12 months after ankle fusion

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My left ankle was fused, I then started having issues with my right hip and lower back, having physio, xrayed showed no problems. Physio has put a heel lift in my left shoe, back pain and right hip pain almost gone. I have a new gp who measured my legs, my left leg is 98cm and my right is 100cm. Have been to the podiatrist who said he cant help me. I now have the name of an orthotics specialist who apparently can help. As my shoes will now need to built up. Just wondering if anyone else has had this issue.

I see the orthotics guy in 2 weeks, in the meantime I have a heel lift in one pair of shoes.

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    That sounds awful. Too bad you have to go through that but at least you know why you were in pain and you are not any more. 

    I wonder what can be done about your discrepancy in length between legs?  Best of luck!

  • Posted

    My 2 cents- I went through differing leg lengths for years with my mom. Every time you go through some type of injury or operation to your hip, leg, knee, ankle etc. you are likely to walk differently. Our body gets used to walking a certain way so that even if we “fix” the problem, our body and all the parts used to walk have to adjust to a new way. My mom became obsessed with the idea that her legs were 2 different lengths and that all she had to do was correct that with lifts or other modifications to her shoes and she would no longer have pain and difficulty walking. She spent thousands of dollars going to various doctors and podiatrists convincing them to give her orders to take to various specialists to modify her shoes. She was so obsessed with this that some of her medical professionals told her no and she would find new ones that would do what she wantd
    • Posted

      My mom really did have an OCD problem but I share this only to say that sometimes adjusting the length isn’t the answer. I believe some physical therapy may have helped her more.

      Two years ago I had a knee replacement and of course it threw everything off because I was walking differently. It made my already some what bad ankle worse. I just ended up getting major ankle reconstruction last November and as I learn to walk differently again, I’m aware of pain in my hips, knees, back ect. In my case, it has been important for me to have equal height in both legs has I’m still wearing an elevated boot. 

      So Im not sure what the answer is for you and I wish for you much success in figuring this out. Walking is so important to our quality of life!

  • Posted

    Hi Marian

    I have exactly the same problem - my left ankle was fused last January and now I have pain in the right hip and lower back, which is worse than any pain to do with the fused ankle. My posture is definitely lopsided after all those years of walking in a strange way to compensate for the bad ankle. I've been seeing an osteopath to try and straighten things out and have finally got a physio referral so I'm really hoping they can give me some exercises to help..  I'm also going to try Pllates and generally trying to up my fitness level, swimming etc. and hope that something helps. I've not had my legs measured but perhaps I should! I'm not sure what the answer is, but sounds like the heel lift is helping so stick with that. I'm using orthotic insoles because I was weight bearing to the outside of my foot, so they're trying to correct that. Honestly,  just when you think the ankle fusion is going to make life a lot better, all sorts of other problems occur as knock on effects! It's all so frustrating.  The only thing I can say is that you're not alone! Good luck with the orthotics guy.  

    • Posted

      Hi Tessa,

      I agree I have no problem with my ankle it is all with my hip and lower back. My glutes have atrophied over the years so I am now doing exercise to build the left one up, however, that will not make my right hip and lower back better. It really is a rollercoaster ride. I swim laps with a kickboard and different size flippers now up to 30. Thought I was fit but have been back at work and I am not as fit as I thought I was. I imagine it will be another 12 months before I am completely healthy and perhaps back to normal if there is such a thing.

      Keep up the good work and keep in touch, its nice to talk to people that are at the same level.




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