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Cycling after a toe fusion?

Old 07-01-19, 02:47 PM
  #1  
rosefarts
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Cycling after a toe fusion?

I'm thinking about getting a toe fusion. The most distal joint of the big toe. I've basically destroyed it with tight rock climbing shoes for the last 25 years, it's not a bike thing.

If I do this, I'll be in a walking boot/splint. I'm wondering if I can ride. Definitely road, maybe even on a trainer. My shoes are almost zero flex carbon soles. Seems like even if I wreck, the shoe wouldn't allow any movement while the fusion is completing. I wouldn't mountain bike though, probably just cruise the river trails while towing my kid. I'm not talking about riding a week post op but maybe 3-4. I'd probably call a neighbor if I had a mechanical I couldn't repair. It wouldn't be a good one to walk on.

Any thoughts?
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Old 07-01-19, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
I'm thinking about getting a toe fusion. The most distal joint of the big toe. I've basically destroyed it with tight rock climbing shoes for the last 25 years, it's not a bike thing.

If I do this, I'll be in a walking boot/splint. I'm wondering if I can ride. Definitely road, maybe even on a trainer. My shoes are almost zero flex carbon soles. Seems like even if I wreck, the shoe wouldn't allow any movement while the fusion is completing. I wouldn't mountain bike though, probably just cruise the river trails while towing my kid. I'm not talking about riding a week post op but maybe 3-4. I'd probably call a neighbor if I had a mechanical I couldn't repair. It wouldn't be a good one to walk on.

Any thoughts?
My first thought is to ask your surgeon. She/he will know better than all of us what your foot will and will not tolerate.
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Old 07-01-19, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina View Post
My first thought is to ask your surgeon. She/he will know better than all of us what your foot will and will not tolerate.
I award you ten internets for originality.
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Old 07-01-19, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
I award you ten internets for originality.
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Old 07-03-19, 08:51 AM
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fwiw - I've read that any foot surgery has a long recovery. personally, I have 2 toes I'd like trimmed own by a cpl mms. or maybe just have the nails removed
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Old 07-03-19, 11:30 AM
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Send us photos of your booted foot in a cycling shoe. Please.
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Old 07-03-19, 12:47 PM
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Or the X-ray ...
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Old 07-04-19, 04:49 AM
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My left ankle joint is totaly gone. I was told by a surgeon that I need a fusion due to end stage arthritis which would result in 6-8 weeks in a cast. I bought some time with the fitting of an orthotic ankle brace (AFO). I now cycle with Shimano SPD sandals (on the large side) which fit over the brace.

Two weeks ago my local orthopedic doctor gave me an injection with a new time release cortisone drug called "Zilretta". It has worked wonders. Previous cortisone shots did nothing. After receiving the Zilretta I am now totaly pain free and my limp is gone. That said, it is temporary relief and could wear off after 12 weeks or so.

Not sure if Zilretta would apply to your toe condition. You may want to ask your doctor.
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Old 07-04-19, 02:29 PM
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IMO.!!!.... I really think you'll be able to ride in short order. Your saddle height will be a compromise, obviously. And the position of your foot on the pedal will most likely change, axle near the arch, foot forward.

Hiking mountains destroyed the big toe on the right side. Severe osteo arthritis bothered me for years in that toe. The big knuckle. That joint fused on it's own over about a 4 year time span. It was hell. I lived with the pain as my hiking days waned. Then, I was done with hiking. Sad day that was. But now the toe is naturally fused and there is no motion in that joint, the pain is gone. Ugly as heck to look at. The arthritis still has it's hold on me though. Now my other toe's are effected. Left hip is replaced and the right knee gets done in September. 271 miles on the bike in June. I'm slow but it's the one thing I can do without being in agony and time isn't slowing down. Tick-talk-Tick-Tock-Tick-talk......

I hope it goes well for you. I really do. Me, I can't get it straight in my head to have my toes worked on. Something about the foot that pushes me away from considering surgery. Report back with your results. I and others would like to hear.

Last edited by BirdsBikeBinocs; 07-04-19 at 02:33 PM.
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Old 12-20-19, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Or the X-ray ...
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Old 12-20-19, 10:03 PM
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This hurt a lot more than I expected. 2 weeks out and I'm able to hobble enough to use the bathroom. Everything else I need crutches.

Cycling is off the table for a while. I can't put any pressure on it. I'll probably be able to ride sooner than ski or climb but I bet that's 6 weeks or so.
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Old 12-21-19, 10:23 AM
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Spouse/stoker has had two (R & L) great toe joint surgeries in recent years, one fused with titanium. No problems cycling with either after waiting a few weeks for swelling/discomfort to subside. Temporarily wore one size larger shoe for walking/standing after each procedure.
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Old 12-21-19, 10:28 AM
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climb on and ride a little..assess as you go, it might be fine. If not you will know for sure
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Old 12-23-19, 11:45 AM
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I had a partial toe amputation 26 Nov. 2nd toe, left foot. I waited a bit over 2 weeks before getting on the trainer, and the first couple rides were slow, and in the boot they provided. But it is nice that it no longer hurts... I know, different issue, but similar experiences.

Like @BobG above, similar ankle failing. Just got an ankle AFO brace and the difference is very night and day, big positive...
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Old 12-25-19, 03:08 PM
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I'm curious. Did you ever ask your surgeon about how soon you could return to cycling? If you did, were there different restrictions on when you could get back to stationary bike vs. road bike vs, mountain bike?
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Old 12-25-19, 06:16 PM
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I've got pretty severe Tailor's Bunions (little toe) on both my feet as well as hammer toe on both toes next to my big toes. My surgeon was pretty impressed with the different things I have done to modify my shoes so I can still be active, but because my feet have spread out as I've aged, it's time to get all the issues fixed. The right foot is the worst, so that will be done first - both the bunion and the toe at the same time. The surgeon said it will be a 10 week recovery period. If I can fit into my ski boots this season, I'll wait until next Fall (after biking season) for the first surgery. If I can't make the ski boots work, I'll try to do the surgery in the late winter so I'll be set to go for bike season. While I'm not looking forward to the surgery, I am glad that the problems can be rectified. As far as rehab, I plan on doing what the doctor recommends - that worked well when I had shoulder surgery a few years ago.
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Old 12-26-19, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Send us photos of your booted foot in a cycling shoe. Please.
I had a gout-like attack some years ago and managed to cram my foot into a Lake road shoe. I rode all right !!!
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Old 01-03-20, 02:51 PM
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The few local cyclists here have managed to get a collegiate event in the spring. They're going to shoot a promo for it tomorrow and they need every road bike in town for it. I'll be there.

I just checked, I can fit my foot into my cycling shoe. I also won't ride to the shoot. It'll probably be 5 whole miles of riding but it's a start. Depending on how it goes, I'll decide if I can start riding again.

Still can't go back to work though, since I'm mostly on my feet all day (rn).
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Old 01-03-20, 04:22 PM
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it's interesting that when medical questions are asked on this forum people chime in with conditions that are completely unrelated. You had an interphalangeal joint fusion. You should be able to tolerate that much more than a metatarsalphalangeal joint fusion, regardless of your activity level. No flexion is needed at the IP joint for cycling. Once you have a solid fusion occur that is demonstrated on subsequent radiographs, your cycling activity should be unrestricted.

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Old 02-04-20, 02:23 PM
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rosefarts
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For those interested in bling. That single titanium screw was $12,900.

I'm insured but my out of pocket price is still in the brand new carbon bike with Ultegra DI2 range. I guess that's cheaper than custom steel with Campy Record. Yay America.
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