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  • Considering Triple Arthrodesis

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    Old 03-15-2009, 08:33 PM   #1
    sundare
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    Considering Triple Arthrodesis

    I have been experiencing severe pain in my ankles and feet due to rheumatoid arthritis, for over a year now, got braces from my doc to help, helped until now. I am now walking with the braces like I used to walk without them one year ago. So, I started getting opinions. Have had 4 opinions, First and second docs said to go with double ankle replacement, much to my excitement, third said to replace left ankle and fuse right ankle, 4th said to fuse both ankles and also undergo triple arthrodesis because those joints (among others) are also arthritic. 4th doctor said that having an ankle replacement could possibly lead to amputation 20 years down the road because they cause bone loss and after a couple revisions, there would be nothing left to work with. So, my question is: Has anyone gone through a triple arthrodesis and fusion at the same time? If so, how is your quality of life? I was hoping for a total ankle replacement because I thought it would give me a better quality of life. I have a 4 year old son and want to keep up with him. I'm only 33 years old, so choosing the right surgery is critical for my health NOW and LATER. Any advice is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

     
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    Old 03-16-2009, 06:43 AM   #2
    shelleybutn
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    Re: Considering Triple Arthrodesis

    i only had a triple, no ankle fusion. so i have some motion left. mine went very well. very LONG recovery though. i would think the fusions would be the first step, then down the road the replacements if the fusions start to fail (many years from now).

    shelley

     
    Old 03-16-2009, 01:56 PM   #3
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    Re: Considering Triple Arthrodesis

    Hi

    Like the other Shelley I have only had a triple arthrodesis. I did go to a seminar on foot instability at UCSD Medical School and think I remember hearing that if you have an ankle fusion you cannot later get an ankle replacement...but that an ankle fusion lasted many many years. Replacements are new and much like knees have a 10 year life expectancy.

    With all your issues I would consult at a major medical center with cutting edge technology. Also

    The recovery my surgery is very long....You will need help with your son probably 24/7 for a while.

    Good luck

    Shelly

     
    Old 03-16-2009, 04:26 PM   #4
    sundare
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    Re: Considering Triple Arthrodesis

    Thank you Shelleys! I have heard about not being able to get a replacement after ankle fusion, but with the new Wright In-Bone, you can. They made this implant so it would be possible to give motion back to people with fusions and bad fusions. How is your quality of life now? Are you able to walk, bike, etc... I'm not expecting to be back where I was before I was diagnosed with arthritis, but, I do want a somewhat normal lifestyle like family walks and bike rides. Is the fusion totally non-mobile? Is it hard to get used to? My doctor is sending my XR's out to 15 of the very best in the nation, so I hope they will come up with some good ideas, one that will work best for me.

     
    Old 03-16-2009, 06:10 PM   #5
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    Re: Considering Triple Arthrodesis

    our triple is not completely immobile. we can flex and extend (a little limited) and have no inversion/eversion. with the ankle fusion i think it is completely immobile. my doctor is actually the head of the world foot and ankle association (well, last year anyway. i think a dif doc is every year). dr. digiovanni in providence ri. he is awesome

     
    Old 03-17-2009, 01:52 AM   #6
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    Re: Considering Triple Arthrodesis

    Hi All

    I underwent a tripple fusion (not on ankle joint) in Oct '07 for a club foot. My recovery is still not complete. Most of the surgeons wont tell you but once you undergo a fusion (tripple arthrodesis) down the line you will develop Arthritis again in ankle joint and the entire procedure will have to be repeated again in order to fuse the ankle joint.
    One year four months after surgery traumatic arthritis surfaced in my case at my ankle joint. Benefit of not having ankle fusion is that you can still manage with small dosriflection and plantarflextion. But depending upon my own experience and observation you should not do the weight bearing on your leg till around 8 min weeks. Once the caste is removed dont expect to be as normal as before. Once the joint is worked upon in this difficult and complicated fashion it demands a very precise care. Physiotherapy and rigorous exercises in a religious way is the key to problem during rehabilitation. Ensure that you dont overload your ankle joint during the exercises and work on mobility, stability and strengthening. Follow a very dedicated regime and increase the exercises slowly. Dont stop exercising if pain is felt just lower the intensity. Pre surgery strengthening of the leg is very very important to get good results after surgery. Remember arthrodesis is not a cure it is a treatment and is degenerative so one needs to bery cautious with our movements after the surgery. Dont load the leg and take as much rest as possible after the surgery to avoid weakness later. Take a rich and a nutritious diet.
    Wear shoes that can give good support to your ankle once caste is removed (Can also use silicon gel packs as extra cushion in shoes). Avoid hard shoes. More you care for your leg longer will it support you throuh.
    Dont opt for all the fusions together and try to bear some pain along with good rehabilitation and pain management and go for total fusions and replacement once it becomes unavoidable to increase the life of your joint. Once you do the fusion and bone grows back no natural and defined replacements will be possible.

     
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