3/05/2013

Hallus Rigidis Arthrosdesis(or stiff toe)

 
 
This is a reminder that the below content is not for those who easily get squeamish when looking at medical pictures........................... 
 
So this is  my right big toe---or in medical reference--- my great toe.  For the past year, this toe has been causing me no end of grief------it looks rather plain and unassuming, but let me tell you it is OTHERWISE.   After weeks and months of limping along, not being able to wear a normal shoe, showing swelling and redness, this toe has worn me down.  After two attempted cortisone shots, one kept the pain at bay for 7 weeks......HOORAY!   So I jumped back in the pool to exercise and swim  and BLAM  I was relegated to wearing my slippers once again.. two weeks in the pool undid all the good.....  so two weeks ago I had to have an arthrodesis..........in other words  a plate and two screws in to hold my first big toe joint immobile. 
 
The combination of wear and tear for a 63 yr old athlete, runner, nurse, and ad in a few elements of RSD and the joint is worn out and needs to be replaced.  Let me tell you, great toe replacements are not as effective as other larger joint replacements.  The immobilization is the best way to go.
 
SO I went to the hospital and through Day Surgery entered into my pact with those that are smarter than me. 
Before the surgery could start, I had to have a nerve block done.  This is done into the popliteal (back of the knee) nerve.  The nerve runs down the back of your leg and branches out into your foot.  Blocking this nerve kept the serious pain away for 50 plus hours.
 
The numbing medicine is put in this bottle shape container worn around the waist.  It is a vacuum pump technique that delivers the medicine to the popliteal nerve.  It won the most affective medicine award.  Keeping that nerve blocked alleviated so much of the pain. I was taking oral pain medicine around the clock as well.  
 
 After the surgery, my foot and toe was wrapped in gauze and an ace bandage.   Then I wear this shoe 24/7 and it allows me to bear weight on my heel. The shoe is very light weight but even up on it for a few minutes make it feel so heavy. I also use crutches and that helps me be a little more mobile.
Basically what it feels like, is that I am wearing a concrete block around my foot.....the dry kind,  not wet. ;)  It has been very difficult to find a position that allows me the most comfort...but DH's recliner is the BEST!  It is either that or bed.........I have tons of pillows in the bedroom and the living room to accommodate " the elevation of the concrete block."
This past week, I was having a difficult time with the pain control and had to go into the office so the Dr could check my foot out.  The dark lines are pen marks he used in order to tell him where the skin met on either side of the incision, so that he could line it up when he sewed it back together.
This is the final X RAY showing the joint and how it looks now.
 
I am still taking pain medicine around the clock and sleep a lot more than normal.  I am trying to cut back a little on the medicine, during the day.  John was off work the first five days, then another three days in a row.  He has been so sweet and helpful----he is ranking way up their with brownie and angel points, I tell ya!! I have lost it a few times and he has taken it in stride.......the dear man that he is.     All of our kids live out of town so they all feel bad they can't be here but know their DAD is the MAN to hold the job down.
A few of our friends have brought us dinners and that goes such a long way in helping.  Food always tastes better when loving hands have prepared it, dontcha think?
 
I have been slowly working on projects ....both before the surgery and now after.....so will post some of those pictures next time. 
 
I hope  this day is sun filled and full of love from friends and family.

5 comments:

Lesa said...

Oh, my goodness! Take care of your sweet self. Your husband sounds like a true keeper too!

Marrianna said...

I'm glad you gave a warning before I got to the photos. I was fine until I saw the photo of your foot where the doctor had made the horizontal lines. Gads, that has got to be so painful. Being a photographer, I appreciate the pictures and especially the xray. I should pull out some of the xrays that were done of my right eye 20 some years ago when I had a retina hemorrhage. Well, maybe not. They are negatives and I just don't feel like figuring out how to scan them.

I'm glad you are able to get some artwork done during this process. I haven't been able to get myself to do some hand sewing on 3 of my new scarves and I'm not recuperating from toe surgery. I keep saying that it's my age but I don't really know what else it could be. I'm hoping this weekend, first thing in the morning on Sat. & Sunday, I'll get myself going on the sewing. If you can continue to do artwork during this painful time, I can, too.

This sounds like a blog post, doesn't it? Maybe I'll do that afterwhile.

Take care of yourself and thanks for the update on the foot.

kath001 said...

My husband is a real trooper when I'm mending too. I called him this week while he was working nights, and told him, "Honey, I've been thinking about all the times you have been right beside me...career struggles, car accident recovery, surgeries, back troubles, pulmonary embolism...and I just want you to know...I'm beginning to think you're bad luck. :) He laughed so hard I thought he would choke...which is why I love him so much. (The joke I heard on Prairie Home Companion, and knew I had to share it with him in a personal way.)

kath001 said...

Aack! I forgot to say that I hope you are healing quickly and well!

lynn cockrell said...

So sorry to hear about the problems with your toe! You're right, it does look awful and my heart goes out to you. I hope you will be feeling better very soon and that you will have no more problems with that toe.