Please, take care to listen to your feet as I am sure you all know by now, and yes, it is a long recovery, longer than most drs warn about, but in the long run you will be happy with the results when you can stay on your feet for hours with no pain. My best to all of you, sorry for going on so long, but just wanted to share with you how the boot works. I am sure that if each of you had one you too would be up and around with little pain, it is the neatest thing they invented. My insurance covered mine too, and if you are now just beginning to weight bare and need to get some normalcy back into your life NOW, that boot is the answer....hope I've helped...Beth

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