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  • Is surgery worth it?

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    Old 08-02-2017, 08:03 AM   #1
    keri445
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    Is surgery worth it?

    Over the past 3 years I have had 2 ligament reconstructions on my ankle to help with instability and pain. Both surgeries have failed and have left me still in pain and unstable. I switched surgeons recently and he informed me that yet another surgery is needed. does anyone think having a 3rd surgery is worth it? How do I know it won't be another failure? Having a hard time deciding when enough is enough

     
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    Old 08-02-2017, 06:39 PM   #2
    guy42
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    Re: Is surgery worth it?

    I really sympathize with you.

    I would probably see a recommended surgeon and make sure you've done your homework so that you can ask intelligent questions and hopefully get some solid answers to them and decide whether he makes a good enough case for another surgery. Also how much does this injury affect you.

     
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    Old 08-02-2017, 08:22 PM   #3
    keri445
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    Re: Is surgery worth it?

    Thank you for your response! The surgeon who I am with right now was recommended by my physical therapist and I feel like he really knows what he is talking about, even if what he says isn't really what I want to hear. My pain is bad but not excrutiating and it has its good days and bad days. I've gotten to a point that I no longer can trust that another surgery is going to make me better. I'm worried that this surgery could fail again and lead to a 4th, 5th, or 6th surgery. But at the same time I only just graduated from high school this year and have a very long road ahead of me. So I feel like anything is worth the risk to try and have a better quality life in the future. If I do end up getting the surgery recovery is going to be a hassle as I am going into my freshman year of college. I really do not want to have to crutch around campus, try to find a PT near campus, driving back to the surgeon for follow ups all the time, etc. so I'm just stuck right now and unsure of what to do

     
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    Old 08-05-2017, 07:57 AM   #4
    Annie7679
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    Re: Is surgery worth it?

    I know how you feel , the answer is no. The truth is that doctors you see really don't know the reasons for your pain- it includes bones misalignment, nerve damage, inflamed tendons, soft tissues....Moreover, as you have history of failed surgeries, new surgeon is not responsible for the future pain, as he will say that he tried to help, but there is nothing he could do. More surgery, more damage. Also, bone surgery is selective surgery, so orthopedic surgeons are always looking for new patients for financial reasons. Any pain you have now is less then future surgical horrible pain. Revision surgery only makes sense when there is a very high chance for success. Compare it to plumbing- when you break the wall to stop a leak, you must find the cause and fix it, the leak will stop. What is the point to cut, break your foot , how can they fix the problem with your pain without knowing the cause of the pain? Only for surgeons to get paid?

     
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    Old 08-16-2017, 10:42 AM   #5
    Mycats
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    Re: Is surgery worth it?

    It depends on what surgery you are going to have. If you are going to do same surgery as what has failed already no I would not do it. I say this from experience, Failed bilateral Bromstroms and revision surgery. Took Chrisman Snook procedure to fix instability, but it is complicated surgery and last resort.

    However Annie7679 is right surgeon does not know what is causing issue. Even if you have surgery and ankles are stable there is chance pain issues might not go away. I still had pain in my right ankle, but that was from PTT and deltoid problems, was told it was chronic. I just did not want to fall all the time, so I was happy until I felt pop in PTT and started having serve pain. You need to fix what is causing issues. I found this out the hard way after all my surgeries, although I was lucky as I found out before I did PTT surgery. I went to naturalpath doctor at urging of friend. It turned out that I had bad circulation in my ankles and I had hormonal imbalance, which can result in inflammation, problems with ligaments and tendons, and slow healing. I went for lymphovascular massaging, a form of cupping and it was painful and not covered by insurance, but has been worth it. I was skeptical that it would work, but felt it could not hurt. After 2 treatments I was able to walk with less pain and canceled PTT surgery after consulting with surgeon. He was very happy as he did not want to do surgery, he said if I can live with the pain I have I would be better off then having surgery. He is very conservative and hated going in so many times, he said it was risky since each time he went in there was more of a chance for nerve damage. The naturalpath doctor told me one surgery usually leads to another unless underlying issues are resolved.


    If you do have surgery, my advice is get a knee scooter or take online classes if you can, these are what I did for my masters program.

     
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    Old 08-17-2017, 08:05 PM   #6
    keri445
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    Re: Is surgery worth it?

    Thank you for your response! The surgery I am having is primarily to repair my peroneal tendons and groove deepening because of my peroneal subluxation that resulted from my last brostrom type procedure. So it is not the same, but he said he also thinks I may have torn or partly damaged my ligaments that were repaired just based on my symptoms and feeling around. I get an MRI tomorrow to find out for sure so that he knows if he just has to fix the tendon or if there is ligament damage he said he would have to redo the repair I had done last year in addition to the tendon repair. This would include new drill holes, removing the cadaver tendon, replacing it with a new one and further securing everything.

    I understand that a lot of surgeons out there do just go in blind and will do anything to perform a surgery, but I feel mostly confident with this surgeon. I have since switched surgeons and actually clinics all together. I'm now going to private clinic that has is strictly orthopedics and has its own surgery center, PT, and clinic. And also this surgeon has been able to pinpoint what is causing my pain directly, tell me what went wrong with the other two repairs and explain to me how he can fix what went wrong all in just one appt. But even though I have all of this confidence with him, I still question whether another ligament repair is worth it. I don't have to worry too much until I get the MRI results back, but I feel like if two ligament repairs have failed to stabilize my ankle I don't know what is going to help it at this point. I feel like I might just have naturally lax ankles and there's nothing to do about it. But I am very young and in pain so I feel like it could only get worse from here if I don't do something to try and fix it, but also feel like I'm very young and having 3 surgeries by age 18 is a little excessive and like you said could only lead to more and more surgery.

    If I get this surgery I will definitely consider the knee scooter, the only thing is that my campus is very old so I don't really know how well i would be able to get around in a knee scooter. I also have having troubles deciding when to have this surgery. Would it be better right away, waiting until winter break, or summer break. I leave for college in 2 weeks so now isn't really much of an option unless I want to go there only 1 week post op. If I wait until winter break I would be able to stay home for the first 4 weeks of recovery, but then would have to deal with snow and ice. And if I wait until summer break i could recover for 3 months at home but I'm not sure if pain wise I can wait that long to have the surgery and don't know how much more damage would be done if I wait that long.

     
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    Old 08-19-2017, 01:50 PM   #7
    jird
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    Re: Is surgery worth it?

    If you can't get around with a knee scooter on campus, I would suggest an "iWalkFree" which is like a crutch but you attach it to your knee. If that makes any sense. Search for it. I haven't tried it myself but it seems to be very practical as you can walk quite normally and also have both of your hands free.

     
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    Old 08-23-2017, 08:22 PM   #8
    keri445
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    Re: Is surgery worth it?

    UPDATE: I finally got my MRI results back and it showed a severely ruptured atfl, peroneal tendon damage, and an overwhelming amount of scar tissue. Although I'm not happy with the results I am glad something showed up as now he will know exactly the points to go in and fix and there will be no guessing game. Going into both of my other two surgeries my Mris and X-rays never really showed much so they didn't know what they were getting into until they actually got in. So now I feel like there is no questioning. At this point it has helped me decide that the surgery is worth it just because a ruptured ligament can't heal itself right on its own. So Now surgery is scheduled for December when I am on winter break. Hoping everything goes well this time, third times a charm am I right?

     
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    Old 08-24-2017, 07:29 AM   #9
    teteri66
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    Re: Is surgery worth it?

    Yes! It was for me with my spine surgeries! I am glad you are waiting till the winter break. You could always postpone returning to school for second semester, to give it a chance to really heal completely...maybe taking some online courses to pick up requirements if the college will let you...

     
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