{Surgery} Out Comes the Screws

It’s been a little over 6 months since I’ve had lapidus bunionectomy performed on my left foot; with the help of some surgical screws – my 1st metatarsal has fused in place with the first cuneiform. Because I was informed by my surgeon and physical therapist that most people don’t bother having the screws removed, I was pretty set on doing just the same. Besides,  I wasn’t too fond of the idea of having to go through the hassle of being put asleep and getting my foot cut up again! Unfortunately, the screws were becoming evidently uncomfortable every time I wore tighter shoes (the screws aren’t completely embedded into the foot, so I can feel them rubbing against my shoes) or walked for longer periods of time. I decided to go ahead and get the screws removed to eliminate the discomfort and strain on the left foot. Not to mention,  my surgeon said it’d give my foot more flexibility to wear heels more comfortably again – that definitely gave me the boost of encouragement needed going into my surgery.

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I went in last Friday to get the screws removed and recovery has been going well. Other than getting a bit freaked out after seeing how big the actual screws were, everything else has been smooth. The procedure itself was fast and simple with two small incisions and stitches. I am in a walking boot for another week, and then I think I’ll be finally free once and for all. As for when I’ll get my right bunion fixed? Hopefully by the end of the year! I can’t wait until this is all over…this has all been too long of a process! I have gained a total of 10 pounds since my surgery from all the sitting and I am ready to work it off.

-Timeline of surgery & recovery –

Jan 16 2013 – Surgery // lapidus bunionectomy
Jan 29 2013 – Road to Recovery // from splint to cast
Feb 27 2013 – Road to Recovery // cast to walking cast
Mar 25 2013 – Road to Recovery // walking cast off (no post)
Jun 28 2013 – Surgery // surgical screw removal
Jan 16 2014 – Surgery // one year later + FAQs

Hope everyone had a wonderful week!

Cheers, Serena

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20 comments

  1. CamDoll

    Curious how you’re doing now? I had the same lapidus bunionectomy on my left foot completed about 6 years ago. Never had a problem with the screws until last year when one started backing its way out. Had them both removed on 11/20/13 and am surprised at how long it seems to be taking for recovery!

  2. Pingback: {Lapidus Bunionectomy} One Year Later + FAQs | q o o m u i

  3. I am curious to hear more as well… I am having a screw removed (from my bunionectomy last April) next week, and am wondering if I will need to fast for this procedure?? I am not going under general anesthesia, and my orthopedic is making it seem as though it’s a quick and easy “surgery” than can be done in his office…

  4. Hi Tiffany,

    Oh wow! They are not going to give you any anesthesia when they take out the screws? It is a relatively quick and minor operation, but I can’t imagine them having to cut through and take out the screw when I’m awake. If I remember correctly, I stopped eating and drinking 12 hours before the surgery. It might be different for you though since you will not be going under any anesthesia. Let me know if you have any other questions!

    Good Luck!

  5. Thank you for your quick response!! Yes, apparently it’s going to be local anesthesia only… Oh, dear, I’m a bit nervous! I am waiting for the nurse to call me–hopefully this week!–to review my medical history and update me on exactly what they will do and what I will need to do to prepare! I will most DEFINITELY be requesting a sedative, at the very least! ;) Did you find that you had better movement and less pain after this procedure? I also had a sesamoid bone removed and my second toe fused last year, so it was a “multi-procedure” op. ;) My foot is most definitely not where I’d hoped it would be–I still have chronic pain, biomechanical issues, and mega internal scarring (the “norm” for my body, unfortunately!). I am truly HOPING that removing the screw might also help with some of the “ball of foot” pain I’m having where I think the screw went in…

  6. Adria

    Don’t be nervous about being awake! I in fact had two screws removed this morning and just was reading and stumbled upon this site! I was awake in my dr’a office under local anesthesia. He basically gave me 5 shots in my foot when all was said and done I couldn’t feel him cutting anything or doing anything! Just a little pressure at times. I was so nervous and it was just fine!! All thought my foot is sore tonight I’m glad I’ll never had to do that foot again! Hopefully at least! I decided to remove my screws just because I didn’t want the metal in me anymore it freaked me out lol
    Let’s hope recovery is fast! Good luck

  7. Yikes on your multi-procedure! You’re a brave one :) Not until recently did I notice that I no longer have obvious pain or soreness (it’s been over a year now)…I’m hoping for better movement still.

    Wishing you a speedy and smooth recovery!

  8. Thank you so much for your perspective, Adria! Did they make you fast before the procedure? I feel that my screw is causing a lot of issues, though that’s probably not the only thing… My foot is a bit of an anomaly, it would seem! I hope you are taking good care–is it very swollen? My main concern is fasting–I am not due to have the screw removed until 1:00 p.m. next Friday, and the thought of not eating and drinking for well over 12 hours seems horrible… I have low blood sugar issues! ;)

  9. Lee

    Hi
    I am really hoping to gain the confidence to have my screw removed from my right foot. If I would have know how much pain, and little “push off” movement I would have after the bunion surgery I would never have had it done. I am so much worse after the bunion surgery than my foot was before. It has been almost 3 years and I always feel the awareness of the foot surgery. When I am in all shoes and my boots and runners the pain level is at least a 4 or at times a 6 . I have had orthodics redone that many times to help me to run again. I have seen the surgeon so many times to see what to do. He said that when he put the screw in it was not because he was going to take it out and he doesn’t see it as the cause of my mal function of my toe ?

    How long is the recovery time after the screws come out before you can walk again, swim again etc and go to work? I am also afraid of infection and other risks from surgery but I am getting desperate.
    .
    Then again I think I should leave well enough alone! I mean I didn’t die in theater, and i have my two feet still ( even though it is with pain and little feeling) on my foot but at least I have my feet. I am really really scared and almost in limbo about making a decision to go ahead with having the screw out.
    I would so appreciate feedback on my concerns.
    Thanks for “listening”
    Regards
    Lee

  10. Hi, Lee, I am so sorry you are grappling with so much pain and so many challenges a few years past your surgery date… I, too, have had chronic pain for nearly two years. It started with an improperly diagnosed injury for 8 months, which progressed rapidly to a place where I required a sesamoidectomy, bunionectomy, and fusion of my second toe. That was in April of 2013, and I then developed a bone contusion in the head of my first metatarsal do to “mechanical stress” back in the winter–just diagnosed properly in April! At any rate, in March of this year, I had surgery to remove the screw from my bunionectomy. It was not as bad as the first surgery, of course, but it was still surgery and I just had some bad reactions… I ended up with some chronic nerve pain and now I have a lovely new scar, so… But that said, I believe I might have a little more mobility in my big toe than I did… Hard to tell, as I’ve now been back in a CAM boot for 7 weeks to “help” the contusion while I also go through more PT and strengthening. I hope that your experience will be nothing but helpful if you DO choose to go through with more surgery. You’re not alone!

  11. Hi Lee! Sorry for the delayed response and thank you for sharing :) From what I’ve seen/heard, recovery is often unpredictable and different for each person. I’m sorry to hear about the pain you are still going through after 3 years. I think you should leave the screw if the surgeon didn’t intend for it to come out. I took a 1 day off work and then the weekend when I got my screw out. It’s a very small procedure – a small slit! I was in a walking boot for around 2-3 weeks. I felt a big difference afterwards and am super glad I got mine out! Would love to hear what you decide to do, keep me posted!

  12. Thanks for your sharing and input Tiffany!

  13. Jamirra

    Hi my name is jamirra I am 17 years old I had bunion surgery on my left foot march 5. My doctor said I could get the Screws taking out 3months later if they bother me I want to get my screws taking out in august that will be 6months. My feet gets swell when I walk for a while and it hurt sometimes. I have 2 screws but my doctor only said call if my feet hurt so I can get one of my screws out I want both out. But could you bend your toes ?

  14. Hi Jamirra, nice to meet you! Sorry to hear that your foot still swells and hurt! Try to have them elevated whenever you can, it really helps :) I can bend my toes and wear heels now that I got my screw out. Let me know if you have any other questions! Best wishes to you!

  15. Ann Mcmullan

    Have had my bunions done on both feet and also my second toes fused xx wish i never had it done ….removeal of screws done on one foot 14days ago … in constant pain … this all started 2years ago and i have never suffered so much pain in both feet. This is my 4th op on the left foot and 3rd op on right. Now after this i dont know if my feet will ever stop being painful. Wish i had not went for these ops x

  16. jen

    I had both feet done at the sane time over 2 years ago. My doctor used titanium screws. I do have a metal allergy and said they would work themselves to the point I need then to be removed. My doctor wants to do both feet at once again along with drilling holes in the top of my feet to try to rebuild cartilage as i had done before due to not having any. Hoping the recovery time is less than the last time. Seems it took several weeks. Anyone else have this done?

  17. Jen, you have a METAL allergy?! so many things are made out of METAL!!! OMG!!! Do u get hives from touching metal? OMG, that must be soo haard!!

  18. jennifer

    OK ! this is My Issue ! anyone else ? i dont know what to do !..i had bunion and bunionectomy ( sp ? ) surgery in Jan of 2015..I was a religious follower of all the “rules”, 8 weeks foot up ,etc etc, unfortunatly one of the screws ” backed out”of the bone…then i had that screw surgically removed, but that left me with Bursitis where the screw had rubbed and rubbed, i have a huge growth of tissue ( bigger than the original BUNION :-( ) i have just completed PT w ultra sound and meds on the specific spot, which has not changed a darn thing, still hard as a rock ! Next step the orth surgeon suggests is cortisone injections..im uncertain about this..any one else had this scenario ???

  19. Hannah

    Hello, my name is Hannah. I have had 2 bunionectomies. One on my right foot in 2008 and one in my left foot in 2012. I just turned 15 and so my growth plates have most likely finished growing. I have been debating whether or not I should remove my pins (and they put a staple in left foot foot aswell. So that totals 4 pins and 1 staple). I am a dancer and despite what people say I dance en pointe. Yes, nit very smart, bUT will I stop? Probably not. Haha! Anyways, the hardware in my feet have blocked me from dancing up to my full potential. Meaning my feet suck… especially for a dancers. So I was hoping to get the hardware removed so I would be able to go on full relivé (spelling?)
    I am wary about the recovery time though. I took the summer off and now I am trying to catch back up. Being set weeks back is going to be too much. About how long was it until you were able to get back to normal activity. Maybe even more than normal, intense activity maybe?
    Thank you for reading!

  20. Hi Hannah! Thanks for sharing. Wow, you got your bunionectomies done really young, at least you have it out of the way now :). I think everyone’s recovers differently, but it only took me 1 month to recover from the pin removal. I was able to to hike and run normally exactly 1 year later (I only got one foot done though). Best of luck!

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