Originally Posted by Tom Snow
When I was 18 I had a motorcycle accident (nearly four years ago) which left my leg in a bit of a mess; I had to have a muscle from my back totally removed and inserted into my leg to plug missing muscle tissue, my tibia and fibia were so badly smashed they had to remove approximately 4cm of the bone. I then had an exterior frame fitted to my leg which was under compression to try and get the breaks to cement together, another break was delibirately made below my knee on the tibia and fibia and the frame was then put under tension and extended slowly to make up for the loss of bone. When I was finally discharged I was still finding it incredibly difficult to walk. On closer inspection the surgeons found that I had the highest grade arthiritus around my ankle and lower ankle/foot joints. Back in June I had a triple arthrodesis, this is basically a fusion with metal pins between the joints in my foot/ankle (that allow your ankle to rotate and pitch left and right) to the main ankle joint. I was recently fully discharged with a final follow up appointment that deamed the operation was a complete success.
I am still having great difficulty getting around as my ankle is giving me a lot of pain, on top of this it is nearly impossible for me to walk up inclines. I went to see two consultants and they basically gave me two differing views. Either a pan talur fusion (fixing your main ankle joint to the tibia with metal pins) or a below the knee amputation. He did say that if I was to have the pan talur fusion I would need a rocker sole fitted to all my shoes to allow me to ''limp'' not walk, this would be because the foot would be tottally rigid.
I think that I would like to go down the below the knee amputation route as I think this would allow me to live an active lifestyle, like I did before the accident. Obviously I do not want to jump into anything without listening to other peoples views. Is the below the knee amputation the right choice? what is it like living with a prosthesis?
Firstly, I totally sympathise with you!
In a nutshell, I had an accident 4 years ago one of the injuries I sustained was a grade 3 fracture of talus bone and then necrosis of the bone, I've had an straight forward ankle fusion which failed within 6 months. After a lot of effort and research, I changed clinics and found a specialist who would take my case on.
Anyway, in April 2010 I had a triple arthodesis (sp) and was promised improvement of pain, more mobility despite the fusion, and basically a better standard of life considering I'd pretty much lost mobility in both legs and was living day to day, dose by dose of tablets, I finally took the plunge and had the op. I was told that I could have a btk amputation, but as this surgeon was promising the world to me I went for the fusion option.
Anyway, 10 months down the line following surgery, I'm in a worse place than before. I've no flexion in ankle, I've slight movement in the joint. I'm on pain killers and again am living dose to dose, I'm even on morphine patches. I can use crutches for short distances, anything else then its a wheelchair job I'm afraid.
Been to the hospital today and told the surgeon that I'm not happy, I'm also getting pain in my hips, opposite leg and knee and also back. The surgeon says that fusion has occured and the position of the foot/ankle is fine and surgically it has fixed. I told him about the problems and unbelievable pain, his response was to try n cut down the pain killers. My response was that if I don't take my painkillers, I don't leave my bed as I cant put any weight on legs without them. I've described my life before my accident, I was very active, always in the gym and kept horses, competing in show jumping and cross country. I swam 4 times a week and also drove for a living. In comparison now, I'm unable to walk any great distance, gym is a no no. This whole thing has had a huge effect on my mental health causing agrophobia, depression, anxiety attacks. I'm a shadow of my former self.
I personally regret having the triple fusion done and wish that I'd of gone for BTK amputation. If there are no other options available in 6 months I'm going to request it as I can't carry on like this. This is no life for me at 33, In my head, its my ankle thats causing the main pain, I'll give it up! Yes, its going to mean mental adjustment, but it serves no purpose to me other than to give me pain. My car is fully adapted and automatic so I don't need legs to drive. Quite frankly, I cant see anyway around it.
I think I'd rather go without the leg and get used to it rather than to continue lugging around a leg that doesnt work and causes huge amounts of pain 24/7.
I don't know if my ramblings have helped you, but I just wanted to let you know that I get where you are coming from. You will know what is right for you.
Hope its helped