Anybody going through an ankle or subtalar fusion ? I’m three weeks post fusion and I am hoping I

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I’m three weeks post ankle subtalar fusion.    I’m having trouble staying in bed and keeping my ankle up.   I have support of neighbors and husband which I am eternally grateful for but I’m wondering if this is all going to be worth it.    Will I walk normally again or will it still hurt?

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  • Posted

    Kathy, 

    Stay in bed!! Keep that foot up and elevated. Three weeks is very soon to push it doing anything.  Walk around a bit but boy you don't want to un do the work your doctor did in there. You are still very much healing. And even with the cast on, don't hurt yourself. You can fall, trip or stub yourself , please be careful.

    Pain for me is walking all the time.  Even if its up. I don't think I've had a day yet pain free, but I'm waiting!  My doc says I'm healing which is the good news. I just keep wondering when the pain (if it does) subsides, ever. 

    I believe this and I've read so much here... everyone is different. Your fusion may be a wonderful success. Others I'm sure still suffer . We are all different on this board in our healing stages and success stories. 

    Three weeks is tough.... just keep doing what your doing and listen to what your doc says.

     

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    • Posted

      Rose, I’m concerned about your constant pain.   I don’t get it because it should be minimized by meds and ice.  Where are you with your healing?   Are you swelling a lot?   
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    • Posted

      Hi Kathy, 

      I'm concerned about my pain , too.   I mean its getting there , I guess. I asked my doc about it and he said I was pushing it to much.  He said... "do and then rest" plan and simple.  And he offered me some more OXY but at this point I thought I shouldn't need it. Sometimes at night I take one. But not during the day. 

      My healing seems to be going well. But I did have 3 surgeries in less than a year so I'm assuming everything is just taking its time! ( I hope!) lol

      Swelling is Ok... not stellar either.   I had a ligament/ tendon repair and screws and something else that eludes my brain. That is on the right ankle. I had a Cheilectomry on my left MTP (Big toe Joint) on the left foot... which didn't work. So a fusion was done on April 9th.  So both feet just seem to be taking some slower time for some reason. He (the doc) is ok with this. 

      Take care,

      Rose

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  • Posted

    Hi Kathy, I had ankle fusion Jan 19th this year. The best thing to do is elevate and rest for first 8 weeks. It's hard going but definitely the right thing to do. My fusion is going well, no pain now but unfortunately I fractured my 5th metatarsal so had to go back into plaster. Being on crutches for 8 weeks isn't the best but you soon adapt. I had a rucksack for carrying things around and a flask for hot drinks. Managed the stairs by going up on knees and down on bottom.

    Try not to weight bear as much as possible and you benefit in the long run. You must give time for the fusion to start working. When you do start weight bearing try to roll through the foot, it stretches all the muscles that havnt been used for a while.

    I'm looking forward to having plaster removed next week.

    It's a long journey but stick with it, as Rose said you don't want to undo all the work the surgeon has done.

    Hope all goes well for you.

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    • Posted

      Thank you Alison for the advice.   I still take pain meds for the pain, although it is getting much better.  I went 8 hrs today but I waited to long because it started to hurt and it took the pain pills awhile to kick,in.   

      I use a knee scooter to get around and crutches to get out of the house because of some high steps going in and out of my house.  That is pretty scary too me but I have help.   

      Im wondering if I’m going to need pain pills when I start walking on my foot again.    

      Im wondering if this laying around with my foot up all day and night is good for the rest of my body and how does everybody keep from gaining weight?   I’m worried about all those things.

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  • Posted

    Hi Kathy, I actually lost weight in my first 6 weeks, probably because I couldn't get to cupboards for snacks.

    Gave myself a good diet, 3 portions fruit daily, plenty of water and three meals a day. Only activity was trips to bathroom and back, as soon as I pointed my foot to floor it would swell. I did lots of knitting so if you can't knit why not learn, great opportunity. At 6 weeks I was moving around a lot more, pottering around the kitchen etc on crutches.

    I had no pain as such untill plaster came off and I went in aircast boot but that's when we found the fracture to the 5th metatarsal the consultant thinks I put too much pressure on one side of foot.

    The pain from the fusion is barely noticeable now, you will get days where you feel you're going backwards not forwards, I had a few of those and lots of tears but I'm convinced if I hadn't got the fracture I'd be walking unaided by now.

    You will have pain when you first weight bear but your body will tell you when to stop and rest. Elevation is a must, I still elevate several times a day..

    I hope this helps, it's early days for you and I know how you are feeling but patience is a must.

    Take care.

    Alison

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    • Posted

      Rose and Alison

      i am amazed at what a woman does in a day.   My husband is exhausted because he has had to take over and it’s like he is working at something all the time besides going to the office.    Of course it doesn’t all get done and Imtry to help with folding clothes and making lists for shopping and keeping the space I stay in right now clean.   

      Imhave decided things happen for a reason and my reason for this surgery is to slow down and smell the roses.  

      Im going to,figure out a craft I can do sitting or lying down.   Maybe something to make for Xmas.    I have a long ways to go.

         

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    • Posted

      Hi Kathy,

      I stayed with my son for 8 weeks as he has a downstairs bathroom and I live on my own so I needed his help. As he is full time carer for his daughter who was 18 months at the time he had his hands full, also he was walking my dog!! To help out I used to do the ironing with my leg propped on bed and ironing board set up along side the bed. Also around 6 week post op I cooked a couple of meals, had chair to kneel on, hard work but satisfying, this is where the knee scooter comes in handy. I would wash up standing for as long as i could on one leg. I always knew when I needed to hop back to bed and elevate. I think I got to week seven post op and got completely fed up, this does happen, it's very natural.

      I'm pleased you are looking to take up a craft, you will find it very satisfying.

      I also have a mobility scooter which is a godsend., especially with the dog.

      The pain should subside for you the more mobile you get, pain meds are good as it relaxes the area concerned and the body can get on with repairing.

      Take care,

      Alison.

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  • Posted

    That’s what I’m afraid of now. My fusion is in August and I’m really scared. Good luck🙏

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    • Posted

      Jan, the worst part for me is the staying in bed part.   I’m ok for awhile and when I take a pain plll I actually nap a bit.   But it is hard on my back and legs and so I get up and tootle around on my knee scooter and get stuck somewhere in my travels and have to have help getting out of where I’m stuck.

      Sleeping  in one position is the Pitts.   I’m not a back sleeper I like my side but can’t put my foot up when on side because I think  it swells and then starts hurting.     

      I have to say that I have not had a lot of pain.  The pain I did  have the first week was taken care of by pills.   After eight hours I do have burning and some shooting pains but nothing unbearable.   I had more pain before the surgery.

       

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  • Posted

    I’m only 5 days post-op and already tired of bed/recliner. I stocked up my Kindle, Prime Video, Netflix and Hulu so I have lots to do.  Started to shop Amazon Prime, though. This is going to be an expensive recovery!!
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    • Posted

      Gretnagal,

      im right with you on the Amazon thing.   It was a week and I was shopping.   I’m playing games on my iPad.  I really like “Words With Friends”.   It keeps my mind busy and the times goes faster.   

      I would   be much better now  but I happened to get Bronchial Phenomonia a week after my surgery.   I was so miserable with that and the coughing etc etc that I didn’t  really even notice my ankle until I had  to get up and do something.      The hardest part is the inactivity.   

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  • Posted

    Hi Kathy

    I’m a little bit behind you, i’m 12 days post op. Have knee scooter to get around. I don’t have much pain maybe a 2 so haven’t taken any pain killers today. I have been told by hospital (RNOH) that it’s only the first couple of weeks you need to go easy. After that I think it depends on how you feel. I’m a bit worried I might have done too much but lying / sitting down all day makes my back seize up and a trip to the osteopath isn’t practical at the moment. 

    I spoke to a friend who had one ankle fused and one replaced and he says he has far less trouble with the fused ankle which is pain free on most days 

     I’m having my plaster changed Thursday so will be able to find out then how it’s going. How did your first check go?

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    • Posted

      Liz, wow, you have had some surgery’s fairly close together.   I’ll bet you do feel as if you will never walk again.  I’m surprised you have so much pain because you are non weight bearing if you are just 5 weeks past surgery.   

      Im wondering if you are going to fast and your healing can’t keep up with it.

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    • Posted

      Hi 

      how was it when you had stitches out? Did they do X-ray or not?

      I’m not using painkillers, it burns a bit but I think that’s because I have spots of psoriasisunderneath the cast. 

      I have been told nwb until week 6 how about you?

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    • Posted

      Liz, I’m amazed you don’t need painkillers.   My pain is almost gone now but it has been three weeks since my surgery.    I was up and around too much yesterday so it hurt last night and I had to break down and take a pain pill.   Needed some sleep......

      my two week checkup was fine.   They took X-rays and that was a little upsetting because the nurse that did it was not familiar with the X-ray machine for some reason and she thought I needed to  get up on the table.   

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    • Posted

      That was scary because nwb on one foot makes it hard to hop up on a table.    But we eventually got it done and Everything looked good.   They took out staples on my leg but not stitches on my foot and ankle.   I guess they do that in three weeks at my next checkup.   

      My ankle is doing great  and I can get around very well with my knee scooter.   My problem now is I have phnemonia.   I had a cold before the surgery and maybe because of the anasthetic it turned into pneumonia.  

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Kathy

      that must be really hard on top of everything else. The first few days I struggled so much lots of tears, frightened to take too many painkillers and just feeling terrible. My surgery was keyhole so I’m just expecting two small holes either side of the ankle, each surgeon seems to have different procedures they follow. I’m nwb for 6weeks then another 6weeks in plaster when I can wb as much as I am comfortable with and then a boot for 4-6 weeks. Hoping to go back to work once I can wb, 

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    • Posted

      Yes, getting back to a normal schedule like work is good.   I don’t care what I go back to as long as I can walk there. Ha    I was very ready the first week also and I think  it must have a lot to do with the pain meds.   I was driving everybody crazy because I couldn’t do anything by myself and I felt  their frustration.   

      This had better work because it isn’t for the faint of heart.   It’s a rough go and I expect to be compensated for all the time it’s taking away from my grandchildren and everything else I want to do.   .      I hope I’m not disappointed.    

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Kathy,

      Just to let you know all the hard work is worth it. I'm 19 weeks post op ankle fusion, metal plate and 5 screws.

      I had plaster removed Wednesday, due to fracture 5th metatarsal, and put back in aircast boot but I am able to wear trainers around the house and can walk, feels really strange, indoors but must wear boot to go pounding the pavements. Consultant said to use crutches when outside.

      Hope this gives you something to look towards.

      Alison.

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    • Posted

      Wow, Alison that’s good to hear.   Do you have any pain in your foot when your walk?  I only use a knee walker right now and I am wondering if I had  better get those crutches out and start practicing on them.   

      Thanks for replying......good Luck !!!

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    • Posted

      Hi Kathy,

      It's quite a strange feeling at first because the foot is quite flat and initially I walked with a limp but I think that's because of being in plaster and boot for so long.I have no pain except a bit of soreness, consultant thinks it may be the hardware so that will probably have to come out.

      I'm so excited to be wearing a pair of shoes, November 2016 was the last time. Obviously taking slow at moment, got boot for 8 weeks but

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    • Posted

      Oops, pressed send before I should.

      Anyway just wanted you to know there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

      Hope all goes well for you.

      Alison

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    • Posted

      Hi Alison - just wanted to ask if you had pain when you started to weight bear? Foot is hot and feels sore when I walk on it with crutches but have been told that I need to be walking on it. I have tried to ice as best I can but doesn’t seem to do much good. I am in a cast for 4 more weeks and just fed up with the pain and discomfort 
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    • Posted

      Hi liz, yes i did have lots of pain on weight bearing and the soreness was unbearable so much so that I phoned my surgeon and went to see his registrar who assured me fusion was fine but it was rest of foot that had got to recover now.

      Four weeks later I'm in lot less pain and minimal swelling.

      Use your foot as much as you can, rest and elevate when necessary and use ice for swelling if any.

      I'm on the last leg(so to speak) so hang on in there, it's a very up and down journey.

      I now wear ordinary trainers around the house and manage all my own housework etc. I started in stages, do a bit, rest and elevate, do some more, rest and elevate. it does get easier. I still use boot for walking the dog but no crutches.

      I wish you well and keep in touch.

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