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  • Jay's Subtalar Fusion time line thread

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    Old 10-16-2013, 02:08 PM   #1
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    Jay's Subtalar Fusion time line thread

    I am a 41 year old US Army veteran. Very simplified, I "broke my ankle" in 1994 and the Army ruled it service connected. They gave me 10% disabled for arthritis. I have been out of the Army since 1995.

    Went to live in UK in 1999.

    In 2002 I was told by a doctor that my "ankle" broke and then fused. He suggested live with pain or fuse the joint. I decided not to fuse my joint. I figured my talus was shot.

    Moved back to USA in 2010

    Roll up to now. I was looking into my injuries in preparation for possibly re-opening my Veteran's Administration claim and find in my Army medical records that my talus was in good shape and that my calcaneus was a closed reduction and was missed by doctors but noted by radiological reports during recovery/PT.

    This answers the question as to why my heel sits to the side and I cannot straighten it out. It is a Stephen's Type III (self diagnosed)

    So, now I have different options, as I see them. I make an appointment to talk to an Orthopedic Surgeon. He says that a calcaneal osteotomy is really not going to do it since the arthritis caused by the broken calcaneus is also causing pain. He suggests a subtalar fusion. This is much better than the full ankle fusion I thought was suggested in 2003.

    I am being sent for a CT scan so we can see things in more detail, but I wanted to open this thread to tell my story, vent my frustrations, and ask questions.

    being 41 I am afraid of getting a fusion. I am more active now than I have been since I was discharged from the Army, and I would hate to mess that up, but doing anything that fatigues the ankle (because of the miss-alignment) makes the joint/tendons sore the next day. I am not sure he likes the idea of the osteotomy, but let's hope the arthritis is not as bad as he thinks.

    Jay

     
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    Old 10-16-2013, 10:12 PM   #2
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    Re: Jay's Subtalar Fusion time-line thread

    Hi there! So sorry to hear about what you've gone through. When deciding on the subtalar fusion I only suggest you weigh all of your options before jumping into it. I have had a subtalar fusion done twice. The second time was a revision. It is a tough recovery and you lose a lot of motion.
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    April 2012
    Double Arthrodesis
    Achilles Tendon Lengthening
    January 2013
    Subtalar Arthrodesis Revision
    Talonavicular Fusion Hardware Removal

    December 2013
    Screw Removal

     
    Old 11-15-2013, 01:40 PM   #3
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    Re: Jay's Subtalar Fusion time-line thread

    I had my CT scan and then met with my doctor for the second pre-op appointment.

    He said that the condition of joint is so bad that I need the surgury. Let's be clear, I wanted something to stop the pain AND straighten out the heel. This surgery will do both. He said it will limit the rolling (balancing motion) of the foot, but I have barely any of that now, and what I do have is barely usable because of the position of my heel.

    Along with the Subtalar Arthrodesis he also put on the surgical release form the options of Calcaneal Exostechomy (removal of bone from side of foot), and Calcaneal Osteotomy. The Osteotomy is so that if he can not get my heel straight enough with the fusion he can align it further.

    All that said, I have surgery scheduled for November 20th. That is this coming Wednesday. Yes, I am still a little fearful, it is fusion surgery after all.

    My foot is a mess, after the surgery it will be much like it is now, just eventually without the pain and the standing on the side of my heel.

    Last edited by Administrator; 12-11-2013 at 12:01 PM.

     
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    Old 11-22-2013, 10:18 PM   #4
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    Re: Jay's Subtalar Fusion time-line thread

    Best of luck to you! I have had a subtalar fusion as well as a talonavicular fusion. It is a tough recovery but be ever so cautious in PT after wards. Follow the doctors orders to a T. How did your surgery go? Was your pain managed well? My parents live in NC and my moms surgeon is at Duke. I have been tempted to go down there to him for a second opinion. NC has so many excellent doctors. Keep in touch! Happy Healing!
    __________________
    April 2012
    Double Arthrodesis
    Achilles Tendon Lengthening
    January 2013
    Subtalar Arthrodesis Revision
    Talonavicular Fusion Hardware Removal

    December 2013
    Screw Removal

     
    Old 11-23-2013, 08:40 AM   #5
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    Re: Jay's Subtalar Fusion time-line thread

    Hey, yes my pain has been managed very well. I have felt very little discomfort so far. The take home nerve block will run out today though. I hope it got me past the worst. I do not want to go through this again so I am going to do my best to follow what the doc says.

    My surgery was done at Duke in Durham. Great doctor by all accounts. Ended up having all three procedures. They were not able to get my heel where they wanted it with out the osteotemy. One of the doctors said it was a wedge style. I just hope I have not lost too much more height in my heel. Only time will tell. They said that they tried to fix the roundness and that shoes should fit normally. That would be a great result.

    That and not having the pain. Looking forward to future progress.

     
    Old 11-23-2013, 10:24 AM   #6
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    Glad you're doing well. Duke doctors are great. I believe my mom had Dr Easley. Best wishes!
    __________________
    April 2012
    Double Arthrodesis
    Achilles Tendon Lengthening
    January 2013
    Subtalar Arthrodesis Revision
    Talonavicular Fusion Hardware Removal

    December 2013
    Screw Removal

     
    Old 11-24-2013, 08:27 AM   #7
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    Re: Jay's Subtalar Fusion time line thread

    I have Dr. Easley too! I think I made the right choice. We will know if a few months! I did a little bit of research before I decided on him. Mainly I liked he specialization and that he had written many medical papers.

    How did your Mom's recovery go? Was the surgery performed to the level expected? I do not doubt that Easley did the best he could, I just wanted to hear some reassuring information. LOL.

    I have taken the pain block out now and the pain has changed from hanging around level 3 and 4 to being maybe a 6 constantly. It is a 7 or 8 after waking up in the morning, but once I get the Oxy back in me it is better. It seems like it is not just the surgical site that hurts. Strangely, the tendon the runs up the arch of the foot to the big toe hurts. I am guessing it is because the swelling is putting pressure on everything in the joint.

    I am so glad that the worst was when the nerve block was in. Today should be the worst for pain (day 4) and get better everyday from here.

     
    Old 11-24-2013, 09:46 AM   #8
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    Re: Jay's Subtalar Fusion time line thread

    Hi there,
    It looks like you've made it thru the first few days of pain management. You mentioned in your last post that your pain level is near 6-7 upon waking in the morning. Are you setting a timer during the night to take your meds on schedule? My doctor said to set an alarm to stay on schedule or the pain can become more difficult to stay ahead of.
    If you haven't been doing that give it a try tonight.
    Hang in there, you're on your way to full recovery now.

    LO
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    PTT Transfer, Calcaneal Osteotomy, Gastroc Recession, Achilles lengthening, Triple Arthrodesis, as well as some other fine tuning while he's in there.
    October 9, 2013 Surgery date

     
    Old 11-24-2013, 05:50 PM   #9
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    Doctor Easley did my moms knee replacements. She saw him for a foot injured incurred up here in ohio for a check up. I've read great things about him and have considered coming down there for a second opinion. I always set my alarm to wake up for my meds or I regretted it when I woke up.
    __________________
    April 2012
    Double Arthrodesis
    Achilles Tendon Lengthening
    January 2013
    Subtalar Arthrodesis Revision
    Talonavicular Fusion Hardware Removal

    December 2013
    Screw Removal

     
    Old 12-10-2013, 09:53 AM   #10
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    Re: Jay's Subtalar Fusion time line thread

    Here I am 3 weeks out. Let me give you a quick update.

    I stopped using the Oxy for pain after a week. Stopped using Tylenol a week after that. I have not taken anything for pain in over a week. In this last week I have probably not felt anything over a 4 (out of 10). Most of the time it is around a 0-2. Sleeping can still be uncomfortable, but usually not painful.

    Most of the time I have it elevated still. Right after having it elevated it feels like it would be good enough to walk on, LOL. I would never try that though, I know bone take 6 to 8 weeks to heal.

    I am going to see my surgeon's Medical PA tomorrow. Most likely they will remove the splint/partial-cast and put on a full ankle cast for the next 4 weeks. I wonder if I could convince them to put me in a boot early? :-/

    Either way, I see the surgeon on Jan 7th and I assume I will get x-rays and if all looks good probably be given a boot and instructions on when to start PWB.

     
    Old 12-11-2013, 11:48 AM   #11
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    Re: Jay's Subtalar Fusion time line thread

    I got my splint off today from my ST Fusion (and Calcaneal Osteotomy). It was the first time I had seen it since the surgery. The foot actually looked pretty good. Better than I had expected. Back into a cast for 4 more weeks. Next appt I will go into a boot as long as x-rays are good. They showed me the fluoroscope images from the surgery, but I did not think to take any photos. Looked just like any others. I have 3 screws.

    Last edited by Administrator; 12-11-2013 at 12:04 PM.

     
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