Ankle arthritis

RosieEmma
RosieEmma Member Posts: 7
edited 8. Jan 2014, 14:45 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi I am new. I have recently found out that I have arthritis in my left ankle as a result of a previous break 25 years ago. I am 43 now. My ankle has been hurting for some time but over the last 6 months it is really painful when I walk all the time. The specialist has told me to take painkillers, I have an ankle brace and heel lifts and wear fit flops most of the time. I would love to hear from anyone as to coping with the pain.

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,697
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello RosieEmma and welcome to the forum.

    Yes, it's an unfortunate fact that OA can set in at the site of a previous injury. I have it in my ankles but that's because of years of RA. Mine have now fused themselves and don't hurt much at all but it's a long and painful journey which I wouldn't recommend :roll:

    It seems to me you're doing all the right things. Others on here wear fitflops. I know nothing about them as I have to wear surgical shoes but they seem popular and, if they support your ankle well, that's about as much as one can ask of them. Orthotic insoles might help. You could ask to be referred to an orthotist if you haven't already seen one. have you been told how to use the ankle brace? Usually it's recommended that these supports are only used intermittently as they can cause supporting muscles to weaken but you should do as instructed.

    Pain is a constant accompaniment to our lives, I'm afraid. We all have to find a balance between what is tolerable painwise and what is tolerable in terms of alertness. There are techniques which can help. Distraction is one, whether a good book, TV, computer games or whatever rocks your boat. Ice or heat. Elevating the leg when sitting. Exercises (A physio could help and/or Arthritis Care's own booklet.) I'm sure the others will come up with more suggestions.
  • RosieEmma
    RosieEmma Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi and thank you for your reply. Did you have an ankle fusion?
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,697
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I didn't, RosieEmma. Mine fused themselves. There are one or two people on here who have had ankle fusions. Maybe if you entered it into the Arthritis Care search engine some posts would come up.
  • trepolpen
    trepolpen Member Posts: 504
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi RosieEmma , I had a motorbike crash which included breaking my right ankle & after developing RA 18 years later had part of my ankle fused in a opperation called Triple Arthrodesis & 5 years ago endded up having the other ankle fused , these opperations take about six months to recover

    you need good quaity shoes & ask your GP if you can be refered to have insoled made to support your ankle & they should be able to give you a good quality ankle brace
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I can empathise with you because I have OA in both ankles as a result of joint damage caused by my other arthritis (typical for me to win that lottery :wink: ). I also have it in my toes and knees. I tried some fit flops in a shop, loved them, put them back before buying due to the cost and I am so pleased I did because the resulting five hours of agony was not worth it. I swear by my Crocs because they absorb a substantial amount of impact and now have tailor-made orthotics which I put into my other shoes (well, I will when I find them, I moved house recently and I haven't unearthed the right box yet!)

    There is not much to be done for OA apart from taking pain relief, maybe a supplement such as glucosamine (that can help some) and gentle, sensible exercise to help keep the muscles which surround the joint as strong and flexible as possible. I wish you well. DD
  • RosieEmma
    RosieEmma Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi thanks for your responses, its good to hear from people with the same problem. I too had an accident but it was in a car when I broke my ankle. I am feeling a bit down with this news as until I saw the specialist I thought that there would be something that could be done. Trepolpen has the fusion helped with the pain and mobility in your ankle? The specialist gave me an ankle brace which has helped a bit.
    I find that fitflops are the most comfy and haven't worn anything else for ages. Will look into orthotics thanks for the advice.
    I guess that it just takes time to get used to adjusting life to cope with this.
    Best wishes to you.
  • trepolpen
    trepolpen Member Posts: 504
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    a Triple Arthrodesis is to stop the side ways movement in your ankle & that part will be pain free but does give you some restriction in movement

    the main ankle joint can be fused or replaced & I will need both fused at some point but in no rush

    realy you should try everything before having it fused , hydro pool is very good at getting the joint moving + tens can help with the pain
  • RosieEmma
    RosieEmma Member Posts: 7
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Is it best to try to keep it moving? I thought that because I was given an ankle brace the idea was to stop it moving to try to relieve the pain. I was wondering whether it is best to have an ankle fusion earlier to prevent any further damage, but I am trying to find out about the long term implications of an ankle fusion or whether it is best to just take painkillers and try to get on with life.
  • trepolpen
    trepolpen Member Posts: 504
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi RosieEmma , the operation takes about 2 hours & you would be in plaster for 6 weeks & unable to put any weight on it , & another 20 weeks in a airboot & after that it should be pretty much pain free

    wearing the brace you get a bit of understanding the restriction put on yourself but you can still drive , if you wait you may do more damage to other joints , those of us with RA will have other joints on the go & with the ankle joint swelling it can cause damage to the skin & veins around it ,

    one thing your doctors can do in inject so to anaesthetist the joint & this will show you how pain free the joint would be after the operation , this has to be done under xray so they inject the right joint

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