By: Dr. Mindi Dayton

I have been dealing with pain in my right big toe for many years due to a mild bunion and poor function of my big toe joint. Unfortunately, due to poor mechanics of my foot, with some elevation of my first metatarsal, my big toe had been jamming for years when I was active and that had resulted in wear and tear (arthritis essentially, with damage to the cartilage). I had developed a big “bump” (sometimes referred to as a “spur”) on the top of my foot that caused pain with many shoes due to rubbing. I was consistent in choosing good shoe gear that supported my foot to help it work as well as possible, usually wore orthotics, and rarely wore any type of heel or narrow dress shoe. It was at the point where even more “casual” dress shoes that were roomy were no longer comfortable to wear and I was having more consistent discomfort to the area, even when not doing any significant activity and wearing supportive shoes…so the time had come. For us, the only procedure for a bunion with arthritis, is a Lapiplasty® Big Toe Joint Fusion™, just as the procedure of choice for a bunion without arthritis is Lapiplasty®. Having performed 1000’s of big toe joint fusions over the years we know the high level of success with healing, function, and most importantly patient satisfaction. We choose this procedure because our goal is to successfully solve the patient’s pain, resolve the deformity, and allow them to get back to their quality of life without having to undergo another procedure in the future.

I thought to myself, “Why am I putting this off? I know how happy my patients are after the procedure with respect to pain relief and function, including returning to sports, so why am I continuing to live with the bunion and arthritis pain?” So, I decided to schedule myself for surgery with Dr. Jesseka Kaldenberg-Leppert, and Dr. Paul Dayton (yes, my husband😉). I chose the week of Thanksgiving so that I had a few more days off without having to worry about work and would be able to give myself the time I needed to recover and prepare to return to work. I also had an “adductovarus” 5th toe (curly toe) that was uncomfortable and regularly got irritated and blistered in any shoe other than a tennis shoe, so it made sense to address that at the same time.

Prior to surgery I had my consultation with Dr. Kaldeberg-Leppert and had my history and physical for anesthesia from my primary care physician. I already take bone health supplements, so I made sure to continue this daily as we truly believe this is an important component of successful bone healing. (Paul even mentioned how hard my bone was at surgery! Though I attribute that to the strong farm girl in me😉). I made sure to pick up my gabapentin (nerve pain) prescription, along with my over-the-counter acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin prior to surgery to have it already to go. I elected to not have Dr. Kaldenberg-Leppert send in a narcotic prescription as I did not believe I would need it or want to use it. Additionally, we made sure that we had even Vitamin C, which we instruct patients to take as well, as it has been shown to decrease risk of chronic pain after injury. I will share our specific post operative medication, supplementation, and activity regimen in upcoming blogs.

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