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Subtalar joint

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Old 03-12-2014, 07:51 PM   #1
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Subtalar joint

I have been in pain for two years and finally got an MRI - revealing that my subtalar joint is degenerating and that my future holds an ankle fusion. I do NOT want this surgery. I'm interested in what other people have done. How are you dealing with the pain? What activities are you able to do? I am a competitive swimmer and biker ( I was a runner but that is no longer possible) is anyone out there still living an active life and NOT doing the surgery??? I'm 46 and am a triathlete and a landscaper

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Old 03-13-2014, 05:15 AM   #2
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Re: Subtalar joint

The subtalar joint is not an actual 'joint' like a wrist, shoulder, hip, etc. It's the space between the calcaneal bone and the talus. A foot fusion sounds like an odd treatment for this. If the tissue between the space has degenerated causing the area to collapse, I don't know why an arthroreisis wasn't considered. (A completely reversible surgery, and far less invasive than a fusion.) Maybe a second opinion is needed? Make sure the doctor you see is board certified in foot and ankle surgery.
3/26/13, Right foot: Subtalar arthroereisis, tendo Achilles lengthening, calcaneal osteotomy, FDL transfer

12/12/13, Left foot: Gastroc recession, calcaneal osteotomy, FDL transfer

Old 03-13-2014, 06:33 AM   #3
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Re: Subtalar joint

Tami... the subtalar joint, or talocalcaneal joint, is a plane synovial joint. It's the same type of joint found in the wrist and can degenerate (ie lose cartilage) like any other synovial joint. Arthroereisis is a procedure to restrict talar motion and prevent degeneration but unfortunately doesn't do anything to prevent joint degeneration. Once the joint is degenerated, treatment options are quite limited and arthrodesis/fusion is one of the few treatments that can decrease and even eliminate discomfort. Frankly, fusion of the subtalar joint only is not that big of a deal and you likely even will be able to run again afterwards. The main drawback is that fusion of the subtalar joint can lead to degeneration of the tibiotalar joint (the true ankle) which puts you back to square one. In any case, if you have discomfort and the recommended conservative treatments don't work for you, it is really not worth delaying this surgery and keep on suffering.

Old 03-13-2014, 06:11 PM   #4
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Re: Subtalar joint

There are alot of people here that have been fused. Sounds like you lose some mobility on uneven surfaces.

There is a chance it will happen to me at some point. I shattered my calcaneous and talus, wrecking the joint. They wanted to fuse, but I was to swollen.

I wear merino wool hiking socks year round, light ones in the summer. No they are not hot or itchy. I also wear 8" lace up boots pretty much whenever I am not in the house. A brace may help. Maybe an Arizona brace. I also have a custom orthodic.

I don't or can't wear boots with much off a heel, or slip on boots.

I think women tend to choose pain over comfort, for cosmetic reasons.
Heelie since 09
The good thing is, no one asks me to help them move anymore.

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