9 years of chronic pain.

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Following an accident in 2008 I'm suffering chronic pain and swelling to my left ankle. Treatment wise without writing a dissertation I've had the lot and it's failed. My question is has anyone out there had their ankle fused and what was the outcome? This seems to be the only option left for me. I'm now 67 yrs old.

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  • Posted

    Hi, after similar problems and putting off an op for as long as possible I finally had my ankle fused in January.  I’m finally now getting to the point of thinking it was good to get it done. I can go for longer and longer walks now with only minimal discomfort, no painkillers and in normal shoes, so I think in the long term it’s worth getting the op done, however just be aware that full recovery takes a long time, up to a year.  I wasn’t prepared for how long it would  take to get back to normal, but after 10 months I’m starting to feel  it's been worthwhile.    Good luck with your decision. 

  • Posted

    Dear Andrea

    Sorry to hear about your predicament. I cannot help with regards to ankle fusion but I wonder what has driven you to consider this as being your only option.

    I have a five year old TAR that has been failing due it would seem to poor surgery. My revision is going to be far from straight forward but my new surgeon has a plan that has a good chance of success.

    Cheers Richard

  • Posted

    Hi Andrea,

    I experienced only an ankle/fracture/sprain so I have no personal anecdotal information to provide you on pros/cons of ankle fusion. But I read a lot of stories here on this forum about patients who have had the surgery. Generally, fusion and ankle replacement surgery outcomes are a mixed bag-- good and bad.

    You mentioned you have 'had the lot' of treatment since your injury in 2008. I'm not sure what you mean but I would infer it means you think you have tried all standard conventional treatment for your injured ankle.

    Maybe, or maybe not. There are a lot of ankle treatments out there, both conventional medical and alternative therapies. I doubt you have investigated everything unless you are a serious medical researcher.

    At age 67 surgery is likely to be more of a challenge. There are risks of course :infection, bleeding, nerve damage, blood clots, risk of bones not joining right (misalignment), and so on.

    Ankle surgery is something you need not rush into. In consultations with surgeons you need to be sharp and ask questions and be a bit skeptical. Did I mention to ask questions?

    Please hop on the internet and search for keywords like 'ankle fusion alternatives'. By doing due diligence you will have more peace of mind when you make your final decision.

    Best of luck to you.

    • Posted

      Hello kpower

      Not to hijack Andreas thread. 

      But I am 65 and has a "sprain" in the '70s that was not treated properly.  No I am going through arthritis. I using compound medication to kill the pain.  Works good but not 100%.   I am looking for the right surgeon/doctor for a second or even third opinion.  Takes time going through my health insurance. 

      I am still apprehensive on surgery. 

      Would you or any one here have questions that I should be asking my surgeon?


    • Posted

      Dear Larence

      You might get a better response if you said what country you are from.   Nothing in your profile to give members a clue BTW  <BG>

      Good luck with your search.

      Cheers, Richard

  • Posted


    Thanks for reading Andrea's thread and posting your own challenging situation.

    Sorry to hear what you've gone through since a 1970's era initial ankle injury.

    Yes, sadly the end game for so many improperly treated or untreated ankle sprains etc. is arthritis. If unmitigated it tends to get worse with advancing age-- and that's often when patients present themselves to surgeons hoping for a solution.

    I'm not a medical practitioner, however, I would venture an opinion that your reliance on painkillers is not helping in long run. They are unlikely to not the grinding down of whatever cartilage is left on bones, and they probably have side effects as well.

    Since I don't know details about your specific condition I can't offer much advice. I would advise though that you see an ankle specialist first, not a surgeon.

    I don't have anything against surgeons-- they are sometimes vitally needed and many do outstanding work. However, when your income depends on the scalpel it could sometimes preclude other options being considered.

    Elective ankle surgery is usually considered a last resort-- after all other conservative approaches have been exhausted.

    There are newer alternative non-surgical therapies for treatment-- not all may work in individual cases. One promising one is stem cell therapy. You might looking into that. Also look into other cartilage regeneration research and treatment.

    Since your end-state arthritis probably was worsened over time by an unstable ankle joint, you need to look into rehabilitating ligaments and tendons if they are dysfunctional. Lax ligaments stemming from an old injury just don't provide stability and strength to ankle joints.

    Good luck!



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