Last Monday, I had a subtalar fusion of my right ankle. My story is very long, so I will try to condense it. In Feb. 09, I had a very bad fracture/dislocation of my right ankle. My surgeon fixed it with ORIF and initially, I was feeling great by the summer and exercising on the elliptical again. Then I started having problems with the way I was walking and started to get pain after exercising. Eventually, a ct scan revealed a lot of subtalar arthritis. I just had the fusion last Monday, and I am really curious about other people's experiences with this recovery...
I had a subtalar fusion July 7th, 2010. It was very painful. Stayed 2 nights in the hospital. I was in a cast for about 4 1/2 weeks then have now transfered to a boot so that I can flex my foot up and down (barely). Foot doesn't want to move it is very stiff. I also had ligaments fixed which were very messy. So that is where I am at right now. September 3rd I have another Dr. appt - for xrays. hopefully transferring to a walking boot. Recovery is long. I had arthritis in my subtalar joint and the Doc says it is slightly in my other joint too. I am talking Glucosamine to slow the arthritis in my other ankle. Hopefully that works. How are you doing now?
I just had my follow-up with my surgeon after my subtalar fusion in May. Xrays look great and I have permission to walk without the boot and start physical therapy. A lot of the pain I had before surgery is completely gone, which is great. I just have to work on getting the strength back in my leg.
To answer your question, Zerk, about when I knew to get the surgery. I was in pain throughout most of the day when standing or walking. Additionally, I was walking on the side of my foot because of an alignment issue from the accident. This was causing other problems. I put off the fusion until the end of my work year, and then made time to have the surgery. Hope this helps.
I was just curious. I shattered my calc and talus, and didn't have surgery due to swelling and blisters. Been 17 months, I can walk but feel it at times. I know arthitis is an issue, and was told a fusion may be need some day.
You wonder to yourself, at what point, do you the amount of pain is not normal. Though I think I am pretty far from that level, with respect to what I read about some people. It probably one of those things you just know it.
I have a question for you both since a subtalar fusion might be in my future as well
How was your ROM, especially dorsiflexion, before your subtalar fusion? After my second surgery (OATS) I completely lost my dorsiflexion and with my gait being so off and compensating for that, my subtalar joint is now an issue.
We have talked about a subtalar fusion but I just had ankle distraction to see if it would help my ROM because they said they can't fuse my subtalar joint if I had no ROM, since the rest of my foot would just quickly deteriorate to the point there would be nothing left to fuse or replace if needed.
Sorry this became so long, didn't mean to go into the 'saga' of my foot ... just curious about your ROM and how they feel the fusion would affect things moving forward.
My ankle history is kind of complicated because a few years ago I had a midfoot fusion which eliminated any side to side motion; however, I could move my foot up and down without a problem. Going into my subtalar fusion, I had plenty of up and down movement and after the subtalar fusion, I did not really lose any motion as a result of the surgery since my midfoot was fused years ago. It is hard getting used to the loss of motion, but it is better than being in pain!
As far as knowing when to have the surgery, it pretty much depends on the amount of pain you are having and how well you tolerate it. I waited until pain meds (percocet) didn't work for more than a couple of hours.
I was pleased with the results of my fusion. An accident destroyed the end of the bone that rests on top of the talus bone and that is where my joint was fused. I had no pain after the initial pain from surgery, but I did not put any weight on it for around 10 to 12 weeks. This was done in 95 or 96 and I have done well with it until just recently. I don't know what is causing the pain now, but I will probably see the surgeon in the near future to see what is going on.
The best of luck to you.