pin removal from left hammertoe area, four months after surgery
I need to have pin removed after bunion -hammertoe surgery. It hurts when I walk and is trying to poke through the bottom of my foot. I had the surgery because of pain in the ball of my foot. I am a nurse... need to work for ten more years or so. Like to hike, like to walk. Surgery was four months ago. I have been in tennis shoes since December and back to work since December. Shooting pain started shortly after I returned to work. I am turning my foot all the time to the left to prevent putting pressure on the area where the pin is hurting. My doctor is finally going to get the pin out next week. Hope I can start walking normally again as I am gunshy about putting weight on the surgical part of the left foot. I want to start jogging this summer. I am 56 years old and very active. My main question is just... am I going to feel better eventually? So far, my foot is worse than before the surgery. To make matters worse I found out that my surgeon recently sued my employer for something so I am in the midst of changing doctors because he no longer does surgery at my hospital. Fortunately his partner has agreed to take the pin out. I am not making this up!
This is fairly straight forward, other than the part about your podiatrist suing the hospital you work in.
Anyway, if a piece of hardware is protruding through the
skin, it is going to hurt. This is particularly true on the bottom of the foot where every time you take a step you feel the pin pressing and thus your pain.
Removing a pin, although it does require surgery should be nowhere as involved as was the original surgery and your recuperation should be a lot quicker.
The only real issue is that your doctor has to decide is the surgical site is stable enough to remove the hardware. I do not know what kind of procedure you had done, but at sixteen weeks, with no history of complications, the hardware should be able to be removed safely.
You state that the surgical area is more painful now than it was before surgery. Is that all because of the hardware or are you having other issues?
In general foot surgery, where bone is cut and fixated can take upwards of a year to fully "mend" itself. It does not mean that you have to wait a year to return to an active life style; it just means you have to accept some limitations.
I tell my patients that even though they may not feel great, as long as they are noticing improvement on a week to week basis, then they are doing fine, as every one heals at a different rate.
If you are not seeing some improvement on a week to week basis then you need to have a conversation with your surgeon (or his partner) to make sure there are no other issues to deal with.
Marc Mitnick DPMDISCLAIMER