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Ankle instability and surgery.


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Old 03-12-2016, 07:51 PM   #1
kris182
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Ankle instability and surgery.

In April last year, I fell and broke my ankle, in addition to that, I tore ligaments in the outer ankle as well. The fracture healed, but the ligaments did not. 6 months after the injury, I was diagnosed with ankle instability. I was referred to an ankle surgeon. I saw him at the end of September, and he said to wear an ankle brace instead of the aircast. I wore it for about a week but continued to sprain my ankle. My surgeon says he doesn't operate until 1 year after initial injury. I saw him a few more times, informed him of my upcoming shoulder surgery, which was supposed to be in July. He'd said he wouldn't deal with my ankle until after July. Well, he doesn't know that I've had my shoulder surgery, I will tell him at my next appointment with him next month. Meanwhile, I'm still in my aircast to try to prevent sprains, but there are times when the ankle swells for no apparent reason.

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?

 
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Old 03-31-2016, 06:47 PM   #2
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Re: Ankle instability and surgery.

My appointment is on Tuesday, and I'm also dealing with the possibility of a broken toe in the boot. I walked into something last Saturday and it hurt like hell.

My foot is swollen, not sure if it still will be on Tuesday or not. But I stay in my boot to try not to reinjure as much.

 
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:29 AM   #3
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Re: Ankle instability and surgery.

My atfl isn't healing either. I'm hoping pt will prevent surgery. Ortho said he didn't think it would heal since I've done it so many times. I think that is a little early since I see him in 4 weeks. I thought 6 months would be best to wait before surgery.


How much pt have you done?

 
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Old 04-01-2016, 11:34 AM   #4
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Re: Ankle instability and surgery.

6 months is the typical wait time to call it instability.

I did about 6 weeks of PT, didn't help at all. If the ligaments are stretched too far, no amount of PT will help.

 
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:29 AM   #5
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Re: Ankle instability and surgery.

Saw my surgeon this morning. After a year, he says it's time to deal with the problem. I am booked for surgery on August 11th, with an overnight stay planned.

He will be doing an arthroscopic of the ankle to deal with a lesion found on the cartilage of the talus. He will then perform an open procedure. It will be an ankle ligament reconstruction with peroneal tendon transfer.

6 weeks non weight bearing is required, this will not be easy for me, as I like to be active.

Last edited by kris182; 04-05-2016 at 09:30 AM.

 
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Old 09-16-2016, 09:33 PM   #6
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Re: Ankle instability and surgery.

Surgery was 5 weeks ago, full of complications from the start.

The nerve block took a day and a half to completely wear off. When it did start wearing off, it started from the toes. I was on a pain pump, using it every 5 minutes that first night. I came off the pump the next afternoon.

I had a catheter put in my bladder that 1st night as well, they removed it the following afternoon as well. I was unstable on my crutches too, so I never went home the next day.

Pain was a major issue, I was getting hydromorphone every 2 hours for the next week or so. I wound up staying 2 and a have weeks before being moved to rehab. I'm going on 3 weeks here.

It's been 5 weeks since surgery. I don't think I'm healing properly. I know I have nerve damage, but my surgeon won't address it, at least he didn't last week when I saw him.

My stitches came out last Friday, the fiberglass cast put on then, and that comes off on Friday. I go back into an aircast at that point. The problem is that pain might put me back in a fiberglass cast for some time of non weight bearing. I have to see what my surgeon says then.

I'm still in an unusual amount of pain, so I hope he addresses this issue instead of brushing me off.

 
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Old 09-17-2016, 08:55 PM   #7
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Re: Ankle instability and surgery.

what i had done is in my signature so not sure how we compare. i had to have surgery because everything was mush. even a brace could not help me function normally. my joint was so loose it would pop out and over and lockout extended which was disgusting when it happened. also my peroneal was damaged and popping out of its channel because that stuff was torn to.

i had reconstruction with my own parts luckily.

thinking back to my recovery i don't think i had the problems are you are

i went home within an hour of rolling into recovery room and waking up. my nerve block wore off starting that night and i took prescription pain pills for 2 weeks and they took them away. to this day i have taken advil a handfull of times.

my whole life revolved around recovery so i did the rice thing around the clock.

even at a month post op i could not leave my bare foot down on the ground, because it would swell, flush and pound with every heartbeat. pain pills never helped with this so i would get lots of flashes of pain when moving, etc. but it would be gone just as quick. my incision was still weeping at this point as well.

as far as nerves for me the incision area and around toes were numb for a while. i would get nerve lightning bolts from side of ankle up through calf. again instant shocks that came and went. pain pills never helped with this and luckily again they weren't constant, more like when moving during sleep, etc. this did start to settle down allot for me after rehab started and i got back into my shoe with a brace at just under 2 months post op. at that point also for some reason all of a sudden i could handle laying my foot on the ground although it would start to swell and pound just a bit like when sitting at a computer, enough to make me want to go rice but not as bad as early on.

i started with therapy at 3 weeks post op and went into a boot and walked around the house at that point. for me it helped contain pain and swelling. i continued with pt for 2+ months.

so my instant shots of pain did stink but i learned how to get around the house better. nothing was constant so i guess i was able to deal with this allot better. aches and pains were present but i just kept my hands off and tried to ignore things. pain while resting during my whole recovery process was not bad enough for me to complain to any doctor and for example it didn't stop me from trying to watch a movie, etc. my thoughts and depression about the situation were what was on my mind, not the pain.

so i guess everybody is different. i don't know about how all the pain meds work but i thought the goal was to help you transition and heal instead of the process being so negative so if it was me i would definately complain, maybe they need to try different plans?

im surprised looking back at i was able to get through the process so well. i was so scared when rehab started, it was just simple massage and machines. we progressed each week and things went kind of slow but going back into my shoe was an amazing experience. still wasn't normal at that point but i haven't used crutches since 3 weeks post op getting into that boot. i was tight and weak and couldn't do things like hills and stairs because doc said so, BUT by month 3 i had made amazing strides. i was getting around with lots of work still to do and a limp but i could see i was atleast able to function like a normal person again.

i was surprised that for me tons of hard work even after rehab ended was needed. i progressed well past 6 months, even the year mark.

my repairs still feel just as tight and im back to my activities of old.

good luck
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april 2014-brostrum/peroneal/cover repair surgery-jones fracture

 
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Old 09-26-2016, 06:37 PM   #8
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Re: Ankle instability and surgery.

So the issue is not nerve damage, but tendon damage. Right where he did the arthroscopic surgery, there is a sheath surrounding the start of the flexor tendons.

My middle 3 toes are affected. My middle toe barely moves, and I can't move any of those 3 toes from side to side.

I feel the time has come to get another opinion. You need your toes to walk, and if mine are damaged, I'll have trouble.

Last edited by mod85; 10-01-2016 at 09:25 PM.

 
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Old 10-01-2016, 05:18 PM   #9
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Re: Ankle instability and surgery.

I saw my surgeon this past Friday for the last time. I was so mad at him. I did more checking, it's not the flexor tendons, but the extensor tendons that are damaged. 4 out of 5 toes barely move at all, and my big toe works sometimes.

I'm seeing my family Dr on Tuesday, he wants to see for himself what's going on.

I spoke to 2 people on Friday who were rudely brushed off by him, he didn't let them ask any questions. One lady said he lacks personality. And it's true.



I may never walk properly again.

Last edited by mod85; 10-01-2016 at 09:25 PM.

 
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Old 10-17-2016, 05:08 PM   #10
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Re: Ankle instability and surgery.

So much has happened since my last post.

The day after seeing my dr to get the referral for a 2nd opinion, I went home for a visit. I was walking in my boot, so I was able to get in my house. 5 minutes before I was to leave, my husband tripped over my bad ankle. I went back to rehab in pain. The pain go so bad at dinnertime, I couldn't eat and they sent me to the hospital.

All they did was an x-ray. And that showed issues. I wound up having to see my surgeon the following Friday. But before that, while at my drs, he told me that my surgeon had emailed him. Said I seemed upset and miffed when I saw him. But he said he would see me again if I chose to see him.

Well, I did, this past Friday. He brushed off the x-ray findings and the horrible amount of pain I was in. Said it was all expected after surgery. I find it funny that he would say signs of rheumatoid arthritis was normal after surgery.

So I'm getting my 2nd opinion but not until a month from now. They just can't fit me in sooner. And my rehab program ends on the 25th next month. I just don't know what I'm going to do if I'm not ready to go home.

Oh, and I'm allergic to morphine as I found out during my emergency visit. I reacted to a high dose of it.

 
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Old 11-19-2016, 06:47 AM   #11
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Re: Ankle instability and surgery.

My rehab program ended abruptly last Friday, and I barely had enough time to get any community supports from the program. But I got them the day before I left.

It hasn't been easy, my ankle swelled up a couple of days after getting home, and the swelling hasn't gone down since.

I saw an occupational therapist on Monday, he's going to help me with an application for funding for a stairlift so I can get down to my apartment. He's also going to get me a whole bunch of things I need in order to live independently.

I saw my new surgeon on Thursday. He was alarmed by the amount of swelling I have. He was also surprised by how ignorant my ankle surgeon has been. He's setting me up with a rheumatologist and a new neurologist to try to get these issues sorted out.

I hope to get some answers soon.

 
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:24 PM   #12
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Re: Ankle instability and surgery.

Its been a long time, and sadly, no good news.

The 2 accidents I had in October and November of last year wound up causing major damage. The surgeon ignored my concerns, and because of him, I face a revision surgery on Wednesday.

The repaired ligament stretched, and the tendon grafted has split. It's not a wonder I've been in constant pain.

On top of that, he completely missed a diagnosis of complex regional pain syndrome.

The college of physicians is now investigating his post op conduct, and I've been speaking to lawyers.

I'm wondering how this surgery and recovery will go. And to think it's only been 9 months since the last surgery.

 
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Old 07-10-2017, 05:03 PM   #13
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Re: Ankle instability and surgery.

It's 6 weeks post op, a nightmare recovery it has been.

Day surgery it was not due to a few issues. Pain management was a big issue. Going 12 hours, in pain, having to pee before nursing staff decided to put in a catheter didn't help anything.

On top of that, nursing staff ignored warning signs of fluid overload, dangerously low oxygen levels, swelling of extremities. No one told my surgeon this at all, he was angry when I told him about it at my first followup. They also ignored the alarm as I nearly choked to death on food. If it weren't for my roommates husband getting me water, I would have died.

I stayed in hospital for 3 days. The day after going home was when I knew something was wrong. I was lying on the couch, listening to crackles I should not have been able to hear, and feeling a heavy weight on my chest. Emergency doctor ordered a CT scan to rule out a blood clot, but had been concerned about water on the lungs. He comes back into my room when he got the results. He said my lungs were collapsing from the bottom up. The remedy was a round of lasix and release home.

3 days later, I had a mental health crisis, and wound up in hospital for 2 weeks. In addition to that, a few days after arriving I felt like I had caught a bug, I had not and cold sweats, was sick to my stomach as well. I was told the following Monday morning by the psychiatrist that I was going through opiod withdrawal. At home after surgery, I took 20 of 30 pain pills in 3 days, continuing the trend of the nursing staff who kept upping my morphine doses because of my pain.

It took just over a week to get through the withdrawal, now I'm afraid to even take Tylenol for my pain.

The surgery was only a partial success as I found out from my surgeon. He could not repair the tear in the tendon because it was too badly incased in scar tissue, he could not safely fix it.

So now I'm stuck with chronic pain in my ankle, but hopefully it can be treated at the pain management clinic, my doctor there wants to do ketamine infusions once every 2 months.

But when this surgeon told me I'd never get back to 100%, he wasn't wrong. No one can figure out my toes either, 11 months after the initial surgery, they still don't work, an MRI doesn't show any visible cause for them not working. I return to the neurologist next month for repeat testing that I know won't show anything this time, it didn't last time.

I'm now in physio, in 6 weeks I get to start some strength training, but it certainly won't fix the problems I have.

As for a lawsuit, it doesn't look like this will happen as I'm told by every lawyer I talk to that I don't have a case for significant damages. So now I have to wait and see what the results of my complaint to the college are. Hopefully the original surgeon goes to a disciplinary hearing.

 
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:48 AM   #14
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Re: Ankle instability and surgery.

Hi Kris,

I'm so sorry you've been going through this! I can somewhat relate to your predicament, as I'm in a somewhat similar situation and don't really know what to do. I'm 22 and fell down the stairs last August. I went to my college's health clinic, who told me I was fine because the x-ray came out negative. Three weeks later, I couldn't bear weight on my foot anymore. It turned out that I had an ankle sprain that exacerbated due to weight bearing. I finally got crutches, and it's been difficult since then.

I still can't take more than a step without pain. I think I tore my ATFL (which has healed), but my torn CFL still hasn't. I don't know if there are complications or if I'm just a slow healer. The back, outer side of my ankle is in constant pain. It's been almost a year and I'm still not better. I don't have health insurance anymore.

I don't know if I should keep waiting or not..

Anyway I know what you're going through and it's so hard! I've had many mental breakdowns. It's a long road but we have to hang in there.

 
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:12 PM   #15
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Re: Ankle instability and surgery.

I don't think you should wait any longer. The longer you wait, the worse things can become. Just look at me. If they had dealt with this fracture properly 2 years ago, I wouldn't be in this mess.

 
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