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Thread: cutting toenails post-fusion?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Caesarea, Israel
    Posts
    72

    cutting toenails post-fusion?

    Not sure if this is the best place - feel free to move wherever...

    How do any of you with long fusions (Dr only ended up going 11 vertebrae) cut your toenails? Am I stuck getting pedicures the rest of my life? I like being papmered as much as the next girl, but geez, they're expensive!
    Age: 30
    Pre-surgery: upper curve 44 (and kyphosis), lower curve 45
    Post-surgery: under 20, both curves (doesn't even qualify as scoliosis anymore )

    surgery: August 29, 2005
    fusion T5-L3
    Surgeon - Dr. Ted Wagner at University of Washington (Seattle)

    Scar getting to the point where people either don't notice it or think it is from something much less serious!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    216
    Hi Cowprintrabbit,

    Shhh...it's a secret we can't let everyone know we can do. I get pedicures, but often I see a little area I want to clip and here is what I do.

    While sitting in a straight chair I bring one foot up and rest the heel of my foot on the seat of the chair. You can easily reach all your toes. I have also stood on one foot at my bathroom counter with the other foot propped up on the vanity and then squat a little to reach my feet...that is a little tricky and dangerous if you don't have good balance...I recommend the sitting position.

    To offset some of the cost of pedicures...request pedicure gift certificates for special occassions...birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, Christmas...etc. It is an extremely useful gift(how many gifts do you really get that you can actually use?) and it makes gift giving easier on those who are contemplating what to get you. It's a win/win situation. I went almost a year without paying for any pedicures!

    Best Wishes to you...it may be too soon after surgery for you to try clipping your toes..but after recovery you should be able to do this.

    Kindest Regards,
    Gail

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    216
    Forgot to mention...I am fused from T-9 to L-5, so my fusion is long also.

    Gail

  4. #4
    Mary Lou Guest
    It's funny you mentioned this, because I just watched my daughter cut her toenails the other day. Jamie is fused from T3-L2. I'm not sure how she cuts them in the bathroom, but she was sitting in the living room (why in the living room, I don't know, but she's a teenager so go figure ) and simplied pulled her foot up on the couch with her toes hanging over the edge and cut them.

    Mary Lou

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    459
    What I would give to be able to once again put my foot on the edge of a chair or the couch while sitting on it! I have really long legs and just can't bend that way anymore....*sigh*

    For the first couple of months, my husband was amazingly gracious enough to cut them for me after I got out of a shower. Now I can sit on the edge of the bed or couch and pull my foot ontop of my knees...you don't get the best view, but it works. I can put my feet on the edge of the bathroom sink, but it doesn't feel all that great. I did get a couple of pedicures this summer, but making the time to go and spending the $$ isn't always worth it to me, so I stick to the sitting on the edge of the bed or couch technique.

    Maybe using a pair of the long nail clippers might be helpful to give that extra bit of reach? Don't know why I just now thought of that and didn't think of it months ago...looks like I'll be buying a pair of them next time I'm at the store!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    62
    If your legs are flexible, you should be able to cut your toenails even with a long fusion. I had my operation many years ago, and eventhough I am fused from T3 to L3 I can cut my toenails while sitting on the edge of the tub. The problem is that I'm nearsighted and I can't see my toenails unless I'm wearing my glasses.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
    Posts
    8

    Are you guys serious?

    I guess I wasn't expecting anything like that! My surgeon said that I would not loose much mobility- but I never thought about trimming toenails! Is it hard because you've just recently had surgery- or is it always going to be like that? I'm going to be fused from T4 to L3 in December, so this is new news to me!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Caesarea, Israel
    Posts
    72
    Quote Originally Posted by HGD24
    What I would give to be able to once again put my foot on the edge of a chair or the couch while sitting on it! I have really long legs and just can't bend that way anymore....*sigh*
    I haven't been able to bend that way since I was in grade school! Of course, that was about the time my dad started calling me Cyd Charisse (for you kids, she was a movie star and dancer in the 40's and 50's with incredibly long legs) - I wish the rest of me looked like her!

    I have always done the foot on top of knee thing, but now it feels too twist-ish. Maybe once I am further along I won't be so paranoid.
    Age: 30
    Pre-surgery: upper curve 44 (and kyphosis), lower curve 45
    Post-surgery: under 20, both curves (doesn't even qualify as scoliosis anymore )

    surgery: August 29, 2005
    fusion T5-L3
    Surgeon - Dr. Ted Wagner at University of Washington (Seattle)

    Scar getting to the point where people either don't notice it or think it is from something much less serious!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    216
    Hi Alexandra,

    As for me, I will always have to cut my toenails like I mentioned in my previous post.

    I would think, shorter fusions as well as fusions that don't include all of the lumbar vertabraes would result in more flexibility and allow one to cut their toenails differently.

    Kindest Regards,
    Gail

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Fernley, Nevada
    Posts
    352
    I'm fused from T4 - S1. It took me months to just tie my shoes Toe nails where a whole other properstion!! I'm now able to bring my foot up to my knee and kinda twist my foot so I have a view of my toes, sorta. I get a pedicure every 4 months, just to keep everything half way decent looking Oh, my surgery was in 2002
    SandyC

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Caesarea, Israel
    Posts
    72

    tie shoes? I wish....

    I'm still keeping my tennis shoes tied and using a long shoehorn to slip them on. Ikea has an AWESOME one for 87 cents!
    Age: 30
    Pre-surgery: upper curve 44 (and kyphosis), lower curve 45
    Post-surgery: under 20, both curves (doesn't even qualify as scoliosis anymore )

    surgery: August 29, 2005
    fusion T5-L3
    Surgeon - Dr. Ted Wagner at University of Washington (Seattle)

    Scar getting to the point where people either don't notice it or think it is from something much less serious!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    913
    When I have pain, like I do now(need revision surgery for broken hadware), I do the foot on top of knee-just like I have ALWAYS done putting on and tying shoes since the surgery, bending is not only bad for the back but hurts.

    However, for a few years after the surgery until now I could do the foot on the couch, but holy molly it hurts and is not easy. And I'm pretty "flexible" still and stretch everyday, still. I'm fused to L2.

    With all this talk about pedicures, I had a pleasant dream about getting one last night From now on I will ask for pedicures as a gift, I have never even had one yet, however strange that might sound.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    216
    Hi Cowprintrabbit,

    As info, they make some shoe strings that you can put in your tennis shoes that make getting them on and off easier. The shoestrings look like Arby's curly fries. They stretch out as you put your shoes on and then tighten up to your foot.

    Kindest Regards,
    Gail

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    459
    Cowprint...

    When I left the hospital, the physical therapists there set me up with all kinds of handy little things including elastic shoelaces. Even now that I can tie my sneakers, I still use the elastic ones

  15. #15
    Mary Lou Guest
    In the beginning, my daughter would slip her foot into her shoe and then put her foot on a kitchen chair to tie it.

    Mary Lou

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