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Old 04-17-2013, 10:59 AM   #1
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qualma HB User
Triple Arthrodesis, Amputation Question

Hello,

This is in the nature of an odd question, so please bear with me.

I have undergone a series of 4 surgeries over the last 2 years, Perennial Tendon Debridement, moving of my heel bone, and most recently a triple arthrodesis. I have a phenomenal Orthopedic Surgeon whom I have a ton of confidence in.

Here is my dilemma. I have been an extremely active executive, with an outstanding employer that has provided me a great deal of time for these procedure and recovery. However, this latest surgery has honestly made (in my opinion) walking much more difficult and pain much more extensive. I feel like I have been diligent in following all protocols and therapy. However, I am at a point where the foot problems are starting to have a significant negative impact on my mental health, and is starting to have a negative impact on my employment. I should also note that the pain is pretty darn extensive, and while medication does help some, I do not want to spend my life on narcotics.

Being an engineer, I have done a bit of self evaluation on how to “fix” the situation. I believe I have reached the point that I would prefer to have the foot completely amputated and move forward to live and function with a prosthesis. From all of my research, it appears that the current state of prosthetics offer a very high level of functionality and quality of life. I am not terribly fond of the notion of losing a portion of one of my limbs, but I believe that if it allows me to return a high level of functionality and better quality of life, it seems to be the correct end state to shoot for. I should note that I am most definitely not a person that has my self worth and self value tied up in body image, so I don’t believe that will have a significant level of impact on my long term mental health.

I would love any feedback and thoughts you all might have. I am not afraid to have this conversation with my surgeon, but I also don’t want to come off as a complete nut job if I do.

Thank you all in advance!
Scott

 
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:07 PM   #2
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Re: Triple Arthrodesis, Amputation Question

HI Scott,
I had the same feeling last summer following a Double Arthodesis I had done in January 2012. I was in constant pain (foot, knee, and hip) and was experiencing extreme remorse for not investigating the proposed surgery thoroughly before I had the operation. With a business failing due to a handicapped part-time owner, a six year old and a newborn, I began to think that cutting it off and getting a quality prosthetic wasn't sounding too bad. The alignment was all wrong and my foot was twisted making shoes very uncomfortable and the chronic knee pain that resulted from the imbalance was driving me crazy. Oddly enough, prior to my revision surgery i had this year, the knee pain went away, the aching in the peroneal tendon in my leg subsided, though they still subluxed at the base of my fibula and got irritated with walking and climbing stairs, but overall I was able to walk with comfort in a very flat sneaker. It took nearly a year for the true pain to stop. How long has it been since you had your triple and what are your painful symptoms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by qualma View Post
Hello,

This is in the nature of an odd question, so please bear with me.

I have undergone a series of 4 surgeries over the last 2 years, Perennial Tendon Debridement, moving of my heel bone, and most recently a triple arthrodesis. I have a phenomenal Orthopedic Surgeon whom I have a ton of confidence in.

Here is my dilemma. I have been an extremely active executive, with an outstanding employer that has provided me a great deal of time for these procedure and recovery. However, this latest surgery has honestly made (in my opinion) walking much more difficult and pain much more extensive. I feel like I have been diligent in following all protocols and therapy. However, I am at a point where the foot problems are starting to have a significant negative impact on my mental health, and is starting to have a negative impact on my employment. I should also note that the pain is pretty darn extensive, and while medication does help some, I do not want to spend my life on narcotics.

Being an engineer, I have done a bit of self evaluation on how to “fix” the situation. I believe I have reached the point that I would prefer to have the foot completely amputated and move forward to live and function with a prosthesis. From all of my research, it appears that the current state of prosthetics offer a very high level of functionality and quality of life. I am not terribly fond of the notion of losing a portion of one of my limbs, but I believe that if it allows me to return a high level of functionality and better quality of life, it seems to be the correct end state to shoot for. I should note that I am most definitely not a person that has my self worth and self value tied up in body image, so I don’t believe that will have a significant level of impact on my long term mental health.

I would love any feedback and thoughts you all might have. I am not afraid to have this conversation with my surgeon, but I also don’t want to come off as a complete nut job if I do.

Thank you all in advance!
Scott

 
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Old 05-01-2013, 04:47 PM   #3
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qualma HB User
Re: Triple Arthrodesis, Amputation Question

Thank you so much for the reply!!

I am about 6 months out, which I think is about 3 months too long!!!

I appreciate your sharing your experience, and I am so sorry it has taken so dang long for you to get to a decent place with it all.

Since my last post, I have tried the pain management route, i.e. meds and a Sympathetic Nerve Block. I cant really say that it has been effective. I am also TOTALLY bothered by the notion that a doctor I just met would prescribe 360, yes you read that right, three hundred and sixty Vicodin 10's to me on the first visit!!! (Along with a neurologic medicine for spasms of nerves). I am a non drinker, etc, and the notion on being on any meds, especially ones that onerous for that long is just not an option.

So with all that being said, I have an appointment with my OS this coming Monday morning. My wife and I are both going and we are going to flat out tell/request that we proceed with an amputation and start the rehabilitation process. I refuse to have an injury like this steal life away from me. It is my thought and belief that an amputation, while radical, is an absolute end game play. We know how long the procedure will take, the average amount of time to initial recovery, the average amount of time to functioning prosthesis use, etc. I guess it is the Engineer in me, but I want a final plan to get my life back, period.

I will keep you up to date on how the discussion goes. I love my OS and he has been supportive and helpful, and I anticipate him to no end. I think he will agree with my decision after some detailed discussion.


 
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Old 05-15-2013, 10:39 AM   #4
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Re: Triple Arthrodesis, Amputation Question

qualma,
How did the meeting go with your OS? I'm curious to hear what his reaction was.
I had more surgery May 1st and I have 10 weeks to sit on my butt. I don't think I'll ever be able to do all the things I used to do. Let us know how the meeting went.

 
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