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Old 05-24-2009, 02:01 PM   #1
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Osteochondral Ankle Surgery Success or Failure?

A severe sprain occured January 5th and today I'm two days following surgery to remove a microfracture from the talus and drilling to improve blood flow. My doctor says never expect to run again...and only possibly bike. As a life-long trail, marathon and occasional ultra runner, I'm devastated. On-line searches reveal very mixed results, a majority negative. Any success stories out there? Can anyone give advice or direct toward a credible resource? Tibor

 
Old 05-25-2009, 06:38 AM   #2
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Re: Osteochondral Ankle Surgery Success or Failure?

I had the same surgery as you in January, as well as some other things (ligament repair, tendon repair). My Dr. and PT both said that I can resume running now beginning with a run/walk program and then progressing to my previous level gradually. I don't have to wear an ankle brace but I do have to be careful about where I run ( lots of hills and sloped surfaces). I've found that the stationary bike, elliptical trainer, and strength conditioning have helped my progress alot, but you may want to check with your Dr. first about this. Hope things works out for you and you're back on the trails soon!

 
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Old 05-25-2009, 11:53 AM   #3
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Re: Osteochondral Ankle Surgery Success or Failure?

thank you for your post! I am grateful to hear a positive report. Supposed that all the successfully 'healed' folks no longer visit this site if they are better! So, if I could impose upon you for an update, I would be extremely interested in hearing how the walk / run gets along.

 
Old 05-26-2009, 06:37 AM   #4
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Re: Osteochondral Ankle Surgery Success or Failure?

I had my OCD, drilling, and tendon repair surgery 4-6-09. So far the OS is happy with the way things a looking. I have only been back to WB for a week and just started PT last week also. I'm not a runner so I'm not sure about the outcome on that one but my OS tells me I will have no problems returning back to horseback riding shortly. He does however remind me that one day I may have to have the OATS if this one doesn't work. Right now I'm just focusing on learning to walk again and building the strength back up in that leg...and not thinking about another surgery.

Good luck on your recovery!

Angela

 
Old 05-26-2009, 07:10 AM   #5
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Re: Osteochondral Ankle Surgery Success or Failure?

No Problem! I can go ahead and tell you that the only problems I'm seeing right now is with my running form. I was in a boot for about 5 months total (pre and post surgery) and I'm turning my foot outward and messing up my stride/having a few knee problems. I'm really trying to concentrate on my form and having alot of success with some deep water running in the meantime. Just trying to remember that things will take awhile!

 
Old 05-26-2009, 11:54 AM   #6
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Re: Osteochondral Ankle Surgery Success or Failure?

Hey Tibor,

I've never had drilling/microfracture because my ocd site was too large. My first surgery (and hopefully last!) was OATS where they did a bone graft. I was a runner for about 25 years and ran 5-6 miles everyday. Nothing extreme like your doing but it was a lot of impact. Afterwards, my injury brought me to the place of being happy that I was able to just walk but I really missed running. I had surgery 16 mo ago and my foot feels awesome! I let it heal a good 9 months before I ever started running and now I never go over 3 miles and I stay on the level ground. That's the reality of this injury. It will never be permanently 'fixed' but you can enjoy a good but lesser activity level. My advice: Do NOT get too impatient with your recovery. If you start running around too soon you'll just make it worse and then even a small run won't be part of your future. This injury happened to me 4 years ago and dramatically changed my lifestyle. You're right, it's devastating and I still grieve some of the things I can't do. But I'm hiking and jogging pain-free and that's way better than a lot of other people with this injury so I have to count my blessings!

Abby

PS I have read alot here that people with drilling do well for a year or so and then it seems to revert back. But you're right, a lot of people with drilling success would never post here so you don't see the other side of the story.

 
Old 05-26-2009, 05:08 PM   #7
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Re: Osteochondral Ankle Surgery Success or Failure?

The sharing and feedback is so helpful and encouraging. Thank you. I'm also so sorry to hear, and beginning to appreciate a little, of what so many of you are going through. Your stories are all good. I have taken so much for granted.

 
Old 05-28-2009, 08:30 AM   #8
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Re: Osteochondral Ankle Surgery Success or Failure?

Tibors,
How is the post-op going? Well I hope!!!!

 
Old 05-28-2009, 08:29 PM   #9
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Re: Osteochondral Ankle Surgery Success or Failure?

Only one week post op tomorrow so not much to do but pray for healing. No pain and no swelling. Info all over internet very consistent that a minimum of 6 months before activity...many recommending longer. Certainly encourages staying off the foot.

 
Old 05-29-2009, 12:36 PM   #10
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Re: Osteochondral Ankle Surgery Success or Failure?

Don't give up hope! I had microfx surgery on the medial side of my talus in June 2007. On June 27 of this year, I will be attempting my first 100 mile run since the surgery -- in the mountains. Am I still in pain? Yes. But it's usually bearable -- with lots of ibuprofen. Prior to surgery, my lesion was only 4x6mm. It's now around 8x8mm, but has 'some' coverage, and the pain isn't nearly as bad as it was pre-surgery.

I've had to give up soccer, but am still able to run ultramarathons.

Follow your doctor's orders, do all the PT, don't overdo it, and listen to your body. I didn't really run (as in training) for almost a year, but made sure I stayed in shape with swimming, aqua jogging, biking, elliptical, etc. I can't run like I used to, but at least I'm running, and cherishing EVERY step!

Good luck, and keep us posted!

Last edited by Calrunner; 06-01-2009 at 11:59 AM.

 
Old 05-31-2009, 03:04 PM   #11
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Re: Osteochondral Ankle Surgery Success or Failure?

Tibors,

I know you just had your surgery and I hope all is going well but I thought that I would share my story. In 9/2006 I was playing soccer and got kicked in the ankle, the severe trauma led to a OCD that was diagnosed in October of that year. I decided to continue to on the injury even though it was painful because I was a three sport high school athlete, and I put off the surgery that you had, micro-drilling until June(2007) after track season ended. I had the surgery but when they went in to drill the piece of my talus had become to brittle and needed to be removed. They wanted to go back in a put in a plug right away but I didn't want to be bedridden (I'm the worst patient---too impatient!) So I left my ankle with a small lesion 5mmx5mm in my ankle with the hope that it would repair itself. I was playing soccer 3 months post op but not without significant pain, again my OS told me that I should have a graft put in immediately but I was a senior and we were up for State Champs for skiing so I again declined. That May during track season my ankle completely locked up one day during the mile, I just fell over and couldn't even put weight on it. So I had the surgery to put in a graft. I spent the summer on crutches and went to College in the fall and resumed normal activity...running, horseback riding, skiing but was still in a lot of pain. My OS had used a cadaver graft because of my age he thought I would accept it and therefore not have to damage my knee. Turns out my body rejected the graft..so two weeks ago Friday I had the OATS procedure done where the OS took a graft from my knee and put it into my lesion...which has grown considerably from the first diagnosis. I am doing alright post op but already looking forward to being back on my feet. My doctor pretty much told me that this is my last chance to live pain free so I'm really going to try and follow orders and not jump the gun on returning to activity.

So as far as running, I'm sure you will be back running your normal routine in no time..you may have a relapse in pain but there are other options if that is the case. Personally I don't think I would change the fact that I went back to high activity because I have a lot to show for it, personal records in track, high school skiing state champion, and leading my soccer team to regionals! So goodluck and I hope you get to continue running without going through everything I have

Gracey

 
Old 05-31-2009, 03:07 PM   #12
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Re: Osteochondral Ankle Surgery Success or Failure?

Heinselrunner, are you runnning Western States?!! amazing. I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing about your finish. I was planning to run AR Traveler in Oct. so maybe it is just postponed for a few years. That is so encouraging and gives a chance for hope. Dedicate mile 87 to me. I'll be thinking of you and your effort! Have a blast. Cherish every aching mile.

 
Old 05-31-2009, 03:34 PM   #13
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Re: Osteochondral Ankle Surgery Success or Failure?

Gracey, appreciate the drive to savor every part of life. I think the best part of life is the living part....and sitting inside is NOT living! Its apparent you are exceptionally talented but have so much more to accomplish. Being so young I hope you will dedicate one SOLID year to total recovery so you can run, play and ski into your 80's. Personally, I'm going bonkers without an outlet! At this point getting into the pool to work out and getting off crutches are the next major 'goals'. A far cry from the trail / mountain races I had planned but perspective is everything.

 
Old 06-01-2009, 05:59 AM   #14
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Re: Osteochondral Ankle Surgery Success or Failure?

Well I had my first surgery in Sept 2007 (OATS) procedure. It failed!! After being off my feet for 5 months non-weight bearing, it failed.
So I finally went back to my OS in April of 2008 because the pain was unreal......turns out, I have to have surgery again. this time he did a Mosaicplasty. Another five months non weight bearing. I was able to walk again in October of 2008. Well it's now June and I am still in pain. I went back to the OS a few weeks ago and he said I will have pain/swelling for up to a year after my surgery.
I have been limping like crazy...
I am still in pain on a daily basis. If this surgery doesn't work, my only other option is to have my ankle fused.
I wish everyone else well with their surgeries and their healing.

Patty

 
Old 06-01-2009, 11:54 AM   #15
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Re: Osteochondral Ankle Surgery Success or Failure?

[QUOTE=Tibors;3999836]Heinselrunner, are you runnning Western States?!! amazing. I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing about your finish. I was planning to run AR Traveler in Oct. so maybe it is just postponed for a few years. That is so encouraging and gives a chance for hope. Dedicate mile 87 to me. I'll be thinking of you and your effort! Have a blast. Cherish every aching mile.[/QUOTE]


Yes, I'm running Western States. I ran it in '06, before my ankle woes. With any luck (and lots of Advil), I'll be bringing home another buckle. Two years ago I was told I had little hope of running more than 5K-ish miles ever again, and here I am.

Mile 87 is YOURS! I hope in two years, you'll be toeing the line at AR Traveler. As far as my doctor knows, I'm the first successful ankle microfx to return to ultrarunning. Let's make it two of us!!

 
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