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

By 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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Anonymous

Do you have fluid that collects in your leg?

October 2, 2017 - 3:27pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I had a ski accident and had a closed reduction of my right tibia in 1973. By 1986 or so, I was having extreme pain and swelling of my right ankle. I had many different opinions as to what was causing the pain. It was finally determined that the " not exact alignment "of the tibia fracture put pressure on my ankle joint over the years and the ankle deteriorated. I had 2 Arthroscopy surgeries to clean out the joint of broken bone fragments and was in a cast with no weight bearing each time for 6 months each. Every time I started to bear weight, the bones would break away again. I looked at alternatives to this painful problem. My choices were an ankle replacement, an ankle fusion or amputation. As a young mother of 4 children and working full time as a registered nurse, a replacement was out of the question. I was told by different specialists I was too young and replacements did not have a long lifespan. I opted for the fusion. Initially, in 1989, all but the sub talor joint was fused since that joint was not affected at this time and it would give me more balance. It was successful and eventually rendered me pain free. I had to learn lifestyle changes, like moving the gas and brake pedal on my car with an up and down motion instead of flexing my foot. I also spent too much money on orthopedic shoes since my leg was now slightly shorter than the left. None of them worked. I ended up buying a plastic orthotic heel support from a shoe catalog that lifted my foot just the right amount and could wear most any shoes. I also cannot wear any shoe without a back or a strap because you can't grip them to keep them on. In 2003, my subtalor joint failed me and I had to have it fused. I have to be very careful now because I do not have the balance I once had. I have had my share of falls because of it. Learn to go up and down stairs one at a time. I also learned to walk by hyper extending my right knee so as not to have a limp. I was successful at that and very few realized I had a fused ankle. Unfortunately, there are long term consequences to that as in 2007, I blew out my right knee from hyper-extending it and required a knee replacement. Would I make the decision again to fuse this very painful ankle? Yes, I would. That pain went away and allowed me many good years to walk, work and enjoy my family. Do I have a totally pain free ankle? No. There are times I have a shooting pain up into my ankle. Usually with rest and ice it goes away but yes, it is annoying. I wish you luck in your surgery and I pray you have good results also.

September 25, 2017 - 12:53pm
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Anonymous

"I am scheduled for ankle fusion on July 27 for club foot. I have met with many doctors around the US. How did you determine that he is the best ankle surgeon in the US?"

I wouldn't do that! Try exosym/ideo device first before any surgery

July 8, 2017 - 10:20am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I had a partial fusion of the subtalar joint and I am in severe pain on a daily basis! it never goes away for me. sorry.

July 14, 2017 - 4:07pm
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Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

what was your injury or disability? Was it congenital? What did you have that made you have the fusion? Who did it? Please answer as I am scared beyond. I am not a candidate for ankle replacement because I am too defaormed. And, I don't want to live the rest of my life laying on a bed. They have told me for 30 years I need one....and I find found a doctor who will do a 1 level fusion and not give me a cast....

July 14, 2017 - 4:30pm
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Anonymous

hi my name is ronee martinez i have had 13 surgiers on my right ankel from a compound fracture on my right5 ankel dec 7 2011 i have had a vone vac skin graph pick line do too a deep infection. i got a secound oppion and there is now no infection becaudse they removed all the srews and hard ware out my ankel now i have no movement my foot is going the other way its pretty jacked up but the doctere that vi am seeing said he can save my ankel with a bone fusion i am just a little worried about a in fection coming back i just want a normal life agin i am 30 years old and i just had a baby i wanted too just talk too a couple people that has had a bone fusion and if they worked for them

June 3, 2017 - 5:58pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I had the ankle replacement (STAR) and I would recommend this before fusion. I had total movement of my ankle within a few weeks. Many podiatrists apparently do not keep up with the latest ankle surgeries. Others in fact do the replacement surgery. I would recommend looking into the replacement first. If you want your ankle immobilized you can always go that route later if the replacement does not work.

April 16, 2017 - 4:01am
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Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Who did your STAR ankle replacement surgery? I had a subtalar fusion that did not fuse and then a revisinal subtalar fusion that is only 50% fused. I was told the ankle replacement surgeries are not as advanced to date. I am seeing the top foot and ankle surgeon in the country. I would love more info.

June 13, 2017 - 8:22pm
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Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

who is your surgeon?

June 14, 2017 - 8:10am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Robert Anderson at OrthoCarolina in Charlotte, NC

He's an amazing surgeon. Very knowledgeable.

June 14, 2017 - 9:23am
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