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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

I had an ankle fusion at the beginning of March caused by severe arthritis. I am still in pain and limping, walking with a stick and frustrated. The worst thing is that my calf muscle is now wasting and I do not know how to build this up as I have limited movement in my foot. Does anyone with this problem have any answers??? I would be very pleased to hear from you.
Penny

July 16, 2019 - 1:18am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi Penny,

All I can say is execrsie to rebuild mucale, swimming.

I too am at a delimar am 54 and have a surgeon ready to do ankle fusion on my left ankle. I am contacntly in pauin but can live with it for now. I saw a private surgeon a few days ago who said to loose weight and try to keep my ankle as along as posisble as long as I can pu up with the pain.

I just dont know waht to do as eventually I will need an operation. Maybe the private surgeon thinks the longer and older I get puts me into a category of ankle replacemnet and not fusion?

Raf

August 1, 2019 - 2:19am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Had Both ankles fused, 1st one took a year to completely heal, this one on my right ankle, 3rd cast, 3 to go, its painful, no weight bearing, eating is a bitter sweet, i don't want to gain weight again!!! Any suggestions, please help, thank you

June 14, 2019 - 7:23pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I just had my 2nd ankle fused (subtalar joint) at 59. This fusion was done June 25th. Am now barely walking with a boot very painful and taking Tylenol for pain. I have 3 weeks to go until I start wearing regular shoes. Not sure if I will be ready for shoes as the pain right now is almost unbearable without Tylenol.

August 26, 2019 - 10:03am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Hi I am 58 , had my left ankle fused 3 years ago. Now I have developed arthritis in my toe bones. I struggle with stairs, and my right good leg is starting to take strain. Any advice? Lance, Durban, S.Africa. lanceclark76@gmail.com

June 5, 2018 - 11:14pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

I broke my leg 41 years ago. It healed crooked. Who knew... Now my subtaylar joint is shot. Bone on bone and everyday the pain gets worse. I'm 67. Doctor wants to do a fusion. Can I drive after...is the pain gone...how does it limit me? Anybody around my age have a similar problem. Looking for fusion info please...the human side apart from the doctor. Thanks...Debbie

February 2, 2018 - 4:31pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

46 years ago when I 25, I had a bad snow ski accident fracturing left ankle and right tibia. The tibia did not heal in good alighment and about 10-12 years later developed severe right ankle pain. Long story short, my anklecwas shot. Atvthat time my option were to amputate or fuse. Ankle replacements were too bew and unreliable to last considering my young age. So everything was fused except the sub talor, which was ok and gave me balance. All I could move were my toes. I did learn to walk without a limp by hyper extending my knee. I was also able to drive by adjusting my seat so I would move my foot and leg up and down instead of flexing my foot. Stairscate manageable but one at a time. Life developed many adjustments. Also my leg ended up a bit shorter than the left. I was sent to shoe specialists and after spending too much money, never found a good fit. Ended up buying a synthetic heel lift from a shoe catalog cheap that worked fime. About 10 years later, the subtalor went bad so back for another fusion. Unfortunately this surgeon was not good and he messed up my achilles tendon which another dr finally fixed so I could walk again. This took about 3 agonizing months. About 7 years later my right knee blew out from hyperextending it all those years. (I had been warned this might happen) So in 2007 I gad a rightvtotal knee replacement which never worked right. Four years later with a massive knee infection from the knee implant I had to livecwithout a knee for 2 months, in Icu in septic shock, and 2 months of a pic line and IV antibiotics. My leg had to be rebuilt with rods, bone grafts(because of infection) and a new knee. The good news is this fantastic surgeon was able to lengthen the leg so is now the same lenght as the left. No more heel lifts! Now 7 years later, my ankle is again very painful. Just learned the screw in there is brokenvand that that not great surgeon did not completely fusevthe subtslor.

March 27, 2019 - 10:35am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I had a fusion in 2007. I started out wearing ROCKER shoes. I now wear regular tennis shoes.The hardest thing is going DOWN steps, up is fine. So always go where there is a handicap opening,especially when you first start to walk.I walk like a normal person, no one knows my ankle is fused. I drive a small SUV, as I can't drive a sedan, you need to be higher in a seat so you can depress the pedals. Otherwise I lead a normal life. I don't play tennis any more or run.I walk or use the elliptical for cardio.
After surgery I used crutches,and a wheelchair, so I was hands free to do just about anything. It was 4 months of non weight bearing. The first time I walked a short distance my ankle swelled up, this is normal, eventually you will almost forget your ankle is fused, so be careful going up and down steps. I had no pain. Kept the ankle elevated and mostly hung out in a recliner.
Any questions, be glad to answer.

March 27, 2019 - 8:40am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Ive had a subtalar fusion i am now into the tenth week i would say the mobility after the op takes ages but i am free from pain you cant put your foot on the floor so i found it easy in a wheelchair getting around i sould be able to start walking on my foot soon after physio hope this helps.

March 27, 2019 - 12:06am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

I had ankle fusion on my left foot end of July. I’ve been going to PT for about 6 weeks but have very limited range of motion. I’m limping with the walker. Cannot walk at all without the walker. I’m very depressed since Dr. said I may have a limp. Are there any shoes I can buy to walk without a limp? Please, any advice is very much welcomed!

November 5, 2018 - 4:05pm
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