Not happy with the TightRope fixation procedure
(McGuire AFB, NJ)
Hello Doctor, my name is Michele and I am a healthy, active 29 year old female. I began having pain in my foot a little over a year ago. I went to a few specialists and none had any answers. I believed my pain was caused from recently taking up tennis. But when walking became extremely painful, I was concerned and more proactive with finding out the cause. I finally met with a doctor who told me within the first five minutes of my consultation that I had a bunion. I did not want to take medication to alleviate the pain and was desperate to "fix" this problem. This doctor told me about this new procedure, the TightRope fixation, and after discussing this option with my husband, I decided to go ahead with it. I had the procedure done on Halloween of last year (2007). The first few weeks I believed that the surgery would be a success. The pain I was in was due to the surgery and I believed I was healing properly. But after about 3 months, I felt I was in more pain than before the surgery and discussed this with my doctor, who believed that I shouldn't be in as much pain. I felt cornered because I believed my doctor either didn't believe me or felt I was being deceptive. So, I stopped making appointments and have been living every day in pain. Occasionally I will take an over the counter anti-inflammatory. But, it's been almost a year since the surgery and every day the pain gets worse. I have limited movement in my big toe and wearing shoes causes me an enormous amount of pain. I had clicking in my big toe every time I bent it/walked previous to surgery and was told that the surgery would correct that. It has not.
My question to you is how do I go about having the hardware removed from my foot? I feel as though I was better off before the surgery with occasional pain rather than now with constant pain. I am no longer in contact with the doctor who performed the procedure because of personal reasons.
I appreciate your time and am grateful that I found your site. As you know, with my particular surgery being quite "new", it is hard to find any information about it.
Michele (New Jersey)
I am sorry your surgery was not successful and as mentioned in my bunion article the tight rope procedure is a new procedure and for that reason none of know the ultimate success rate.
I am not clear on one point; is your present pain the same as your pain prior to surgery or is this a new type of pain in slightly different area of the foot?
If this is a new pain then obviously the procedure does not agree with you; if this is the old pain, perhaps it was not your bunion that actually hurt. What bothers me is that the first couple of doctors you went to did not discuss the bunion as the source of your foot pain.
In any event the hardware should be removable, but of course it will take another surgery.
Find yourself a good doctor down where you live and between you and your new doctor decide if your present pain is actually the result of the procedure performed or if it the original problem. If it is from the procedure, then have the hardware removed, if not, then let your new doctor find the source of your pain.
Marc Mitnick DPM