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Old 08-19-2010, 08:04 PM   #1
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Ankle Fusion, To have or have not

Hi forgive me for any mistakes, i am new to this.
I had a major trauma to my right leg/ankle a few years ago. At the time i had surgery to have the bottom of my leg bone reconstructed using screws. As time has passed by, arthritis has developed in my leg/ankle joint. this has made it very painful when trying to walk. My surgeon has now said that a joint stiffening operation would be my best option.
I don't know what to do for the best, would anyone have any similiar experiences that they would like to share.

 
Old 08-20-2010, 04:11 PM   #2
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Re: Ankle Fusion, To have or have not

Hi in January 2004 I fell and broke my ankle in three places. An Orthopedic surgeon in my area operated and fixed the break with plates and screws. He performed four surgeries all together on my ankle. After several months I was allowed to walk on it. Unfortunately I could barely walk. The pain was severe and I could only walk on the inside of my foot. My husband decided to take me to another city and have an ankle specialist check it out and see what could be done.

The new doctor recommended an ankle fusion. I didnt feel like I really had a choice. My ankle was a mess and at the rate I was going I would be in a wheelchair. The dr did an excellent job on the fusion surgery but it was very painful and slow to heal. The dr said arthritis would probably develop over time, but I didnt think it would happen as quickly as it did. Within a few months arthritis started causing more and more pain.

Now it has been several years since the ankle fusion. My pain level is about a seven most of the time. I dont like taking strong pain meds because of the side effects. I go to a pain mgt doctor because of back pain. I asked him if there was something he could do to help my ankle pain. He told me he doesnt really want to inject my ankle because of a high risk of infection. I told him the pain was severe so he told me to get some xrays of my ankle and then he would decide whether to inject it or not.

Everyone is different and you could have an ankle fusion and do great so I dont want to discourage you. I am sure there are lots of people that have had fusions and are not in pain at all. I wanted to share my experience with you. Take care and I hope you will keep in touch.

Nadine

 
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:10 AM   #3
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Re: Ankle Fusion, To have or have not

thank you for your reply, its a tough decision as i had a spinal fusion done in the middle of last year. and things didn't go to plan, so thats why i am very reluctant to go under the knife again.

 
Old 08-29-2010, 10:05 PM   #4
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Re: Ankle Fusion, To have or have not

Quote:
Originally Posted by millview heidi View Post
Hi forgive me for any mistakes, i am new to this.
I had a major trauma to my right leg/ankle a few years ago. At the time i had surgery to have the bottom of my leg bone reconstructed using screws. As time has passed by, arthritis has developed in my leg/ankle joint. this has made it very painful when trying to walk. My surgeon has now said that a joint stiffening operation would be my best option.
I don't know what to do for the best, would anyone have any similiar experiences that they would like to share.


I am new at this also, but am in the same decision making process. Here is my story: I am 33 yrs old and have been told a an ankle fusion will be necessary as soon as I can not stand the pain anymore. The problem is I have one leg shorter than the other from complications due to club foot and already have the back and neck problems to go along with it. Ankle fusion would take even more length away. I have heard horrific stories of fusion (replacement is not an option). I am not sure I want to go thru that pain and post op just to find out I am in more pain and then have to deal with an even bigger difference in my leg lengths!

I will be watching your thread to hopefully see posts to help make this decision easier. I never in a million years thought that this was what I would be up against..replacement yes....I wish you lots of luck in your journey

 
Old 08-30-2010, 04:00 AM   #5
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Re: Ankle Fusion, To have or have not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merciette View Post
I am new at this also, but am in the same decision making process. Here is my story: I am 33 yrs old and have been told a an ankle fusion will be necessary as soon as I can not stand the pain anymore. The problem is I have one leg shorter than the other from complications due to club foot and already have the back and neck problems to go along with it. Ankle fusion would take even more length away. I have heard horrific stories of fusion (replacement is not an option). I am not sure I want to go thru that pain and post op just to find out I am in more pain and then have to deal with an even bigger difference in my leg lengths!

I will be watching your thread to hopefully see posts to help make this decision easier. I never in a million years thought that this was what I would be up against..replacement yes....I wish you lots of luck in your journey

 
Old 08-30-2010, 04:15 AM   #6
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Re: Ankle Fusion, To have or have not

Hi Merciette, thank you very much for sharing your story. I wish you all the best for what lay's ahead.

It is very difficult trying to make the right decision. My Physio has had patients that have had an ankle fusion done and they have had very positive results. Then on the other side i know of a man who has had it done and regrets having it done.
I am due to have a new MRI done the week after next on my spine to check to see if they can locate the problems that are giving me so much pain, after the spinal fusion i had done last year. It's hard to agree to more surgery given the problems i had during the last op.

 
Old 09-08-2010, 08:42 PM   #7
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Re: Ankle Fusion, To have or have not

Hi I had trama to booth ankles in 1983. I had my left ankle fused this April and will have the right one fused when the lefy one has healed. I have Dr. Ian Russel in Calgary Alberta Canada as my surgeon. I recommend the surgery but makes sure you have someone like Dr. Russel as I have heard of people having seriorous problems by a lesser qualified Dr. I hope this helps Mardy

 
Old 09-09-2010, 06:25 AM   #8
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Re: Ankle Fusion, To have or have not

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mardy View Post
Hi I had trama to booth ankles in 1983. I had my left ankle fused this April and will have the right one fused when the lefy one has healed. I have Dr. Ian Russel in Calgary Alberta Canada as my surgeon. I recommend the surgery but makes sure you have someone like Dr. Russel as I have heard of people having seriorous problems by a lesser qualified Dr. I hope this helps Mardy
Hi Mardy,Thank's for the reply, i lve in Northern Ireland,my regular surgeon is passing me over to a field specialist to have a reveiw and to discuss which operation will be the best choice, replacement or fusion. Thanks again, will keep you poosted on what the future brings.

 
Old 12-07-2010, 10:43 AM   #9
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Re: Ankle Fusion, To have or have not

Hello there, thought I'd chip in a bit here!

I had my left ankle fused on the 15th October on the NHS in England. 4 Years ago I broke it pretty badly falling off my motorbike and ended up being pinned together etc. It got to the point recently where my ankle had disintegrated almost completely and I could barely walk. I'm 26 so ankle replacement was never going to be an option because they don't last long.

Anyway, it's now 7 week's from the op. I'm walking again. There is still some post op pain but even that is nothing like the pain I had before. Can't tell you how nice it is to be able to stand up straight on two feet. Little things that you take for granted like being able to change your pants whilst standing up! Even started driving again (with a manual clutch) a couple of days ago. I took the pain for granted before and now it's not there it's such a wonderful feeling lol. There is still a little up and down movement in my foot, though there wasn't much to begin with due to the arthritis. Still moves side to side however.

I was worried about getting it done but it looks as though it's done me good.
I think really it depends on how bad your ankle is before fusion. If it's really bad - and you'll know when it is, then I think the benefits of fusion are much greater. There's lots of scare stories about it on internet forums but I guess most people who find it a success don't bother going on forums!

 
Old 12-18-2010, 08:40 AM   #10
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Re: Ankle Fusion, To have or have not

Hi, I see it was Aug when u posted this... what did u decide to do? I had ankle fusion in Oct, just got the cast off last week (Dec 7) and am begining weight bearing. I'd be interested to hear how you're doing.
Lucy100



Quote:
Originally Posted by millview heidi View Post
Hi forgive me for any mistakes, i am new to this.
I had a major trauma to my right leg/ankle a few years ago. At the time i had surgery to have the bottom of my leg bone reconstructed using screws. As time has passed by, arthritis has developed in my leg/ankle joint. this has made it very painful when trying to walk. My surgeon has now said that a joint stiffening operation would be my best option.
I don't know what to do for the best, would anyone have any similiar experiences that they would like to share.

 
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:36 PM   #11
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Re: Ankle Fusion, To have or have not

Hi Lucy
How is your ankle fusion doing now? Mine was very painful but I have received injections from a Pain Mgt Dr and I have no pain now. Take care.

Nadine

 
Old 01-13-2011, 09:11 AM   #12
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Re: Ankle Fusion, To have or have not

Quote:
Originally Posted by music47 View Post
Hi Lucy
How is your ankle fusion doing now? Mine was very painful but I have received injections from a Pain Mgt Dr and I have no pain now. Take care.

Nadine
Hi Nadine,
It is KILLING me.... my surgery was Oct 11th, out of the cast mid Dec. and now I'm working on getting out of the boot. But still.... OUCH.... how long has it been since your surgery? At what point after surgery did u decide to get the injections? THANKS for remembering me. Lucy.

 
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:42 PM   #13
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Re: Ankle Fusion, To have or have not

I have had arthrodeses on both of my ankles and while the recovery was characterized as "heroic" ( difficult) it was the complete end of my debilitating pain. I was 66 for the first procedure and 71 for the second. Go to someone who has done many do these. The doctor who did mine was at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore, MD and had a visiting fellow from Dublin studying under him.

 
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:12 AM   #14
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Thumbs up Re: Ankle Fusion, To have or have not

Hi Lucy
I had my ankle fusion in October 2004. I took Percocets for several years but I stopped taking them because of the side effects. I started getting pain injections a few months ago. The pain shots help for about three months. I hope you will be pain free once your ankle heals.

My prayers are with you.

Hugs Nadine

Last edited by music47; 02-12-2011 at 09:47 PM.

 
Old 04-16-2011, 10:56 AM   #15
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Re: Ankle Fusion, To have or have not

First, Let me just say that it is so cool to meet people dealing with the same decisions! It is relieving. I'm in the same situation as many of you. I am 24, I had a traumatic injury with three breaks (compound convoluted) in my right ankle 3 years ago. At that time they plated and screwed the breaks. My ankle continues to deteriorate and my OS told me at 6 months post sx I would need a fusion or replacement. I have opted for the replacement though I have been recommended a fusion. I think I may be one of the youngest to have it done ... which scares me. I'm in so much pain now that sometimes it just gives out and I collapse- I've put it off for three years trying to just handle it. It's now affecting my right leg due to compensation. I want to be able to do light exercise like hiking and play softball- low impact so I don't wear it out too quickly.. but I still want the ROM I wouldn't have with the fusion. It scares me that some of you have pain post fusion-- a 7.?!?! that's no better than where I am now... yikes. I hope I'm making the right decision with the replacement...

 
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