18wks post ankle fusion - feeling really fed up and down

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Had my ankle fusion back in may and I have been feeling so down lately, my mood has certainly taken a battering! Feeling so frustrated that I still can't even do simple things like take the dog for a walk or take the children to the park. 

It's the first time I've tried to wear normal shoes today (sketcher trainers) and it's so painful.

Does anyone else's pain and swelling change as the weeks go by? For the last 4wks the pain has been underneath the outer part on my ankle bone, now it's on the inner part of the back of my ankle near my Achilles' tendon , it's so swollen and painful to touch.

My Physio keeps telling me to massage my scars but even to lightly touch them it's agony. I'm not a wimp as I've had 7 ops in 14yrs but this one has floored me completely. 

I was meant to test drive some new cars today as I need to swop to an automatic but I haven't got the energy. I've been off work for long periods before and coped really well but not being able to get out and about has left my feeling very down and depressed. 

Sorry for the downer post but I really need somewhere to vent my frustration where people understand as my family and friends really don't have a clue what it's like. 

Claire. Xx

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Thanks for your posting. I'm sorry that you are having a tough time at the moment.

    I'm due to have revision surgery for a five year old failing TAR due to osteolysis and it may well not be possible or a fusion so I'm very interested in learning as much as possible about ankle fusions.

    All the best

    Richard

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  • Posted

    Hi Claire, sorry to hear you're not doing so well.  I'm 4 weeks post rt ankle fusion so still in plaster.  I'm no expert but it sounds like it could "just" be your ankle area adjusting to the new and different stresses involved with walking.  I had Osteo Arthritis from an old football injury and even before my op it was often my achilles that hurt after standing or walking.  My podiatrist told me that it was a few degrees off centre due to the OA.  I saw another post here that said to use skin softer cream on the scars and general area as it helps with flexibility in the tissues.

    People who haven't experienced this have no idea what type of pain and frustration you feel.  One thing I expected, and this forum bears out, is that we all repair differently so stick with it, it will get better.confused  I'm just getting to the boredom stage where I feel ok getting around but still can't do a lot - especially in the gymsad.  I have to think long term and that a few months out will be worth it in the end.

    Andy

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  • Posted

    Well if your down you need to vent. It's a bloody long recovery. I was in your position many times. So frustrating. All I wanted was to poop with the darn door shut. Wheelchair in the way. Wanted to stand in shower then realised how lucky I was to have shower and a wheelchair. I've counted my blessings so many times. But I took up smoking after many many years. And promised myself I would give it up when I could walk unaided and I did I. I walked unaided. Gave up smoking 3 months ago. Still have pain and swelling bruising but still moving ahead in little ways. Oh and yes I poop with door shut and shower standing up.back at work. And life is better. There is a light at your tunnels end. I hope you can find it soon.  Xxxxxxjen

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  • Posted

    Hi Claire, I read your post this mornng and immediately felt a kindered spirit connecting with your feelings of depression.  I am 8 weeks post pilon fracture ( distal fracture of tibia and fibula) which bone actually pierced through my skin at the time of trauma. I have 2 plates and 15 screws in place and have been NWB this entire time.  I live alone and am struggling to keep my independence as I hate to burden my friends.  My family all live a distance away.  I've had to find resources to get me back and forth to Dr's appointments and  I now have grocery's delivered to my home.  I am unable to clean my house so I have a house cleaner coming this morning.  Such services have sustained me but the added stress of the additional finances required for these services is adding to my depression.  But, mostly I feel so isolated from the world as all of my friends work and have busy lives outside of work.  So, yes I totally get what you're experiencing!  You have a "kindered spirit" here anytime you need to chat! Hey, it's a new day perhaps today will be a better day!   Take care!  Rhonda

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  • Posted

    Hi Claire. Reading your post is a mirror image of my daily life. The last 5 1/4 months ha been total hell. I'm not using any aids but walk like a right spaz!! Pain and swelling bad. The pain at the back of my heel is depressing and that bad it stops me from walking correctly, hence the bad limp. I spend a lot of time alone stuck on this bloody uncomfortable settee, looking at boring profs on TV and knowing that there so much that needs doing around the house and I do it all, hubby can't change a plug!! This has really depressing and feel low every day. Started to drive my car again which was a great release, but couldn't drive far due the the ankle aching a lot. But I've even lost that now, due to my son passi g his driving test last week and he just don't stay in any more. Happy for him but now no transport to even go to shop and also my company has gone.. Lol. So we now have to fight the depression as well as this horrible injury. So it snap with the venting. Thank God for this forum. Sx

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  • Posted

    Hi Claire, don't despair. It will get better.  I've felt like you do many times over the last 7 months.  At 7 and a half months post op I'm still not happy with everything but I can see progress.  I'm ditching the crutch and gradually getting stronger. Today I walked 20 minutes outdoors without the crutch (although I still carried it with me just in case!). I'm still getting pains and crunches, which are apparently the tendons stretching, but it is definitely getting easier.  Hang on in there, we'll all get there in the end!  Tessa. x

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  • Posted

    Surgery May 1st here second fusion injury 7/26/15 finally starting to fuse like it should I think. Dr. says he does not want me limping! Use the crutches until you can walk without the limp. He say's it could take anywhere from 18 months to two years. At 65 I do not know if I have two years left lol it has been a long haul. By using crutches you are less likely to cause other problems back, knee, hip and other leg. It makes sense to me. Take your time with the crutches and you will get the hang of walking with things in your hand even letting the crutch hang when walking slowly helps with support. If people offer to help carry something for you let them. You can return the favor when you are healed. Hope this helps it will get better you have to believe this also. Some days seem better than others and some feel like you are going nowhere or even backwards. Massaging the foot and ankle in the morning and at night does seem to help just take it easy.

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  • Posted

    So sorry your feeling down but believe me it's normal. One day were living a fairly ordinary life and in an instant that's gone. It's so hard not too be down, I fight it daily. Honestly this has been almost as hard as when I went through cancer treatment 10 years ago, minus the sickness from chemo. 

    Anyways this forum has been a great way to talk to people dealing with similar issues. My doctors in no way prepared me for the mental stress.

    Take care

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  • Posted

    Hi Claire,

    I know exactly what you are going through. I had my fusion in January and then had to have the screws removed in April. I had physio twice a week, chiropractor twice a week, I can now swim 20 laps, can'w walk all that far and still have trouble going up and down steps. I am lucky don't really suffer any pain, just weird feelings in foot, ankle and calf. Surgeon said 12 months and that's from April. I am pretty pleased with my progress, however, frustrated about not being able to walk far, and stairs. I am on holidays in Bali at present and they had me booked into a 3rd floor room, no lift, so I have had to pay extra for a larger room with lift access. Believe me it does get better, it's almost like one step forward two steps back. I was off work for 6 months and I live on my own, so groceries home delivered and I did have a house cleaner for a while. Once I was weight bearing I would take myself for drives, just for the sake of getting out of the house. I would take my dog with me,  still not able to take her for a walk, although can take her out the front and she walks down the street by herself. I have an automatic car which helped, even a McDonald's drivethru was exciting for me. I am now back at work, and try to sit down as much as possible, and avoid stairs. The physio gave me some compression socks which really help with the swelling, the only shoes I can wear are my birkenstocks. So I bought a new pair before coming away. Believe me it does get better, it just takes time, and as everyone else said we all heal differently. Try to stay positive it really helps. 

    Cheers

    Mariab

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, I get what you mean about the shoes...I'm back to my sling back crocs yet again! 

      Guess I'm worrying as I'm due back at work end of December and I have a full on job with hardly any periods of resting/sitting down. The worrying is making me feel rubbish too!

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