Friday, September 25, 2009

Gone baby gone - middle toe partial amputation

More exciting news about my toe.....On Wednesday, I met with the orthopedic Dr. and the surgeon to see whats up my broken toe. The Dr. consulted with the surgeon and told him that I wanted to get this thing healed up as quickly as possible and avoid complications in the future. And after a lengthy discussion, the best option we came up with was to amputate the end of my middle toe (basically starting at the bottom of the nail).

I didn't have to think to long about this, as I need to get it healed up for hunting season (see 4 weeks away) and of course ski season. My thinking is I can't live in the post op shoe for 8 weeks (and take off work) and risk it not healing properly.

Enter Thursday (the next day). Hot damn, well I went ahead with the surgery to remove the end of the middle toe at the knuckle. The procedure was pretty quick, taking about 2 hours from the initial IV to me coming out of my stupor. I've got a sweet Xray of the result (see below) and its all bandaged up.

The surgeon told me that he basically took some flaps of skin and the fatty toe pad to "reproduce" the toe. I should be looking fairly solid after about 2 weeks. The great thing I understood is now all I'm dealing with is a wound (albeit kinda serious) instead of loose bone.

I asked if they could put the toe in a little bottle of formaldehyde, he kind of laughed and asked if I was serious. He told me a story about a guy that had to have his lower leg amputated. He wanted to keep it, seem reasonable right? For the hunters out there, you're probably familiar with Big Sky Beetle Works. You might know where I'm going with this. So he took his leg and had it "beetled" and now I guess has it hanging on his wall. That is hardcore or sick or funny, something.

Anyway, all there is to do now is heal this wound up. I've been ordered to keep my foot up and try to stay off of it. Going kind of stir crazy around the house here with this forced vacation. But I guess the good thing is that it could have been a lot worse, like multiple broken toes or even my foot.

note: the official term for this procedure was a middle toe tuft amputation.

Here's a nasty shot of my nasty toe after the amputation. You might also be wondering what is going on with my big toe. Thats from a hike I did the month before, lost the toe nail. The amputation went pretty smooth and was sutured up with about 10 stitches.

As far as recovering from the amputation, there weren't many issues. I ended up hiking when we went antelope hunting (see post), only 1 week after the little sucker was cut off. I was easily hiking 5+ miles a day for 3 days and it gave me no problems. I just made sure I changed the dressings and keep my socks dry. The biggest worry was getting an infection. Overall it doesn't seem to affect the way I walk at all, and there's only been a few phantom pains.


Lion said...

Your toe will be missed. Hmmm. That didn't sound right. Sorry to hear it had to go, but I'm glad you'll be better off without it.

Kneester said...

Yeah it will be missed, I'm just wondering if I'll have that "phantom" pain I've heard about.

Jeff said...

They should amputate your right big toe as well!

Anonymous said...

I consider, that you commit an error. Let's discuss.

Kneester said...

Let's discuss, well it was matter of waiting 6 weeks to heal or 2 weeks. Plus the thought of having floppy to in the end of my boot was no good. What I couldn't believe it how long it took to regrow a big toenail, one year. No balance was lost so it's all good.

Anonymous said...

Now that it has healed, does the stump look any different than the other toes? Had mind taken off Oct 27, 2011. Was back to work in 2 weeks. Toe seems to looks redder that the other toes.