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Old 05-05-2009, 01:49 PM   #1
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Info/advice on double fusion foot surgery?

Hi, I was supposed to have foot surgery on some tendons on Friday, but now all of a sudden my doctor is saying based on x-rays he took AFTER the MRI that showed the tendon problems, now he wants to do a "double fusion" with my heel and ankle bones.

Has anyone had heel/ankle fusion? He says I'll be able to walk, but not do side-to-side stuff like tennis. Well, I don't care about tennis, but I've already gotten off the phone with him and now I'm wondering about other things...driving, cycling, etc.

He seems to think it's no big deal but I'm freaked out at the idea of having my foot locked up for the rest of my life. And now I only have two days before it happens.

He's gone for the day...I've left a message about driving but cycling only occurred to me a few minutes ago.

Has anyone here had this kind of procedure? I'm not having much luck with Google because everything points to back surgery instead of foot surgery.

Thanks for any advice!

 
Old 05-05-2009, 10:19 PM   #2
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Re: Info/advice on double fusion foot surgery?

I really feel for you. I am in a similar situation. All I can say is change the surgery date until you have checked all the details and have more peace about it.
Lorriane

 
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Old 05-06-2009, 07:42 AM   #3
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Re: Info/advice on double fusion foot surgery?

I am with Lorriane, change the surgery date and do more research. Read some of the threads posted on this board. Or, get a second opinion from a different OS. Most of the foot problems, unless it is an injury, develop over a period of time. And most of the time doctors treat the problem conservatively. Have you had the tendon problem for a while? Has the same doctor been treating your problem for a while? My foot problem started as tendonitis, after a series of conservative treatments (about a year and half with a podiatrist and later with an OS) with no improvement until it was diagnosised as PTTD, stage 2 by another OS. I had surgery 4/1/09, the surgery include tendon debridement, tendon transfer, calcaneal slide osteotomy, and fusion of the medial column on my first tarsometatarsal (big toe). This type surgery takes a long, long time to recovery and I know very well beforehead that a full recovery takes about 10 mos to a year.
In order to get a peace of mind about your surgery decision, you owe it to yourself to learn and understand more about the surgery.

 
Old 05-06-2009, 07:47 AM   #4
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Re: Info/advice on double fusion foot surgery?

I've had the problem for years, getting progressively worse until now I'm at the point of only being able to walk with a support boot. I went for a second opinion a few months ago when it was still just tendon surgery. That podiatrist said at first that she was more conservative about surgery and tried me out on some other braces, but within a few steps it was clear that they weren't enough to stop my significant pronation.

She then recommended to go ahead with the original planned surgery, and said that she actually sends all of her surgical patients to my main doctor.

My doctor has called me back since I posted and swears I'll be able to drive, walk, etc. when it's all done, just not play side-to-side racquet sports or do rock-climbing.

I think I've reached a point where I know it probably has to be done, I'm just nervous and would like to hear about anyone who has had it done to tell me whether or not they could walk, drive, etc. again after everything was all healed (and I know that'll be about a year).

 
Old 05-06-2009, 08:29 AM   #5
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Re: Info/advice on double fusion foot surgery?

kacee, i had a triple arthrodesis done a year ago. (fusion of heel, talus, navicular and cuboid bones) hence triple. you will pretty much be able to do everything, even side to side eventually. you will not be able to move your foot side to side but will be able to move up and down. you will barely notice.

it is an intense surgery, but given your history will probably help the instability. i am so happy i did mine. i have no pain walking any more. you can drive, you can walk, i bike a lot, and some people even run....i've NEVER ran so not gonna try now! ha ha. it is a long recovery....up to a year. but its worth it.
shelley

 
Old 05-06-2009, 11:32 AM   #6
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Re: Info/advice on double fusion foot surgery?

Thank you so much for that! I feel tons better just knowing that from another regular person instead of the doctor himself. I really appreciate it! Thank you!

 
Old 05-06-2009, 10:46 PM   #7
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Re: Info/advice on double fusion foot surgery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shelleybutn View Post
kacee, i had a triple arthrodesis done a year ago. (fusion of heel, talus, navicular and cuboid bones) hence triple. you will pretty much be able to do everything, even side to side eventually. you will not be able to move your foot side to side but will be able to move up and down. you will barely notice.

it is an intense surgery, but given your history will probably help the instability. i am so happy i did mine. i have no pain walking any more. you can drive, you can walk, i bike a lot, and some people even run....i've NEVER ran so not gonna try now! ha ha. it is a long recovery....up to a year. but its worth it.
shelley

 
Old 05-06-2009, 10:48 PM   #8
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Re: Info/advice on double fusion foot surgery?

Thank you for taking the time to post. I feel encouraged. I am going to have double fusion on June 25 and am scared. Is it true you need help to the bathroom and dget stuck on a couch? What all do I need to have?
Lorraine

 
Old 05-07-2009, 04:41 AM   #9
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Re: Info/advice on double fusion foot surgery?

you will adapt very quickly. i didn't need help going to bathroom after first day or two (and that was precaution so i didn't fall over). but yuo have to lower yourself down while one foot is up...kinda tricky. i recommend practicing before surgery. i crutched in, put crutches against wall, grabbed sink, spun around, other hand grab window sill, and viola....on toilet!!!!!!

if you sit too low, you could get stuck. it's hard getting up off of things with one leg and crutches. my recommendation is to get up the same every single time....then you get good at it and you know what's coming. i changed once and fell off crutches!

let me know if any more questions.
shelley

 
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Old 05-07-2009, 08:19 AM   #10
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Re: Info/advice on double fusion foot surgery?

Yes, practicing seems to be a good idea. So far I've determined that our upstairs bathroom is actually pretty easy for me to get up without using the right leg at all, because it's small so counters and walls are in easy reach. And I've determined that I can kneel on my daughter's step-stool to be able to brush my teeth, put in contacts, etc.

The downstairs bathroom will be much harder with nothing to lean on and so far I haven't been able to pull myself up easily on crutches alone from the lower toilet. So I'll have to save my natural wonders for when I'm upstairs, I guess.

I also tried to practice using crutches to get up the stairs and had tons of trouble because my hands are too short to get around both grips at one time. But I found an easier secret: I can sit on the stairs and bump myself up backwards, shifting the crutches up beside me as I go. Then the only trick is standing at the top, which I can do as long as I can kneel on the bad leg (which will also be necessary for the toothbrushing mentioned above). So as long as I can kneel, I should be okay. Slow, painful, and less than thrilled, but okay.

Once again, thank you for your advice to me and the other worried person.


PS If I'm able to sit at my computer comfortably, I'm planning to blog about this in detail so people having this surgery in the future can have lots of info too.

Last edited by kacee4; 05-07-2009 at 08:20 AM. Reason: added note

 
Old 05-07-2009, 09:15 AM   #11
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Re: Info/advice on double fusion foot surgery?

I am 7 weeks out from triple on my right foot. My best suggestion to you re bathroom issues is get a raised toilet seat - I know they look gross but it is an incredible help - it is easier to sit and rise from. I couldn't live without it now! Also if there is room in your bathroom for a small vanity chair on wheels that helps too - I can sit right up to sink and brush teeth and wash up also can wheel over to toilet. Good luck. Mar.

 
Old 05-07-2009, 11:33 AM   #12
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Re: Info/advice on double fusion foot surgery?

the only thing kacee.....i couldn't kneel on bad leg because they took the bone graft out of my tibia (right below knee cap to the outside of leg) so it was real tender.

good luck guys. i go in on the 19th to get 2 of the 5 screws removed.

shelley

 
Old 05-07-2009, 07:34 PM   #13
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Re: Info/advice on double fusion foot surgery?

I am 17 weeks out from triple arthrodesis.

My husband installed very strong bars in the bathroom. Each could hold upto 250 lbs I woudl literal lift myself off the raised seat with my arms while holding my leg aloft. (boy do I have some nice arm muscles now) They were a huge help during the nwb period. I never really got the knack of crutches and used a knee walker and a regular walker once I was weight. bearing

Shelley...what happened that you needed to have the screws removed? How long will the recovery be from this surgery? Good luck my foot buddy

Hugs, Shelly

 
Old 05-07-2009, 11:46 PM   #14
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Re: Info/advice on double fusion foot surgery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shelleybutn View Post
you will adapt very quickly. i didn't need help going to bathroom after first day or two (and that was precaution so i didn't fall over). but yuo have to lower yourself down while one foot is up...kinda tricky. i recommend practicing before surgery. i crutched in, put crutches against wall, grabbed sink, spun around, other hand grab window sill, and viola....on toilet!!!!!!

if you sit too low, you could get stuck. it's hard getting up off of things with one leg and crutches. my recommendation is to get up the same every single time....then you get good at it and you know what's coming. i changed once and fell off crutches!

let me know if any more questions.
shelley

Thank you so much for y our help and encouragement
Lorrianhe

 
Old 05-08-2009, 06:22 AM   #15
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Re: Info/advice on double fusion foot surgery?

well, the two screws that are in my navicular bone (the bump in your arch) rub and get irritated on certain shoes then take a week to calm down. i can't wear half my shoes because of these screws...no biggy. suppose to be pwb for 2 weeks then good to go....we'll see.

doc puts large screws in the navicular to help with the fusion so there is less risk of non-union....with the possibility that you will need them out.

shelley

 
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