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What to expect from ankle surgery...?

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Old 08-03-2011, 10:15 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Somewhere, TN, USA
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What to expect from ankle surgery...?

I have sprained my ankles more times than I can count. In fact, I have done that so many times that I, as my doctor put it, "permanently severed" the peroneal tendons and anterior tabolfibular ligaments in both my ankles. When I would sprain an ankle in the past, I had been told to favor the "good" ankle by using crutches. I would often end up with two sprained ankles as a result. Vicious cycle spanning almost four years.

I have been told by more than one doctor (got a second opinion) that I need reconstructive surgery on both ankles. I cannot remember the type that was recommended, but they both said it would be the type where new tendons are transplanted. It was also recommended that I have both ankles worked on at once to shorten the overall recovery time.

I have done everything but go through surgery to make my ankles begin to feel better. I have done physical therapy and been diligent about doing additional exercises at home. I have a stockpile of ice packs, bandages, and braces in my apartment that I use regularly as well. I am still dealing with a lot of pain. I am willing to have surgery if that is necessary to fix the problem.

The problem with all this is that I am a very busy 21-year-old university student going into my last year of undergrad. My question regards the length of recovery time I should reasonably expect from that type of ankle surgery. I understand that I would have to take some time off from school, but how much is my question. I have two choices in my view: waiting and dealing with the pain for another year or having the surgery while in the middle of a regular college semester. How soon could I reasonably attend classes again (even if it required using a wheelchair)?

Last edited by CMIA; 08-03-2011 at 10:26 PM.

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Old 08-04-2011, 07:12 AM   #2
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Re: What to expect from ankle surgery...?

Transplanting a tendon would probably be Christman-Snook surgery. And if the ATFL and peroneal tendons are severed in both ankles, that probably really is necessary. There's not a whole lot left to hold the outer sides of your ankles together!

Both at once could be quite difficult. You will be in a wheelchair for weeks. (Of course, being on crutches in a cast and then having your other leg go would be bad, too.) Is your home accessible, either your home at college or your parents' place? Is your apartment very close to school, is there a wheelchair accessible bus, or would a friend be driving you? Do you live alone, or is there someone who can help you with food and transportation? Could you get from your bed to the bathroom and kitchen in a wheelchair, or is the apartment too small?

Bare minimum, you'll spend a week on the couch on strong pain medication with your legs propped way up. It'll be about a month before you are comfortable having your legs NOT elevated for any length of time. The swelling after foot surgery, and how much the swelling increases the pain, is almost unbelievable.

You might be able to do it over the winter break, depending on the timing of the semester and what things are like at your parents' home.

Ask the doctor what the protocol would be, how long in a wheelchair, etc.

Old 08-05-2011, 06:50 AM   #3
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Ohio
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Re: What to expect from ankle surgery...?

Hi, I'm fifteen years old and was told I had OCD of the ankle at the start of June. I was then was given crutches and a cam boot and was non-weight bearing for 6 weeks to see if the ocd lesion would heal on its own. We went back to the doc 6 weeks later and he ordered another mri. We then went back again a week later and discussed the results. The lesion did not heal at all it is 1.2cmx1.1cm, I also have stage 4 ocd. There is a fragment not attached to the talus bone and there is fluid inbetween the talus bone and fragment,making it almost impossible to heal on its own without surgery to rid of the fluid and drill so new cartilage can grow. I'm a 15 year old girl, I'm also an athlete who loves basketball and is the starting point guard. If I get surgery I cannot play this year,nor
can I run track this year either, and possibly never again. I was wondering could get some advice due to my young age and already having stage 4. If I play basketball before I get surgery could you also tell me what could happen? Thanks, it's much appreciated, I want to be informed before I go talk to the surgeon in late August. If you would like more info just ask and I will add it

Last edited by JohannaB; 08-05-2011 at 07:12 AM.

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