Should this have been spotted (and dealt with) earlier?

by Jenny

Around the age of 11 or 12 my left big toe joint began to develop a ridge on top. A pair of slip-ons with what I now know was a very shallow toe box (and which I'd insisted on having bought for me in a sale) were uncomfortable if worn for very long.

I managed without any problem once I had got rid of the shoes, but did somewhat regret doing a few 25 mile hikes in lightweight baseball boots (then fashionable for casual use) when I was in my late 30s because my feet seemed to spread, although I still thought of them as narrow because I had always been told I had long narrow feet.

Come my 70s, and with thinning skin etc came rapid changes in foot structure. I enjoy walking and I bought sensible (I thought) walking boots, but they seemed to make things worse. I reverted to more comfortable shoes with softer soles and kept on walking. But my left foot, especially around my big toe joint, would swell and began to hurt even in the middle of the night.

So recently I opted for an op. which involved the cleaning up and fusion of the joint. The result is less pain overall but there's some pain underneath my toe now and I'm aware that my gait has changed. It is just over 6 weeks since the procedure and I frequently take time out to sit on the bed with my swollen foot up. Needless to say I exercise my foot and massage it but I know that the healing process is lengthy and it seems to me that without proper guidance a lot could go wrong despite or even because of my best intentions.

Meanwhile there are a lot of things I want to get on with and I'm feeling irked.

Are there any other op. recoverers out there? How are you getting on?

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