I’m 17...ANKLE REPLACEMENT HELP!

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Hey there, I have a few questions that I need an answer for. I am 17 years old and when I was 15 I suffered a few ligament tear while playing basketball. Also with a broken tibia. Ever sense then, I have had 5 surgeries to repair everything to it’s original state. I am still suffering from bone spurs on the bottom of the tibia. I’ve talked to 3 ankle specialist all of which say no to my question because of my age. But I would like to know if there is any ankle specialist out there that would do an able replacement?

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  • Posted

    Hey Jake. I'm not a doctor but I've just had an ankle fusion after suffering osteo arthritis for 10 years.  The OA resulted from soccer injuries when I was around your age  - I'm now age 55.  I looked very carefully at my repair options and I would have to say your specialist are totally correct.. You no doubt have researched this but typical life span of a TAR is around 10 years so by my age you would have gone through 4 TAR operations - not a good outcome and probably would destroy your ankle.  If you do need some more surgery then it may be possible to have periodic keyhole surgery to reduce the spurs or, an ankle fusion.  The AF can be limiting if you are into sports but I still do weight lifting so its not a complete no go - you just need to re-think your horizons.

    A TAR is something you should avoid at your age unless it is the only option.

    I Hope this helps.

    Andy

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  • Posted

    Hi Jake, sorry to hear that you have been through such an ordeal with your ankle.

    I’ve have something similar, I had a missed talus fracture and ligament tears.  7ops in 14yrs...I saw 4 different surgeons, one even specialising in don grafts etc.

    They all said no to an ankle replacement due to my age...I’m 38 and the fact that it ‘wouldn’t last’. An ankle funsion was the only option for me.

    I had it done in may and yep it was awful but I’m now walking a couple of miles a day with no crutches, the swelling is minimal and the pain I can cope with. The movement I have in my ankle is really good too. 

    I do think the surgeon unfortunately are right and I think penguin99 has put it perfectly. Let us know how you get on. Xx

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    • Posted

      Morrismanc007, May I ask how you have movement after your fusion? When I had my ankle fusion I had no movement what so ever.

      Mamie Shannon

       

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    • Posted

      Hi Mamie. The movement I have is only a small amount compared to a normal ankle joint.

      Saying that I didn’t expect to have side to side movement and I can flex my ankle up and down about 5/10 degrees.

      Have to say I was pretty surprised at this as I expect to have zero movement and a lot of stiffness but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. Wish I knew how to upload videos to this post/site so I could show you! 

      Claire. Xx

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  • Posted

    Jake124, I have had 10 surgeries on my ankle over the last 25 years, 4 in the last year and a half. When I had it fused that was all that was available at that time. I still was in a lot of pain and it caused problems with my knee and my hip. I had to learn to walk and it caused lots of problems. In 2016 I had my ankle replacement and im still having some pain but my ankle does bend and I had to learn to walk three time total. I know it will take time to for healing after three surgeries. This last Orthopedic Surgeon told me he would never recommend a fusion, he said they usually cause more problems than they help. You just need to research and find a good Orthopedic to talk about the different options.
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    • Posted

      Hey there. Thanks for responding! I’ve talked to many specialist and they all say a fusion or ankle replacement is the only thing that will help me, but that I am too young.....
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    • Posted

      I hate that for you. I was 22 when mine started. I hope you are able to have some movement like  Morrismanc007 does. That would not be to bad if you have some movement. 

      Good luck

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  • Posted

    you are really young, try to reach a compromise that could give you the time for a long term decision.

    i dislocated my ankle twice in a row when i was 28, i suffered a comminuted break and torn ligaments. the fracture healed very slowly, ligaments never recovered and needed reconstruction (8 more weeks of immobilization).

    even after the repair the ankle was very floppy and i had to constantly wear a brace. as result i had serious osteoporosis and stress fractures.

    specialist told me that only the fusion would be effective. but i decided to wait. at the moment i can walk with the brace, and i can do things that would be difficoult after the fusion. pains and swelling are under control and sometimes i can see improvements.

    i was told that the ankle will dislocate again... well i'm prepared to that. when things will really be unbearable i'll take a definitive decision.

     

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