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Old 11-19-2010, 08:28 AM   #1
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Perimaud HB User
ankle fusion or replacement????

Hi everyone, I have been trying to decide what to do about my end stage post traumatic ankle arthritis for the past couple of years, finally decided to try ankle replacement, with some doubts because of it is not permanent (I am about to turn 55). Now it looks like BC/BS won't cover this anyway so the decision may be made for me: fusion. While I wait for their decision, today is the last day for me to make my 2011 health care elections. Can anyone give me an idea of how much physical therapy is required after a fusion (I think it would be subtalar)? My doctor said for a replacement 3x a week for as many as 12 weeks but I don't know about fusion. Also, I only get 12 weeks disability, and it sounds like that is not enough to recover from fusion, can anyone share their experience? thanks so much...

 
Old 11-19-2010, 09:17 AM   #2
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movado HB User
Re: ankle fusion or replacement????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perimaud View Post
Hi everyone, I have been trying to decide what to do about my end stage post traumatic ankle arthritis for the past couple of years, finally decided to try ankle replacement, with some doubts because of it is not permanent (I am about to turn 55). Now it looks like BC/BS won't cover this anyway so the decision may be made for me: fusion. While I wait for their decision, today is the last day for me to make my 2011 health care elections. Can anyone give me an idea of how much physical therapy is required after a fusion (I think it would be subtalar)? My doctor said for a replacement 3x a week for as many as 12 weeks but I don't know about fusion. Also, I only get 12 weeks disability, and it sounds like that is not enough to recover from fusion, can anyone share their experience? thanks so much...
I just had a fusion done on my left one on July 23, 2010 and my OS said that I did not need any PT because all they do is get your ROM back. which with a fusion you will not get any ROM it is just slowly putting weight on your foot.. I was 13 weeks NWB and four more with crutches. yesterday was my first day with no crutches, minor swelling and minor pain.

I'm due to get the right one done here in Dec. I shattered both heels really bad and have Osteo Atrth.

Good luck,
Miles

 
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:05 PM   #3
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Re: ankle fusion or replacement????

Quote:
Originally Posted by movado View Post
I just had a fusion done on my left one on July 23, 2010 and my OS said that I did not need any PT because all they do is get your ROM back. which with a fusion you will not get any ROM it is just slowly putting weight on your foot.. I was 13 weeks NWB and four more with crutches. yesterday was my first day with no crutches, minor swelling and minor pain.

I'm due to get the right one done here in Dec. I shattered both heels really bad and have Osteo Atrth.

Good luck,
Miles
Wow, 13 weeks NWB! Congratulations on your first day w/o crutches. That is a long recovery. I have to go back to work after 12 weeks - well 14 if I add my vacation time at the end. Don't know how I will do that. I am also very afraid of the pain post op. Normal, aching, throbbing bone-on-bone pain is something I'm used to but when I remember the pain after the original surgery I just want to crawl away in a cave somewhere. I tell myself pain management is better now, but still terrified.

 
Old 11-23-2010, 05:41 AM   #4
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movado HB User
Re: ankle fusion or replacement????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perimaud View Post
Wow, 13 weeks NWB! Congratulations on your first day w/o crutches. That is a long recovery. I have to go back to work after 12 weeks - well 14 if I add my vacation time at the end. Don't know how I will do that. I am also very afraid of the pain post op. Normal, aching, throbbing bone-on-bone pain is something I'm used to but when I remember the pain after the original surgery I just want to crawl away in a cave somewhere. I tell myself pain management is better now, but still terrified.
To be honest the pain was not that bad, not near as bad as the original surgery to fix my broken heels. I had surgery Friday morning and was off pain meds by Sunday afternoon, not a fan of them pain meds. They are fun when you don't have to take them but when you have to Booooo.

It still hurts pretty bad but I'm still not sure if the pain will be gone until I can play a round of golf or walk arounf the block. I can ride a bike for 6 mile snad get off and not have the old throbbing pain.

Ankle replacement is not an option to fix what we have it would be like fixing your elbow when your wrist hurts, to totally different joints.

 
Old 12-18-2010, 08:47 AM   #5
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Re: ankle fusion or replacement????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perimaud View Post
Hi everyone, I have been trying to decide what to do about my end stage post traumatic ankle arthritis for the past couple of years, finally decided to try ankle replacement, with some doubts because of it is not permanent (I am about to turn 55). Now it looks like BC/BS won't cover this anyway so the decision may be made for me: fusion. While I wait for their decision, today is the last day for me to make my 2011 health care elections. Can anyone give me an idea of how much physical therapy is required after a fusion (I think it would be subtalar)? My doctor said for a replacement 3x a week for as many as 12 weeks but I don't know about fusion. Also, I only get 12 weeks disability, and it sounds like that is not enough to recover from fusion, can anyone share their experience? thanks so much...
Hi, this may be too late to help you with your decision and all I have is my current experience to go on but... I had ankle fusion in Oct, I'm just begining weight bearing now. My doc didn't think I would need any PT because with PT one is working on range of motion, etc. which after a fusion isn't what one works toward. That was not particularly encouraging. He said we'd see in Jan re any PT but didn't seem to think it would be necessary. He's one of the top ankle docs in Denver, and throughout the US on the OATS, fusion procedures.... so I suppose he knows the scoop. Best of luck to you!
Lucy

 
Old 12-19-2010, 06:58 AM   #6
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Re: ankle fusion or replacement????

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucy100 View Post
Hi, this may be too late to help you with your decision and all I have is my current experience to go on but... I had ankle fusion in Oct, I'm just begining weight bearing now. My doc didn't think I would need any PT because with PT one is working on range of motion, etc. which after a fusion isn't what one works toward. That was not particularly encouraging. He said we'd see in Jan re any PT but didn't seem to think it would be necessary. He's one of the top ankle docs in Denver, and throughout the US on the OATS, fusion procedures.... so I suppose he knows the scoop. Best of luck to you!
Lucy
Oh good luck Lucy. It is a long non weight bearing period no matter what I do. I have decided to postpone the surgery, probably for at least a year. I just don't know if ankle replacement is the right way to go, maybe I should just do a fusion. I just want to be able to go for walks again, but maybe that it just not realisitic anyway. The post-surgery period really scares me and reading everyone's posts I think it's a realistic fear, it's not easy to manage afterwards. If I do a fusion at least, hopefully, it's not something that will have to be repeated.

 
Old 12-19-2010, 09:42 AM   #7
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Re: ankle fusion or replacement????

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perimaud View Post
Oh good luck Lucy. It is a long non weight bearing period no matter what I do. I have decided to postpone the surgery, probably for at least a year. I just don't know if ankle replacement is the right way to go, maybe I should just do a fusion. I just want to be able to go for walks again, but maybe that it just not realisitic anyway. The post-surgery period really scares me and reading everyone's posts I think it's a realistic fear, it's not easy to manage afterwards. If I do a fusion at least, hopefully, it's not something that will have to be repeated.
Hi, since you haven't gone forward with the surgery I would continue researching every possible alternative to fusion. They are doing work with stem cell plantation that is promising and the longer you hold out the more options you have (with the exception of insurance considerations and what they will or will not pay for...). My doc said I would have nearly normal mobility with the fusion after it heals. I can hike, ski, etc. so the jury is out for me at this point but I'm keeping a posiitive perspective. I'm not sure if they considered OATS for you? You might want to read the blog for those of us who went through that process first to get some firsthand info? Good luck, I know the decision is huge!
Kind regards
Lucy

 
Old 04-24-2012, 04:32 PM   #8
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Re: ankle fusion or replacement????

Hi Miles
I have been reading your posts regarding bilateral calcaneus i to smashed my heels and had 8 pins and plates fitted in both feet it has been 3 months now nwb hope to start physio this week or next as yours happened in 2008 i was wondering how this has affected things in your day to day living and where are you now with the pain any info would be appreciated i have had lots of info and support from this site

 
Old 04-25-2012, 05:46 AM   #9
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movado HB User
Re: ankle fusion or replacement????

Quote:
Originally Posted by super roofer View Post
Hi Miles
I have been reading your posts regarding bilateral calcaneus i to smashed my heels and had 8 pins and plates fitted in both feet it has been 3 months now nwb hope to start physio this week or next as yours happened in 2008 i was wondering how this has affected things in your day to day living and where are you now with the pain any info would be appreciated i have had lots of info and support from this site
I still have pain all the time just sitting here typing and walking is a different story.

I waited five months to see one OS, to have him tell me that he can reduce my pain anywhere from 10-70%. I was all in to do the surgery I was just waiting for work to slow down. Called and left 5 messages four months later, to schedule and then he says he would not do the surgery because he felt it would not decrease my pain. I wasted almost a year on this *****.

I just saw another OS and he wants to re-break my right one and re-position it and fuse it. These ***** doctors all have a serious ego problem always trying to one up each other.

I will just live with it now.

The majority of the pain is sub talar and on the bottom of the heel and the fore foot. Winter is the worst some days I can barely walk.

I was pretty lucky I did not end up in a wheel chair for the rest of my life, so they say.

Good luck on your recovery, I hope it goes better for you.

 
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