Big Toe Joint Fusion Recovery Time: Surgery & Best Treatment 2019
Big toe joint fusion recovery time is generally 2-3 weeks of sutures, surgical dressing and shoe. Then a good running shoe for 6-8 weeks.
Big Toe Joint Fusion Recovery Time Overview:
The length of recovery time depends on the surgeon’s confidence in your ability to heal. For example someone with diabetes that is a smoker will have a much longer healing time than a fit 20 year old athlete.
The best case scenario is approximately 2-3 weeks in a CAM walker or a cast, then a couple weeks in a good supportive running shoe until the surgeon can see the bone fusing together on X-ray during a checkup visit. It can take 6-8 weeks until you start to feel better than you did before the surgery.
Bone Spur on Top of the Foot Surgery Recovery Time Protocol:
This guide will detail the length of specific step by step bone spur surgery recovery time.
Big Toe Joint Healing Time:
Day 1: Top of the Foot Spur Removal Surgery Day:
- The actually surgery takes well under an hour, and your foot is usually numbed up for the rest of the day.
- Some people don’t need much if any pain medication outside of anti-inflammatories. If you do have pain to this site, then it is normal to have a prescription for a narcotic pain medication for the days immediately after the surgery.
- After surgery you will wake up with a dressing on your foot. Keep this dressing in place and your pain will be well under control with medication.
- No implants or bone healing is necessary, except for the healing of bone pain.
- You can wear a boot over your dressing almost immediately.
- Most physically able people do not need crutches or a walker unless they have other health issues.
- Usually there are about 2 sutures in the foot.
Day 7: Top of the Foot Bone Spur Removal Surgery Postoperative Visit #1:
- Within about a week, we have the first postoperative visit.
- You will have an X-ray at this visit and we will make sure there is no irritation or damage to your dressing.
- With this dressing change some antibiotic ointment is applied, we make sure you are not having any problems at this time.
- Sutures are not removed yet at this visit.
Week 2-3: Top of the Foot Bone Spur Removal Surgery Postoperative Visit #2:
- This can fluctuate depending your overall health needs, physical fitness and life needs.
- If you are able to rest more, weight less and are really healthy, sutures can usually come out at 2 weeks. Some patients need to walk and be more active, if this is the case you will likely need sutures longer and have a larger dressing.
- If you swell more and are more tender, they can stay in a little bit longer.
- If you are a smoker or have decreased healing ability, we may need to keep your sutures in place longer.
- At this point your incision site should be healed.
- At this point you will wear a band-aid for 2 weeks and walk in a good supportive running shoe.
Week 5: Postoperative Visit #3:
- This is what the incision site will look like after the sutures are removed at 2-3 weeks or so.
- If everything looks good, you no longer need to wear a band-aid.
- At this point you will still be sore but can transition back into
2 Months: Postoperative Visit #4:
- At this point you continue wearing a good supportive orthotic and good shoe.
- If everything is feeling well you should be close to healed.
- Keep in mind that you will continue improving for about 6 months total. But at this point you should be feeling better than you did prior to when you have a heel spur.
- Congratulations you
What Can Speed Up Healing Time in Big Toe Joint Fusion Surgery?
There are many things that can make you heal much quicker.
A)How much do you weigh?
- A 350lbs person may have a slightly harder time walking on his or her big toe joint fusion site than a 100lbs person.
- Generally the smaller and lighter someone is, all things being considered equal, they can walk much quicker with better relief of pain.
- The more athletic and strong you are in the rest of your body, generally the better you can keep weight off the front of the foot while it continues improves.
B)How much walking do you need to do after a surgery?:
- Someone who is a computer programmer clearly needs to stand or walk less than a nurse at a hospital for example. This causes less damage to the surgical site while it is healing.
- For example: If you have kids and need to check on them every 5 minutes, odds are you will be much more sore after the surgery than someone who can sit and watch Netflix all week long and relax with the foot elevated.
- In summary: the less you walk on your feet, the faster the big toe fusion site will heal after the surgery.
- These types of changes can sometimes improve healing time by even up to 50% difference based on our experience.
C)How healthy and physically fit are you?
- Patients who can barely walk and have decreased overall muscle tone and strength before surgery, generally have a hard time walking after surgery.
- A de-conditioned patient mare require significant physical therapy after the surgery to build up their muscle tone. Your big toe joint pain can be only one component of your difficulty walking and moving.
- This means if you can’t support yourself on crutches or a knee scooter, you may be unable to walk after surgery without causing constant irritation to the foot.
- In general, someone who is more light and fit will have a harder time walking and moving.
Big Toe Joint Healing Summary:
How to Speed Up Joint Fusion Recovery Time:
- Keep the joint complete non-weight bearing.
- Stop Smoking.
- Get lots of rest.
- Take the pain medication that your podiatrist gives you.
How to Slow Down your Joint Fusion Recovery Time:
- The main this is people who walk on it, it may not seem like much but the micromotion really inflames and irritates the joint and wound site leading to infections and major increases in healing time.
- Just stay off your foot no matter what, you are just making the entire process longer and you will eventually have to keep off of it anyway!
Consider hallux rigidus surgery:
This is our video guide on hallux rigidus treatment:
More of 1st MTPJ fusion: Link