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toe and foot pain

I have been to several doctors about my problem. After having an X-ray, it was determined that I have a torn ligament and dislocation of the toe, hammer toe. It apparently is due to the structure of my foot. I have had life long bunions, flat feet and foot problems for years. I was told I need surgery. My hesitation is due to several factors. The first is that the bunion doesn't hurt, so I hate to open a can of worms there. Also,I have had fibromyalgia for 30 years with chronic fatigue and multiple drug sensitivities. I fear that surgery will set me back; I'll probably react to any medication they give me, the pain will be extreme and the healing will be long term. So long as I can tolerate the pain, I've decided to avoid surgery. My question is this: can walking on a toe with a torn ligament cause more damage to the ligament that would not be reparable?,


Hi,
An xray will not reveal a torn ligament so unless you have had an MRI or CT scan or even an ultrasound there is no way a diagnosis of torn ligament can be made.
Although I do not have the luxury of examining you I am assuming you have a strained ligament of the second toe as a result of the bunion pushing on the second toe.
I generally do not like operating on bunions that do not hurt as I have always subscribed to the theory "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". Having said that in some instances, perhaps yours, you may not have much choice, IF, it is the bunion that is causing the problem with the second toe.
You could try immobilizing the second toe by wearing a surgical shoe for a few weeks which would eliminate the bending of the second toe and the strained ligament might quiet down and stop bothering you. You might even consider a cortisone injection in an effort to quiet down the second toe.
Ultimately, you have to weigh the risk vs reward of having surgery. This is an elective procedure, it is not a life threatening condition and you could continue to put up with the discomfort.
Read my section on surgical considerations before making any decision.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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