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Still In Pain After Ankle Fusion

On Health & Drugs & Medications » Muscles & Bones/Joints Diseases

14,797 words with 25 Comments; publish: Tue, 18 Dec 2007 11:53:00 GMT; (90093.75, « »)

About three years ago I had an ankle fusion. Now I have severe arthritis in my ankle and foot. I wear an ankle brace and take pain meds daily. The doctor says there's nothing more that can be done. I'd like to hear from others that have had an ankle fusion.

Music47:)

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  • 25 Comments
    • Did they fuse your ankle. If it is fused, I cannot see having arthritis in in. I can see severe arthritis in your foot. The reason I am asking is, you are wearing an ankle brace.

      I know that when you fuse a joint (especially an ankle) another joint fails.

      #1; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 14:58:00 GMT
    • Interesting, the whole point of a fusion is to clean out the joint and allow it to fuse. Therefore, there should be no arthritis. I had a subtalar fusion, still pain but I am now told it will take anything up to a year to settle, it varies each day but is improving. Mine was to remove arthritis in a joint that was half fused at birth. Like the previous posting I am confused by your doctors remarks. Was yours a complete ankle fusion? Other joints will over compensate for the loss of any motion etc in the fused joint.

      Get another consultation. Foot and Ankle Sports Orthopedist.

      #2; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 14:59:00 GMT
    • WTWCT

      Thank you for your reply. Yes the ankle was fused. The surgeon took out a plate and screws from where another doctor attempted to fix my broken ankle. Then he cut the two ends of bone and put in two screws. After several months the ankle fused. The xrays show arthritis has developed.

      Sincerely

      Music:)

      #3; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:00:00 GMT
    • Interesting, the whole point of a fusion is to clean out the joint and allow it to fuse. Therefore, there should be no arthritis. I had a subtalar fusion, still pain but I am now told it will take anything up to a year to settle, it varies each day but is improving. Mine was to remove arthritis in a joint that was half fused at birth. Like the previous posting I am confused by your doctors remarks. Was yours a complete ankle fusion? Other joints will over compensate for the loss of any motion etc in the fused joint.

      Get another consultation. Foot and Ankle Sports Orthopedist.

      Hi Blackbird

      Thank you for your reply. The doctor said it was a complete ankle fusion. It sounds like what you said has happened. Other joints will over compensate for the loss of motion in the fused joint. I also have arthritis in my knees,shoulders,etc. I will get another opinion.

      Sincerely

      Music

      #4; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:01:00 GMT
    • Wow, that better not be the case. I am having my ankle scoped and cleaned out in April. I do not want my ankle to fuse. I already have a triple fusion and the first met fused. I will also have my heel cut and placed under my foot and my fibula moved a little so that everything is in align.

      Music: It is interesting that you said you have arthritis in your shoulder. I just did some research about fusions, it did say that your shoulder takes the brunt of the fusion also.

      #5; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:02:00 GMT
    • Wow, that better not be the case. I am having my ankle scoped and cleaned out in April. I do not want my ankle to fuse. I already have a triple fusion and the first met fused. I will also have my heel cut and placed under my foot and my fibula moved a little so that everything is in align.

      Music: It is interesting that you said you have arthritis in your shoulder. I just did some research about fusions, it did say that your shoulder takes the brunt of the fusion also.

      WTW

      I am optimistic your surgery will go well. Are you in pain now? My prayers are with you.

      Music

      #6; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:03:00 GMT
    • Thanks. I hope everything goes well also. They said it will make me more comfortable but "not the same". I guess I have more problems with it other than that.

      Yes it does hurt. We will see. This will be my 12th surgery on that foot.

      #7; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:04:00 GMT
    • Music

      I have a foot drop and had a posterior tibial tendon transfer one month ago. One out of the 10 or so doctors I saw mentioned I was only a candidate for an ankle fusion (opposed to the 9 doctors who said i should have a tendon transfer). The doctor who recommended the ankle fusion said that if I had ankle fusion done, I would develop arthritis in my ankle and in ten years would need another surgery. Considering he was the only doctor suggestig ankle fusion, I wouldn't take his opinion that seriously but he did mention ankle arthritis was a severe side effect.

      #8; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:05:00 GMT
    • Hi Lynn

      I don't know if everyone develops arthritis after an ankle fusion but unfortunately I did. If I didn't take pain meds I wouldn't be able to walk. I am 59 years old so that is probably a factor too. Thank you for your reply. Take care.

      Mus:)

      #9; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:06:00 GMT
    • hi, wonder if someone could help me.....had ankle fsion surgery 14 weeks ago......i was in a cast for 13 weeks and was given a boot with a 3/4 inch heel lift...complained to my doctor it made me fee off balance....he has give me the go ahead to wear sneakers with a lift of about 1/2 inch....i am walking very slow with a limp...and i am swelling up a bit......also i am on an ebi machine that promotes bone growth...he showed me 3 exrays and 2 of them show complete fusion and the 3rd still shows area of black....i guess my questions are how long will it take for me to walk without pain and a limp......and also is a 1/2 inch heel lift going to be ok.....
      #10; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:07:00 GMT
    • Hello,

      I had an Ankle Fusion about 2 years ago. A year after the surgery, the bolt had to be removed from my foot. Now I am in as much pain or more than I was before the surgery. My doctor is totally stumped. I am hoping he will suggest an ankle replacement. But for a 35 year old that would be a stretch. Does anyone have any suggestions?

      #11; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:08:00 GMT
    • I had a fusion about 2 years ago and am still in pain. I also live in a small town in WV. I had to have the bolt removed because it was backing itself out. Has your doctor said anything about an ankle replacement? Well I wish you luck.

      -Alex

      #12; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:09:00 GMT
    • I am in the same position. I had a subtalar joint fusion about 2 years ago and had to have the screw removed. I am still in a great deal of pain, have to take meds to even work. My doctor is at wits end. He suggested killing the nerve ending in the subtalar joint area, but I am not so sure I want to do that. Anyway, If anyone out there has any suggestions, Please Please Please let me know.
      #13; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:10:00 GMT
    • Alex: Did you have your ankle fused or your subtalar joint. What part of your foot is still in pain? The subtalar joint?

      I had a triple fusion and the first met fused. I had bad pain near my subtalar joint. It was the heel and the fibula grinding when I walked. I just recently had my heel moved over and my fibula repaired.

      Just one more thing, how does your ankle look on x-ray?

      #14; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:11:00 GMT
    • Hi everyone,

      As you can see from many of my previous postings I am still having pain from my subtalar fusion last Sept. Last visit with OS she was stumped, said the fusion was good. I did break down, but she still has no answers, says we will visit again in Sept. The pain seems to let up and I think its getting better, then the bad days arrive again. I am simply carrrying on as normally as I can. Walking the dogs and back at the gym.

      Hoping she will re xray in Sept, although an xray is not detailed enough. Or I will simply wake up one morning and be pain free, kind of a miracle, right!

      It certainly wears your spirit down!

      #15; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:12:00 GMT
    • I had a subtalar fusion. My doctor has been trying to find some relief for me, but has had no luck. The xray show that the bone is partially fused and that there is a small bit that is not fused. My doctor thinks that the scar tissue is pinching my nerve and wants to kill the nerve in the joint. I am not a big fan of that. He doesnt want to do another surgery, but I would rather do surgery than kill the never and have that not be the problem. If anyone has a clue to help I would appreciate it.

      Alex

      #16; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:13:00 GMT
    • I feel that the only way that I can have any sort of normal ankle is with a replacement. I have had and arthroscopie and a fusion. After the fusion the screw decided to back out of my ankle. The doctor, who is a great doctor by the way, decided to try and take the screw out without putting me out first. I have never been in so much pain in all my life. I cried so much I made 2 pillows soaking wet. I am at a point where I dont know what to do. How do you tell your doctor that you are tired of messing around with injections and special boots to wear. How do you tell a doctor that you want a ankle replacement? He is the doctor he should be telling me what is wrong. I just feel helpless, angry and just plain tired. But I am glad to have found other people who are like me. I am sorry for the pain you are in, but I know that I am not alone. I wish you all the best in the world.:)
      #17; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:14:00 GMT
    • Kira

      Thank you for your reply to my post. I'm sorry I haven't been on the site for awhile. The doctor that did my ankle fusion took out too much for me to have the ankle replaced. The doctor in Pittsburgh did an excellent job on my fusion surgery but arthritis has settled in the joint. Take care kira and I hope things go well for you.

      Music

      #18; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:15:00 GMT
    • I am in the same position. I had a subtalar joint fusion about 2 years ago and had to have the screw removed. I am still in a great deal of pain, have to take meds to even work. My doctor is at wits end. He suggested killing the nerve ending in the subtalar joint area, but I am not so sure I want to do that. Anyway, If anyone out there has any suggestions, Please Please Please let me know.

      :confused: Alex I am sorry you are suffering so much pain with your ankle. I know what you are going through. I would recommend seeing another specialist about your ankle. Hang in there.

      Mus

      #19; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:16:00 GMT
    • Hi everyone,

      As you can see from many of my previous postings I am still having pain from my subtalar fusion last Sept. Last visit with OS she was stumped, said the fusion was good. I did break down, but she still has no answers, says we will visit again in Sept. The pain seems to let up and I think its getting better, then the bad days arrive again. I am simply carrrying on as normally as I can. Walking the dogs and back at the gym.

      Hoping she will re xray in Sept, although an xray is not detailed enough. Or I will simply wake up one morning and be pain free, kind of a miracle, right!

      It certainly wears your spirit down!

      Blackbird

      I am sorry you are in so much pain with your ankle. I hope to that you'll wake up one morning and be pain-free. Take care

      Mus:)

      #20; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:17:00 GMT
    • Hey everyone, I just found this site last nite and was reading about your surgery. I had pttr and calcaneal osteotomy on 4-11, so I am at 9 weeks post op. I was so glad when I ran across this site. It is good to hear what others are going through. I hope all of you the best. I just had my cast removed on 6-7 and am having a hard time being able to bear weight without a lot of pain. The doctor told me to see how it felt to bear a little weight then the next day about half of my weight then the third day to bear full weight. I did but then the next day I was in so much pain that I had to start back on pain meds. I would not attempt to walk for a couple of days. I am using the walker, which is great, and the wheelchair. I wonder if something could be wrong. Has anyone had this problem when beginning to walk some?
      #21; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:18:00 GMT
    • Hey everyone, I just found this site last nite and was reading about your surgery. I had pttr and calcaneal osteotomy on 4-11, so I am at 9 weeks post op. I was so glad when I ran across this site. It is good to hear what others are going through. I hope all of you the best. I just had my cast removed on 6-7 and am having a hard time being able to bear weight without a lot of pain. The doctor told me to see how it felt to bear a little weight then the next day about half of my weight then the third day to bear full weight. I did but then the next day I was in so much pain that I had to start back on pain meds. I would not attempt to walk for a couple of days. I am using the walker, which is great, and the wheelchair. I wonder if something could be wrong. Has anyone had this problem when beginning to walk some?

      Hi Melba

      I had a lot of pain when I started to walk again. Pain meds helped and I am still taking them. I hope things work out well for you.

      Music:)

      #22; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:19:00 GMT
    • Hi Melba-

      1)U need to go to the thread with the 201 posts about PTTD- It will definetly help you.

      I had the same surgery March 23. I was put in a Cam Boot at 6 weeks and started bearing 50% weight for 2 weeks with crutches- then after 2 weeks I started walking in sneakers with crutches, and now at 12 weeks I am hobbling in sneakers without crutches(even though I keep my walking down to a minimum). I am also doing PT.

      It sounds very strange to me that your Dr. felt you could start walking after 3 days (again read everyones experience and compare). It seems to be a very slow and hard recovery for all of us. Are you doing PT?Good luck and see you on the PTTD board. (I just have insomnia and read all the foot problems- you never know what tips you might learn)

      Leslie

      Leslie

      #23; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:20:00 GMT
    • Hi Drew,

      I was just reading through these posts. I have an ankle injury, but not nearly as severe as those on this thread. This fall I will have surgery to repair an OCD of the talus using a bone graft they call the OATS procedure. My doctor is in Boise, ID and is one of the few Dr.'s in the US that do STAR joint replacement. I live in Montana, so that almost makes us neighbors :) Anyway, he comes highly regarded from my MT physician and reading about him and meeting him you get the sense that he's one of the most experienced ankle surgeons around.

      What I really like is he has a small office and you don't feel like a number. I could have this surgery done in Seattle, but it's too crazy there. Sounds like Vancouver ...

      By the way, I worked one year for BC Environment and lived in Surrey. I will always treasure that experience!

      Good luck!

      Abby :)

      #24; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:21:00 GMT
    • Dear Abby,

      I have read your posts and it sounds amazing to me that your coming along so good. I told my wife and son about you and we are all hoping that you will make that Ski Trip this winter.

      You mentioned that you were a former competitive sportsperson. Which sports did you participate in? What happened to your ankle? What surgeries did you have?

      Do you anticipate that you will be able to Ice Skate with your appliance? My son has had an ocd lesion which was drilled a year ago and most recently plugged with a 9mm allograft. He is about 11 weeks post op and in PT. If he can't compete anymore, he is hoping that he will be able to coach.

      Good luck to you and please keep us posted on your progress.

      Dennis

      #25; Tue, 18 Dec 2007 15:22:00 GMT