For my one-year post-op, I decided to fly back to Hong Kong and have my check-up in person. I do not believe it is required to fly back to Hong Kong for the check-up, but I was able to find a very inexpensive airfare and I wanted to tour Guilin, China, so I said why not?
I had my follow-up appointment with Dr. Wu on November 5th, 2016. This was a little past my one-year anniversary, which occurred around Oct 21st. During this check-up, Rachel took another set of X-Rays and she also took follow-up pictures for their records. They also performed the foot function test again, which normally is done at 6-months post-op. The foot function test requires me to wear special shoes that contain a sensor strip. I then walk on the following treadmill for a certain period of time, to determine how I am placing pressure on my feet. They extract various readings as I walk my normal gait, and also as I place specific pressure on my big toes, as I walk.
Overall, Dr. Wu explained that the scan showed my weight is now more in the middle of my feet instead of towards the outside. When I had my bunions, I would compensate by putting more pressure away from my bunions so that they did not hurt as much. This resulted in various callouses throughout my feet. I am happy to say that most all my callouses are gone with the exception of one, behind my fourth toe on my right foot. This eventually can go away too as I re-structure my gait over time. Below are pictures of the foot scan (F-scan results) and how my callouses looked before my surgery and 1 year later.
Per Dr. Wu, Pre-surgery result showed the most weight-bearing part of your forefoot for pushing off in walking was in red under your 2nd and 3rd metatarsal heads, ie: behind their 2nd and 3rd toes of your feet. Callouses are seen in those areas on my feet.
One-Year post surgery:
Per Dr. Wu, One-year post-surgery result showed the most weight-bearing area has shifted to under mostly your 1st metatarsal head where it should be of normal feet. This was the reason why your metatarsal calluses have disappeared.
Dr. Wu stated that I must continue to perform strength exercises on my big toes and eventually use my big toes more to walk. This should be the proper way to use my feet, but the progress will of course, depend on how diligent I am with my exercises and where I emphasize my gait.
My X-Rays look good, with no significant changes since the last time. That is great news! My scars have also diminished quite a bit and are less noticeable.
Overall, I am still very pleased with the outcome of the operation. My feet are definitely not perfect, but they are much better than before. When I walk a lot in certain shoes, my feet do feel tired. I am hoping this will change over time as I continue to build my strength. The pain in the bunion areas have almost all disappeared, except for some minor irritation from time to time. It does not happen often, but I figure its to be expected since I had bunion pain for so long. That I also hope, will go away with time. The flexibility of my big toe can still be improved with my right foot, but so far, it has not limited me in any way.
I hope many people are finding this blog helpful. I now plan to only update this blog once a year or unless I have some significant reason to provide an update. I will also do my best to respond to any comments or queries people have. Some people have been emailing me through google+. I leave you with some beautiful pictures from Guilin, China. I definitely recommend a visit there if people have a chance. Happy Holidays and wishing everyone peace and happiness!