Ankle fusion experience

Christal
Christal Member Posts: 6
edited 2. Nov 2021, 10:25 in Living with arthritis

I would like to speak to people who’ve undergone ankle fusion and/or ankle replacement.

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Comments

  • Ellen
    Ellen Moderator Posts: 946

    Hi @Christal A warm welcome to the Versus Arthritis Online Community from me.

    I do not have any personal experience of ankle fusion surgery myself but here is every similar recent post:

    This is an old thread but well worth a read:

    If you have time and wanted to please do let s know how you get on.

    Best wishes

    Ellen.

  • MrDJ
    MrDJ Member Posts: 229

    what would you like to know Christel.

    back in the late 90's there was talk about a ankle replacement for me but 3 months later they said my ankle was too far gone so done a triple fusion arthrodesis instead which is 3 pins in my ankle fusing it totally. my other ankle has self fused in the wrong position but once again was told its too risky to try anything on that one.

    was a very long 6 months recovery and non wheight bearing which seemed to never end but still holding strong after almost 25 years.

  • Christal
    Christal Member Posts: 6

    Thank you Cazz and MrDJ - that was interesting to read.

    i am nearly 72. And my ‘good’ ankle hurts as well as the right one which is severely arthritic. And, that ‘good’ foot also has capsulitis in metatarsals. I also feel arthritic pain in collar bones which is worse if I use Nordic poles. Right knee, left hip, and lower back are protesting, but that could be because of the way I’m walking (with tension).

    I do manage around 6000 steps per day, and push for that to take care of osteoporosis.

    So I’m wondering if I should just increase painkillers and live with it, rather that put myself under a surgeon’s knife. I can’t take NSAId, so I just use paracetamol, and only at night. Opioids constipate and tend to make my head go fuzzy. So should I just increase the paracetamol and make it perhaps twice a day, I wonder.

    Fusing my right ankle would still leave me with the other joint pains......

    Any suggestions, or even better, experience will be most welcome!

    Christal

  • MrDJ
    MrDJ Member Posts: 229

    its catch 22 really. paracetamol do nothing for me except for teeth issues like absess or root pain.

    apart from that i agree about getting blocked up as i take DF118 dehydrocodein so then have to regularly take powder like fibrogel to ease constipation. before this i was taking co proxamol which was great but then it got discontinued.

    have you ever seen a rhumatologist. if not your gp can refer you if they think its worth while.

    I wish this treatment was available back in 1985 when i was diagnosed but sadly the damage is done now and still in pain but soooo much less than before i started it.

    the treatment which really changed my life was Anti TNF infusion Infliximab and now cheaper bio similar Remsima. after my first infusion i literally walked into the infusion centre on crutches and walked out unaided and hardly used them since. that was in 2001. catch 22 though is this drug kills our immuney system so our bodies have no protection from bugs or viruses. also have to take 20mg methotrexate a week and 1gram sulphasalazine a day.

    with covid now it would be a difficult decission if i was just about to start this treatment as even though ive had all 3 covid jabs after 3 weeks the protection is washed out of my system so im still in lockdown and my work wont let me back as i work in a hospital where covid is rife again.

    the decission is should you put up with pain and hope things dont get worse or try to see if you would be elegible for this treatment but then have to be so carefull with bugs around you. hope this helps a bit.

    Jim

  • Christal
    Christal Member Posts: 6

    Hi Jim. I've seen a rheumatologist for my osteoporosis, though I had to stop taking the prescribed drugs due to side effects. I'm planning to see an osteopathic surgeon whose seen my ankle x-rays. From the x-rays he is suggesting ankle fusion, though he hasn't actually seen me yet as I am in a different country. I'm hoping to find a better balance between walking and resting. Never just stand still (that's bad). Put legs up on sofa, above heart level, several times a day...... And, I was hoping to find better painkillers. I'll try not being so sparing with the paracetamol.

    Any other suggestions always welcome!

    Christal

  • Hi There

    my husband underwent this operation in December as he was riddled in arthritis. He only recently had his cast off and says he is so glad he has the operation. He doesn’t have any arthritic pain at all.

    is there anything specific you would like me to ask him on your behalf? If it could help in any way

    xxxx

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