Patient Stories

Paul J. Switaj, MD and Eva Umoh Asomugha, MD

All her life, Peyton loved tap dancing. She took lessons as a child, performing annually in parades and USO shows. As a young mother, she longed to start lessons again, but a busy job and home life left little time for such pursuits. When the 69-year-old was finally able to return to her tap lessons, it was a very short reprieve. “After I began my lessons, my hip started to bother me when I walked,” she says. “And when I looked at my feet, I saw that my second toe had started to go under my big toe. It definitely looked different than how it was supposed to be.”
Peyton consulted OrthoVirginia foot and ankle specialist Eva Asomugha, MD, who immediately recommended surgery. Years earlier, Peyton had had a fusion with implant on her metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint – the big joint in the big toe – to relieve painful arthritis. But the implant had failed and revision surgery was necessary to fix it. Dr. Asomugha performed a revision fusion with bone block allograft (from a donor), bone marrow aspiration and hammertoe corrections.
Following her outpatient procedure, Peyton went home on crutches and kept weight off her foot for two weeks. She spent the next eight weeks walking on her heel before starting physical therapy. Her rehabilitation program focused on returning mobility to her other toes, which had become frozen in position, and re-learning how to walk after her gait was thrown off from all that heel walking. She also worked to strengthen her feet and ankles. Her hard work paid off and she was able to return to her Zumba class in the spring and re-start her beloved tap dancing class in the fall.
“My procedure was very complicated, but it worked,” she says. “My right foot doesn’t feel exactly like my left foot, but it’s not limiting me at all. I’m doing things that I was doing before, including my tap class. Best of all, I can get into my tap shoes without any problem. I’m delighted!”