failure on right,trying for left

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After several attempts of TAR on right ankle, had to amputate below knee to get rid of unbearable pain. Since amputation my left ankle has become VERY painful and i was unable to walk more than 40 to 50 feet and even then with great pain. Dr recommended TAR. I hesitated for another 6 months before giving in to replacement surgery again, after my past experience on right foot. I have now had TAR on left ankle and a little over 3 months out. Dr wants to go a little slower so I am still in cast bearing only enough weight to help with balance. Even with only this much weight iIam having a lot of heel pain. I had this same pain with right ankle each time I started weight bearing. I M very afraid this one is going to fail also. Has anyone had similar problem? Can anyone give some examples that might be encouraging?

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  • Posted

    Hi Carl

    Sorry to hear about your first experience. I was with my PT today discussing my op and she reminded me that my surgeon was very concerned that I should place no weight whatsoever on the ankle for the first five weeks and then only load it up only very gently and gradually. She said this is because in some cases the integration of the prosthesis into the bone is much slower than in others, and overloading it prematurely is not a good idea. I suspect that following the amputation of your right ankle you have grown to depend much more on your left ankle than you realise. I really cannot pretend to be any kind of expert, merely a person who has had a recent TAR. However, recognising that revision is difficult, and the huge loads are naturally placed on this very intricate joint (especially at my weight - 240 pounds)  my instinct has been to be very ginger and take it slowly and gently for as long as it takes. So, in your case I would be patient and cut my ankle as much slack as necessary, by not allowing it to generate undue pain.This is not a medical opinion, only mine, but recognising that there is no way back, only forward.

    Good luck

    Best

    John  

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    • Posted

      Thanks John

      It is always somewhat comforting to have discussions with someone that's similar experience. Your very right on taking it slow and easy, the Dr. and i both agree on this. But i have started having concerns now that it has been so long since surgery. I had surgery Jan. 16, and it is now March 24. Im still going to take it slow and hope for best,,,guess thats all iI can do. I guess I should add the type ankle I had,,,first time on right was STAR...then on left he is trying a Summer (hope I spelled those right).

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  • Posted

    Carl

    I understand that STAR is last generation, and mine is a latest generation BOX . As I said, I am no expert, but if you mean 'Zimmer', I think from my own internet research that is the same or a very similar latest generation design. My own TAR was on 3rd December, so I am six weeks half ahead of you, and a six weeks ago,  when I tried to walk, my ankle quickly got pretty painful, Now, at getting on for four months since the op it still gets painful and I have to take it slow and easy, but it's progressively getting better all the time. So, I suggest you might be expecting too much too soon. It's a slow business.

    Also it might be, as in my case, that the pain isn't coming from the prosthesis, but caused by new increased stresses on previously under-used and so seriously weakened muscles and tendons, made worse by weeks in a cast. I am discovering that these take a lot of time and work to recover and can be very limiting and painful.

    So best to slow down and think positive

    Best

    John

     

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  • Posted

    Thanks John

    It IS a little encouraging to hear of your progress at your six weeks. I may be just a little paranoid, after my last experiences on my right ankle. I know I am going to have to have some patience and just give it time, I guess i will just have to be dependent on ibropopin for a while longer, lol

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  • Posted

    Carl, if I had lost my right foot to a failed ankle replacement procedure, make no mistake I would be more than a little paranoid about repeat surgery on my left ankle. However, by my reckoning you're doing at least as well as me at the same stage of recovery. I am delighted to be more mobile than before and free of pain, my surgeon doesn't want to see me for another 6 months, and the PT and says I don't need to see her again. So take heart, and onwards and upwards! 
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