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I need relief from ankle pain with either a fusion or a replacement. I don't know what to do. Does anyone have info that could help me ?

By Anonymous March 29, 2013 - 11:07am
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I have RA. I have had it for 40 years. I got it at 15. It began in my hands and feet. Have had many surgeries in both. Going to need more but can't decide if I should bear the pain ( not a great option), or have some type of operation.

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Hello Anonymous,

Ultimately, the decision is yours to make and your best resource is your orthopedic surgeon.

You know best what your have endured for the last 40 years, what is your level of pain tolerance, and your quality of life.

Your orthopedic surgeon knows your case and is the expert on both procedures, ankle fusion and ankle replacement.

Schedule an appointment. Ask your surgeon to address the benefits and risks associated with each procedure. Ask what you can expect post- operatively.

An ankle fusion, if successful, is not in danger of wearing out like an artificial ankle. An ankle fusion should last a lifetime, if the other foot joints are normal. A fusion keeps the ankle joint from moving during walking and other activities, so the other foot joints will need good mobility.

Ankle replacement surgery may be done if the ankle joint is severely damaged. Risks for ankle replacement surgery include:

Ankle weakness, stiffness, or instability
Loosening of the artificial joint over time
Skin not healing after surgery
Nerve damage
Blood vessel damage
Bone break during surgery
Dislocation of the artificial joint
Allergic reaction to the artificial joint (common)

I hope this information is helpful. Members of the EmpowHER community may have a similar experience as yours and offer their input.


March 29, 2013 - 5:01pm
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