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Great Toe Hemi-arthroplasty implant for First Joint

Hi, In June 2007 I had surgery on my right great toe.  An implant was put into my right great toe due to arthirtis.  It was called a First Metarsophalangeal Joint Hemiaroplasty with the Arthrosurface HemiCap Implant.  I was told that in a few months I would be dancing at my daughter's wedding.  That was never to be b/c of the severe pain in the big toe.   It is now March 2008 and I still have bad pain in that toe.  I cannot walk for exercise.  It doesn't matter if I have sneakers or low heeled shoes on.  The doctor said I would be able to wear my heels again - no way.

The toe gets stiff & hurts in a pair of shoes or sneaks but when I take the shoe off - it is stiff & stuck and to move it - it really is extremely painful.

Does anyone know if this is normal to still feel this way?  I was better off without the implant, in my opinion.  Any advise is greatly needed.
Thanks,
Tonice
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Avatar universal
I am a nurse too and 8 weeks out from a Bio-Pro MPJ hemi-arthroplasty. I am experiencing pain when walking about and worried about working 12 hour shifts. I have had a few good days when I think I am getting better then I go back to the same level of pain. Yesterday I pushed a shopping cart around IKEA ( no items in it) and was in alot of pain. I'm thinking the cement floor combined with directing cart around ( IKEA cart has 4 swivel wheels) was too much too early? This type of activity is similar to what I do in the Operating Room all day. I also can do the exercises(which are painful) I found on youtube; "how to rehabilitate biopro great big toe implant MICHAEL SHLONSKY DMP cleveland clinic" (except the jumping up and down part). My podiatrist says to give it time the tissue and bone need to heal. I know everyone heals at a different rate but I am just looking for some feedback as to how I am doing compared to others. I am 60 years old.
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Don't do it.
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Same here.  4 months out and in the same pain I was in before surgery.  What a waste of time and money.  I'm not sure I'm going to be able to work.  I'm a nurse.  Need my feet.
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i had exactly the same experience. I've been to doctor after doctor looking for a solution to this surgery that I had years ago and was, essentially, told to just live with it as long as I could as options are minimal and very complicated.
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I do NOT recommend fusing the 1st MTP joint unless it's the LAST resort, meaning every other less drastic procedure has been exhausted.  I have had SEVEN surgeries on my hallux over four years.  The first one was the killer and essentially destroyed the toe.  I'm on my third doctor and he is very good and trying to fix what the other two imbeciles did.  I just had a full 1st MTP joint replacement four months ago as well as a double sesamoidectomy.  I'm probably 60% better than I was.  The pain has gone from unbearably excruciating to uncomfortable.  The toe is still numb, swollen, and very stiff  but it is incrementally improving.  Fusing the MTP joint is not going to turn out well.  Incidentally, I had the 1st IP joint fused a couple of years ago so I can't even have a MTP joint fusion or I'd have a completely rigid toe.  
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Avatar universal
I had the hemi-partial 6 months ago...bone spurs on top of the joint and debris in the joint along with no cartilage...trying to walk any distance or wearing the wrong shoes would result in bouts of redness and swelling to the joint that was unbearable to touch...for years I actually believed I had gout...

I did not have any of the post surgery pain most of you guys have talked about...am wondering about your first few weeks recovery...don't get me wrong...mine is not perfect (some random pain, stiffness) but I would have to consider my surgery a success as I have much less pain/discomfort....but anyhow...just wondering about your directions post surgery...my doc told me to stay off my foot for the first three days with only short trips to bathroom or get something and then back to a chair with the foot propped above my heart...crutches for the first 10 days with slowly baring weight...I couldn't return to work for three weeks and I have an office/sit on my butt all day long job...I also started "toe exercises" which was bending the toe up/down at the joint 3x's daily to help with flexibility and cut down on scar tissue.
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I had partial hem implant arthroplasty  with spurs removed. 3 weeks after my surgery then got me using a dynasties which made it worse. I am at 7 weeks in terrible pain. I wake up in the middle of the night in terrible throb bing pain. The Dr says the x-rays look good, and doesn't know why I am in so much pain. Last visit she put me on prednisone which didn't help.any suggestions
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I considering having my implant removed after having it for a year.  It's terrible.  Are you much happier with the fusion
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I do not recommend this surgery. I am 40 years old and in very good health (besides the one toe). I had this surgery 7 months ago by a very respected podiatrist. I was very optimistic about possibly wearing regular shoes and walking for exercise, even jogging again.  The surgery itself was fine - I was home within 5 hours with a heavily bandaged foot. I started PT within a few days and dealt with the pain. The pain was far greater than I was expecting even with meds but I believed the benefits of the surgery would far out weigh the pain. I was in major discomfort for at least 3 weeks with swelling but I did PT twice a week during the full time. I felt for a few months that things were improving but then the pain increased again and I now also have pain under my toe.  I am so disappointed and feel I should never have had the surgery. The pain is at times worse now then it was before surgery.
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I understand your going to have your implant removed, what are you having done once it is removed. Both my big toe implants have failed. I am in constant pain. I am deciding on what to do next.
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Could you tell me who your doctor was and what state he is in that did the second surgery. I had both my big toe joints replaced over a year ago with the hemi implant. I regret it terribly. I have more pain now than before. I am in constant pain, have a hard time walking and wearing shoes.  All my toes hurt now and have pain underneath the balls of my feet.  I did get a second opinion and the podiatrist is recommending fusion.  After reading reviews I don't know if I want to do that.  I just know something needs to be done because I am in constant pain. I would like to get another opinion before I decide.  I just wish I would have done more research before the surgery.
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This happened to me..first year after the implant surgery was great...developed pain in the ball of my foot and I was sent to PT..their exercises (toe raise) gave me capsulitis in my other foot.  Two years and my second toe has shifted toward the big toe, with the third on its way.......I just has an weil osteotomy on my two toes With hopes of putting the balance back in my forefoot...I wish I never had the bunion surgery to begin with....can't even take my dog for a walk...never mind get to the gym.
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Was very interested to see your post as I do agility and arthritis in my great toe is making it impossible.  Have you returned to trialling?  Still happy epithet the implant?
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I had a joint replacement done over a year ago and still have so much pain.  Some days are worse than others.  I am here in Tucson and am willing to go to Phoenix to get a second opinion.  Can you please tell me the name of the doctor you used.   I would greatly appreciate it
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Wish I had read comments about implants  before I made my decision. Sept..2014 I had a Hemi Implant in my Great toe also spur removed from same toe and planters facei  release . I was told I would be up and running in 6 weeks and would have full range, movement of my toe! I did leave the hospital in a boot. NO crutches or cane and he said I would need No PT!! Well  5 months latter and I have done nothing but hurt! He did send me to PT and I was told I had  scar tissue build up? I wear pain patches on my foot and walk side ways!  The pain has gone to my knee now! I was told today he is going to remove implant in 3 weeks! CAN'T WAIT........
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Hi - can you let me know the contact of this doctor?  I had an unsuccessful big toe joint replacement in 2007 and its now really painful and I want it checked as I cannot walk far now
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PattyMarie, Can you tell me the name of your Trailblazers Dr? I live in the area and would like to get a second consultation before committing to the surgery.
Thanks!
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My doctor also told me to walk, walk, walk, after 3 days,,, through the pain. I did what he said and pain never quit. He
Then decided I now had sesmoiditis. I think I aggravated the hell out of my sesmoids by walking on them before inflammation went down. Another doctor said the implant is pressing on my sesmoids causing pain.  But his solution sounded to drastic. Not trusting these guys right now.
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Hi Frostie,
  I was wondering how, now years later, your toe is doing. If good, could you please tell me your doctors name and where he is located.
Janna10
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I just had total metatarsal implant done 14 days ago.  After stitches came out I was told I could wear a loose shoe and walk on it.  I went to PT and was
given exercises.  I had a lot of swelling after stitches came out, but have persisted with exercises (2days).  Seems like when I wear the shoes I can walk better, but it increase the swelling.  Will the swelling go away?  So far I am happy with what was done BECAUSE:
-1990 ( I was 40) had a silicone hemi implant put in (they took this one off the market).
-1993 I had the hemi implant taken out and a cheilectomy done.  I was a success till a few years ago when the arthritis build up started affecting my sesamoids I could not walk.  So in Nov of 2014 after seeing 5 orthopedic and podiatry doctors I decided to have the full implant done.  I was all ready to have a full fusion!!
Interestingly before the surgery my toe was 1 inch shorter then it use to be.  Now it is the same length as the second toe (had hammertoe surgery on that).  I should have taken pictures.  I will have to ask the doctor if he did!
So I will do my PT and wait patiently to see if swelling will go down.
I am keeping my fingers crossed.
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i think you did what the Dr ordered with PT and you did what you was supposed to  i think the others might have had pt but did not keep it up staying active is a big plus
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I live in eugene and am considering a hemi implant. Can you please share the name of the trail blazer dr?
Thanks
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Your story sounds like mine! I am unable to bend toe at the joint where implant was performed. It is like a board which now is elevated and deviates over the toe next to it. Was wrong size used or scar tissue trapped the joint from moving? Very difficult to walk and now I am educating myself on ,"fusion."
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Who did your surgery with the Swanson implant?
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I am considering having the hemi cap implant in my toe. Can you tell me who did your surgery?
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