Blasted ankle

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GraceB
GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
edited 7. Mar 2016, 16:17 in Living with Arthritis archive
As some of you know, I have chronic OA in my left ankle amongst other joints. I had an arthroscopic chilectomy last July (with microfracture) and my consultant discharged me January this year from that as the only option left is to fuse the ankle now.

I am getting horrific pain from this ankle. I can no longer "point my toes" most of the day and other movements in this joint are becoming a lot more limited. It's giving way underneath me and spasming. I was wondering at what point will I know if this has fused itself as I suspect this is what could be happening?

Any thoughts would be gratefully received. I don't think there's any point seeing the GP about this as I know the ankle joint doesn't show up well on an x-ray. If I go back to the consultant now it'll be a fusion and with everything else going on (plus my ingrown toenail has infected yet again) I just can't contemplate having a fusion at the moment, so think I need to try and "ride this out" as long as I can.

I know I'll get good old fashioned common sense advice on here so - here's the question. Do you think this is fusing by itself?

Thanks.

GraceB
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Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,731
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    My ankles have fused themselves. I don't remember the process only that I started with RA in 1961 and my ankles joined in very quickly, within 12 months, I think. In 1981, when I had my first TKRs, the bit I most remember was my first steps after 10 days (yes) of being immobilised. The pain in my ankles was so horrific I genuinely thought I'd never walk again. So, not fused at that point :lol:

    When one TKR failed, 27 yrs later, all the pain was in the ankle below it but the X-rays showed all the problems to be in the knee. The ankle had fused perfectly. (What makes you think ankle x-rays don't reveal much?) The consultant modestly admitted "I couldn't have done a better job myself. It's perfect."

    I presume the other is as good but maybe, just maybe it went so well because, from at least 10 years into my arthritic life, I've had to wear surgical shoes which give excellent support plus, for much of that time, a caliper to keep my foot as straight as possible. Would they have fused so well in just ordinary shoes?

    I don't know but I suggest if you're planning to let nature take its course you get some professional advice as to how advisable it is for you personally.
    If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for you.
    Steven Wright
  • daffy2
    daffy2 Member Posts: 1,636
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Having the joint 'give way' can be just a normal part of OA or so I was told by my GP(but no explanation given as to 'why'). About 2 years ago I had a period of my ankles and knees suddenly losing function - fortunately usually individually rather than together! -which was quite scary when negotiating stairs or trying to step off a kerb to cross the road. It often made the surrounding muscles sore as well from being yanked in the wrong direction.Then it just seemed to go away, apart from the very occasional episode, and in my case it's nothing to do with anything fusing, or even any obvious worsening of the OA in the ankle and knee joints. I wonder if in your case it's coincidence, and that the spasms you're also having are the result of muscles being provoked both by the giving way and also by the way that your gait will have been affected by the pain and lack of flexion in the ankle?
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,595
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
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    Thanks for your replies and being so thorough.

    My ankle consultant told me last year when I saw him initially that although my GP had had x-rays done of the ankle joint the joint doesn't show very well in x-rays and he therefore had an MRI organised for me. The MRI showed only too well how deep my damage was.

    I'm used to joints giving way as my now partly replaced knee did that. My other knee (which needs replacing) is also doing that. It becomes almost a way of life in a way, doesn't it?

    I'll talk to my GP initially about this and see what s/he thinks (you can never see the same GP twice at my surgery! It's always a surprise who you get - makes it difficult re explaining history though as you have to go over the same ground on each visit).

    Thanks again.

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!