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Anyone in the ankle fusion community ever have to go back in after surgery to have screws removed?

By December 14, 2009 - 9:12am
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2nd surgery and now screws 60 days post-op are bothering me! I was wondering how long the re-cope time is for this then?

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EmpowHER Guest

I had a fusion of my left ankle in Feb 2019, I am now a year on. Last week I managed to walk a coastal path which was incredibly hilly and had no ill effects. The ankle fusion has left me relatively pain free. I do get irritation (am wondering if its the screws) which can be uncomfortable, but compared to how I was pre-op I am SO much better. I can recommend having an ankle fusion

February 13, 2020 - 6:56am
EmpowHER Guest

RUINED MY LIFE! To the point I am either living in the car OR student housing with kids less than half my age.
It took 4-5 tries to get disability benefits! The issue was that "junior" was fresh out of school (I was 42 at the time) and he BEGGED to allow him to do the fusion. First, a rod up thru the ankle, which FELL OUT on the nursing home floor and the nurse fainted when she saw it. He claimed he did not wait long enough for the bone marrow to set before doing it, another (older) doctor said the statement made no sense! Says a LOT about healthcare workers, huh? Then, numbnuts (Timothy Uglem in Fargo, ND) fuses the ankle with 3-4 bolts, one of which DID poke it's head thru the skin and produced a hex-shaped bump. That required a day-out procedure with a local needle and out it came. The metal of the bolts did not agree with my genetics and a wound vacuum was installed thru a hole in my ankle for ~1 month along with antibiotics until my body accepted the crap he stuck in there. You should see the back of my foot now, JESUS!

Next, I got the
HELL outta there as soon as the snow started flying in October and went PDQ to Austin, TX. As it happened, (I think anyway, other doctors said ankle was NEVER fused) when I stepped off a curb the wrong way in Austin, TWO of the THREE bolts snapped in half inside the calcareous bone, the remaining one is hogging out an oval in the bone because it rocks back-forth and is the only one supporting my 250 pound OBESE frame (up from 155 btw). I had NO pain before any if this SH|T was attempted, I later found out Uglem experimented on several others in Fargo and Fergus Falls and they ALL had lawsuits pending, I didn't bother because the odds are against winning anything AND with disability benefits, that lump sum would cause more problems with the IRS and such.

My family abandoned me when all this happened, I wanted them to take me to MAYO CLINIC, one guy there has done 156 of them and is in his 50's. I was doped up on morphine at the time and talked into it by "junior". Hey, if a young girl can't please a 55 yr. old man in bed, it makes sense a young boy (with a scalpel) can't please a man in bed either! Go for 45 or older and GET REFERENCES any way you can! because The OTHER thing this has lead to is an absence of a social life and regular use of female escorts. a

I made it to hell and am just fine...

August 15, 2016 - 10:52am
EmpowHER Guest

Hi All, I am having a second surgery to remove the screws in my ankle fusion , as they are causing me a lot of pain. I also have fibromyalgia amongst other things, so the screws pushing on nerves is extremely painful.
Does anyone know if you go back into plaster after this procedure and how long it takes until I can weight bear normally?
thanks Katie

November 17, 2015 - 9:06pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I recently in May 2016 had a left ankle fusion with many PT sessions and now 7 months later I still have edema and pain, especially heel pain. I recently seen my surgeon and he explained to me that my bone infusion healed very well and he can go in and remove the hardware which is a plate along with 4 screws to both sides of my ankle. He told me that I would have to wear the knee high boot, that I wore after they removed he cast after my ankle fusion surgery. He stated the surgery is in and out the same day, and recovery is 4 weeks.

January 7, 2017 - 5:53pm
EmpowHER Guest

hi my name is Brian Hatfield i live in Scotland UK
I have just seen this site i broke my heel about two years ago and i have just had a op to hav my heel fused about three weeks ago.
After the op i never had one bit of pain for about a week and was getting worried about it as the doc had told me that i would have severe pain in my foot after the op after the op they put me on a walking cast straight away and crutches. I got a new cast on about ten days ago since then i have had pain and now is quite severe pain at the bottom of my heel and it feels as if a screw is coming out of my skin and i can not put any pressure on it in any way. Question - Can these screws make there way out of your skin I have done some research on the op and it says that you should not put any pressure at all on your heel for four weeks is this true i asked the doc about this and he said people work different ways i live in Scotland and i do not know if this op is the same as every where else i am getting worried about this but my doc says there is nothing to worry about

October 11, 2012 - 7:18am
EmpowHER Guest

I had ankle fusion in June of 2011. One year later still walking with a limp and in pain in other areas of the foot. I wish I had never done the surgery . Been back to the Dr. Said the fusion is great does not know why in pain again. Gave me the name of a foot dr to see since he only specializes in bones. So unhappy with the outcome going to be 50 this year feel like I am turning 80. Can't execrsise , walk, go up and down stairs without pain. I would recommend more research before having this surgery.

June 1, 2012 - 7:13pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hello I know the feeling I fell in 2014 broken leg and shattered the ankle in four places the first surgery went well the dr said I will not need any more well almost four years later I had about 6 surgery in so much pain now they want to remove hard ware and fursed the ankle now and they won't do it till my a1c go down so I have to be in pain for how long don't know had for me to do anything and my foot is a size of a canolope

April 13, 2017 - 7:35pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

To the 50yr old anonymous 2011 opp, I'm 47 Jan 2013 I had ankle fusion, have been in excruciating pain ever since, foot looks deformed since opp, have lot of bone growth, some days foot swells cant get shoes on, since operation I've never felt so depressed, suicidal, as i was getting no where with appt after appt, x rays, MRI scans, CCT scan, ultrasound scans, to be told its all In my head, cant sew any problems, & then to be refuted to a psychiatrist, second opinion told me all metal was broke need taken out .

January 9, 2016 - 7:10am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I am on my second left ankle fusion. The first one did not take and my doctor kept saying everything was fine there was no problem. He sent me for a cat scan and I had a mal fusion. So for almost a year I was walking and hopping on a broken leg. The pain was worse than before I have the surgery. From what you're describing it sounds like the same thing I went through get a second opinion you might have to have it redone.

October 22, 2015 - 10:02am

Jessica you have really been through it. :( I am a little worried mine may be worse than they think as well but I have finally found a dr who I trust. I had several refuse to see me, either didn't feel they could do anything different or who knows why. I even consulted Mayo Clinic and they refused as well. However, I found a dr who has treated tibial avasucalar necrosis with some decent success.

So here is her plan: take bone from my pelvis to graft because she said the dead bone has to be dealt with before a fusion could work. I will then have an external fixator for 4 months with no weightbearing. She said this is a salvage surgery and she thinks she can "buy" me a few good years before a fusion will have to be done. So we will see, she did address all the issues I had about the fusion being done and the dead bone being left in there to collapse. I know a normal ankle is out of the question but I just want whatever has to be done to be done right. Very nervous about dealing with the external fixator, anyone got any tips for that? :)

February 6, 2012 - 6:54am
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