Ankle fusion next Friday!!!

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Wildcat
Wildcat Member Posts: 9
edited 20. Aug 2015, 02:23 in Living with Arthritis archive
Hi guys,

I'm brand new to the forums, and I having my right ankle fused next Friday, and I am feeling sooo nervous. I'm 47 and 20 years ago I fell on ice. About 2 years after that I had some operation to help me, I can't for the life of me remember what they did, but it was never great. However for the last 10 years I have suffered from osteo arthritis which has been painful. My ankle now looks awful at the best of times and feels dreadful most of the time. We got a puppy this year, so you can imagine with all the dog walking, this really hasn't helped.
Thankfully I get private health through work, and my consultant took one look at my ankle and said I needed an ankle fusion or ankle replacement. Because of my age I chose an ankle fusion, but I am terrified now. I have quite good movement in my ankle at the moment, even though it hurts a lot to stretch my foot and it's scary to think my Ankle will be so restricted.

The recovery is also so slow, I understand that I will have at least 3 months off work and my ankle will be totally non weight bearing for at least 6 weeks. How did everyone manAge this ? I'm picking up a wheelchair today from the Red Cross and other aids to help me. Has anyone here had an ankle fusion? And how are you now after recovery? Any tips you can give would be wonderful. Thank you xxx
~Michelle~

Comments

  • Numptydumpty
    Numptydumpty Member Posts: 6,417
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi Wildcat, and welcome to the forum. They're a lovely bunch, and I'm sure you'll get plenty of good advice.
    I haven't had an ankle fusion, but on Wednesday 5th August, I had a triple foot fusion, lengthening of Achilles' tendon, and some work on my heel. I now have to spend two weeks with my foot raised as much as possible, six weeks non weight bearing, then six weeks partial weight bearing, then hopefully I'll be rid of the cast.
    The wheelchair is a good idea, I bought an ex display electric one, which is great. The hospital gave me a sort of zimmer on wheels, with elbow rests, which I do use a little, but it's hard work (I have RA, and most of my joints are affected) hopping, even with aids, is not ideal for arthritics!
    Stairs and steps are a no no, I've converted a downstairs room into a bedroom, and had a shower pod fitted in it. I already have a downstairs loo. I strongly advise you to get a "limbo" it's a waterproof sleeve, so you can shower, bath, or swim if you want, without fear of getting your cast wet.
    When you get your wheelchair, try doing day to day things to give you some idea what it will be like, and what you'll need.
    It's not easy, but it's not impossible! If I think of anything else I'll let you know, and if you want to ask me anything specific, feel free.
    Good luck,
    Numpty
  • trepolpen
    trepolpen Member Posts: 504
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    hi Wildcat , welcome to the forum , some on here have had ankle replacement & others have had ankle fusion

    myself had both ankle fused but the small joints in the keel called Triple Arthrodesis & know need both main ankle joints fused/replaced at some point

    the recovery is the same , 6 weeks non weight & then in a airboot for up to 6 months but you wont regret having it done & there alot of complications if you dont , just make sure you keep that leg up for as much as you can in the first 6 weeks & after 3 months was back driving
  • hileena111
    hileena111 Member Posts: 7,099
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Hi
    Just popping on to say welcome to the forum.....I've never had an ankle fusion.....just 2 hip replacements but I'll keep an eye on this thread and there will be others come on that know more about it

    Love
    Hileena
  • Wildcat
    Wildcat Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks so much for replying. Yes I've picked up my wheelchair already and I'm pretty pleased with it, thankfully I've been able to manoeuvre it quite well. I've also ordered a toilet frame and a bath bench thing to help.The first 2 weeks after the op I'm going to be at my parents as they can really look after to me, and then I'll be back home. My husband will be to help but he'll be back to work Soon.
    I have just been for a long walk with Roxy my puppy and my ankle is agony now, so any doubts I was having have disappeared again. I'm only 47 but it's awful to feel so limited by my ankle. I think my main problem will be doing nothing for so long as I'm normally so active. Oh well I should enjoy the time off. I have 3 months off work long term sick, however the nurse at my pre assessment thought I would probably be off longer, especially as I don't drive and will have to get buses to get to work. Thanks again everyone xxx
    ~Michelle~
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I hope it all goes well for you Michelle. I can see that as an active person the 3 months post-op may seem like 'doing nothing' but getting on with everyday life is going to occupy your time and energies as you adapt to the temporary limitations of the surgery, and also perhaps you will now have the opportunity to try some different things that perhaps you've not had time for previously - crafts, reading, music, getting friends to help you find wheelchair friendly cafes!
  • Wildcat
    Wildcat Member Posts: 9
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thank you Daffy yes I know I will be busy just trying to get on with life. Making a cup of tea will be a challenge!!. I'm hoping I'll still be able to get into my garden and potter around in my wheelchair. I'm actually going to investigate my family tree, I've tried before and have done pretty well, so I'm going to see if I can go further back. My puppy will be a challenge as she's still boisterous, but thankfully she's a good girl now. She still chews a lot and I hope she doesn't develop a taste for plaster cast lol
    ~Michelle~
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,725
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Researching your ancestry is a great plan for your 'enforced idleness' days.

    As for making a cup of tea - why not a flask of it then the next one's easier?
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Just popping in to wish you well for tomorrow, I hope it all goes smoothly. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,725
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Me too :cheers:
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • tedthered64
    tedthered64 Member Posts: 84
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Wishing you all the best for today x
    Ted
  • NicNac11
    NicNac11 Member Posts: 5
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Just wanted to say that I hope all goes well tomorrow.

    I had my left ankle fused 12 years ago but I started weight bearing too quickly for my bone structure, this resulted in a broken bone but was soon quickly fixed and has been great ever since (touch wood) So please listen to the physio's and gently start weight bearing. You may be given a ski boot thing to wear when you can weight bear. This helps to protect your foot too.
    Do straight leg lifts to help build muscle and just enjoy being pampered for a bit. :)

    Good luck,

    N x
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    I know it's early days but I hope all is going as well as possible. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben