Ankle replaced 13 years ago

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other than not having full pronation it has worked fine. Went in to check on it before retiring and was told there are some small cysts. Doc said won’t fill.. if anything replace joint with newer model. I’m reading here that some have had that done.

any comments on replacing joint replacement?

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17 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Wendy , nice to hear from you....i had an ankle fusion 7 months ago im now trying to get my Fusion reversed to a ankle replacement.. my ankle joint was so bad with the osteoporosis and I couldn't find anyone to give me a t a r so I had to get the fusion.. I hope somebody in here can give you some advice..good luck to u

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    • Posted

      Same here, i was bone on bone and in constant extreme pain. Back then, 14 years ago this month, AR wasn't that common. My local orthopedic docsaid i had 2 choices-fusion or wheel chair and no to such an untested surgery. I walked out and never looked back...his arrogance was insulting and those two options were not acceptable to that 55 yr old woman. I had just lost my daughter and was soon to be divorced so fear and caution were not primary to me. I went across the state (8 hours away) to a sports medicine clinic. One of the leaders for this new technique didnt hesitate. He gave me option that if the replacement didnt work I could always revert to the fusion so I knew there was an acceptable option

      Complications now- i sometimes stumble due to not picking up foot enough and some knee pain as knee is taking brunt of some of lack of flexibility issue.  Sometimes (such as early morning) when I first get up the ankle is slow to respond so I am peg leg for about five steps. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Wendy, I have been looking for someone who has actually had a TAR. 

    My husband is 79, retired police, and has let his muscles go due to severe pain which at first was his knee. TKR 8 months ago and now has severe arthritis in his left ankle. TKR was left also. We waited 45 days to see the specialist in ankle surgery, and was shocked after 4 minutes into the exam, he told us he would not due surgery on him due to his age. I supplied all MRIs and other reports, but can’t believe the let down. My husband has always been fit, working out daily until 1 almost years ago. Assistance in walking with the aid of a cane or walker is needed due to the pain. No pain med has helped. I am lost and see him sinking into depression daily. 

    Any thoughts or advise is surely welcome. 

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    • Posted

      Dear Stephanie

      Not sure if I can help but here goes. I had Total Ankle replacement given years ago but likely because the prosthesis was incorrectly positioned it is now to be revised due to osteolysis caused by bone cysts which are degrading my femur.

      Osteolysis is a subject hardly any ankle surgeon will tell you about but it is one of the big dangers for this surgery.

      On the brighter side put the following into Google to see how I was doing at twenty weeks post op. Yogesh total ankle replacement. You will find a video that shows how I could flex my ankle and my walking up and down a slope, walking across a gravel yard and trotting up and down a flight of stairs.

      As many ankle surgeons only do a handful of these surgeries each year they do no become proficient at doing it resulting in bad long term outcomes. Only use a surgeon who does these frequently and who has a high success rate because a revision is VERY, VERY challenging!

      All the best, Richard. PS please let me know is this helps and if you need more information.

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    • Posted

      ouch.  Have you checked with a second specialist?  Pain is debilitating and ages both of you.  

      Would a brace of some kind be of any use for your husband or one of those knee wheeler contraptions?  My local podiatrist suggested a cross over brace to help give support to my ankle that can be worn inside shoes.  Turned me off when they were to bill insurance $150+ and said my portion would be $57.  I checked and can get that same brace all over the place for $57.  I dont condone insurance ripoff especially in todays health care climate. 

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    • Posted

      Thank you Richard. Yes all is helpful. Being as it is, if you were told by a very good doctor that he would not do surgery due to age, how would you handle this situation. 

      Leighton is a very healthy man. Yes 79, but no history of heart, asthma, never smoked, drank etc.   

      His TKR was on his left 8 months ago. Now of course it is his left ankle. Doc did tell him he will always have to use assistance in walking. I am at wits ends not knowing what to do. 

      Should we seek a second opinion. Well of course I am, but for the most, is this procedure not recommended for the elderly?

      Having been told that, his zest for life went down a lot. Sad and depressed. 

      Still waiting 

      Stephanie 

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    • Posted

      I have made sure he has everything available to him if they work. Yes he is in a brace to support each side of the ankle and can be worn inside his shoe. I just purchased a knee rover and he does ok with it. He does best with the walker on wheels. 

      I’m trying to get him back into the gym to work on his upper body since he hasn’t been going for the past year. 

      Days that are not scheduled with appt I do my best to get him out. The movies are a great escape but you can only see so many. Other ideas I have to make sure it doesn’t invoke a lot of walking. 

      Thank you for listening and yes all ideas are most welcome. 

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    • Posted

      Dear Stephanie

      Is this doctor a surgeon, I presume this to be the case.   I would want to have at least two opinions from really competent surgeon who specialize in ankle surgery.   I'm very sorry that you and your husband are having to deal with this situation.  Of course you are sad and depressed.   Get additional opinions then plan.

      Best wishes, Richard

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    • Posted

      Does your rec center have a pool?  I’m not a water person but find that I could do a great deal more in the water including the paddle board for thighs and calves.
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  • Posted

    O my you've been through it that's for sure, but u stuck to your gut and didn't get the fusion.

    I'm 43 years old woman but my doc said I'm to young due to the tar lasting 10 to 13 years..i didn't care I said then I'll come back in. Well he finally talked me into after 2 months. At this point the pain was so bad I gave into the fusion..i can myself in the butt everyday for doing it..the only pain and complications I had was just the pain in my joint, now I'm still in pain but it's everywhere my right side and the bottom of my foot the top of my foot my big toe won't bend only the 4 little ones but I can't pull back any of them they feel squished together.I now have a varus tilted heal which is very painful.my heal hurts along with the sole of my foot.and my subtalar joint is froze, PT has been working on the mobilty for 2 months without much success, so my Dr wants to fuse that..i told him absolutely not..your not fusing any part of my foot. He said it can be done so hes going to think about it but im currently looking for a second opinion and hoping i can get a Tar..without his knowledge.

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  • Posted

    Dear Wendy

    If left, cysts are likely to result in the total failure of the ankle. Do not just wait, please get them dealt with as a matter of urgency. Please see my other posting.

    Cheers Richard

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    • Posted

      Thanks Ken.  Yes, it startled me when he said this.  He (podiatrist) said we would take a wait and see approach and then check it in a year as to size of cysts.  I agree that the doc that does the procedure should do lots of them.  I havent asked the local podiatrist how many he does but figured I perhaps could get copy of scan and send it to the orthopedic doc at sports medicine clinic.  Either way I will call them-they are in a city 10x the size of where I live and get many body injuries.  

      Second opinion is essential for this kind of issue is my opinion.

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    • Posted

      Dear Wendy

      PLEASE get the cysts cleaned out and filled ASAP or you may be in my position sooner than you think.   I'm going to upload a recent  X ray of my prosthesis.   Please notice that the prosthesis is way off centre to the extent that the surgeon has had to chop out part of my tibia to get it in.  It is also set at the wrong angle.   This mean that the joint is going to be causing a greater amount of friction and thus much more wear debris and it is these wear debris that causes the body to create cysts.

      Cheers, Richard

       

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    • Posted

      Dear Wendy

      I am very concerned that you are relying for guidance of your ankle on a podiatrist.  You need to see a top ankle replacement surgeon.   Nothing else is worth risking.

      Good luck, Richard

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    • Posted

      I agree, i went for the X-ray and scan to ankle doc but will not have him do any surgery.  I havent had any follow up since ankle was placed so I will contact them again to see who/what they have to offer.  Completely agree with your take on it. Will see what orthopedic has to say about cysts.  If surgery is in my future, I am concerned about being at a hospital/doc so far from home and the rehab needs.  Will cross that issue if/when it presents itself.  First step now that I have had exams and scan is to contact Sports Medicine clinic where they do bucket fulls of this surgery as well as other joint replacements.

      Thanks for your concern.   

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    • Posted

      Hello Richard, my Dr. Is also a podiatrist. Do you not think a podiatrist is not the right way to go for a Tar? What could be higher do you know? The Orthopedics around here that i have called dont even mess with Tar's only fusions.

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    • Posted

      Dear Nicolette

      In the UK where I am based a podiatrist is not a surgeon and you need a top flight ankle replacement surgeon who does a lot of them for starters.   Anything less and you really are asking for trouble, please trust me on that score.   I've been a member of a specialized ankle replacement discussion list for many years and can draw on a lot of useful information and experience and I have spent a lot of time looking into a lot of research papers due to my own situation over the past fifteen months.

      Ankle replacement surgery is very tricky to get right and is not something to dabble in though many surgeons do with poor outcomes for their patients.  A poorly done ankle replacement means that the subsequent revision (if possible) would need to be done by a world class specialist surgeon to have any hope of a good outcome, end of!

      Good luck, Richard

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