Ankle arthritis - need to know what's best?

Gmichelebc Member Posts: 2
edited 2. Oct 2016, 12:50 in Say Hello Archive
Hi all,

I injured my ankle 2 years ago, and had a nightmare with the nhs getting it treated, to the point where I paid privately to have MRI, and then arthroscopy. It did then improve a bit but continued to be swollen, stiff and painful when I try to walk any distance!

After being nagged by friends and family I went back to the doctor who referred me again - this time the nhs have been great, but I had the diagnosis of arthritis- pretty scary, and unexpected. Also very unexpected was the treatment - you can have steroid injections but ultimately you will need it fused! And I was expected to choose there and then. I went with the short term injection option for now. Which I had today.

My dilemma is, should I get the ankle fusion now while I can still get around (albeit I have to rest relatively frequently and start finding it too painful to continue after a mile or so, and I do teach and am therefore on my feet for most of the day). Or do I make do with steroid injections for as long as possible? I'd like to know others experiences.

Where can I find others experiences of ankle fusion?

Hope you can help.


  • [Deleted User]
    [Deleted User] Posts: 3,635
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Gmichelebc
    Welcome to the forum glad you have found us, you will find all forums happy to help and give advice all being friendly and welcoming,just choose which forums to you would like to post LWA and Chit chat most being the popular.
    all the best.
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 27,428
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi Gmichelebc and welcome from me too.

    It is an unfortunate fact that osteoarthritis can set in at the site of a former injury. My own ankles fused themselves years ago (I have RA) and I have virtually no pain in them now but also – obviously – no movement either.

    I can see this will be a big decision for you. All I know, from my time on this forum, is that any foot surgery seems to require a long convalescent period. I guess I makes sense as the feet carry all our weight. If you start a thread on the Living With Arthritis forum entitled something like 'Ankle Fusion', I'm sure others, who have had the surgery, will see it and jump in though weekends tend to be a bit quiet on here. Meanwhile, here are some former threads on it and also some info on the operation from Arthritis Research UK . (Scroll down until you reach the right bit.)

    Just one other thing. Steroid injections can work really well but we are limited in how often we may have them because they can do harm while doing good. The reason for the 'quick decision' might be because, if you're opting for a fusion, the outcome would be better if you hadn't had a lot of injections into the joint. (But please don't take my word on that. I'm not a medic. Ask those who are.) And good luck with whatever decision you take.
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,520
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I think you are talking about osteo-arthritis, yes? This the one that can occur after joint trauma and its treatment involves pain relief, maybe an anti-inflammatory medication and exercise (f the right kind). I have it in both ankles thanks to the damage caused by my other arthritis, in both knees and both hips too ditto. Most annoying. :wink:

    We live in the 21st century which is apparently a time when there should be an instant 'fix' for every ailment, but some conditions are stubbornly resistant to that ideal, including OA. No matter where it strikes one has to wait for a certain level of joint damage to be reached before surgery might be involved. That doesn't seem fair, does it? Forget fairness, this is life as far too many of us live it: welcome to the creaky gang and I hope we can help with information and support. DD