Ankle Cortisone Injection/ Fusion

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In 2011 I suffered a multiple displaced fracture of my ankle.  It was the third time the same ankle had been fractured, but this was by far the worst.

At the time I had surgery and plates and screws fitted.  They were subsequently removed in 2013. I have experienced a lot of problems ever since with my ankle including pain, swelling and numbness.   I have since had 2 further surgeries... one was a cortisone injection below the outside of the heel bone, and open surgery to remove some of the arthritis, a cyst and repair the ligament that runs down the outside of my foot.

I recently went to see my surgeon for a follow up since it is more than a year post surgery.  I am still experiencing extreme internal pain, swelling and it effects me walking (especially on uneven ground where it is needed to do a rocking from side to side movement). 

My surgeon has suggested another cortisone injection and then proposes to do an ankle fusion.  

What is the cortisone injection supposed to find out, that it did not find before? Following the first cortisone injection initially it was quite good for the remainder of the day, then the next day, upon waking, was extremely uncomfortable for about a week.  It then eased off for about 4 weeks but the pain and problems soon returned!

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  • Posted

    Coritsone  injections are an anti-inflammatory. It doesnt find anything out. It just subdues the inflammation, and how long  it does this for varies from individual to individual  It isn't a fix or a solution to your issues - just a temporary relief.

    Good luck with the surgery. 

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    • Posted

      I first had it done in 2014 and it was as described above.  I am sceptical about having it done, since my surgeon says it will determine whether to have a fusion or not, which is the same point I was at in 2014... So frustrated! I do not understand what he could possibly being looking for! 
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  • Posted

    Cortisone is an antiinflammatory. Usually hurts when it goes in unless you have local anesthetic or general. For a couple of weeks it is known to get worse, then hopefully there will be a period of relief. I had it in my knee for a crippling Bakers Cyst, no anesthetic, and swore like a trouper. Very uncomfortable for two weeks as my surgeon predicted, then I got relief for 6-8 weeks. Knee got sore again but no where as bad as pre injection.

    Some people have an ultrasound to determine the exact spot when inflammation is. It is supposed to take swelling away to help area to recover. Having more than one course is common.

    If your up and about a lot, it may be a good idea to get another shot as your specialist suggested, to see if more relief can be obtained.

    I hope other people who have had these shots can shed some light. One lady has had them in her ankle a while back.

    Sorry to hear you're suffering still after such a long time.

    Good luck!👍🌞

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your kind words.

      My main issue is that he seems to be using the cortisone injection as a test as to whether he continues with surgery or does never ending injections... When I had it done before, I did get some light relief (once settled down) for a few weeks, but it still came back just as bad!

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