Has anyone's ankle fused itself?

GraceB
GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
edited 31. Jul 2014, 15:50 in Living with Arthritis archive
The reason I ask is that I know I need either a fusion or ankle replacement (left ankle) - was told 18 months ago. Recently, my range of movement (ROM) has decreased and it hurts like (well you can guess the word I want to say!). My ankle is stiff, it's swelling and by the end of the day I have a soggy mess of mushy flesh over the outer ankle bone - don't know the right name - it's the sticky-out bit. That swelling doesn't go completelely but I think about 70% of it drains away every night.

I have too much going on in my life to even ask about seeing the consultant again (my post on Chit Chat refers), so treatment is out of the question at the moment.

I have an MRI on my lower back on Wednesday 30th as my spinal chappie thinks my disc has moved and that's why I am now getting sciatica like pain across the back of my pelvis and down the back of my thigh to about my knee. I can't do anything surgical with that either, nor with the fact I need a left knee total replacement.

If anyone has gone through this with an ankle I'd be eternally grateful for your words of wisdom.

Thank you.

GraceB
Turn a negative into a positive!

Comments

  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,024
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Mine have fused themselves. I knew I'd no movement left (and virtually no pain) but I was surprised when the foot ortho surgeon showed me an x-ray of what looked like a really good ankle joint and said, modestly, that he couldn't have done a better job himself. I don't, however, know if that's a reason to go for a DIY fusion or whether I just got lucky. By the time mine did fuse themselves I already had two TKRs and I don't think my hips were too bad at that stage. Plus, I'd been in surgical shoes for years so my feet had always been very well supported. They're still rubbish but the ankles are OK :lol:
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks Sticky. I have orthotics for my shoes but they're only really suitable for wearing in winter shoes and it's just too hot at the moment.

    I expect at some point I'll have to sort these joints out but with everything else going on, it's not the right time.

    I am also concerned that when I do have this ankle sorted (fused or replaced) this is going to put a strain on my replaced right knee as I know you are non weight bearing and then partial weight bearing following fusion or replacement of an ankle. At least it's the left one that needs doing so I should be okay for driving once I do have it sorted.

    Take care of those joints Sticky.

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,024
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I have to wear my surgical shoes come rain, hail or treading in sweat :lol: It's not optional.

    As for a fusion putting a strain on other joints - well, both an op and not-having-an-op do that. Which is worse? Who knows? I guess there are no guarantees but the othopaedic surgeon would be the best person to answer your questions.

    I found out how well mine had fused when I was referred to the 'foot man' as I could barely walk for ankle pain. He showed me my perfect fusion on x-ray then said "Now take a look at this." He put up the x-ray he'd also taken of the ancient TKR above it. The TKR had slid right over and partially disintegrated. I had no pain in my knee. But a knee revision sorted out my ankle pain.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • trepolpen
    trepolpen Member Posts: 500
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi GraceB

    I would go with what your consultant recommends , the small joints in your ankle they can only fuse & dont know if these joints are involved with your ankle problems , its pretty rare for any joint to fuse without a opperation & I have had both ankles fused & never regretted it , the opp is called Triple Arthrodesis .

    But I need the main ankle joint fused/replaced on both ankles , one thing is that I would recommend not putting it off to long as it can cause other problems with your ankles , know being slowed up for six months is not good & put off having my right ankle done for 13 years but know I have other joints playing up that will need something done ie elbows/hip so will have to face up to having something done soon (maybe next decade)
  • stickywicket
    stickywicket Member Posts: 26,024
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    trepolpen wrote:
    its pretty rare for any joint to fuse without a opperation

    :? Is it? I must be a bit of a freak, then - two ankles, two wrists and several finger and toe joints. But I do have several years' start on most of you :lol:

    Grace, at least let the foot guy have a look at yours and see what he says. It might be that it can keep but it might be that it can't. I consider myself lucky. I'm aware of your other difficulties but you don't have to go ahead with an op, just get all the info you can to help you decide your best course of action.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • dreamdaisy
    dreamdaisy Member Posts: 31,567
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hello, I hope your MRI is too painful and that you get the results soon. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • trepolpen
    trepolpen Member Posts: 500
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    trepolpen wrote:
    its pretty rare for any joint to fuse without a opperation

    :? Is it? I must be a bit of a freak, then - two ankles, two wrists and several finger and toe joints. But I do have several years' start on most of you :lol:

    lol my right ankle , I thought it had fused its self & it was not moving & not hurting & then they sent me for some bloody hydro & it got it moving again , one thing the consultant said is people with RA do generaly well with fused joints , small blessings + sticky I am only thirty years behind you & catching you up !!!
  • GraceB
    GraceB Member Posts: 1,598
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Thanks everyone for your replies.

    I had my spinal MRI done yesterday but although the consultant wanted to see me 14 days afterwards, due to the strain on his clinics, I can't get an appointment until mid-September so have some time to wait to know what's going on with this.

    I'll keep an eye on the ankle in the meantime and will try and work out what makes it worse/better so that I can then have a useful conversation with my GP.

    GraceB
    Turn a negative into a positive!
  • jamart
    jamart Member Posts: 27
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hello I have arthritis in my subtalar joint ( that's the joint under the ankle joint) and mine has started to fuse its self together but its out of line, so my consultant says the only option left is to operate and re-a-line it in the correct position and then screw it together. There's no replacement for a subtalar joint. I'm currently two weeks into a 14 week waiting list for the op.
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