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Ankle fusion

By December 21, 2010 - 1:21am
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i will be undergoing a ankle fusion (R) on the 31 st january 2011
i understand the operatioanal jargon and procedures (i think ) and i am very nervous .
What i need to know is driving a car ,wearing high heel shoes ,getting in long pants whilst ankle is fused in a fixed position how are the past patients coping with this and other issues such as walking impact on other leg and body parts that have to compensate ect ect

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EmpowHER Guest

hi eveyone, my name is nicole and i am 25 years old, 4 years ago i was in a horrible car crash and shattered my talus, after living in constant pain i gave in to having a sub talar fusion 4 weeks ago, the pain after the surgery was the worst, but things seemed to settle down and get better until 5-7 days ago, i have never pain that shots up my leg and down my toes, i have very sharp and painful moments in my ankle and my heel is in constant pain, im now starting to worry about everything is this normal? i thought i would be getting better not worse, im about to run out of the strong pain killers my surgeon gave me and am freaking out, if the pain is bad on them how bad will it be without them, i will call the hospital soon, i just thought maybe some kind soul out there could help me.

April 5, 2012 - 5:42am
EmpowHER Guest

I'm not sure if I'm posting in the correct place, but... I'm 29 & had a full fusion on my right ankle 12 years ago (due to a very bad sports accident & resulting complications/pain). I was terrified, but couldn't walk anymore & the fusion really helped for about five years; however, about seven years ago I was put on heavy narcotics for increasing pain & over time my dosage became untenable while the relief it provided decreased. Three & a half months ago I decided I had had enough & cold-turkeyed everything. I'm really glad I did it & have been using alternative pain techniques, feel much more in control, & found the pain has changed in nature over the years & is manageable without narcotics. My problem is that over the span of about the last two weeks I have had increasing pain in my upper ankle/lower calf (where the chunk of my fibula is missing & above). In twelve years I have never had pain of this quality, nor in this location & I don't know if something's wrong & I should get it checked out, or if it's just another dimension of the pain I already have. It radiates up my calf &, in particular, to a fairly specific point on the outside of my upper calf. I'm wondering if I developed bone spurs & am tearing a muscle or tendon. I can't seem to find any information, so maybe someone here has experienced the same thing?

December 22, 2011 - 10:56am

Hi everyone - It has been several months since I wrote an update. I am doing fair. It has been 10 months since my ankle fusion. I got the two thumbs up from the surgeon as far as how the fusion is healing back in August of this year. I mentioned to him that I was still needing to use the cane when getting up in the morning, he was like "you shouldn't be using one". Well he doesn't see me getting out of bed in the morning. I look like a person who is 70, not 42. Has anyone at this short duration after the ankle fusion, have knee pain and hip pain on the ankle fusion side? For that matter, when people go to sleep, does it bother them to sleep on the side that was fused? I can't sleep on my right side all night, I usually flip flop at least 3 or 4 times, because I lose feeling on that side. I have used a pillow in between my knees/ankles, and sometimes this works and other times no luck. If anyone has anything new that I can try I would be most appreciated. Thanks.

November 12, 2011 - 9:32pm

I just got back from the doctor. No more cast! I am in a cam walker. Being in the Air Force I am just waiting for all of the red tape to go thru before I start PT. He wants me to do 3 times per week. I follow up with him on 13 Apr. I just have to be patient, something that is hard for me to do. I would love to hear from anyone who has started the therapy or who has finished with the therapy.

March 16, 2011 - 11:13am

I had the fusion done 10/11/10 on the RT ankle - and it took me 14 weeks before I could drive, and another month after that before I went back to work - so you could say I'm still in the recovery process. I was NWB for 8 weeks, and then in a walking cast for 4 weeks after that, so I couldn't even drive if I wanted to.

I'm finally starting to wear 'normal' shoes, with a 1 - 1.5 inch chunky heel. I do best in these, flats really bother me, and I'm terrified to wear a higher heel.

Some tips I found (that I should've done for my 1st surgery, but didn't) is to freeze 2L soda bottles. Put these under the crook of your knee. It really helps a lot, don't know why, but it does. They tell you to ice, but how can you when you're in a cast from toes to knee!?!?! Another thing, is go to the drugstore, and look for waterless shampoo and body wash. Sometimes it's just easier to take a sponge bath than it is to fight with the pain to get the cast cover on, and then try to step over the tub wall into the shower.

Good luck!

March 14, 2011 - 1:04pm

Hi Anonymous,
I just read your post and want to wish you good luck with your upcoming ankle fusion procedure. Sorry that you have to go through that -- it's not fun, but I do hope it helps you. What type of ankle fusion are you having? I had a pantalar fusion on my right ankle. I was a ball of nerves before my procedure I think that's only natural, any type of surgery or medical procedure is always nerve racking. If you can try to do something relaxing or fun before your surgery. A movie with a friends/family helped me relax a little before the big day.

A few tips...listen to your doctors post operative care instructions, listen to your body, elevate your leg and ice, ice, ice!

Good luck and let us know how you are doing.

March 8, 2011 - 2:54pm

Hi Sandy55,
Best wishes for your surgery and speedy recovery in January! I have included our numerous discussions from woman's personal experience with surgery and recovery, as well as expert video on the rehabilitation process, that I hope answers your questions (while you wait for other women to respond to your specific questions with their personal stories).

You may also call your doctor's nurse and ask your specific questions, as they are legitimate concerns!

- Ankle Fusion Personal Stories

- Ankle Fusion: I Know I'm Not Alone

- What is Rehabilitation like after ankle joint replacement? Expert Video

- Ankle Fusion: After Surgery

- Living with Ankle Fusion: Advice

December 21, 2010 - 1:07pm
(reply to Alison Beaver)

Lots of luck with your fusion. I had mine on 18 Jan 11. The pain wasn't nearly as bad as when I broke the ankle and had hardware put in. I did stay overnight for one night, because I am a baby when it comes to pain. I wanted to make sure that the pain was managed. The first 10 days or so, were painful and uncomfortable and I took the pain meds day and night. The meds made me feel very dizzy, so it was alittle difficult walking in a straight line most times. Now there is hardly any pain, just a few muscle/nerve twitches, sometimes during the day, sometimes at night. I have had my cast on for nearly 6 weeks now. Should start wearing a walking boot at next appt on 16 Mar. Hope this helps. Keep in touch.

March 1, 2011 - 9:26am
(reply to Alison Beaver)

Lots of luck with your fusion. I just had my ankle fused on the 20th of January, 2011. I didn't stay in the hospital and had pain killers as prescribed through the night. It's painful, but not as bad as I had anticipated. I've had 3 surgeries and none compare to the first one... So far, I am doing great, aside from the taking Showers, that can get pretty creative at times. My family is helping me more than I could ever wish for. It's hard on everyone, I have 2 kids 13 and 6. I can't explain exactly but my nerves are firing up, my doctor told me it's normal that the nerves were moved all around during surgery. It's just really weird to be in a deep sleep and feel like an electrical wire hit your foot. Not painful, but very uncomfortable. Lots of luck, and I hope to hear about your recovery soon.

January 31, 2011 - 2:46pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to karinacasal)

I was wondering how you are doing? I am having my right ankle fused on March 12th and am getting really nervous. Any helpful advice would be much appreciated.

March 7, 2011 - 1:47pm
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