This is the second time I've fractured the main part of my little toe bone. Now my doctor wants me to have surgery to fix the bones in place with screws. What kind of success rate does this procedure have? Is it harder to get good results since I've had a similar fracture before?

In general, this procedure is effective, but it's not without complications. In a recent study of a small group of athletes, 60 percent had great results. The other 40 percent had what could be called "failed" outcomes. Why the poor results? Researchers think the athletes went back to full activity too soon, before the bones had a chance to heal completely. Researchers are now saying that patients should not resume full-impact activities until X-rays show complete bone healing at the fracture site.

A history of fracture may make good results harder to come by. In this same study, two-thirds of the failed cases had a history of fracture or symptoms. Talk with your doctor about what you can do to ensure the best possible results. And plan on avoiding high-impact activities after surgery until the bones have healed solidly together.