ankle fusion v Lower leg amputation advice please...

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hi, I am seeking advice from anyone who has had a ankle fusion please. has it been a sucsess ? would you reccomend having one done, and how is your mobility now breif background..had a TAR nov 2014, failed..revision/ repair sep 2015  failed.. Tendon Decompression surgery june 2016 not eased the pain or discomfort. now ive been told by surgeons at Wrightington hospital (uk) that the only two options are ankle fusion with bone graft, or lower leg amputation. i would greatly appreciate any advice. thank you in advance..wayne

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  • Posted

    Hi Wayne, im 9months into my subtular hindfoot triple fusion and i dont know if its my surgeon or my lifestyle or my size (6'2 &120+kg) usually 105kg... ive been complaining since came out of boot and started FWB, so 6+ months and they said looks fine and give it time, if they knew me theyd know ive got great pain tolerance so finally get CTSCAN and hasnt fused

    They automatically blame tobacco and occasional illicit use for failure to fuse.. even though ive said doesn't feel right and my weight.. im normally fit at 100-105kg, broad shoulders and big bones. Thats 20-30kg morw than average male and add 20kg from insufficient movement and lil over medicating of Woodstock 8% for my depression, amplified by feeling pain should be near 0 and its sumtimes anywhere from 3-8 out of 10!!!

    Myself, ive thought about and brought up amputation with family and surgeons but was told to give this fair go first!!! Im So disappointed not only in non fusion but with the information, support and empathy shown by surgeons.. total lack of effort in helping understand procedure and rehab but also in taking in my concerns, points of veiw and levels of pain..

    If i didn't push, i would never have seen xray where noticed i had snapped fibula (so could straighten foot), have gotten physio orthotics or CTscan where the realization of pain=non fusion as if they cared to find out about me before surgery theyd realise im ok with pain and if im complaining they out to listen..

    Anyways good luck, il be keeping an eye on your decision and hope its rite 4 U

    • Posted

      My first fusion did not fuse and it was due to dr. error...he would never admit it either.  My next doctor did it correctly.  He would never say anything negative about the first dr., but I am thankful that he repaired the damage.  It isn't pretty to look at after 4 surgeries in 3 years (last one done November 2011), but I can walk.  Stairs and hills are a challenge and I can't run, some yoga, pilates and ballet positions are impossible, but that's all.  Please research and check reviews and find another doctor to repair the damage.  The first doctor, after 6 months, kept saying, "give it time, I'm sure you'll be happy!"  I healed within 6 weeks with the second dr.

  • Posted

    Sorry to hijack but I'm in serious need of advice.

    I had an accident in July 2014 from which I did a lot of damage to my left ankle, since then I have had several operation all of which to no avail .

    The pain is absolutely dreadful, I am currently taking 75mg of nortriptyline per night plus ibuprofen and paracetamol through the day.

    2 weeks ago I saw a reputable consultant at chapel allerton hospital in Leeds who says my ankle can not be repaired as there is too much damage to bone and tissue and wants to do a full ankle fusion.

    Before my accident I was a keen rugby player , tennis and off road cycling but since the accident I can't do anything at all because of the pain.

    I'm afraid after the fusion I still won't be able to partake in any activities and could possibly end up with spinal problems and hip problems so I was thinking maybe a below the knee amputation may be the better long term option .

    Could any one advise me please.

    Thank you

    • Posted

      Hi David15637

      Sorry to hear about the awful time you've been going through. Pain is a horrible thing to live with!

      I had my left ankle fully fused after a road traffic collision and last year i had my right leg amputated below the knee.

      An ankle fusion should definitely be the first thing to try - amputation is the absolute last resort, and although you see lots of paralympians running around on prosthetics, it's not like that in reality. Prosthetics are difficult and uncomfortable, and for example right now, my prosthetic foot has slightly misaligned so I have to wait to see the prosthetist for a correction and he can't see me till January, so that means 6 weeks in a wheelchair.

      A fusion is also a big op, and irreversible, but hopefully wouldn't have the same difficulties and complications as amputation. I can tiptoe and walk pretty much normally on my fused ankle, uneven surfaces like sand are harder but that may be as I had a partially fused right and now a prosthetic on the right. My fusion was 10 years ago and I'm virtually pain free on the left.

      I really think you should consider the fusion first. If it's unsuccessful then you can look at amputation later down the line.

      If you have any questions just ask.

      Good luck and best wishes.



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