2 Years After Bunion Surgery, Foot Still Hurts
Two years ago I had an "aggressive" (as the surgeon put it) bunion surgery. I was not weight bearing for 3 months after the surgery. 8 months after, he said I didn't need to see him anymore. Foot still hurts -- is it normal for this type of procedure, or should it have been completely healed and painless by now?
Long, overly detailed version:
In June of 2007, at the age of 22 (I'm female, if it is relevant at all), I had a surgery for a bunion on my left great toe -- while in there the surgeon also corrected a slight hammertoe in the fourth toe. He told me that since I was relatively young to be getting bunions this serious, he would have to perform a more "aggressive" procedure to ensure that it didn't come back in a decade.
Please forgive my lack of medical terms, he explained it to me very simply so I could understand it. He cut a notch out of the bone of the front part of the great toe to straighten the toe itself (no screw), as well as shaving off the bunion and correcting the hammertoe. A bit further back, (and in retrospect, I'm not certain I understood this correctly), he put two screws into the first and second metatarsals to fuse them -- I supposed that this was to keep the toe straight for the rest of my life. He said everything went well during the procedure.
It hurt like dickens the first two weeks, but became very manageable after that. I was ordered to bear NO weight on it for three months, and then an extra month in a walking cast. Throughout post op visits, my surgeon said I was healing very quickly and I was regaining good motion throughout my toe and foot. 8 months later he said I was good to go and didn't need to go back anymore.
Now it's over two years and I still have pain, soreness, tingliness, and somewhat reduced range of motion in my big toe. Specifically, the area right behind bottom joint of the toe hurts when pressure is applied anywhere (top, bottom, side), but the joint itself doesn't hurt. The top front of my foot becomes sore if I've been on my feet for too long. Also, the area right above the screws sometimes hurts (or feels like there's pressure on it, when there is none) with no apparent cause. The area along my operative scar, which extends to about 3 inches from the base of the big toe, is still tingly to the touch, and very much so concentrated above the screws (which also "creak" or "grind" when I wiggle my toes). My big toe can be pulled back/up and toward the second toe with few problems, but motion forward/down and away from the second toe is very limited and somewhat painful. When I place a finger on the area above the screws and a bit lower, I feel a "grinding" feeling and I feel some shifting. The pain isn't bad -- indeed it's far less than the pain of the bunion that was corrected.
So finally, here is my question. What is normal for a patient two years out of this sort of surgery? Am I experiencing sensations that are to be expected given the type of procedure done? Should these things have passed by now? As stated above, the pain and my quality of life have been much improved by the surgery, but I'm worried that, if abnormal, the pain and the rest might be indicative of something going wrong in my foot.
If this sort of experience is abnormal for two or more years after the procedure, then I will most definitely go back to my surgeon to see what's up. However; if this is the expected outcome at this point in time, I don't want to waste a visit to my surgeon (and, more importantly, the payment for it).
Thanks for your time!