Yep. The Old Man Toe is going to have some work done. He's going to have a little taken off the top and be slimmed down a bit on the side.
Basically I've got arthritis in my big toe. It's causing something called Hallux Rigidus. It's a fancy way of saying I've got a stiff big toe.
My Dr. is going to do something called a Cheilectomy. Because my foot bone and my toe bone are banging together they're forming bone spurs which limits the movement of my toe. So the Dr. goes in and shaves off the bone spurs (the slightly shaded in area in this picture) to increase the movement in my foot.
(I'm not making a ton of links in this post because most of what's out there is barely understandable medical speak or some pretty graphic surgical procedures. I hope you'll thank me by not boring you to death or totally grossing you out.)
Hopefully this will be the one and only surgery I'll need for it, but the problem is being caused by how my foot is built. What is good about this surgery is that it's very minor and leaves plenty of room for future treatments if needed. That's another good reason that I'm not one of those that lets something get REALLY bad before doing something about it. The other option is to actually fuse the bones together and sometimes even cut out portions of the foot bone. Ow.
My surgery is scheduled for February 1st. I'm supposed to be able to walk on my foot almost immediately and I'll be home the same day as my surgery. I'll be off the week of the surgery because I have to keep it elevated to keep the swelling down. I'll be back to work the week after sporting an awesome looking surgical shoe. I won't be on crutches and I can drive as long as it's not a long drive. I'm actually working a modified schedule so I can avoid traffic on my way to work. I should be able to be in tennis shoes a few weeks after surgery and probably will be in them for awhile.
My biggest "fear"? I have to have naked toes for my surgery! I can't remember the last time my toe nails went without polish. My Dr. looked at me like I'd grown a 2nd head when I complained about it. Usually I make him laugh with things like calling my arthritic big toe, The Old Man Toe, but I don't think he was prepared for naked toes. I seriously may get a pedicure before my surgery so my feet at least look pretty. It might help them to keep things nice and neat with a tiny scar if I go in showing off pretty feet right?