I am considering ankle replacment surgery- who can I talk to that has had this done already

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To anyone who has had a total ankle replacement either recently or years ago. I am David and have arthritis in my left ankle. In winter here in Atlanta it got damn bad so I pressed Kaiser and Resurgens Ortho to ok a total  ankle replacement and on track for August. But I hear horror stories now about it and hearing it is NOT what they say it is and would VERY MUCH LIKE TO TALK TO ANYONE WHO HAS DONE IT and if it is a good idea. Can anyone chat with me ?

​david31086 is me. I would even like to talk to someone if they would call me and if so would give you my #....scared stiff need a lot of friends right  now in my same situation

 

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  • Posted

    Hi David!

    I had my ankle replaced five months ago. While every patient is different, a lot of us had a very hard time with our incision healing. I am able to walk without any assistance, but my ankle and foot still swells and is still very stiff. I go to PT three times a week. You will need a lot of assistance until you can get around on your own. I had severe arthritis and couldn't walk half a block without severe pain. I can't tell you if it was worth it yet, since I am not near healed yet. 

    However, I met a few patients the other day that are totally healed and would do it all over again. It took them a year to be totally healed. My prosthesis is the Infinity Inbone. 

    It is a big decision and I wish you the best. 

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    • Posted

      THANK YOU for writing. I broke my ankle about 2  years ago and ended up with a stupid Kaiser podiatrist who just put me in a boot and uses crutches. I should have been in a hard cast for a few months. Anyway this year the arthritis kicked in in Jan & Feb and was keeping me from functioning in life so I aggressively went after them approving a TAR. I see positive from you after only 5 months and you are one of the first encouraging replies. I am scared and feel I may not really be to the point of needing a TAR ter. They have offered me the Wright Infinity. Is that the same as you got and most advanced product ? I am in Atlanta and with Resurgens Ortho Dr. Erroll Bailey. Have you heard of him  ? I heard it is the surgeon doing the surgery that is key.  I'd like to talk to you ......David

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    • Posted

      When you say severe does that mean you can't even walk after half a block ? In Jan & Feb when it was so cold here in ATL that's when it really kicked in and I start gobbling  Meloxicam daily and got in a panic and pushed KP to do something for me besides a little cloth ankle  brace and ended up head to doing a TAR. Now  the weather is better and pain subsided a lot but my knee now has arth. after all the hobbling around all winter. I would like to keep in close contact with you. I am 57 so a decent time to just go for the TAR I guess but the bad testimonies are what freaks me out . After 5 months are you able to walk, drive, go to work or out etc ?

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    • Posted

      Hi David!

      I'm not sure if the part is by Wright, but it's the most advanced part on the market today per my surgeon. I am 54 and live in NJ where winters are pretty cold and snowy. 

      I couldn't walk a half block before my surgery.  At four months I was able to drive, walk and do most of the things I did before. But I am not doing it like I did before. I am still very early in the healing process. 

      No operation is a piece of cake, especially joint replacement. There will be pain and the recovery process. But, if the pain is to the point where it's interfering with your quality of life, it's usually an easier decision to go for elective surgery. I went in not knowing all the details, but maybe that was a good thing. 

      I tend to over think things, and for some reason, I didn't do it this time. Probably because I was tired of the pain. I will definitely keep you informed on my continuing improvement. 

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    • Posted

      My surgeon is also going to use Infinity TAR. Is that what you mean by Infinity Inbone ? Wright makes Infinity. I assume there is only 1 Infinity ? I'm 57 and if I wasn't on my pain meds I could hardly walk around the house. I am on some damn good pain meds and helps make life liveable. I overthink everything and have had some bad anxiety attacks lately but over them now. You are on of the first positive people I have talked to thus far....let's keep chatting ok.

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    • Posted

      Hi David!

      Yes, the Infinity Tar is what I have as my new ankle. It's the third generation of this prosthesis. As long as you have help for the first few weeks, maybe a couple of months, you will be fine. Like I said earlier, each patient heals differently, and maybe you will be lucky and have no problems with your incision and can start PT much earlier than I could. I researched many surgeons, and the one I picked was the best in his field. He's extremely knowledgeable and gifted. Ankle replacement surgery is much more complicated than a knee or hip. And I can't stress enough, how important PT is to your recovery.  One of my surgeons patient is on his second ankle replacement within one year.  He is overjoyed with his results. I hope to be in his shoes very soon. 

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  • Posted

    Hi David, 

    Can’t help you with your dilemma but wanted to tell you that I am also in Atlanta and with Kaiser. Will your surgery be with Resurgens or KP? Mine (ORIF) was done with Kaiser podiatry 

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    • Posted

      Ahhh, just read your reply to above person. Who was the KP Podiatrist if you don’t mind me asking? 
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    • Posted

      Have you already done the ankle replacement with Kaiser or planning to. They told me they don't even do TAR's and only do ankle fusions. To answer your question  when I broke my ankle 2 years ago took me 5 days to even get in to Kaiser at all and was with a dips**t "podiatrist" Dr. Neerings (total a**hole with an attitude and talks fast hurry up and get out of here kind of so called doctor who lead  me to believe  he was an orthopedic surgeon at the time. I found out later he is just a podiatrist no more no less and realized I had been had. He said to just throw on a boot and uses crutches and after 3 weeks start walking on it. I had no idea what a broken ankle could  turn into and just said "Oh greet I'll be back to normal in no time right doc"....now 2 years later I'm screwed with serious enough arthritis.  I  am now seeing Dr. Richard Pike at KP Glenlake who really  is an ortho   surgeon and a good guy but he keeps defending KP and Dr. Neerings original assessment of course they have to cover their asses . But Pike has thrown in the towel and approved ankle replacement to be done by Resurgens Ortho Dr. Erroll Bailey who is supposed to be one of the best foot surgeons in the business but I have yet to trust an verify on that asking his staff about him but can't find out side stats to back up how good they say he is. Let's keep in touch ok.....David

      Moderator comment: I have edited this post due to the swearing. These are open forums so as per the T&Cs please do not use offensive language in posts otherwise they may be deleted.

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    • Posted

      Dear David

      I had a TAR in 2012 here in the UK and you can vies a short video of me walking outside and running up and down stairs at twenty weeks. Google Yogesh total ankle replacement. I looked after myself in a difficult old house and relied on the local supermarket to deliver my groceries.

      I had my two very active working sheepdogs to look after at two weeks back home and at two weeks took over the feeding of my small flock of sheep and it was winter time with snow to contend with. I was 71 at the time but fit.

      The most important factor in a successful TAR is the ability and experience if the surgeon. Get that right and you can rely on him using an appropriate prosthesis.

      I made an amazing recovery and returned to a very demanding life style that involved hill sheep farming and heavy building work but at my four year check up my surgeon informed me the I had cysts (Osteolysis) and that action would be needed to save my ankle.

      I gained access to all my medical notes and it quickly became clear to me that my prosthesis was put in so far off centre and to get it in he had had to cut a slot into my fibula. Apart from meaning that the loading was not being taken straight through the prosthesis it meant that it was more likely that additional wear debris would be created and it is thought that this wear debris is what is responsible for osteolysis!

      I found a very experienced new surgeon who did a lot of revisions putting right other surgeon's failed work and had the revision surgery done almost two months ago. The surgery took six hours and I was in hospital for ten days. Normally a TAR takes around two hours so you can see that this was a pretty serious revision. I'm now 76 and am now in a fully weight bearing plaster cast.

      If you would like to talk on the phone please message me and I will give you my phone number. I am happy to chat with anyone and this will be far more useful than email contact.

      Hope this is all of some help.

      Cheers Richard

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    • Posted

      Dr Pike is my surgeon and did my surgery already. I really like him. I’m so sorry you had such a bad experience sad glad you have your referral and hope the Resurgens doc can get you on the road to recovery. Best of luck to you! I can’t imagine how awful it’s been for you sad
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    • Posted

      I can't find our e-mail about what Dr. Pike did for you ? Did he really do the ankle replacement surgery ?

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  • Posted

    David:  I have two excellent surgeons to choose from in Rochester NY.  One uses the STAR total ankle replacement and the second surgeon uses the Zimmer TAR.  It is a very complicated surgery.  Hard to find a surgeon who has done numerous TARs.  I've decided to go with the Zimmer because the surgery comes in from the side and research says healing is better.  With the STAR replacement, the surgeon comes in from the front/center and often nerves are affected.  I'm a very active 70 year old woman in good shape.  I do have Lupus which is somewhat of a concern.  I have found one 'live' person who has had ankle replacement surgery with no complications and said she is very happy she had the surgery.  It's a long recovery, but I'm very hopeful.  I've had three cortisone injections and cannot have surgery within six months of having such a cortisone surgery.  I'm aiming for July or August surgery; meeting with the surgeon 5/8.  Will right back.  I did here that a surgeon in TN has done 700 total ankle replacements and he uses the Wright In-Bone replacement system.  I also know of surgeons in an orthopaedic practice in Syracuse who have moved from the Wright to the STAR.  Not much help, but continue on this site; I've earned a great deal. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks. So you have not yet done the TAR correct and doing cortisone shots for now ? Let's  stay on this

      David

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