I think the issue is that a "good" candidate for ankle replacement is an older person with limited activity and even then they are only good for about 10 - 12 years. The more active you are, the quicker the replacement will wear out, giving you less than the 10 - 12. On top of that, I heard/read somewhere that you can only replace it twice. If that is true then, in the most optimal of situations, we are only looking at both replacements lasting 24 years (considerably less if you are younger and active). After that, we would be stuck. It is very frustrating and unfortunate that the ankle replacements just are nowhere near where we've come with the knees and hips. I'm hoping to hold off on any of my "options" for years, but I feel like I need to do all of the research I can in the mean time. At this point, I don't feel like we can/should totally rely on the Docs. I really feel like that is what got me in this position to begin with. Had I done the research with the continual pain after the first surgery in '03 (drilling/debridement) and pushed that OS to do something, would I still be in this spot right now?
I had lost 20 pounds before this surgery and have kept it off through the recovery (which I didn't think I could do), and I had planned another 20 but may push for more now. I found out through reading a bunch of stuff last week that every 5 pounds of weight lost relieves 10 - 15 pounds of pressure off of the ankle joint. The pain did seem to have gotten a little bit better just before going in for this surgery, so I am wondering if the first 20 pounds had anything to do with it. So, hopefully this will give me the added motivation I need.
I am really hoping it will help. I am really hoping to find that miracle for something non surgical to help with this, or at least help make it more livable. The Doc told me in July that I was just going to have to accept that my ankle will never be normal. That is when I had my "shake the doctor" moment. I am not asking to be able to run a marathon, but I would like to be able to walk around for 3 hours at the fair with my kids without being in dire pain and icing,elevating and hobbling around for 2 days afterwards. We're not asking for the world or even "normal", just livable.