New Ankle + New Toes + New Metatarsals

Wow, I meant to update this blog months ago and just never got around to it…

So, the surgery ended up being far more complex than the surgeon expected. In addition to replacing my ankle, I also needed my toes straightened, because they were causing me a lot of pain and were completely curled. The entire surgery was supposed to take 2.5-3 hours, with the expectation that the ankle replacement would take the bulk of the time. The surgery ended up taking 5 hours, with my toes taking up the bulk of the time.

The same ended up being true of the recovery period.

First of all, after the surgery, I woke up to pins in my toes. Pins that had to stay there for a month. 10612893_10153129299951996_2572556976016980347_nAlso, I couldn’t bear any weight on my right foot for over a month. Let’s talk about the non-weight-bearing challenge first.

As you may recall, my left hip was supposed to be replaced back in 2011 in addition to my right hip, but this couldn’t be done because my left femur was too thin. This means that my left hip is just barely able to bear enough weight for me to walk, and it can do this because my right hip can now bear extra when I need to limp. As you also may know (or may not, I’m not sure this has been discussed on here), my left wrist was replaced in 2008 and has a hard weight limit restriction of no more than 10 pounds. This means that neither my left hip nor my left wrist could do any of the weight-bearing I needed to shift off my right foot during the one month following the surgery.

So, long story short, I made it through by using a travel chair, a knee scooter, and having a very good friend stay with me the first two weeks to help me when my husband was at work. In addition to protecting my new ankle, I had to be sure not to damage the hardware in my left wrist replacement *AND* had to make sure I didn’t damage my left hip enough to expedite that joint needing to be replaced.

10556439_10153118723831996_4209489590994101786_nI did somehow make it through that month without damaging anything. Long story short, my new right ankle is pretty fantastic. It doesn’t have as much range of motion as would be ideal for belly dancing, but it’s still slowly getting better, and I’m able to drive, walk, and belly dance again.

Now, on to my toes. Readers, if you’re considering toe surgery, I would discourage you from doing so unless it’s really completely unavoidable. My toes hurt more than my ankle for a good long time. I don’t regret the surgery because it was really and truly necessary, but it was a lot of pain and I’m not wholly satisfied with the results. They are straight, but don’t touch the ground, ever. This may be because my tendons may have shortened after my toes being curled up for most of my life. If this is the case, my toes will never touch the ground, meaning they will never bear weight. But they do hurt less now than they did before the surgery.

Overall, though, I am so much more functional than I was before the surgery. I’m hoping to make a new belly dance video in the next month or two.

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