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stepbystep89 09-16-2008 02:57 PM

Ankle Fusion - Still having pain...
I had my ankle fused with an external fixator 2 years ago. While the ex fix was on I also had osteomyelitis requiring 2 more surgeries. (if you already know all of this you can skip down to the next paragraph. Last year I had the Keller Procedure done on a bunion that was determined to be a result of the fusion. While the pins were in my great toe, osteomyelitis struck again, but this time it was in my toe.

Now, here I am still in pain. My os says my ankle can't hurt because I don't have an ankle anymore. However, it still aches deep down in the joint like it used to.

I also have pain on the outside of my leg and foot. There is a scar from where my ankle bone protrudes and up about 6 inches along the bone and there is a burning pain that goes the whole length of it.

Also, just to the front of the ankle bone and more towards my foot, there are three specific spots that pinch. The pain is especially bad after standing or walking. As a matter of fact, at times it feels like a door off of its hinge.

Finally, there is an old familiar pain (sometimes stabbing sometimes aching) lower and more towards my heel. If I could draw a line from my ankle bone to the very corner of my heel, this pain would be about halfway between the two.

My question is, does anyone else have pain like this? Is there anyone else with a fused ankle that continues to have pain and problems this far out? I had the surgery, so I could alleviate my pain. However, truthfully, my pain is not any better and most days is actually worse than it was before the procedure.

I am beginning to lose hope. I see my os tomorrow and plan on asking him more questions regarding long term prognosis.

Any help you can offer will be appreciated!


stepbystep89 09-28-2008 07:28 PM

Re: Ankle Fusion - Still having pain...

My original accident resulted in a pilon fracture of my right ankle.

I went to my os last week and am hopeful he will figure this out. He believes I may have arthritis in my subtalar joint. The funny thing is, the pain is in the same spot as it has been for years. I'm not saying the ankle fusion didn't relieve some of the pain because it certainly did, but I can say this pain is nothing new.

So, I had a CT scan, so he could get a better view of the subtalar joint. I bet he sees that it is arthritic. It feels like the joint is spiney. There are also times it gets stuck, like there is scar tissue or something in there.

Anyway, hopefully I am on the way to a solution.

I'm glad you joined the board. I look forward to hearing more of your story!


stepbystep89 10-02-2008 05:40 PM

Re: Ankle Fusion - Still having pain...
So, I had the CT scan, and the dr says the subtalar joint is arthritic.

There is some good news - we can try a steroid injection and see how that works. The arthritis isn't too bad yet.

Also, this arthritis is due to my original accident and subsequent surgeries, so anything that is done will be covered by wc.

The troubling thing is if the injection doesn't work this time, or if/when they stop working in the future, I am looking at yet another fusion. I really didn't want to hear that!



rebelfan32 10-06-2008 03:31 AM

Re: Ankle Fusion - Still having pain...
hi and yes i can relate to everything you posted2. my doctor told me a couple of weeks ago there was nothng else he can do , well for me im having a hard time excepting that im only 34 and nov will be a year, i cant stand up for no longer than 5 to 10 mins and cant walk eather i have to limp everytime i have to move across the floor he wanted to do both my ankles if i do then i would be in a wheelchair cause now im still using a rollator to get around, sometimes i fall the pain is so bad my ankle just gives a way if u are having the ankle give away on u let me know and thanks

emmie54 10-06-2008 06:35 PM

Re: Ankle Fusion - Still having pain...
step, I was just diagnosed with compressed nerve in the ankle (peroneal nerve). I continued with pain after PTTD surgery, then peroneal repair, then debridement. This pain is behind my ankle bone but also feels like it goes beneath the bone and down the side of my foot too. It also hurts toward my heel like you describe and up into my calf. I have a deep ache that I was sure was the ankle joint. MRI showed some arthritic degeneration but my OS said not enough to account for the level of pain I was having. He sent me for a nerve conduction study/EMG which showed I basically have no nerve conduction past my ankle joint. This pain is slightly different than "typical" nerve pain, more of an ache than the burning, tingling, zinging pain you usually get with nerve pain. I do have tingling and occasional burning but mostly a deep ache. Sounds very much like what you are feeling. Maybe you can ask for this test? Lyrica has helped me but has not totally relieved the pain. I started PT today so we will see how that helps, too.

stepbystep89 10-13-2008 10:34 PM

Re: Ankle Fusion - Still having pain...
Hello and thank you for your replies.

I am sorry you are both having so much difficulty, but I am grateful that we are not alone. This board is a truly blessing in that sense.

I had my injection today. Oh My Goodness! It really hurts. I am sure it is normal, but I really didn't expect it to be this painful. I have gone from a 5 before the shot to a 7 after. Whew!

I am wondering if anyone else has had this happen? Or can someone tell me if the subtalar joint would hurt on the inside of my ankle?

Thank you for your compassionate words. They truly make me feel better.

I will keep you both in my prayers.


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