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Fell and injured foot three weeks after cheilectomy for hallux limitus
by Devon Blake
(Chautauqua, New York, USA)
foot in a cast
Three weeks ago I had a cheilectomy for hallux limitus with sesamoid involvement--and arthritis.
Last Thursday, I had the stitches removed and was told to leave the BOOT off and to start working the great toe (left foot) to increase flexibility.
Pain was pretty much gone, and I could move the big toe upward about an inch and down MUCH LESS--but I was doing it and going to PT. I was also told to get sneakers or soft shoes. I HATE THEM. I always wore high heel, which I know caused or certainly exacerbated my problem.
But the real problem is that I am out of balance in flat shoes--and just tonight misjudged the top step and fell down the stairs halfway and injured my LEFT FOOT. I started shrieking and crying because I was so afraid that I blew my surgery. My husband helped me upstairs and back into my recliner to elevate the foot and ice it.
Strangely, the great toe seems fine but the four lesser toes are NOT fine. It hurts to move them up or down and walking with weight bearing is painful. NOT EXCRUCIATING but painful.
My foot surgeon is an hour away and it is now midnight in New York so I would NOT BOTHER him this late.
I know you can't tell just from this description, but does this sound really serious? I read your discussion of turf toe (which is what I had in the left great toe--kind of--but from years of wearing high heels--and I had a lot of arthritis in the joint) and how it can occur in the lesser toes as well. FREAKED ME OUT, Doctor. How can I move and rehabilitate my great toe if I have to immobilize the lesser toes?
One last question----and thank you for this question area, profoundly---is it possible I just sprained my toes? And they need rest? Should I wear my boot again until I can see the doctor? If the pain goes away overnight, do I even need to bother the doctor?
But I am so upset, I cannot tell you. I was healing so well and have so many official conferences and functions I must attend starting April 1st--and wanted so to be HEALED and HEELED!
Thanks so much--
Regardless of how your foot feels this morning I would at the very least place a call to your surgeon and make him aware of what happened. Based on how the foot feels today will determine if any treatment is necessary.
You certainly could go to a local doctor or emergency room and have an x-ray; there is no need to drive an hour for that.
The purpose of an x-ray of course would be to see if you broke a bone somewhere in your forefoot or if you did some damage to the surgical area. Chances are if the surgical area is pain-free then one could assume there is no problem there.
So, if you did not break any bones and the smaller toes are still painful, you probably either just bruised the toes or did some ligament damage which could be a condition like capsulitis which is turf-toe of the lesser toes.
I understand your anxious to get well as quickly as possible. To that end, have your foot checked out and continue with physical therapy as that will expedite the healing process.
Marc Mitnick DPM