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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board

Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index

Hi, I don't know if anyone on this Thread is still communicating or not, but if anyone is, I need some advice. I have been told I need to have my big toe fused or joint replacement. Does anyone have an opinion on joint replacement vs. fusion? My doctor told me he would not know which would be best until the surgery. I am scared to death to do either! This will be the 3rd surgery my left foot has had in 4 years. I have read so many scary things, and have found no one who had a successful joint replacement and ended up having to fuse the joint in the end because of the replacement not working out - any advice for one over the other? Also, I had a double bunionectomy 4 years ago by a podiatrist who "botched up" my left foot, 2 years later I had a ortho. surgeon try to fix what she did - he said my joint was a mess, and now 2 years later need to have a fusion or replacement. I don't know if a podiatrist is better than an ortho. Does anyone have an opinion? I would appreciate any feedback that might be helpful in making my decision to go through another surgery -- from what I have read, it makes me feel like just living with the pain and swelling because these surgeries sound so dramatic! Does anyone wish they would have just never had surgery and lived with the pain?? Thank you in advance!!
Brenda and Maureen,
Thank you so very much for your notes! They helped me tremendously! Here is where I am at today; my left great toe has had 2 surgeries. In 2004, I had a botched double-bunionectomy done by a Podiatrist, hence the "screw-up" and the 2nd surgery to try to correct that was done in 2007 by an ortho. surgeon. I regained a little flexibility, but it didn't last long. I have lived with pain and swelling in my left toe since 2004. When the ortho. went in in 2007, he told me he would probably see me again because my joint was so badly handled by the podiatrist - I have thought about a law suit many times over, but have also been told that suing a Podiatrist is extremly difficult as they will not testify against each other. Has anyone heard differently?? Having a fusion now is the only alternative as my x-rays show very little, if any, joint left. The funny/weird thing is this; I don't have pain all of the time when I walk. The swelling has finally gone down a bit more from the 2nd surgery and that has taken 2 1/2 years! Wow!!! I have prayed for the swelling to leave for such a long time and now that I am finally seeing it get better, the thought of operating AGAIN is making me crazy! I have 4 month old puppies (2) at home right now, a 2nd grand child on the way in December and a very hectic job. I don't think my mind is in the right place at this time to have a 3rd surgery. The recovery sounds like it is not the easiet thing to get through -- how long are you on crutches? From what I have read it sounds like close to 12 weeks, correct? I am going to wait until Spring of 2010 unless my foot "blows up" and I need to just bite the bullit and do it!

Maureen and Brenda, how many surgeries have you both had prior to having a fusion? If you had more than 1 or 2, how was your swelling prior to the fusion and how is it now?

Thanks so much for being on this site - it sure helps to hear from others!!

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