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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board

Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index

Hi Readabook,
I will try to answer your questions the best I can but I have had so many procedures (some botched and some not) that I just don't fit the norm as far as usual post-op recovery goes. I have so much pain in both feet that it is difficult to know the origin. Hopefully, the MRI I had will clarify things. I asked my ex-Dr. (the podiatrist) if he would order an MRI but he would not. Mabey he was afraid it would reveal something else he did wrong that I don't now already know about.

My neuroma surgeries were separate from the bunion surgeries - about a year later - and I didn't know how badly he had messed up my feet with the bunion surgeries at the time of the neuroma surgeries because the mistake he made on the left bunion was a very slowly progressive problem and with the right foot he basically covered up the problem by attributing the forefoot pain I am still having to the neuromas. Since I did have the neuromas, it really complicated the pain issues I have been having. I just recently found out why the right foot hurts so badly when my new Dr. pointed it out on the X-rays she took. It seemed so obvious when she pointed it out to me and the podiatrist had to have known but he didn't bother telling me and that is what makes me the most angry about the whole situation. I will have to have my 2nd metatarsal shortened now to try to relieve the pain in the right foot because he shortened the 1st metatarsal too much so all my body weight falls on the 2nd metatarsal head when I walk. Sorry this post is so long but everything is so complicated with my feet.

He overcorrected the bunion on the left foot. I thought the space between the big toe and the 2nd toe was more than I expected at the time but it wasn't hurting initially so I didn't know that there was a problem. I was OK with it as long as it stayed put the way it was but of course as it turned out, it didn't stay put. The left big toe eventually moved out so far (away from the other toes - just the opposite of the original problem) that it is now very painful and has pulled the 2nd toe over as well in the past 6 months. This condition is called acquired hallux varus and is caused by overcorrection of hallux valgus (bunion). Just one of the possible poor results a person can get from bunion surgery. On my X-ray the joint looks very dislocated like my big toe is pulling out of it's hinge and of course now this deformity is readily visible to the naked eye.

So now to tell you about the neuromas if you are still reading my response! First of all, I didn't have the painful symptoms of neuromas until some time after those bunion surgeries and once it started, it seemed to turn into a chain reaction. I now refer to everything that has happened to my feet as my foot nightmare horror story!!! I had neuromas removed from both 3rd web spaces in June, 2002. I was able to walk around in those blue post-op shoes for 3 weeks but not too much at first because I also had a hammertoe repair (which also didn't work BTY) and I had a pin sticking out of my 2nd toe on the right. Two weeks after that surgery the 2nd and 3rd toes on the left foot started burning like crazy and by the 3rd week post-op the clicking and shooting pains started up again in both feet. After he took the pin out of the one toe, I asked him to examine both feet for neuromas in the 2nd web space. He did and sure enough there were 2 more neuromas. He elicited the positive Mulder's click and the pain shot into the toes in both feet and he said he could palpate the neuromas. Two months later I had those neuromas removed (without any other surgical procedures at that time). That is the last surgery I had him perform. He said I could walk around in the post-op shoes (just a little at first)and I think I was back to shoes after 2 weeks.

The 2nd toe on my left foot has never quit hurting and I saw him in August (for the last time!) and asked him to examine the webspace between the 1st and 2nd toes on the left foot for a neuroma because it feels like nerve pain. He did and got the click and the shooting pain into my toe yet again and palpated another neuroma there. He said that a neuroma in that space is extremely rare and that I am only the 4th patient he has seen with one there in his 29 years of practice. Hopefully, I will find out if it is for real when I get my MRI results on Tuesday.

Hobbling about after the neuroma surgeries in the post-op shoes wasn't really that bad but as you can see, I have a lot of other pain issues that are probably unrelated to the neuromas. After I had the 1st "set" of neuromas removed, the intense burning in the balls of my feet ceased so I think he got that one right! My pain is pretty much concentrated under the metatarsal heads and into some of my toes now. I don't think I really have any puffiness under my feet from the neuroma surgeries but it is difficult to tell on my right foot because I still have a dislocated hammertoe (2nd toe) and I think the plantar fat pad has been pushed forward and out of place because of all of the problems I have in that area anyway. As far as having 2 taken out of 2 different web spaces in the same foot - that part is somewhat interesting for me. Of course there is permanent numbness since the nerves have been severed (disconnected so to speak) but numbness beats pain any day! Since I have so much pain in my feet during the day when I walk, I don't notice the numbness but at night after I go to bed, the pain settles down since I am no longer weight bearing and then I notice the numbness. It is a strange sensation but I prefer it to the pain I feel during the day when I am walking.

Again, I am sorry this post is so long but to tell the tale of what has happened to my feet is no easy task! The first meeting with my new Dr. was interesting because she needed the surgical history of my feet and that certainly didn't fit on the few lines they give you on the history form to fill out so she got out a blank sheet of paper and wrote down the procedures I have had done in sequence by month and year. I still left a few out - not really on purpose but because a few of the more minor procedures that turned out OK I almost forgot about. She did ask when she saw scars on my 4th toes and some bone missing from those toes (mallet toes) and the screws missing from later x-rays I brought with me (on her request). I had screws removed 2 years after my 1st "set" of bunion surgeries. At least she seems to be covering all the bases!

Do you know what type of bunion procedure will be performed? Since you say that the bunion is mild, mabey no bone cutting will be required in which case I would think getting about would be easier. All of my bunion surgeries required osteotomies which were real killers for me! I think I have a very low pain tolerance to begin with.

Congratulations on being accepted into the art show!!! Do you think you could put in a call to your Dr. before surgery and ask her about your ability to participate in the art show so soon after surgery? I still find it hard to believe your 1st surgeon stitched up your incision the way you described!!! I have never heard of that and I really hope it can somehow be fixed. OK, I'm done! Hope to hear from you again soon.

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