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Fusion vs amputation

Pear15Pear15 Posts: 17
edited 30. Mar 2016, 13:30 in Living with Arthritis archive
WOW that's a big thing to throw that out there! But has anyone considered amputation?

The reason for asking is that a doctor has suggested that fusion would be the better option. Now I have only started my research and in no way I am going to make a decision overnight. But could amputation be a better option?

The way I'm looking at it is both procedures will leave me with a disability so which one do I chose?.I'm only 28 :roll:

What scares me with fusion is there's no guarantees it will fuse correctly, the loss of movement and losing height on one side. Ultimately what I need to find out is what will give me the best quality of life.

Any advice would be much appreciated.

Comments

  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,977 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    You're right - it's an enormous question but I'm wondering who suggested it. Did the surgeon? I've never before heard of amputation being offered as an alternative to a fusion. Fusion or ankle replacement is a fairly common question.

    My ankles have fused themselves. It wasn't a problem for them :lol: I can't, due to the arthritis elsewhere in my feet, knees and hips recall my legs being level but it hasn't been a great problem though it all kicked off when I was 15. Thankfully, I never had a thing about shoes. They were always going to be surgical ones.

    Please discuss this with your surgeon if you haven't already done so. Fusion isn't the only option which carries risks. The ongoing risks following amputation would, in my view, be far greater.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I presume you are talking about an ankle/foot amputation.

    I wonder if your thinking is running along the lines of 'If it's gone it won't cause any more trouble.' Amputation leads to stumps (which may or many not heal) and a reliance on prosthetics. It also brings with it huge emotional trauma. The fusion may lead to a small decrease in height on one side but you remain physically 'intact'. Don't underestimate the power of that.

    I can understand your concern due to your youth but if this was me I would opt for the fusion first. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • AmerififerAmerififer Posts: 13
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I also think I would try the fusion option first..
    So many unknowns with amputation.. one that sticks out in my mind is phantom limb pain..
    I'd hate to go through such a huge life altering surgery and be left with major pain issues..
    Just my opinion.. :) Others may vary.
  • frogmortonfrogmorton Posts: 25,812 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Fusion definitely - then if it doesn't help you could go for plan 'B'.

    Let us know what you decide to do if you get time

    Love

    Toni xx
    Love

    Toni xxx
  • Pear15Pear15 Posts: 17
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    My last doctor said this is the next step, fusion. Fusion terrifies me as I'm worried about losing mobility/quality of life. I did say at the time I'd rather you took my leg! But since then I've been looking online and the amount of people who have chosen amputation is incredible. I certainly wouldn't base any decision from comments/blogs online but it's very interesting. I will look into fusion and hopefully meet someone who has undergone the procedure. In the meantime I'm waiting for my new orthopaedic consultant.

    Thanks for the replies x
  • stickywicketstickywicket Posts: 25,977 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I think 'imcredible' is probably a very appropriate word. Not many websites have either Moderators or such a hands on webmanager as we do here. So people can write all sorts of nonsense on them and never be challenged. How do you know they have genuinely had amputations?

    I only know one person who has has an amputation and she has constant problems with her stump.

    Be guided by your surgeon. I'm sure he'll have your best interests at heart.
    “There is always a well-known solution to every human problem - neat, plausible, and wrong.” H.L. Mencken
  • dreamdaisydreamdaisy Posts: 31,567 ✭✭✭
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    I wonder if you have been looking at websites / support groups for those with BIID (Body Integrity Identity Disorder.) These are people who desire the amputation of perfectly healthy limbs due to a psychological disorder, in no way am I confusing your situation with theirs but please check 'sources' very carefully. Oddly not everything on the interweb is vetted let alone true. DD
    Have you got the despatches? No, I always walk like this. Eddie Braben
  • trepolpentrepolpen Posts: 497
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    hi , there are loads of us on this forum that have had our ankles fused , the keel part they cant replace & so has to be fused , the main ankle can be replaced but some prefer it to be fused

    I have had both ankles fused & never regretted it , main thing you will lose it pain , recovery is 6 months total , with 6 weeks non weight bearing & then into a airboot , if you leave it to long it can cause other problems so would not put it off to long & would totaly recommend having your ankles fused
  • Popsmith1874Popsmith1874 Posts: 29
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    Hi there it is a big desision to make and I know y will take everything into account, my late father had both his legs amputated above the knee due t type 1 diabetes and he was determined he was going t walk again with prosthetic legs but the surgeon said his heart wouldn't take it as he had a triple by pass years earlier, but it didn't hold him back as he got a electric chair which served him well for a couple of years after,but I can remember him getting phantom pains for the remainder off his life ,but you will way all these things up before you make a desision which will give you a better quality of life
  • StiggerStigger Posts: 72
    edited 30. Nov -1, 00:00
    As an amputee I can tell you that it significantly alters your gait and the way your muscles and tendons are utilised. This may not seem important now, but in later years (I was an amputee at 16), it can cause osteoarthritis in the other joints leading to joint replacement, scoliosis of the spine, back pain and other issues. You will no longer be able to nip into a shop, buy a new pair of shoes and slip them on. Each new pair must be taken to the hospital and fitted correctly to your prosthetic to ensure the angle is correct. If not, you will at best fall over and at worst develop severe blisters and sores. I would consider every other option before this, especially given your young age.
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