Fused big toe joint and want to return to tennis!
This is my third surgery for the same issue...the first doctor tried an implant, didn't work...second doctor took bone from my hip and fused the joint, then put a steel plate on top and used about 6 screws to hold everything together. I broke all of his handiwork a year later and had to have the same surgery again. The only change this time was adding one more screw, bone from my tibia, and titanium plate (thicker this time). I'm in my early 40's and it's killing me to think I won't play tennis again although I don't relish going through this surgery again. The doctor suggested modifying my tennis shoe by putting a steel shank in it but would not guarantee this would do the trick. Do you have any other suggestions?
I have a problem with the idea that you had an implant at such a young age, but that is water under the bridge.
Obviously you can no longer bend your toe, so your only chance of ever doing anything athletic again would be to use a rigid shoe where there is very limited bend in the shoe.
Unfortunetly this will change your gait and whether or not you can adapt to a sport like tennis remains to be seen.
As a side note, you might want to look at the MBT athletic shoe which has a rocker bottom sole which diminishes the need for the big toe to bend. My only concern is whether or not you can actually play tennis in them.
Marc Mitnick DPM