Brachymetatarsia

August 22, 2011

Update- 8-22-11

Filed under: Uncategorized — gam @ 4:07 am

Hello All!

It has been so long since I have logged into the blog. There are no excuses for that. I do apologize for not having updated you in a while. I will write more in the coming days. I wanted to post an updated picture of my foot. It is the 2 year anniversary since I had the surgery. I hope that those who are looking to have to surgery take solace in knowing that it is possible. :)

Here you go:

2 years later

October 6, 2009

Day 48

Filed under: Uncategorized — gam @ 8:09 pm

Day 48

Hello everyone! I’m on Day 48 of my recovery, and things are going great. As many of you know I had my follow up last Thursday and during the visit they removed the old gauzes and the dr checked out the foot as well as the original incision and he made a small incision close to the top set of pins, because he wants to skin around that area to be tight. He made the small incision and put two sutures, we also took two xrays and in the gap there is some bone growth YAY!!! It looks cloudy, so hopefully at the next follow up I will be able to see the callus more defined. I will include pictures of the x-ray but to really see the difference between this latest one look at a previous x-ray picture and you will be able to tell the difference. Since the sutures were put in I’ve had a little discomfort but nothing crazy, it just stings every now and then. I really feel fortunate to be over the pain I was feeling before. I have my next follow up this Thursday so I will definitely keep you all posted. As always thank you for taking the time and passing by.

xray- the gap is starting to look cloudy

xray- the gap is starting to look cloudy

   

xray 2

xray 2

September 28, 2009

Q&A

Filed under: Uncategorized — gam @ 12:09 am

Thanks for sending your questions in here are the answers to those. Again if there is anything that you want to know that isn’t already in the blog, please feel free to leave a comment or just email me directly. As always thank you for taking the time to read. :)

Q: Why am I using the bone stimulator?

A: The bone stimulator is something that is prescribed by your doctor.  It is meant to help stimulate bone growth, this helps make the recovery period a little shorter.  Once I was fully distracted to my “targeted” length, they started me on that, and like I said in the previous post I can wear this as much or as little as I want. The benefit of wearing it for an extended time is that it makes the callus form faster. As a disclaimer though, the “wear as long as I want or as little as I want” works for the type of Bone Stimulator that I am using which is the “OrthoPak2″ by a company named Biomet. Now depending on the company that manufactures the stimulator I am sure their process will change as well. Let me explain though, this is not a prescription my doctor filled out and I went to get it at the pharmacy, he put the order through a company and a representative from the company contacted me and told me that this is something that my doctor prescribed.

Q: Do I drive?

A: The surgery I got was on the right foot so I am not driving. My doctor prefers the “no weight-bearing” method, this will depend on your doctor. I read on a forum once that a lady got the surgery done and her doctor was FOR weight-bearing and she was walking a little and what not, but I can tell you personally I could not see myself walking with the fixator on, let alone with the gap the bone has. Just slight pressure on the bottom of the foot is uncomfortable. I have been very lucky to have an extraordinary support group at home, they have been nothing but the best with me. And sitting in the passenger side is not uncomfortable anymore at first it was a bit and I would sit in the back seat with my foot up and some ice.  Another thing that helped a lot too was I was able to get time off from work, its been real flexible with that. Now if you must drive, just check with your doctor first since you will be taking pain meds. Safety first people! :)

Q: Am I cleaning the fixator?

A: I do not clean the fixator, when I go to the doctor they remove the gauzes, clean the area slightly and the doctor takes a look at the incision itself and then they cover it back up with new gauzes. And in between appointments I never uncovered it, but now that I started using the bone stimulator I remove the gauzes once and change the pads for the stimulator. But the most important thing I was told is NEVER to wet that area where the fixator is. I mean that might change down the line but I’ve been going on a month and a few days and have tried to never wet that area.

Q: Have I hit/bumped into the fixator?

A: I have not bumped or hit the fixator itself. The “accidents” I have had were putting full weight on my foot to avoid falling, and I fell once. The first incident I was walking with the crutches and put one of the crutches on a spot of water on the floor and the crutch slipped so to avoid a nasty fall I put full weight on the foot and quickly put it back up and walked SLOWLY to my room and put my foot up and iced it. The second and hopefully the last accident that I had was a fall, I was walking to the front door and there was a shirt on the floor and I did not notice it and again the crutch slipped and this time I knew I couldn’t put full weight on the foot so I tried holding the wall or anything to help me go down as slow as possible. And that did happened when I hit the floor I just hit my heel the pain was there for my bum and also my foot. These are the only incidents I’ve had where I’ve hit my foot in one way or another.

Q: Am I wearing a medical boot?

A: I was giving a boot at the surgery center and it does hide the fixator slightly, it just has two straps at the top, but I have never worn it. If I need to go out I just go the way it is, it’s always covered up with gauzes. Once the fixator is removed and I am able to bear weight then I will start using the boot to walk.

Q: What have I told people about the surgery? Am I honest?

A: When I was in the process of scheduling the surgery I would just tell people I needed to have surgery because one of the bones in my foot was shorter than the other ones, and people didn’t question it. After I had the surgery people again began asking questions like “what was it you had done again?” and this time my answer changed, I got into more detail as to what it was I had done. Mainly because brachymetatarsia was going to become a thing of the past for me and I no longer felt embarrassed about it. And the reaction that I have gotten from telling them the truth was not what I expected, the main reaction was genuine curiosity. And this is very relieving because I no longer had to carry that “secret” and I was able to be me. And for me this is also one less thing I have to worry about, I can concentrate on things to keep me busy. :)

September 26, 2009

Day 38

Filed under: Uncategorized — gam @ 8:49 pm

Day 38

Hello Everyone,  I had another follow up appointment this past Thursday and this time I DID start on the bone stimulator. During the appointment as always they remove the old gauzes and the slight infection that I had in the previous appointment was no longer there. Now everything looked good and the cut looked like it was healing properly. The small incision that he made last week definitely helped with that process it relieve a lot of that tension that I felt. Coming into this appointment I was a little nervous about the bone stimulator because I did not know what to expect. The way they set it up is two small round adhesive pads that are attached to cables are put on either side of the big incision and then those are connected to two more cables that connect to a “beeper” looking thing. :) it’s the only way I can explain it. Dont worry there will be pictures at the end to make sense of my madness. Anyways, when you put the battery in the “beeper” looking thing, I was expecting a little shock or something but NOTHING! Which truth be told it’s relieving to catch a break like this after the nightmare I went through at the beginning of distracting. I asked if I could remove the gauze and change the pads if I wanted to and the answer is YES. I’ve had some unpleasent experience with wearing adhesive pads for a prolonged period of time so I just wanted to make sure that I could remove them and give the skin under the pads some time to breath. I would just have to wrap my foot up with gauzes once i’ve changed the pads. Now what I was told is you can wear the bone stimulator for as long as I want or as little as I want. The good thing about wearing it for a long time is the callus forms faster. Something I thought was pretty interesting is they can actually monitor how many hrs you have actually worn the stimulator, so no lying please. The way I’ve been doing it since I started is connect it as soon as I wake up and leave it on the whole day and just unplug it right when I’m about to go to sleep. And the white cables that are attached to the round pads I just tuck them into the gauze so they do not get in the way while i’m sleeping. On the pain factor there really is NO pain anymore… every now and then i’ll feel a little uncomfortable but nothing like it was before. So I will definitely keep you guys posted on the progress. :) As always thank you so much for taking the time to visit the blog.

side view of the foot

side view of the foot

 

pads on each side of incision

pads on each side of incision

 

beeper looking thing

beeper looking thing

  

 

 

 

 

 

all the cables

all the cables

* the picture with all the cables is the way they go attached, the white ones connect to the grey ones and they in turn connect to the beeper looking thing.

 

 

 

September 21, 2009

Day 34

Filed under: Uncategorized — gam @ 12:51 am

Day 34

Hey Everyone, I had another follow up this past Thursday, and I was suppose to start using the bone stimulator but I still needed to distract an additional mm. The reason that it is been prolonged a little is because now its mainly cosmetic. The question is: what is the ideal length? And since I already have the fixator on I rather get this done now, instead of down the road regret not getting that extra mm in. These are things you should be discussing with your doctor when you are near the end of distracting because you dont want to run the risk of the toe being TOO long either. So it should definitely be something you guys actively discuss. Back to the appointment it self, as usual they remove the old gauzes and check that everything is going good, and I had a slight infection this time and I was perscribed some antibiotics, he told me it was nothing big. Another thing that happened at the appointment was he had to make a small incision at the top of my foot close to the toe to relieve some of the tension the skin had, it was stretched pretty tight. After he did that it did relieve some tension I was feeling. I must say though that the pain has decreased tremendously since I stopped distracting, now the only things that I am feeling is a bit of itching on the cut itself and still the 4th toe is a bit numb, but i’m thinking its from all the stretching. And my toes are all a bit swollen. I am very excited to start the bone stimulator though, that will bring me closer to finally getting the fixator off. Below you will see some of the latest x-rays and a shot of the foot from the side with the line that he made last week to be the marker to where I should get the toe. I would also like some input from you guys, if there is something that you would like to know specifically let me know so I can write about it, maybe someone else is wondering the same thing. Thanks again for stopping by. :)

x-ray another xray

 

 

 

 

side view

side view

 

*the line on the 3rd toe is the mark of where the 4th toe should be.

September 16, 2009

Day 30

Filed under: Uncategorized — gam @ 1:10 pm

Day 30

Hope everyone is doing good. As you may know I’m done turning now, and I am very pleased with the results. After the pins were taken out slightly you may remember that the turning had become less painful, towards the end the incision is what was hurting, it was an aching feeling that I would get on the incision. Another sensation that I was feeling was a burning feeling in my toes, this would come and go and would last about 30 minutes. Now that I have been done with the turning for a couple of days I must admit the pain has been minimal. Mostly just when I get up from the bed, the feeling is a throbbing sensation but thats about it. As far as the look of the toe, I couldnt be happier. It is worth everything that I have been through. I really cannot wait to see it without the gauzes, the last time I went to the doctor it looked good and now with additional mms it should look great. Tomorrow is also the day I start using the bone stimulator. The bone stimulator will help promote bone growth in the gap I’ve made since I started distracting.  I will let you know how that goes and hopefully get some more pictures up.

On a side note something that I have been having a lot of issues with is my sleep cycle. I have noticed that I nap throughout the whole day. As funny as that sounds it has become a nuisance to me, I wake up around 8am and by 11am I am dozing off, I’ll wake up again at 2pm and then again off to sleep at 6pm and i’ll wake up again at 9pm and then i’ll be up until 5am or 6am that I’ll go to sleep. So just reading it is tiresome now imagine going through this everyday. Today I am going to try NOT to nap, last night I went to bed at 5am, and woke up this morning at 8:30am, so far its 12:30pm and I’m feeling good, I will let you know how it goes. If any of you have any suggestions as to getting more sleep, i’m all ears. :) thanks again for passing by.

 Here are two pictures of the foot so far. :)

back view of my foot

back view of my foot

 

* the exciting thing is you can finally see a toe, before you could just barely see the top of the toe. :)

 

 

 

 

final look

final look

September 11, 2009

Day 25

Filed under: Uncategorized — gam @ 7:40 pm

Day 25

I started to turn again today, and I have to tell you that it is NOTHING like before. I have little to no pain after I turn it now. I mean there is a slight pain around the toe itself but nothing like what I was feeling before. Last night I was a little nervous to start turning again, mostly afraid that it would hurt the same way, but when I did it this morning and this afternoon I quickly realized that the worse was definitely behind me. I look forward to these last few days because now that I can see how far along my toe has come along I just can’t wait to be done. I honestly think that if anyone has the opportunity to do this surgery you definitely should consider it, how freeing it feels to be doing this is amazing.  I took a video of myself while I turn the nuts. You can do it by yourself it is not uncomfortable or anything, you will be fine if you want to do it on your own. Well I will be keeping you updated to the progress. Have a great weekend! :) And as a side note if this site is ever unavailable you can also go to www.myshorttoe.com its a site with the same information that I am posting here, eventually I will switch over completely to myshorttoe.com but for now i’ll update both. thanks again.

video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ruZ1oF9sap8

September 10, 2009

Day 24

Filed under: Uncategorized — gam @ 11:18 am

Day 24

Today was my 4th follow up appointment, and it was also suppose to be the day that I was to start on the bone stimulator.  But in light of the issues I was having dealing with the pain I was having after I turned the screw that had to be pushed to next week. During todays visit Dr.Strauss pulled the first set of pins out just slightly. The pins are screws really so they have threads, so he used a special tool that covers the pin and gives him a better grip to turn them. The bottom pin he turned it three times and this just felt uncomfortable, a slight burning sensation; the one that was a nightmare was the top one which he turned about twice, the pain that I felt while he turned it was the same pain I was having which concentrates on the back of my foot. When I told him that it did relieve some pain he said that it might be that the pins were dragging on a nerve or tissue. He also removed the remaining sutures that were left from last week, about 4-5 of them. So the question you are asking yourself must be”Is she going to continue turning it?” The answer is YES! After seeing how much the appearance of the toe has improved we decided to go for 4 or 5 additional mm. I start turning again tomorrow and should be done by Tuesday. He marked my third toe to show where he wants the the 4th toe to reach, once i’ve reached this spot I should stop. Next week I should start with the bone stimulator. Like always I will keep you updated with the progress as I start turning again. Thanks for the visit. :)

another side view of the fixator

another side view of the fixator

 

ALMOST THERE!!!

ALMOST THERE!!!

 

My goal!

My goal!

    

xray, you can see the gap that i've made with the distraction

xray, you can see the gap that i've made with the distraction

September 9, 2009

Day 23

Filed under: Uncategorized — gam @ 7:03 pm

Day 23

Sorry that I have not written in a while. I have just been having a really hard time these past couple of days with the turning of the nuts. It has gotten to the point that I am in extreme pain, and it has become difficult to manage. I was able to communicate with Dr.Strauss (my podiatrist) yesterday, and I told him about the pain that I have been having on the bottom of my foot and he told me that it could be the pins pulling on the tissue. He said that he could try and pull them out slightly to see if that helps a little but that he is a little concerned with doing this because if he pulls out too much then the pins might come out completely and we’ll lose the fixation. I was able to turn it once yesterday but I did not complete the full mm. I would have been done today, but I knew that had I kept turning it, it would have caused too much pain. I rather see him tomorrow and we can talk about my options. So now i’m off by 2mm of my targeted length. I can see a big improvement in the size of my toe but I would natually like to reach the targeted length. I just really wanted to update everyone as to my progress. One thing that I want to add is don’t think that because I am going through this that your situation would be the same, you might be smooth sailing the whole way through. I mean it would have been great to just have turned my 15 mm and be ok but I knew it would be a little more complicated than that. I will keep you guys posted on what happens tomorrow. Thank you again for your patience and your support.

September 6, 2009

Day 19

Filed under: Uncategorized — gam @ 1:00 am

Day 19

As Wednesday approaches I’m having a difficult time coping with the pain associated with turning the nuts. In case you dont know Wednesday is the day that I can stop distracting. The pain on the bottom of my foot has become more intense now, and I have a feeling that it will be like this right up until the end of distraction. I am also having spasms on the top of my foot, along the incision. As my foot spasms it causes some pain, because the toes are being jerked. I have found a way of making it stop briefly by stroking the top of my foot for a minute or so, the same applies to the pain at the bottom of my foot. Last night was probably one of the worst nights that i’ve had since having the surgery when it comes to the pain level, it was so bad that I hardly slept, the spasms wouldnt stop and the pain on the bottom of my foot was just relentless. I have one more turn left to do before I call it a night. The times that I turn nuts are 8am, 12pm, 8pm, 12am. The times are a little out there but I feel it allows me extra time to rest between turns, the first two are 4 hrs apart and then there is an 8 hr gap between the two sets. Ok, I guess I should stop procrastinating and just go ahead and turn the nut. I will keep you posted on how the long weekend goes.

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