KELLER ARTHROPLASTY FOR OSTEOARTHRITIS OF THE BIG TOE…

Foot surgery

I arrived at the Hospital mid-morning as requested and the usual checks were done and dusted very quickly.

I was a small ward (four of us) in an old cottage hospital in the pretty countryside of Newark in Nottinghamshire.

All the other three patients on my ward were all having some form of foot surgery and we were all under the same podiatrist and all having the surgery done with a local anaesthetic.

The podiatrist came to see each of us to go over the surgery that we were having done and then we were all given a sandwich and a cup of tea. A lovely change from the usual starvation before a GA.

Then, the podiatrist registrar came to give us all our local anaesthetic by way of four injections into our ankles which was repeated. A tad uncomfortable at first but the second lot you can’t feel.

I was first on the list and was then taken down to theatre. Everyone was getting ready to start the procedure only waiting for the registrar to come and check my anaesthetic.

Unfortunately, mine had not worked properly so I was given another four injections and polite conversation and banta carried on for a few more minutes to see if the third lot of injections had worked.

Yet again they had not worked so I was then taken into recovery where I was given another four injections and my foot was wrapped in a blanket. Apparently your foot should be very warm and mine was still cold.

I had a lovely nurse in recovery with me who chatted away about his wife who had similar back problems to me. He then explained to me that probably once or twice a year they have a patient who’s local anaesthetic had not worked, like mine, and had been sent home and then brought back in again for a GA.

That was the last thing I wanted so all I could do was sit and chat while the next patient in my ward took my slot in theatre. It seemed an age but I am sure it wasn’t until it was my turn to go back into theatre.

This time it had worked so it was all systems go. I have to admit that I was slightly apprehensive when they started drilling that I might feel it but I had nothing to worry about as I didn’t feel a thing. Apparently this can sometimes happen to people who are on a large dose of pain medication, which is me to a tea.

‘The operation’, said the registrar, ‘went very well but it was very inflamed so we needed to discuss a pain relieving package for me’

I revealed the different meds that I was taking and she said she would have a chat with the podiatrist to see what they could give me. Unfortunately they could only offer me some anti-inflammatory but this would definitely help the inflammation.

Soon after being taken back to the ward the nurse who was checking all my obs said I had to do three things before I could go home. Eat something, drink something and pass some water. No problem I thought so I rang hubby to get on his way over to pick me up.

With me being the first to go down to theatre I had missed the Physiotherapist so I also had to wait to see her to show me how to use the crutches. The nurse then explained what I could and could not do over the next few weeks.

For the next 48hrs I was only allowed up to go to the loo. No showers for two weeks. Foot up all the time and the hard shoe put on at all times when I needed to walk. Exercises for dvt every hour and the stocking worn on the other leg 24/7.

While I was still waiting for the Physiotherapy my other ward mates were starting to get ready to go home and didn’t seem to have any pain at all and were sent home with pain killers and an anti-inflammatory so I was really surprised when the Physiotherapist finally arrived that I had an awful lot of pain when I first put my foot down.

I asked the nurse if I could have a pain killer for it, but she said that because I was on other pain medication (Tramadol) all I could take was a couple of anti-inflammatory’s with a biscuit. Anything would help so I was happy to be given these.

Hubby arrived and he wheeled me to the car where I had to sit in the back with my foot up. As neither of us really knew what was involved in the post operative treatment of this operation we were both in a bit of shock as to how little I could do.

I arrived home early evening but soon felt ready for bed with the pain getting really uncomfortable. In fact so bad that I decided I could not face trying to get upstairs with my crutches and to sleep downstairs.

My first night was restless and painful which I am sure my ward mates also suffered from, the only difference being that their pain medication would work and mine made no difference whatsoever.

I made a conscious decision before I went to sleep that after my foot had recovered from the surgery I was going to make a real effort to cut my pain medications right down and to visit my pain specialist to have a chat about it, as this is the second time this has happened to me.

Foot surgery

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17 thoughts on “KELLER ARTHROPLASTY FOR OSTEOARTHRITIS OF THE BIG TOE…

  1. Glad it all went well in the end, Barbara, but so sorry about the amount of pain – I guess if you’re on Tramadol there’s not much they can do, apart from knocking you over the head with a hammer 😉

    The first few nights after any op are always so painful and difficult, so do hope that you begin to feel a bit more comfortable soon. Hugs!

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    • Thanks gilly, I did think I was getting better today so decided to cut out the anti-inflammatory but he soon came back so I’m taking the same for the time being. From tomorrow I can try and walk around a little more and the nurse said I will know when I’ve had enough as the pain will come back straight away. I am, I promise being very very good and ‘I hope’ a very good patient. 🙂

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    • Hi Michelle, yes I have tried and still do have some acupuncture for the pain in my shoulders and arms. Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to work on my low back. 🙂

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  2. Pain medications should be taken in minimal. But in your case, you should take one right now or a couple of it I guess. The pain is disturbing and unbearable. After the condition subsides, opt to discussing with a physician for the gradual reduction of pain reliever intake.

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    • I’m cutting down a little on the big meds at the moment then waiting to have a chat with my pain consultant who has always been brilliant with me. Thanks for your input 🙂

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  3. I am sorry you have had a tough time. I am due to undergo surgery on my knee. I unfortunately stood on my shoe lace whilst making student beds and landed on one knee, hence the damage and torn cartlege.

    Years ago I had a problem with pain and consulted a recommended hypnotist. It is remarkable how helpful these people can be and well worth considering. I asked for a recommendation from a health practitioner as I consider it would be risky to approach anyone who advertises their services. I will get myself organized for this next treatment along with some physio. I really don’t like pain killers for very obvious reasons.

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    • Thanks jennifer, sorry to hear your about to have your knee surgery, if it helps Dad had his done last year at the tender age of 86 and was soon up and walking.

      Like you I have tried every type of treatment available and sometimes go back and have another go at them as I think the body needs a restart once in a while. Especially with the amount of medication that I take which is predominently for my back problems.

      Keep in touch with how you get on, all the best anyway.

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  4. Hey really liked this post. Another treatment option available to people with osteoarthritis can be taking part in a clinical research trial. Participating in a trial can be a viable option and provide access to medical treatment they can’t get anywhere else.

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  5. Hey, I just wanted to say thank you for the post. I recently spent some time researching various treatments for osteoarthritis, and I came across viscosupplementation. I had never heard of this type of treatment before, but it seemed pretty interesting. Research has shown that it is more commonly used for osteoarthritis pain in the knees, but there may be some other applications. What do you think about viscosupplementation?

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    • I have read an article on viscosupplementation, and was also intrigued on the usage of this particular osteoarthritis treatment. The one thing that I am thinking is that it might not be the right method of treatment for everyone with this condition. Of course, I am sure there are a few people willing to debate that topic.

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