I had a triple arthrodesis in January of 2008. Eight days later, I fell off of my rollabout fracturing my talus and ruining the triple I had just had. I went back into surgery the following day and had the triple repaired and the fractured talus put back into place with two screws. Unfortunately, the talus never healed but instead developed AVN (bone death because of interrupted blood flow to the bone). I had to have my ankle fused on July 24 at Rush Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago. I'm told that when you have both a triple arthrodesis and an ankle arthrodesis, it's called a pantalar arthrodesis. My big toe has also been fused. I was in a bad accident at work 5 years ago which was the cause of all of this.
My question to anybody out there who's had similar surgery is did you need physical therapy and what the p.t. consisted of? Also, did you need special shoes or a lift on your shoe?
I go to my doctor tomorrow and am hoping to become partial weight bearing.
I went to the doctor, and although my x-rays looked ok, still no weight bearing. I go back in another three weeks. This looks to be a long, drawn-out recovery. I'm kind of down tonight, but hopefully when all is said and done, I'll be able to walk again.
I am sorry things have been so rough for you. Boy, I am sure you never imagined the recovery for your triple arthrodesis would be so long and hard!
I am in a similar situation, but I am here to tell you there is hope! I had my ankle fused due to osteoarthritis following a fall at work. In 2006 I started the process - had two debridement surgeries to deal with osteomyelitis. My toe went crooked as a result of all of the struggles, so I had it corrected in 2007. Then, in 2008 my OS diagnosed me with osteoarthritis in my subtalar joint, so we fused it too. I finally had those screws removed this past July. So, it has been three years when I expected it to be a 6 month to 1 year recovery.
Finally, I can say this is the best I have felt. I am finally experiencing pain free moments and I am able to walk without a limp most days. I can actually even able to get out and walk with my family even though it is only for 10 minutes at a time.
I don't have the exact same fusion as you, but our needs are somewhat similar. I try to buy shoes that have a lot of support and cushion under the ball of my foot. I am concerned with the amount of weight and pressure I am putting on my forefoot, since everything in the back is fused. I also look for shoes that will help my foot move through the walking motion - since my ankle no longer bends and my great toe is so stiff it hardly moves. Dansko and New Balance are my favorite brands.
I wish you luck. I understand the frustration. I have had a lot of "down" days. Please have faith and know that it will get better. I have reached a point where I have more good days and seldom have a bad day. It used to be the opposite way with more bad days sprinkled with good ones.
Thanks so much for your response to my post. Before the July surgery, my talus was literally in pieces, and I was walking with a brace and crutches. I really had no choice but to have my ankle fused and just hope for a good result. Since I had no good bone left, I wasn't a candidate for an ankle replacement. I just pray that this surgery will give me my life back.
Have you used rocker bottom shoes, Step? My leg is now about 1/2 in. shorter than the other, so I wonder if I'll have to use a lift. I guess time will tell. I'll be in a cast for a while yet and then a boot.
Oh, listen to this. On the 15th my husband took off of work to drive me in to the doc.'s office in Winfield, IL (about an hour drive). The cast guy took off my cast, I had my x-rays, then he put a new one on. Since I'm not bearing weight yet, I never checked it out--just got back in the wheelchair. After we got home and I took a nap (depressed), I checked it out and the cast was put on wrong. I couldn't stand up straight and put that foot flat on the floor. I called the office in the morning, and they said I had to come in to have it redone. They were in their Chicago office that day. I had absolutely nobody to take me, so I drove two hours into Chicago with my left foot which I guess I have to get used to anyway, and someone had to come out to the parking lot to get my wheelchair out of the car and push me in to the office. My favorite cast guy works there, and he couldn't believe it. He took the cast off and put another one on. Then back to the car and two hours home. I was definitely hurting when I got home and had to put the foot up for the rest of the day/evening. So I guess I can drive as long as someone is on each end to help me.
Thanks for caring, and I'll talk to you soon. It helps me to know that you are feeling better and that there is hope that I'll eventually get better.
Thanks for your reply. I actually used a bone stimulator for several months last year when the AVN was discovered. I had to wear it for three hours every night. It didn't help. My os inserted a bone stimulator right into my ankle with the battery pack inserted into my calf during the ankle fusion. I have much less pain already than what I had before the surgery. Of course, I don't know how it will feel once I can put weight on it.
I think you're right that a rocker bottom shoe will help with my gait. How do they put a raise in your shoe. Does it go inside the shoe or on the sole?
My accident, which happened five years ago at the Post Office, also broke my tibial plateau into pieces, and although my knee os tried to put it together, it kept settling and causing lots of pain, so in 2007, I had my knee replaced (opposite side from ankle problems). I still have pain with that too, not so much with walking, but whenever I bear weight with it bent at all. I also have a herniated disc at L5-S1 which is being treated with shots, muscle relaxants, and pain meds.
Its been a while since you've posted. I'm wondering how you are getting along now.
I hope your pain continues to get better. Have you tried the rocker sole shoes?
I have had a setback lately - stress fracture in my heel and the outside of my foot is extremely painful. After trying an air cast, crutches and finally a fiberglass cast, I am still in a lot of pain. It sucks!
Anyway, I just wanted to check in with you to hopefully hear a positive story. Please let us know how you are getting along.