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  • Subtalar Fusion

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    Old 03-19-2012, 05:23 PM   #1
    SmoothSippin's Avatar
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    Subtalar Fusion

    I have been reading around on this site looking for folks that may have a similar issue(s) to myself regarding a subtalar fusion. I have not been very successful, so I figured I would try a post myself.

    I will try to be brief. I had a subtalar fusion performed in early October 2010. They inserted two screws through the heel and did some work to my Achilles tendon as well. I did the cast(s) and boot, and I am now "walking" in shoes. I have extreme pain in my heel right around where the screw head would be. The pain has been there since I went in my second hard cast. I have complained multiple times to my doc regarding this issue. After reviewing the X-Rays, he declared it fused and felt I needed physical therapy (even though I pointed out the protruding screw from my heel). I did the therapy for three weeks. The therapist could not even massage this area of my foot without me attempting to climb a wall/jumping in pain.

    After the physical therapy, I returned to the doc. He ordered a CT, since I was still in serious pain. Now he claims a delayed union and wants me back in a hard cast (I have been out of a cast since late december). I do not think I can bare hammering this screw head in a hard cast. He seems to totally disregard my complaints about this screw head pain. Really that is the only reason I am still on pain medications.

    So the wife and I decided to get a second opinion. This doc thinks the screw could be removed and I could go into a boot. This leaves on screw behind.
    Also note, I have resumed bone growth stimulation as well. Has anyone had an experience like this? screws removed with a delaying union? Re-casting after 3 months being out of a cast? Which doctor should I trust? The one that ignores my issues, or the one that feels the one screw could safely be removed?

    I guess that was not all the brief, I apologize. It is hard to get all that concisely.

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    Old 11-12-2012, 04:39 PM   #2
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    Re: Subtalar Fusion

    Hi I just got my screws taken out, just one year after the fusion. I can't tell yet if it will help because they have to take out the staples out in a few days. But i also had pain in my heel. Everytime i took a step i felt the screws rubbing up and down inside the foot. Crutches for 2 weeks then i am done, hopefully. It has been a long 3 years, car accident = calcanous fracture, year and half later a fusion, then removal of screws a year after that. I want to be normal again. Good Luck!

    Old 11-12-2012, 09:26 PM   #3
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    Unhappy Re: Subtalar Fusion

    Well I sort of have a similar story but not exact. I had subtalar fusion in April of this year. In July I was in shoes and doing Physical Therapy. In early August during a PT session they had me working with a student in clinicals who wasn't being directly supervised. She did a "test" on me that she clearly didn't know how to perform and ended up busting all the new bone growth in my fusion. I was put back into a cast again and NWB. I have since been put back into the boot as he wants me to build up some strength in my calf before having surgery again. I have little to no muscle left in my calf.

    Since then I have been using a bone growth stimulator and taking tons of calcium and vitamin D but nothing is working to get the fusion to take again. I also had T/N fusion so there was only room for one screw in my subtalar fusion. Unlike your case, my screw is not protruding at all. I can relate to what you're going through. I am facing another surgery. I will find out next week what is going on with mine.

    Good luck with everything! It is all a matter of what doctor you're more comfortable with. If your original surgeon won't listen to what you're telling them, I would definitely seek another doctor.

    Good luck to you!
    April 2012
    Double Arthrodesis
    Achilles Tendon Lengthening
    January 2013
    Subtalar Arthrodesis Revision
    Talonavicular Fusion Hardware Removal

    December 2013
    Screw Removal

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