Had too large hardware removed from first metatarsal joint
Two months ago I had the third surgery in the same place to remove hardware that was too large for the area ( four screws and a plate) and had been in for 9 months. I wasn't given very clear instructions other than in two weeks I'd be able to drive and the stitches would be taken out.
After the surgery at a surgery center I was taken to the ER due to heart problems from the MAC anesthesia so I never saw my doctor, didn't get a Darco boot, or any post op instructions. Two days later I left the hospital in a reg. ortho boot as my doctor was unavailable and with no clear instructions about weight bearing or non-weight bearing. I've been on crutches for almost four years due to neurological problems. I've also been in pain on a regular basis so using pain as a guide wasn't a good idea.
I have pain on the bottom of my foot due to edema, I'm told. I was told by a doctor friend I was doing too much and needed to rest more. Now I have shingles and my body says no more so I am resting. I asked him how long I had to rest the foot and he told me until there was no more pain. I have one doctor's appt. a week now and have stopped the PT for now until I have some degree of energy to get out of the house.
Walking with full weight is too painful. I don't know how much weight or pain I should tolerate. None? I am allergic to NSAIDS. After what I've read perhaps I should start taking aspirin. I spend most of my time in a recliner with pillows under my legs. I experience numbness, plantar fasciatis, sharp pains in the joint and big toe while at rest. I also have dropped foot and just got AFOs. I can't take pain pills. I get
massages and see an osteopath for treatment.
The surgeon, a podiatrist, doesn't seem to have much understanding of my ridiculous nervous system like most other doctors. She's hard to get a hold of and I have an appt. in two weeks. I'm sure my resting state will continue to that time at least.
I am concerned about things getting any better. In her report prior to and about the surgery she stressed several times that the surgery might not relieve my pain.
What can I expect life quality wise if the pain is not relieved?
You apparently have a complicated situation here and I do not know how well I can serve you without the luxury of examining you, but in very general terms I can make a few comments.
First of all I would call the office and demand to speak to the doctor and let her answer all your specific questions as she is obviously most familiar with your situation. Since she never spoke to you right after surgery a competent doctor would have made sure they got in touch with the patient the next day. You have to understand the definition of a competent doctor is more than just someone who performs surgery (you can teach a monkey to do surgery), it someone who follows up and guides their patient thru the recovery period. Do not be intimidated, you have a right to have your questions answered.
Secondly, in general terms, the more surgery you have in the same place the less likely you are to have overall success, meaning there is a good chance that you may have residual pain forever. The sad reality is that every time you have surgery you end up with more scar tissue and scar tissue is never as well functioning as healthy tissue.
Lastly, if you do not get satisfaction I would get another opinion from someone who actually cares about your well being.
Marc Mitnick DPM