I'm a 24 year old girl from Norway, Scandinavia (please excuse my grammar, haha!) I'm hoping to get in touch with others who have undergone ankle fusion, and I'm interested to learn how your life has been after this surgery. I'm born with clubfoot on both feet, and about 5 years ago I started developing pain in my right ankle which gradually got more and more intense. X-rays later on revealed damaged cartilage in my right ankle, as I'm sadly more exposed to injury due to my clubfoot instability. To make a long story short; I ended up fusing my ankle because my surgeon told me it was my best chance to get a pain free life.
Well, let's just say that pain free is so far from the truth as it can possibly get at this point. A couple of months after the fusion my ankle was in more pain than ever before and i could hardly walk. After being in and out of hospitals, arguing with surgeons to take me seriously, they concluded to try and remove the screws inside the ankle, as they can cause irritation. So this summer I had another surgery done to get them removed. It got a little better after this, but I'm still having a nagging pain on the right side of my ankle with heavy swelling after walking short distances, and great discomfort overall in my ankle. A CT scan showed recently that a peice of bone fragment is "floating" around on the side where the pain appears, but my surgeon don't want to do anything about it and only told me to get stronger pain meds..
I got ortopedic shoes and soles, but it doesn't work that much. I find rocker shoes extremely difficult to walk in first of all because my foot is so short, and with a fused ankle as well makes it even more difficult to get that proper rolling movement. The stiffness in the remaining joints in the lower foot is now also very painful, and I can really feel the pressure every time I walk. I've also started noticing some light pain in my hips and knee from time to time, but despite this I try to stay active as best as I can with ellipticals and bicycling, as I'm afraid of gaining weight.
I have to admit the outcome of the fusion surgery did not live up to my expectations. I'm even more disabled now than before I had it done, and I kinda regret it now. I'm so tired of living each day in pain, visiting hospitals, surgeries and doctors not taking me seriously. All I want is my life back, and not to mention my social life. I have missed out on so many things over the last few years, and I'm growing more and more depressed. It's just no end to this it seems. I'm sorry for the negativity, but it felt good letting out some "steam". I feel very alone, as I don't know anyone around my age who's had the same procedure done. I will greatly appreciate any experiences anyone might have regarding this