Ankle fusion

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dawn2250, Oct 24, 2006.

  1. dawn2250

    dawn2250 New Member

    Hi. 30 years ago I fell from a horse and ended up with my foot facing backwards. After over 3 hours surgery I have been left with a chronically painful ankle that is fixed at a 45'angle. I had hoped to have an ankle replacement but have been told that at 52 I am way too young, so, have been offered a fusion. This option was offered to me 15 years ago but I declined as this means I will never be able to have an ankle replacement. However now the pain is unbearable most of the time, and I am not waiting until I'm 70 so am considering fusion. I would love to hear from anyone who has had it done. I want some feedback on the good, and bad, things that they have encountered. I don't want to end up no better off as it is going to cost me $10,000 to have done, and I am not rich. Then again to be pain free I would pay anything.
  2. 7xgrammy

    7xgrammy New Member

    Hi - 34 years ago I also turned my foot around backwards and fractured my leg. I had surgery where they put my ankle back together with screws and I was in a cast for 10 months. I did fine for the next 20 years and then I got a job where I had to do a lot of standing. I started having severe pain in the ankle and could hardly walk. They put the ankle in a cast for 8 months to see if immobilization would help the pain. After about 4 weeks the pain went away.

    Since immobilization stopped the pain I opted to have an ankle fusion. The surgery was rough and I had an external fixator on my leg with three rods going through my leg for 6 weeks. I then had a cast for 5 months and a brace for 6 months.

    I have had no regrets about having the surgery. I can't run, wear shoes with a higher than 1" heel and I do have times when I have pain from walking too much, but in general I would say that 90% of the time I am pain free.

    Good luck and be sure to get an orthopedist with a good reputation.
  3. mlrarr

    mlrarr New Member

    My mom had that done about 35 years ago. She had her foot just about cut off and they tried everything to save it but the screws, pins and rods her body just kept rejecting so they fused it. They took a bone off her hip to do it. I remember that she would cry after because of the pain. She was down my whole 6th grade year it seems.
    The only thing with her is it , her foot, keeps getting infection in it and they dont know why. About once or twice a year she had to go on a VERY strong antibiodic. the way they fused hers is it is now pointing down like she is walking on het toes. It has caused problems in her back because of so many years of walking like that. But before that she was having one surgery after another now she has none.
    I hope it works out for you...
    Take care...
    Melinda
  4. joyfully

    joyfully New Member

    Interesting, the doctors wanted me to get an ankle fusion about 15 years ago too. I also declined. I was already using my electric mobility scooter, so I just kept using it. I also have rheumatoid arthritis.

    I keep hoping that they will make some giant leaps forward with the techniques for ankle replacement. I think Mayo Clinic in FL has done some. I don't want to be at the beginning of the "learning curve" with this procedure. I would rather wait and let the medical professionals improve their techniques and the actual ankle replacement.

    I'm surprised that they are telling you that you are too "young". Your ankle isn't functioning correctly and you are in pain. This sounds more like an excuse from an insurance company than a valid reason.

    The doctors also told me that the 3 rods would be permanent---and there would be no turning back once it was done.

    I also had a concern about the small amount of nickel content inside of the metal rods. Nickel allergy is nothing to fool around with. I ended up in the emergency room about 30 years ago from a reaction to the nickel in the braces. I had just gotten the orthodontic braces 2 days before. I had to have the orthodontic braces removed the next morning at the doctor's office.

    So I opted not to have the surgery.