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Old 12-05-2012, 01:32 PM   #1
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Wink Help!! Having fusion surgery for calcaneus fracture

I'm 38 and fell of a ladder 11/22/12 and fractured calcaneus.
I'm scheduled for surgery next week on 12/10/12. Dr says
I need fusion surgery because of the # of pieces but I'm scared
of possible results. I'm very active I have 3 teenagers all involved
In sports. If anyone has had the fusion surgery or any insight
please reply.

 
Old 12-05-2012, 07:03 PM   #2
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Re: Help!! Having fusion surgery for calcaneus fracture

Hi there and welcome to these boards! You came to the right place for questions. I had fusion surgery back in April. What exactly are you looking to find out?
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Old 12-05-2012, 07:15 PM   #3
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Re: Help!! Having fusion surgery for calcaneus fracture

Thanks for the reply. Does the loss of the side to side motion of your foot give you problems going about day to day activities? Are you able to do any activities like jogging etc? I've read it's a life changing event just trying to see in what ways and how dramatic the changes might be.

 
Old 12-05-2012, 07:45 PM   #4
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Re: Help!! Having fusion surgery for calcaneus fracture

Hey there.

I fractured my calcaneus on 7/30/12 and had surgery on 8/23/12. My calcaneus was almost unrecognizable from the amount of pieces it was it. I also crushed the subtalar joint. I was given 3 options: do nothing, have the fusion, or don't have the fusion and wait and see and probably have to have another surgery in a few years anyway. If I didn't have the fusion i MIGHT get a degree or two of range of motion back, but maybe not. I would most likely need it anyway due to debilitating arthritis. Having the fusion eliminates the need for a second surgery.

What I was told about the fusion is that it would eliminate my foot from inversion and eversion (the side to side rolling motion) but that I would have no issue with pointing my toes, etc (the fusion doesn't affect that anyway).

I am 26 and was an avid hiker and climber before the accident. I was told that I would be able to hike again, but that because I lost the inversion/eversion my body would need help compensating on uneven terrain (which is the purpose for the i/e) It doesn't mean you CAN'T walk on uneven terrain, it just takes a little bit more effort.

I was never a runner, so I don't know how that will go. But I do know that I am almost 4 months post op and just recently started physical therapy. I lost a lot of calf muscle.

It IS a life changing injury, and I can't stress that enough. You will be off your feet a long time. I didn't start PT until week 14 or 15 post op. I was bed ridden for about 4 weeks (2 before the surgery and 2 after). Your experience may very well be different. Being active and healthy before hand helps the healing process.

I hope that helps. That was just my experience. Feel free to pester me with questions, and I'll help as much as I can.

Good luck!

Liz

 
Old 12-05-2012, 08:03 PM   #5
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Re: Help!! Having fusion surgery for calcaneus fracture

Well unfortunately I had an incident during Physical therapy in August that broke my fusion so I have not had the opportunity to be active again. It has not regrown since the break leaving me to have another surgery scheduled in January. My surgeon told me that I could return to playing softball although he did not suggest it. He said the running and impact will cause the unfused joints to deteriorate at a faster rate if you return to running and impact sports. Sitting here now I cannot turn my foot but I can move it up and down. I am currently weight bearing but only wearing a boot as my fusion is jacked up.

I will not lie, it is a long, drawn out recovery. It feels like it takes forever. Just be patient.

Hang in there!
~Kimberly
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:42 PM   #6
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Re: Help!! Having fusion surgery for calcaneus fracture

Thanks Liz that info definitely helps. I was given the same 3 options. I asked my doctor if I would be able to ever run again and he said " yea if if someone is chasing you and you running for your life". He said it jokingly but I it really rattled me. He said I have a bad fracture but he's seen a lot worse. He came highly recommended so i didnt seek a 2nd opinion but i think i will before my surgery on 12/14/12. Just knowing its a possibility I could still live a pretty active life is uplifting. Was your surgery out patient or did you have to stay in the hospital? Did you have screws inserted if so how many?

Good luck with PT I'm sure it's painfull

 
Old 12-05-2012, 08:53 PM   #7
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Re: Help!! Having fusion surgery for calcaneus fracture

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyKanner View Post
Well unfortunately I had an incident during Physical therapy in August that broke my fusion so I have not had the opportunity to be active again. It has not regrown since the break leaving me to have another surgery scheduled in January. My surgeon told me that I could return to playing softball although he did not suggest it. He said the running and impact will cause the unfused joints to deteriorate at a faster rate if you return to running and impact sports. Sitting here now I cannot turn my foot but I can move it up and down. I am currently weight bearing but only wearing a boot as my fusion is jacked up.

I will not lie, it is a long, drawn out recovery. It feels like it takes forever. Just be patient.

Hang in there!
~Kimberly
Thanks Kimberley,
just hearing from people that have went through this is uplifting. I've been reading posts where people have 16 or more screws and pins with a similar problem that I have. Sounds painfull but if thats an option I might lean towards that route. I don't want to sound weak but having a irreversible surgery like fusion is just flat out scary.

Good luck with the 2nd surgery I'm sure things will go much better this time

 
Old 12-05-2012, 09:08 PM   #8
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Re: Help!! Having fusion surgery for calcaneus fracture

I think for you running will be like my hiking---if you really want to do it, you'll find ways to compensate.

I had the fusion, but when I started PT, I still (surprisingly) have some range of motion in my inversion motion.

My surgeon said my fracture was one of the worst and most complicated he's seen in his career. Lucky me.

I ended up with 3 large screws (in my doc's words "homerun screws): two going up through the bottom of my foot and one coming down from the top. I also have a plate and 6 pins holding the pieces of my calcaneus together.

My surgery was outpatient but I stayed overnight. Something about paperwork and insurance that it was easier to classify. I ended up having to stay 2 nights though because they couldn't keep my pain level under control. I had a nerve block so that made my pain level feel comfortable, so when it wore off the pain hit me like a brick wall, and they had to play catch up. totally the hospitals fault, so don't stress too much about that. just make sure to REALLY take your pain meds on a strict schedule, catching up is harder than you think. I also had this drain thing in my foot (because of swelling) so I had to stay longer until things stopped draining and they could take it out. so that was my hospital experience...2 nights, 3 days.

I plan on resuming my active lifestyle unless my body states otherwise.

PT is going well. It hasn't been too painful actually. Certainly not comfortable, but I can see improvement for sure. Maybe I'm idealizing (I think that's the right word....?) what I see happening, but I really feel like I'm improving.

Good luck with getting ready for surgery

Liz

 
Old 12-05-2012, 10:49 PM   #9
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Thumbs up Re: Help!! Having fusion surgery for calcaneus fracture

My situation for fusion was a bit different that yours and Liz's. I had a collapsed arch and in order to reconstruct my arch, I had two joints fused. I didn't have any bone shattering that had to be put back together. I really feel for you both. I had the talonavicular joint and the subtalar joints both fused along with achilles tendon lengthening. The subtalar joint is the one that I am having to get repaired. My first procedure I had two staples in the t/n joint and one large screw through the subtalar joint. For my second procedure, they will be removing all of the hardware put in during the first procedure and putting two screws back into my subtalar joint. They will also be putting bone grafts in this time along with some grafting putty that contains live bone cells. I had to spend two nights in the hospital for pain management also. I did not have the nerve block that Liz had so I had the pain from the starting gate. My pain was managed in the hospital with percoset and demoral. Once I left the hospital it was managed with percoset. I cannot stress enough how much a knee walker helped with mobility. I HIGHLY suggest getting one. You can typically buy or rent them. I was able to buy mine online for $200. To rent they're usually $80-$100 per month. They help around the house and when you're out and about. I was non weight bearing from April 20-the first week of July. Everyone heals at different rates though. Please don't hesitate to ask questions. We are here for you.
Take care!
~Kimberly
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:03 AM   #10
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Smile Re: Help!! Having fusion surgery for calcaneus fracture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Berkberk View Post
I'm 38 and fell of a ladder 11/22/12 and fractured calcaneus.
I'm scheduled for surgery next week on 12/10/12. Dr says
I need fusion surgery because of the # of pieces but I'm scared
of possible results. I'm very active I have 3 teenagers all involved
In sports. If anyone has had the fusion surgery or any insight
please reply.
Well definitely get a 2nd opinion. I did that and had my Triple Arthro and Achilles lengthening 10 weeks ago. Yesterday Xray showed very good progress and I am now completely weight bearing with boot on. No pain whatsover standing on my foot after 10 weeks of NWB so I am amazed and pleased. PT starts tomorrow and I expect to be walking without the boot in 4 weeks.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:19 PM   #11
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Re: Help!! Having fusion surgery for calcaneus fracture

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdkLizard46 View Post
I think for you running will be like my hiking---if you really want to do it, you'll find ways to compensate.

I had the fusion, but when I started PT, I still (surprisingly) have some range of motion in my inversion motion.

My surgeon said my fracture was one of the worst and most complicated he's seen in his career. Lucky me.

I ended up with 3 large screws (in my doc's words "homerun screws): two going up through the bottom of my foot and one coming down from the top. I also have a plate and 6 pins holding the pieces of my calcaneus together.

My surgery was outpatient but I stayed overnight. Something about paperwork and insurance that it was easier to classify. I ended up having to stay 2 nights though because they couldn't keep my pain level under control. I had a nerve block so that made my pain level feel comfortable, so when it wore off the pain hit me like a brick wall, and they had to play catch up. totally the hospitals fault, so don't stress too much about that. just make sure to REALLY take your pain meds on a strict schedule, catching up is harder than you think. I also had this drain thing in my foot (because of swelling) so I had to stay longer until things stopped draining and they could take it out. so that was my hospital experience...2 nights, 3 days.

I plan on resuming my active lifestyle unless my body states otherwise.

PT is going well. It hasn't been too painful actually. Certainly not comfortable, but I can see improvement for sure. Maybe I'm idealizing (I think that's the right word....?) what I see happening, but I really feel like I'm improving.

Good luck with getting ready for surgery

Liz

 
Old 01-28-2013, 04:23 PM   #12
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Re: Help!! Having fusion surgery for calcaneus fracture

Hi Liz,
I am wondering how you are doing now. I too crushed my calcaneus, the dr. said there were probably 100 pieces! I had surgery on Nov. 7th and was NWB until the first week of Jan. when the cast came off. I am in a boot and going to PT 3x a week. I am weight bearing as tolerated, and have been able to walk with 1 crutch this week. Hurts like H..l though! Can you tell me what to expect from here on out??
Thanks
Sue

 
Old 01-28-2013, 06:59 PM   #13
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Re: Help!! Having fusion surgery for calcaneus fracture

Hey Sue,
Sorry to hear about your injury!

I've been in PT since right around Thanksgiving. My doctor didn't have me going to PT while I was still in the boot. I was in the boot for about 14 weeks I think? But weight bearing as tolerated starting around the beginning of October, and it took me about 3 weeks to start really pushing myself. My November appointment (the one around Thanksgiving) was when I was told "ditch the boot, ditch the walker, start PT".

I go to PT 2x a week, and walk with a cane about 75% of the time. That might even be a high number. I don't use it around the house, or if I'm just running into a convenience store. I use the cane when I go to work (most of the time) and if I'm out for a long time.

I can walk barefoot again, which excites me. I still limp noticeably, but it's getting better. I don't feel any of the hardware in my foot. My heel is sore in the morning when I take my first few steps, but loosens up. My achilles' is super tight, which causes most of my limping. Did you damage the subtalar joint and have a fusion? I did, and that limits a lot of ROM as well.

I was told that once my limp is more under control I can start walking for exercise, and get back on trails.

I haven't taken a pain pill since well before I started therapy. Today I spent close to 8 hours standing and walking on uneven snow, and it's not that bad. I certainly feel it, but I'm not in agony or anything.

I feel like I rambled on enough, and hopefully answered some questions.

Liz

 
Old 01-29-2013, 05:09 AM   #14
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Re: Help!! Having fusion surgery for calcaneus fracture

Walking barefoot is one of the things I miss. I can do it. But I only do it a little around the house. I have slip on shoes with me all the time in the house. I used to walk around all the time outside.

I started PT at 6 weeks for ROM. I didn't wear the boot at alol when I started weight bearing. But I still use the walked for awhile.

Comfortable shoes and thick socks will help your life. I still go out in the woods. I don't do it all day. There was someone who jogged, but it is rare, and I suspect it hastens the damage. I notice when I pace around sore I get sore faster, the turning.

As far as uneven ground, I think other joints take up the slack. But you mayhave hip, back and knee problems at some point.
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Old 01-29-2013, 06:31 AM   #15
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Re: Help!! Having fusion surgery for calcaneus fracture

I am concerned that it will a total up, and hurting my future by doing so much, but in the short term I find moderation the key. I don't do it all day, and I take breaks.
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