As a result of the rotation, the inner part of the foot becomes more susceptible to constant mechanical irritation, which causes the formation of new bone (exostosis) and local inflammation, which is the main cause of pain in such a deformed foot.
The deformity soon becomes painful, and redness and soreness similar to gout appear on the inside of the foot. If the deformity is not identified in time and an attempt is made to treat it, soon the II and III toes of the foot are at risk – painful flexion of the small joints occurs, which is often the cause of greater problems than the big toe itself.
Reasons why you should opt for surgery:
- pain that prevents you from carrying out daily activities, especially when walking or wearing shoes
- chronic inflammation and swelling that does not stop with rest or medication
- deformation of the fingers – turning the bigger fingers towards the smaller ones, raising the II and III fingers, etc.
- stiffness of fingers – the inability to bend and extend
- constant pain that does not decrease even with the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (in general, the effect of such drugs varies from person to person)
- the presence of pain even after wearing appropriate footwear.
Be careful when choosing a surgical procedure because names like “simple” and “minimal” surgery can often do more harm than good. The goal of the operation is to stop the pain and correct the deformity as much as possible. Orthopedic surgery is chosen by an orthopedic surgeon based on the type and cause of the foot deformity.
The success of the surgery largely depends on how well you follow your surgeon’s instructions over the next few weeks. During the recovery phase, several follow-up examinations are necessary, during which your surgeon will monitor the normal healing process of the wound.
After surgery, it is necessary to restore the full range of motion and strength in the foot muscles through physical therapy. The orthopedist will recommend the use of some props during exercise, in order to improve mobility and gain strength in the ankle joint and finger joints.
For the fastest and most complete recovery, it is necessary to perform daily exercises to increase the mobility of the thumb, fingers and ankle.
Early postoperative rehabilitation phase
Movement – proper walking in orthopedic shoes is of great importance. After surgery, crutches are used for walking, and the post-operative shoes that you will receive allow weight to be applied when walking only on the rear part of the foot. The operator will determine how much and when you are allowed to put weight on the operated foot. When walking with crutches, it is important not to move the crutches far from the body. When walking, first move the crutches in front of the body, then step with the operated leg, in such a way that only the heel touches the ground, then step with the healthy leg. You will walk without crutches only when the operator allows you to.
Ankle exercises – move the foot forward and backward. Do this exercise continuously, for 2-3 minutes, 2-3 times in one hour. Then circle your feet to one side and then to the other.
Advanced exercises (performed only with the permission of your surgeon)
Wrinkling a towel – place a small towel in front of you on the floor and wrinkle it with your fingers only. Repeat this exercise 5 times.
Lifting on your toes, pulling your toes under the foot, bouncing back on your heels – hold each position for 5 seconds, repeat the exercise 10 times.
Lifting sponges off the floor – place 15 sponges of smaller sizes on the floor, grasp each sponge with your fingers, and move it to the box. Repeat with each sponge.
Exercises to strengthen the ankle muscles with the help of an elastic band – wrap the band around the front part of the foot, then pull the band towards you with your hands, and push the front part of the foot in the opposite direction.
Pulling hard rubber with the thumbs – put the hard rubber around both thumbs and pull the thumbs away from each other. Hold them in that position for 5 seconds, repeat the exercise 10 times.
Pulling a solid rubber band using all fingers – place a solid rubber band around all fingers, spread it, and hold this position for 5 seconds, repeat the exercise 10 times.
Squeezing the fingers – put small, spongy plugs between each finger, squeeze them with your fingers and hold this position for 5 seconds, repeat 10 times.