6 months post op fusion and lots of pain still.

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Hi, just wondering if anyone else is in same situation as myself.

I am 6 months post op fusion and still having to walk with boot or crutches due to pain in ankle.

Have been referred to Orthotics first, if that doesn't work then it's injection into ankle and if that doesn't work it's another fusion.

I had fusion Jan 19th this year and it's well on its way and gives me no problem. It's my ankle joint that's causing all the pain.

Anyone else have this problem?

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13 Replies

  • Posted

    It sounds from your description that you had a subtalar fusion, it's that correct? If you'd have had a tibiotalar fusion then you wouldn't have trouble in your ankle (because it's that joint that gets fused). Whenever you fuse a joint in that region other joints have to compensate for the lack of motion and this can make them ache. It's not unusual.

    I had a tibiotalar fusion in Feb and my subtalar joint is causing me some discomfort even now after 5 months. Also due to my gait now my lower back has a lot of pain so I'm back to using my crutches again and will be getting physio to help me walk symmetrically again (no limp) and also an orthotic to help with my subtalar discomfort. We're are bit of a jigsaw I'm afraid, if one piece is out of alignment then the whole picture is affected. Orthotics sounds the correct route for you and remember that our normally takes 12 months before you feel the surgery was worth it (apparently). Before then it is a lot of hard work, discomfort, inconvenience and lifestyle changes. I sympathise because I'm going through it right now too.

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    • Posted

      Hi Gillyjoo

      Thanks for your reply.

      I don't know what to think anymore.

      I had an Arthrodesis, my talus bone became disconnected, dropped and eventualy crumbled.

      I'm in more pain now than after op.

      My shin hurts a lot but I expected that but this soreness at side of foot is unbearable some days.

      My consultant/surgeon doesn't really explain anything, I'm having to second guess so thank goodness for this forum.

      It does sound as if I'm more or less at same stage as yourself, but I keep thinking if it wasn't for the pain in side of foot I'd be walking by now.

      I've been wearing the aircast boot for so long that I still walk the same when I havnt got it on.

      Oh dear, this is a long journey isn't it, I hope there's a pot of gold at the end of it!! Lol.

      Hope all goes well for you with physio.

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    • Posted

      Hi Alison,

      Without anything said you are me. I had the very same thing happen to me. My doctor just gave up and said "well looks good, see you" Now what? I put myself through it and no help there. Dumb me a hat is orthotics?? Please help a nd explain

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  • Posted

    The pain is an awful thing to have to deal with. It makes life seem less bright, less enjoyable and less worthwhile in some cases. Your talus crumbled you say. In that case its likely the blood supply to that particular bone has been affected (hence the bone disintegration). The podiatrist (foot and ankle doc) who will deal with your orthotics will test your standing stance and maybe your walking gait too - it could very well be that once you have the new sole that the pain will decrease due to a better ambulatory alignment. The injection into the ankle they're referring to is very likely a steroidal injection which *if* it stops the pain will result in re-doing the fusion. If it doesn't stop the pain then the problem is very likely not your ankle joint. It could be a variety of other issues from other joint arthritis to tendonitis to the metalwork in there causing problems. The worst thing for any patient is to be left on your own to figure things out. That usually results in a lot more worry which will affect your mental health. I'm in Paris and my surgeon was the same, dismissive and lacking in regular after care. If my fusion was a new car, I'd be very upset at the lack of after sales support. It sounds like you are too and I don't blame you. We both had these operations to improve conditions in our lives. No one tells you just how hard the journey to get to that point is. It's your body, and it's your life - don't be afraid to badger your doctor for more information. Once again, I'm very sorry for your pain. I know what it's like.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your response, it has made me feel a bit better about things. I have already said to consultant that I'm sure I can feel the larger screw to which he replied that's not possible but then on my next appointment he said he might have to remove it. He doesn't give me a lot to go on so my imagination runs away with me!!

      Well let's hope Orthotics sorts us both out and we can get on with the rest of our lives.(wishful thinking on my part).

      All the best to you Gillyjoo and thankyou once again.

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  • Posted

    Yes. 9 months for me. Swelling is better but pain in the joint plus nerve pain. So sorry. 
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    • Posted

      Oh dear I feel your pain. It's hard to describe it to someone unless you're going through it yourself.

      Do you take medication for the pain. I'm thinking of asking for stronger painkiller.

      I really didn't expect to still be using crutches at this point.

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  • Posted

    Well I got no good news for you... 21 months post triple subtular hindfoot fusion... Since not long after I came out of boot I've been in worse pain than before original operation... I complain and they dismissed it, says looks fine...

    7-8 months in they send me for x-ray and says it looks like it's fused but still I complain of pain.. they decide to send me for CT... On arrival back at docs office in told it hasn't fused, next visit it's decided to take top screw out to allow for more impact such helping it fuse..

    That operation leads to infection and wound, one I still can't get healed.. and has not caused it too fuse..

    Couple weeks ago i was told my fibula which they had to break to straighten my ankle in first op has fused back together, which apparently the ones that r supposed to fuse sent because I smoke 10 smokes a day.. but fibula fused???

    Monday I had of to receive break and remove some of fibula so can't refuse and drilled some holes in towards where fusion is wanted to stimulate it....

    Can't understand why surgeon hasn't called it and started again

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  • Posted

    Hi Alison, just a quick update which might give you some hope. I had orthotic soles put in my main footwear today and for the first time since weight bearing 80% off the pain is gone. I am fully expecting that heading towards the 12 month mark (another 7 months or so) the rest of the pain will be gone. I still get aches start being on my feet a lot - I took my little boy out to the park to play for an hour earlier in my new orthotic soled trainers without my crutches and my calf muscle down to my heel and left side of my ankle was aching but after resting up for a couple of hours the pain is gone (apart from the usual stiffness that occurs after any rest time).

    There is a light at the end of the tunnel. I good I've found mine today and I pray you'll see yours very soon too. Orthotic soles can really help!

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    • Posted

      Ahh Gillyjoo that's great news. Must be such a good feeling.

      I'm looking forward to my appointment in 2 weeks.

      I get a lot of stiffness but at worst it's like I have a knife stabbing inside my foot.

      I hope you continue to go forwards and I'll let you know how i get on when I've been to Orthotics.

      Thanks.

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    • Posted

      Hi , hope all is going well for you with the orthotic insoles.

      Quick update, I've been measured for orthotic soles but also they are putting rocker soles on my shoes. This is because of previous op on foot for joint replacement , my big toe does not lay flat therefore not taking weight of foot and putting huge strain on rest of foot.

      The downside is the wait for these to be made but at least I know why I'm getting so much pain now.

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    • Posted

      Hi Alison,

      That's good news on the orthotics and the rocker soles. It is great when you know the reason for your pain - it's just a shame you have to investigate so many other channels just to get to the truth. Anyway I'm rant pleased for you and how they get them made ASAP.

      MBT make fab physiological footwear with 3 levels of sole rocker. I've bought two pairs and with a heel insert my discomfort is reduced but not eliminated. It's only been 5 months since my surgery so I'm going and expecting that by the end of the year I'll have little to no pain.

      Keep your chin up! These new soles will improve things for you.

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    • Posted

      Hi Gillyjoo, I must say it was so refreshing to talk to somebody about my whole foot and not just the "fusion". The Orthotics doctor picked up on the problem straight away, well let's hope he's right of course!..

      I have been on line and looked at some lovely shoes with rocker soles so if they work I'll be treating myself.

      All the best to you.

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