Ankle replacement or fusion?

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My Specialist told me that if the operation was unsuccessful and if it didn't heal properly I could end up having an amputation of my foot.Has anyone else been told this or is he trying to put me off.I am 68

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14 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Nonita,

    Is not true, I had my TAR 2 month a go and everything runs ok, presently I walk with my usual soes, I have some pain but was decresed with the time, the procedure was performed by Dr Paulo Amado (paulo.amado@pauloamado.pt ) in Portugal, he performed more than 200 ankle replacement in Portugal an Spain, send to him your exames and ask for her opinion, good luck

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  • Posted

    Hello

    I had a right STAR 12 years ago as a last resort.  On reflection I should have had an amputation a long time ago.  There  would have been less pain and discomfort over a period of 20+ years.

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  • Posted

    Hi Nonita,

    My surgeon has performed over 70 TAR operations and since the procedure was carried out on 3rd December 2014 I have progressed exactly as he predicted.

    However, in initial consultations he also told me that there was the possibility of amputation if things went wrong, albeit he said the probability was very small - historically  averaging  3 per cent. He went on to tell me that he, in fact, had never had a failed implant.

    I took this in the spirit of him providing me with a comprehensive risk analysis - partly of course for his own protection.

    However, in view of his considerable experience I discounted it as a serious risk.

    Also, as TAR is a relatively new and still developing procedure I suggest that the historical averages quoted - including the expected 10 year life of the prosthesis- are significantly better for more recent operations.

    So my advice is not to worry. I am pushing 67 and hope that you are as pleased with your TAR as I am with mine

    Best

    John 

      

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    • Posted

      Hi John.Thankyou very much for your comprehensive answer and your response to Mary who was also kind enough to reply.I do appreciate that each person has slightly different problems but I was quite taken aback by the way in which the specialist seemed to stress the possible need for amputation.I think it might be sensible to ask him how many failures he has had personally.
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  • Posted

    Sorry Nonita, I should have added that it is not the titanium replacement joint that causes the continual pain, or indeed has failed, but the surrounding tissues are shot. I now have an almost mechanically fused ankle which is exceeding painful, all the time. Mine was one of the first prototype STAR's in the UK and I am told the consultant who did it is  the best in the country at doing it. It is now 12 years into its 15 year life expectancy. However,if you think about it logically titanium will not wear out, its all the other bits that cause the later problems.  In terms of design and technology used I doubt little has changed but a lot does depend on the extent of the original injury.  

    I would consider the surgical fusion if I were you.

     

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    • Posted

      Mary

      It is the  polyethylene bearing between the tow titaneum implants that wears out over time, causing metal to metal contact and eventaul failure. You might be in pain following the failure of your own prosthesis but for Nonita at 68, 10 years is a very long time to enjoy improved mobility.The Star prosthesis is  old technology now overtaken in the UK, but survived in the USA due to the very long FDA  approval process -which in the case of Star I recall took 10 years.I think Nonita should look to her own surgeon for medical advice as only he is qualified to give it. In this I suggest she should ask him to quantify the risk of amputation (which according to my surgeon is very small) rather than be discouraged by problems incurred by other people 5 years ago  

      John 

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  • Posted

    Hello:

    I don’t know what the intentions of your specialist are by telling you such thing; but is not true.

    About your question, it basically breaks down to how much active of a person you are and what activities you are involved on a daily basis.

    I personally think that ankle replacement is better than the Fusion procedure. The first one allows you to keep more mobility than fusion. So as I stated, it all comes down to how much of an active individual you are. Just keep in mind: no matter what type of procedure you decide to have, it will never be perfect.

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    • Posted

      Hi pheonixOmen.Thank you for your reply and advice.My specialist didn't specify which procedure would be best.I am now waiting for a CT scan and I presume he will discuss it further when we recieve the results.I was certainly alarmed by his stressing what could go wrong.
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  • Posted

    What I am going to say might not happen to anyone else. I starting having surgeries in 2007 trying to get an ankle replacement to take on my right foot. I had 10 very painful surgeries (from Nov. 2007 thru Oct. 2010.) Final and only option was amputation. By this time I was ready for anything to ease the pain which I was promised amputation would do. After all the pain from amputation and the prolonged "phantom" pain was finally gone, I had relief. Now, after favoring my left foot for so many years, (original injury was in the '80's) I had to have replacement on it. Had left foot TAR in Jan. 2015. I am now at weight bearing stage and going to therapy weekly. Still in pain but not unbearable. Hoping and praying that this one is going to be a success. So, I guess what I'm saying is, don't be discouraged, we just have to do what Doctors recommend and put our trust in them and the one above.

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  • Posted

    I had the option of ankle replacement or fusion in 2007 I opted for replacement, and it was a great success. In March 11 2015 I had the other ankle replace and it is progressing great. 10 weeks after op . Removable boot off And walking with normal shoes.& 1 crutch. Had no pain ( just aches after walking on it. But that will decrease. Again I had the option of fusion. Personally I would go for replacement. I am 63 yrs
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    • Posted

      Thankyou for your reply.I am realising that a replacement may be better than a fusion as the specialist says my ankle joint is worn out.Were you warned about possible eventual amputation if things didn't go well.
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  • Posted

    No ,amputation never mention , only if new ankle did not take , it would be fused ( pain free) but not the same movement. No limp or anything tho. What country are you in UK ?
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    • Posted

      I live in Wales .I am wondering if the specialist is trying to put me off because I have other health issues.Did you have a general anaesthetic or spinal? I really appreciate your help
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  • Posted

    Ps  the reason I needed an ankle replacement due to rheumatoid arthritis and both ankles were worn out . Also this time I had damaged ligaments repaired & the Achilles' tendon stretched. Good luck with whatever you decide to have done . I would go for the replacement  personally
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