Originally Posted by The Dampener
From what I understand, the fusion is kind of a last-resort surgery for those enduring unbearable pain.
I don't know how viable the procedure is for those of us rec players wishing to keep playing tennis.
I wish there were more tennis specific literature on the topic. I wish there were more folks here who have gone through this to share their thoughts.
I just thought it was interesting, about Hewitt. I hadn't heard too many other stories about pros with this, although you'd think they would have it. Maybe not until older.
I have it, and had a joint replacement. Right toe, right-handed (so it does bug me serving). I didn't choose arthroplasty, I was in surgery for cheilectomy/osteotomy, and while in my foot, doctor discovered that I had no cartilage left, so changed his mind and put in an implant.
It was ok for a while, but then that
joint closed up, too, and I have a lot of sesamoid pain on top of that. (Arthritis in the sesamoids, plus my ski boot guy told me that it happens in toe surgery a lot, because things get aligned a little differently than they were, so the sesamoids start taking more of the brunt. )
So I'm not really much better off, and now I have a lot of pain on the ball of my foot, too, which means I can't play tennis for very long.
My advice: if you have this, get treatment immediately. Do not wait until it's really bad, because then you could be screwed as far as being able to do anything about it. There are things they can do early to delay progression.
Also, don't rush into surgery, but if you need it, find the best doctor you can. Foot surgery is sort of a mixed bag, doesn't always work that great.