Joint fusion spread to other joint?
I have had problems with my left foot for years, involving multiple surgeries.
In January 2011, I had a naviculo-cuneiform fusion revision. I had the joint fused initially in 2009 but it failed, so with this fusion, the doctor was much more aggressive. I had the hardware removed in December 2011, because it was causing pain due to the large amount of metal in such a small area.
However, since having the hardware removed, my pain has not been alleviated much at all. My foot "pops" multiple times a day. It sounds just like a knuckle is popping, but it is INCREDIBLY painful. It doesn't pop as often when I wear my post-op boot, but still pops occasionally. On top of that, it hurts all day long, so much so that I need to take tramadol to be able to walk.
I went back to my doctor, who ordered an MRI. The MRI came back overall normal, but showed a lot of fluid in my foot, and showed that the fusion had spread into the joint next to the one I had fused, essentially fusing just half of the joint. It's also visible on an xray- half of the joint looks like a normal joint, the other half (the side closest to the fully fused joint) is completely solid bone.
Is this a normal thing? For a fusion to spread into a neighboring joint? My doctor did not even offer an explanation for why I am experiencing the popping and pain, he just gave me the old "let's just wait and see!" I'm not sure what waiting will do, it has been popping for 6 months now, like 20 times a day, and only seems to be increasing in painfulness as time goes on.
I had never imagined that a fusion could spread like that, so I can't help but wonder if that might be causing the popping. My doctor has really frustrated me and I am considering switching to a new one. Has anyone else experienced this? It might be a totally normal thing, but to me it sounded weird...
Thank you so much in advance for your responses.