Ankle fusion for Haemophiliac

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Hi, just looking for some feedback back from anyone who has gone through an ankle fusion.

I'm currently having severe pain in my left ankle,from years of bleeds ,and have been told that ankle fusion is the thing to do.

So at the minute I'm scheduled in for surgery in January 2018. Bit I'm a bit nervous of the recovery time and if I'll be left with a limp etc....

Just taught I'd like to hear from some one who has been through this anD maybe give some advise. CheeR's.

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7 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Tony,

    I had my ankle fusion in January this year it is a long slow process, I was non weight bearing for 6 weeks, and then some weight bearing, wasn't getting about as well as expected, back non weight bearing and had the screws removed at the end of April. I have not suffered from pain as such, I do notice when its cold that it aches a bit. However, all in all very happy with results, still get tired and have not got my energy levels back. Ankle still swells doctor says it will take some time to heal. Possibly up to 12 months. I am certainly a lot more mobile than I was still don't walk as far as I used to. Doctor says that will come with time. I now have to work on loosing the weight I put on while I was laid up. Luckily I like to read, so spent most of my time leg up reading books. Had friends who would take me out and I am lucky I have an automatic car which was great as I could take myself for a drive once weight bearing, even if it was just to the Maccas drivethrough.

    Ask me any questions you want.I am pleased to help.

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    • Posted

      Hi Marian thanks for that. It gives a bettert idea of the recovery time. I play in a 4 piece band,playing keyboards and vocals, and have decided to take off work until 17th March. Hopefully I will be weight bearing at that stage so I can get back to work. And as for the driving I think I'm kind of bunched as I drive a manual. So better get a few books for myself so.

      I have had my right knee replaced 5 years ago and I know that took the best part of 12 months for get the swelling to settle down so I'm kind of going off that experience.

      How long did you spend in hospital after getting it done and once you were weight bearing how was your pain level?

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    • Posted

      Hi Tony,

      I was in hospital a week I asked to stay that long as I live alone, then I was in a wheelchair for 6 weeks. When I first started weight bearing the pain was awful, that is when the surgeon decided to remove the screws, that was the best thing to happen. I don't think my body likes foreign objects. Once the screws were removed no more pain,

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  • Posted

    Hi Tony, I had my ankle fusion in January 2017 and it is indeed a very long slow recovery.  I was in a cast for 12 weeks, with gradual weight bearing introduced, then in an aircast boot for another 5-6 weeks (outside only).  Now I'm six months on and I'm still walking with one crutch (outdoors only), but slowly weaning myself off it as I think it's become more of a psychological crutch than anything else.  It's been a much slower recovery than I was expecting, so I think you need to be realistic about when to go back to work.  Although the ankle will probably not hurt after the surgery it takes a long time for muscles/tendons etc to adjust and in general I found that my level of fitness just went right down.  Although I'm much better now I would say I'm still only 70-80% back to normal even now.  However the good news is I don't seem to have a limp, and I can walk further than I could without surgery and in normal shoes!  I'm looking forward to this time next year when hopefully all will be completely healed.  Good luck! 

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    • Posted

      Thanks Tessa, I think I'll have to sit down and have have a good think about when I should be aiming to go back to work so. I didn't think that the recovery would be as long , but I know everyone heals at different and at there own pace. Is there anything you would recommend about the recovery period as in what not to do and what to do.

      I know what ever you have done might not work with me.

      I suppose to be honest I'm still kind of in two minds weather to go ahead with it or not. My ankle is good when I'm moving on it and doing stuff. But if I stopped for any length t of time it's like me ankle cramps up and the pain to walk on it is a nightmare. And sometimes after walking on it for a good while it's like I never had a pain or ache in it before. I've got the cortisone, I think that's what it was, injection in it about 2 months ago now but that is starting to wear off about 2 weeks ago. So I guess it's the only option as I'm told TAR is not a good enough job . Migh t only get 3 years out of it.

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    • Posted

      Hi Tony

      I put my op off for years as I was worried about the recovery time etc and whether it would actually work.  I had some hylauronic acid injections which staved things off for a while but then I was living off anti-inflammatories and could barely walk without them so I had to do something.  I also was advised that a TAR would probably not last that long and I'm only 52 so relatively young to have one, so I went for the fusion.  But I suppose I didn't really believe them when they said it can take 12-18months before you're fully happy with the op.  Now with experience I would say that's about right! Re recovery, I think just try to get on your feet as much as possible from the beginning, and keep as active as you can, although you can only really build that up slowly.  Once I was out of plaster I was trying to go for a walk out every day, building up distance.  I"m not really sure what else I could have done, I think it just takes time and as you say everyone's different.   The surgeon told me it's through walking that everything starts to get back to normal.   Only other thing to bear in mind is that the longer you leave it the worse state your ankle will be in when you have the op.  Mine was so deteriorated when I had the op that they had to use a lot of synthetic bone graft, which I think could have complicated the recovery, not sure.  Good luck with whatever you decide anyway!

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    • Posted

      Dear Tony

      A TAR can be fantastic but it needs a really experienced surgeon who has done lots of them. in the UK most are done by surgeons who are simply not sufficiently experienced in the procedure as I found to my cost.

      My TAR was done five years ago and due to osteolysis and the fact that the prosthesis was poorly located I'm now waiting for a revision which could be very difficult.

      Many people I'm in contact have had many years of walking freedom. If you care to Google Yogesh total hip replacement you will be able to watch a short video of me walking at twenty weeks. Even now nobody can tell that I have issues but I know and can feel it is on the way out!

      Cheers Richard

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