ask: Living with an ankle fusion and subtalar fusion--Any advice?

By anneh8sldrs March 30, 2010 - 9:51pm
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In January of 2009, I fell from a ladder and suffered a catastrophic open-bone fracture of my talus. Not only was the talus shattered, but I immediately developed a serious infection and subsequent deep wound. 9 surgeries, 8 months of IV antibiotics, 9 months on a VAC device, and 15 months of walking in a boot, later . . . I am now looking at life following a complete ankle and subtalar fusion (no part of my ankle moves--except my toes). I am overjoyed that my fusion surgery was successful and am looking forward to learning how to walk again! I was just given the go-ahead from my doctor to begin using MBT shoes and to start physical therapy. I am just wondering if others have walked this road before and have any advice or insight. Thanks so much. Anneh8sldrs (Anne hates ladders)

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EmpowHER Guest

I was thrown from a horse seventeen years ago breaking my leg in four places and crushing my ankle. After surgery and wearing a fixator for several months, my leg healed fine, but I have had nine surgeries on my ankle. This last surgery my doctor fused all the joints in my right ankle. The only part that will move are my toes. I will be non weight bearing for twelve weeks and I am so ready to be able to put weight on it and start walking on it again. These past seventeen years have been a nightmare. The pain I have endured with my ankle has been unbearable and I am hoping now I will get some relief from this last surgery.

November 1, 2015 - 5:24am
EmpowHER Guest

So fell of a roof on 17/9/15 broke talus in 10 pieces and 4 fractures no surgery can be done due to how bad and the surgeon is not confident he can fix it so meeting it heal by it self (taking its god damn time) then he recommends a sub talar fusion as my joint is no longer any good there touching must of compressed when I hit the ground so just was wondering if anyone else just got a sub talar fusion and how's there foot now

October 2, 2015 - 8:36am
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Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I had a car accident in 1986 broke fibula and tibia. I was 20 at that time. Now 49. I have been in pain for years and bones were not set right. In may this year a doctor removed all my bone spurs and repaired a ligament. Unfortunately that left me with more severe pain and unable to walk without excruciating pain because all he did was made my ankle move more and rub more which I had no cartridge so it only made me rub bone to bone more. So beware if a doctor has you go that route. This doctor only had me do that because he didn't do fusions and he was money hungry. Same dr told me I needed back surgery and two knee replacements.
Anyways Sept 2nd this year I had a fusion by another doctor. I am still using walking boot. Dr told me a week and half ago I can go out of boot which I went cold turkey and walked around with swelling and dealing with massive pain. Therapist told me to go back into boot and gradually come out. I was so happy to come out of boot from being in cast etc since May (first surgery) that I really over did it. So go slow! I also had my acheles tendon shortened and I have to say that is the worst pain right now I am experiencing. Everything else is working it self out pretty good I guess. Therapists says could take year before I can really walk and enjoy things. Just great! I am just hoping I can be pain free for first time in a very very long time. As far as walking I dont feel any different really as far as motion goes because for years I couldn't move ankle well anyways probably due to massive arthritis. I wish you the best! Julie

November 17, 2015 - 7:28pm
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Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I had a sub-taler fusion Feb 2013. I was in pain for 23 years after a mc accident. My life is great and pain free today. My ankle fused completely in about 2 months. Why 2 months? I stopped drinking alcohol 2 years before the surgery and I have not had carbonated drinks like soda in over 15 years. I drink water, chocolate milk and coffee. I'm 50 years old and feel like I'm 20 again. Good luck.

October 31, 2015 - 1:55pm
Goldenmama7 (reply to Anonymous)

I had a full fusion in 2004. I'm doing ok, just wondered if you have any lingering back pain from the way your body adjust to the fusion when you walk. I do, and I feel like I am constantly at the chiropractor! Just wondering if this is normal.

November 23, 2015 - 10:42am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I had fusion Sept 2, 2015 I am Still in lot of pain mostly the Achilles Tendon. I went out of boot few weeks ago cold turkey which caused massive pain and swelling. Physical therapist told me go back in boot have to go out gradually. It's been rough as I had a previous surgery on ankle in May and went from that surgery to this one.
What can I expect? I feel like if I didn't have the achilles tendon shortening then I wouldn't be in as much pain. Feel like it has been forever since I have been able to get up and do simple things clean house etc.
How long did you heal and was able to walk with no pain?
Thanks Julie

November 17, 2015 - 7:37pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

In 2004 I had a bad horse riding accident and after a couple of years in pain I finally had a sub talar fusion in 2006. In May this year I had to have the screw removed along with bone spurs and a full ankle debrivement. I am still in the same pain now as before. I can walk with a slight heal but bear foot I really struggle. A fusion has made no difference to me at all. Think long and hard before having this surgery.

November 24, 2015 - 9:55am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi yes had an ankle fusion and subtular joint in July 2015 I am in week 14 and still unable to walk properly.
The surgery was painful but bare able I was non weight bearing for 6 weeks and in an aircast for however long it takes!
This is my second major operations as I previously had my heel moved tendons lengthened and plates over toes. So I was already poorly before the next is expected to take me 2plus years to make a full recovery as I have fibromyalgia as well.
This for me is a foot deformity as oppose to an injury, when the right foot is done I need to do the left as well!!

October 15, 2015 - 12:40pm
EmpowHER Guest

I just had my ankle fusion last Friday and all went as scheduled I was let go the very next day as long as I stayed in bed it's now been six days and not much pain I'm only taking Tylenol ext and it works for me don't like how I feel when I take the Oxicodin so far so good do to see my doctor on the 28th will post what they say

September 17, 2015 - 8:50am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I had my fusion Sept 2nd. The pain from the surgery itself wasn't bad. Once I got out of cast into walking boot I couldn't walk in walking boot at all it was so painful. I scheduled appt week before my scheduled appt to get out of boot and Dr let me out of boot week early. Of course person I am I had to go all or nothing and couldn't wait to get home to get in shoe. I then just walked in shoe major pain major swelling. I couldn't get left side of foot to feel like it was hitting foot everything felt tight. So I showed up to therapist and they werent happy with severe swollen ankle and walking like I was dieing lol which I certainly felt like I was as I forgot my crutches! Who forgets their crutches geeze lol Therapist told me I need to go back into boot and gradually come out. Well that was week ago and now so hard to walk in shoe for more then 5 minutes. I did get my achilles tendon shortened and I think now that is my big battle as far as pain goes. Hurts sitting, laying down, walking anything. Do yourself a favor go easy. Dont over do it. The days you feel good and think you can conquer the world meaning cleaning etc lol you will only find the next few days you are going to pay for it! I can not be on my foot without boot for more then 5 minutes or so and in boot although I can finally walk in it maybe 30 minutes. It will hurt while walking still in boot. Dont sit long periods of time with leg down swelling is sure to come. Try to elevate (above heart) ice as much as possible. Do exercises therapist gives you. Wish you the best.

November 17, 2015 - 7:49pm
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