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Old 10-29-2005, 07:35 AM   #1
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leahm30 HB User
Confusion about triple fusion post op

I had triple fusion surgery (triple arthrodesis) 4 weeks ago this upcoming Monday. I went to the dr. yesterday and he removed the cast and told me to get a cam walker/boot.

Now last year around this time I had surgery on my right foot. Calcaneal osteotomy, achiles lengthening and tibial tendon repair. I was in a cast for about7-8 weeks before the cast came off and I went in a boot. Also when I did get the boot they had them right there in the office so I was able to put it on before I left and go home.

The new dr. doesn't have medical equipment like that in his office. So his resident took my cast and stitches out, put the back of the cast on my foot and bandaged me up. She told me to look for a medical equipment supplier and get a boot. I thought this was going to be an easy process, but since it was Friday afternoon, the places that I called wouldn't be able to help me out until next week Monday or Tuesday

I had to go home with a makeshift cast on (very unstable). I'm still not able to bear weight on the foot. I have another appt. in 3 weeks and I'm hoping that maybe then I will be able to begin to put weight on the foot.

I can't believe I have the cast off after 4 weeks. I guess this is normal? Any other triple fusion folks out there have the same thing happen? I was really expecting to have a cast for at least 3-5 more weeks.

 
Old 11-01-2005, 09:59 AM   #2
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Re: Confusion about triple fusion post op

leah,
i, too had a Calcaneal osteotomy about 18 months ago, and now will probably have to have a fusion. I understand your concern, and you are right to be concerned. There is no excuse for a doctor to remove your cast after surgery, and just send you on your way with a nothing but a note to give to some medical supply guy who doesn't even know what you had done! You know how unstable you will be until you heal, and to give you nothing is unacceptable. unfortunately, I have had a lot done on my ankle, but it doesnt take a rocket scientist (or an orthopedic surgeon, for that matter) to know you need imobilization. I think yo should call your doc's office, and if there are any other docs in his practice, talk to them. You need to voice your concerns before you injure yourself further. Let me know what happens, and I hope you are feeling better.
MissKah

 
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Old 11-01-2005, 04:03 PM   #3
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Re: Confusion about triple fusion post op

Misskah,

Thank you for your response. I had a boot delivered to my home on Monday (yesterday). The wierd thing is that my foot is so stiff from the surgery that the boot was so painful. Also, I had spent all weekend with my foot wrapped in an ace bandage only so I'm sure I had a lot of extra swelling. Ever since yesterday I've had to wear the boot for four hours on and two off, so that I could ice my foot and get some relief from the painful boot. Today it feels much better and the boot isn't as painful.

I called my dr's office yesterday and voiced my extreme disappointment with the way they handled me as a patient. My doctor had no idea that his resident sent me home without a boot or even calling to set me up with one. He appologized profusely and was very upset that I had no stability over the weekend.

 
Old 11-01-2005, 08:17 PM   #4
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Re: Confusion about triple fusion post op

I have also had a triple fusion on left. I cannot believe that they sent you home in that position. I would have had a hizzy fit!!. LOL

 
Old 11-02-2005, 09:02 AM   #5
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Re: Confusion about triple fusion post op

I was okay, sort of until I realized that I couldn't get a boot!!

How long was your recovery? Do you feel back to normal yet? Although the surgical pain is over, I just feel like I'm never going to be able to walk on my foot.

 
Old 11-02-2005, 10:35 AM   #6
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Re: Confusion about triple fusion post op

After my triple fusion, it took a while to feel normal. I am sorry to say that you will not be the same. You will have to be careful where you walk. Uneven grass is the worst. I had a talar-navicular joint fusion first. The doctor fused my joint but the heel was still pushed to the outside (it was not centered under the foot). It took me six months to walk on this. Unfortunately because of the position of the heel, I created more damage. I then found a very good doctor, he broke my foot apart and then a triple fusion. After the recovery and Physical Therapy, it took me about three months to walk at a fairly normal gait.

I am now fighting with an ankle that has to be replaced and the forefoot might need to be fused. I am wondering if anyone here has had this done. Don't know.

Any way, I think that you will do very well, it seems that the doctor did the correct surgery first time around. Do you think you will have physical therapy?

 
Old 11-02-2005, 10:55 AM   #7
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Re: Confusion about triple fusion post op

Wow!!! Six months??? That had to be very hard. I'm just really worried because of work and all, that my recovery may take forever. This doctor recommended that I have triple fusion on my right foot as well because the surgery that I had done last year didn't really help much. I guess I'm just feeling like this whole process (having both feet done) is going to two years to heal and financially I just don't think I have that kind of time. So I'm getting really worried.

I'm also anxious to feel better eventually because I'd like to begin to exercise properly without hurting myself again. (I believe that exercising incorrectly is part of the reason why I may be going through this)

I am pretty sure that I will have physical therapy. One good thing about not being in a cast is that I am able to start wiggling my foot around carefully. I noticed that my last two toes do not move at all. Whenever I take my boot off to wash my foot I am able to flex the foot up and down a few times before I put the boot back on.

How long ago did you have surgery?

 
Old 11-02-2005, 04:57 PM   #8
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Re: Confusion about triple fusion post op

Hey leah, I am glad you are feeling better and finally got your boot. It is unreal to me that your doctor would leave you like that! I am really happy you called and voiced your concerns. I just wanted to ask what all of your experiences were. I have had 4 surgeries on my ankle, the last one a culcaner osteotomy, and I am still so unstable that my doc is talking about a fusion. I am very freaked out and just want this to be over. My doc is unsure of whether to do the fusion because I am young (24), but it may be my only chance. Right now, I cannot walk, and don't really care what he has to do to fix it, but I have done a lot of research and know what a hard surgery the fusion is. Can any of you guys tell me the nitty gritty of it? I would feel better hearing from people who have had it done. I know the statistics say it is 85-90% successful. Is this really true? I am starting to get depressed about all of this, but if I have to have the fusion and I know I can have some sort of guarantee to be at least a LITTLE better, I will take 3 months of hell for it. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
MissKah

 
Old 11-02-2005, 07:40 PM   #9
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Re: Confusion about triple fusion post op

Back again. Hello All
Let me start over. What I was trying to say is that my first surgery was incorrect. It did not go very well. The doctor fused the wrong joint. This is why I did not walk for six months after the first surgery. I then went to a doctor that was Board Certified in rear foot reconstruction and he also specialized in severe abnormalities. I gave him the third degree several times. I agreed to have the triple fusion. I had this done almost two years ago. I was NWB for about eight weeks. At four weeks, I had an x-ray which showed that it was almost healed. I started PT at eight weeks. It took me about three weeks before I took my first steps.

You will have good days and then there will be a bad day. Try not to be to hard on yourself with the bad day. Just rest up again. The next day will be a good one. My PT said that there will be bad days but they will start to fade away. And they did.

Your toes will start to move again. You don't think so right now, but they will. you said that you can move your foot up and down a little. This is very good news. This means that you are on your way. By the way, you should have PT. They will get you walking properly and help you build muscle. This is very important. Lots of muscle will be your friend for the rest of your life.

Do you have flat feet? What kind of exercises were you doing that you thought your foot problems were from exercising? My foot problems are from congenital flat feet. I remember when I was young. I would say to my mother "I am kicking myself" I think my ankles were hitting together. (Who knows, I was 5) I am 45 now.

Do you have an office job? A stand up job? I work in an office so I was able to use a wheel chair at work. It was easier to roll down the hall to use the copy machine, get coffee, hit all the offices and blab.....LOL

Right now, I am in a boot. I have had an MBA implant placed in the other foot. I am six weeks out. I will start partial weight bearing next week. There is someone on this board who also had an MBA Implant. She has been walking now for 1 1/2 weeks. She said that it is going well for her. I am expecting the same.

MissKah: Tell us about your problem. What is a Culcaner Osteotomy? I am sorry to hear that you are not walking. You are very young. I wonder if you could have the MBA Implant? I do not know your situation though. The triple fusion for me saved me. It was a lot of work, but I am walking. Not fast and a little bit of a limp, but I am walking.

Any way, this was a long post. Please tell me about your situations. How did you get to this point with your feet. Talk to you soon.

Julie

 
Old 11-03-2005, 03:36 PM   #10
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Re: Confusion about triple fusion post op

MissKah & wtwct,

I had a Calcaneal osteotomy last year along with some other work done on my right foot. I have very flat feet and have had them all my life. Unfortunately I never knew that having flat feet could cause such problems. The doctors haven't mentioned any work on my ankle yet but I'm so worried that this fusion surgery that I just had (on my left foot) isn't going to do the trick.

My problems started last January right around the time that people make their New Year's Resolutions! Mine of course, was to lose weight. So I started to work out, kind of slow at first. Just 30 minutes ont he tredmil, 30 minutes on the bike. Then I started to jog for 20 minutes at a time. I also started playing basketball. It was during this time that I noticed how bad my right foot was hurting. I saw a podiatrist who told me that I had a tear in my tibial tendon (left foot). He recommended that I try walking with a custom made orthotic and he prescribed celebrex to see if that would help. By June I was in constant pain and I had switched jobs and my new insurance would not pay for the celebrex. I went to see another podiatrist and he told me that I needed to contact a surgeon. I did that.

The surgeon took one look at my xrays and mri and said that I needed to have major foot surgery (calc. osteotomy, achilies lengthening and tendon repair of the right foot). The surgeon said that it'd be about one full year before I'd be "happy" that I had the surgery. The surgery was done last September. I spent about 7-8 weeks in a cast and then went to a boot. I had a little bit of pt and was on my way. The recovery wasn't that bad at all. The pain after surgery went away in about 2 weeks and I was just a little sore here and there. When I started walking again it wasn't that difficult.

So fast forward to this January. New Year, same resolution. I injured my left foot this time. But it didn't seem that bad and wasn't constantly in pain. Just every now and then. But by June of this year I noticed that my right foot was still very painful. I figured that the screws that were inserted during my surgery would need to come out.

I go see a surgeron in September who takes xrays of both feet. He recommended a triple fusion on both feet because my right foot was still not aligned properly And also the screws are going to have to come out.

I decided to have the left foot done first because it hurt the worst. f The surgery was 4 weeks ago and I am not in constant pain, but certain movements are painful. The boot is feeling better, but it is still painful. I can only wear it for a few hours at a time and then I have to take it off and continue to keep my foot elevated. After about 30 minutes or so I put the boot back on.

I have accidentally put weight on my foot maybe 2 times. Once was today. It just seems like my foot is so unstable. Hopefully over the next few weeks I'll see an improvement. My next appointment isn't until November 18th.

I honestly thought I'd be walking by Thanksgiving. But I don't think so.

As far as my job goes, I run a family daycare center from home. There is no way that I could care for all the children right now. I have two of my own, 9 years and 11 months and it is very challenging. Sometimes I wish I wouldn't have had the surgery because not being able to do the things I'm used to doing is so frustrating, but I'm trying to take one day, one thing at a time.

I'm looking forward to PT and also to a proper recovery and hopefully I won't have to have any further surgeries once I am finished with the triple fusions. It doesn't seem like there are many more surgeries I could have!

What is an MBA implant?


Sorry this post was so long, I'm home all day with nothing to do so I can go on and on, lol.

Last edited by leahm30; 11-03-2005 at 03:38 PM.

 
Old 11-03-2005, 04:29 PM   #11
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Re: Confusion about triple fusion post op

Your foot will feel better soon. Is the boot painful because it is hard to move your foot up (Dorsiflexion)?

Wow, 11 months. That would be challenging! I think you did the right thing by having the surgery. Imagine if you did not. You would have dislocated joints and had deterioration of the joints. That would have been more painful. It will take a while, but you will feel better each day.

An MBA Implant is a Titanium implant that is placed in the subtalar joint. This keeps your foot from collapsing. I guess it stops your joints from further deterioration. We will see. I am hopeful. I will need an ankle replacement on the left soon. It keeps giving out. That's to bad because this is the foot that is getting me around right now. I heard that the recovery for the ankle replacement is only four weeks. (4 weeks before you start with PT). I know three people right now that have had this done. They said that they wish they had it replaced a long time ago.

By the way, when you start walking and start working out again, I would stay away from the treadmill. I use to love the treadmill. I think it is hard on your feet and joints. Hope you like bike riding. This is what I do. I started liking it very much this summer. Talk to you soon.

 
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