I need an ankle replacement

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I had a serious head on collision Feb 2011. I've had 4 surgeries since then. My ankle was shattered and my leg broken. This changed my life in an instant. Here it is over 5 years now and I'm in more pain than I originally had after the accident. My ankle is so swollen I haven't been able to even wear my shoes for years I wear open back shoes year round. I had to move because I can't do steps. I can't walk without pain. I limp and have arthritis now all over my foot. I'm in constant pain and my mobility is awful I can't believe I can still drive. I can't do anything I use to do it has changed my quality of life. My doctor said there is nothing else to do my ankle replacement. I'm really scared I don't know what to do. I'm 60 and I'd like to get my life back but I fear it's too late or it could be worse after the surgery. Has anyone been through something similar relating to an shattered ankle and then a replacement years later? I would appreciate some input. Thanks

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  • Posted

    Debi, I am so sorry you've had to go through all of that and also that things are even worse now.  I can't imagine how you must feel and not just physically, but emotionally as well.

    I have not had any experience with anything like this, but there are so many helpful people on here, that I know someone will be able to hopefully givey you some good advice.

    Thinking of you and again, I'm so sorry you're having to deal with this.

    Beth

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for responding. It hasn't been easy but I don't complain. My family and friends don't know what I'm going through they know I'm hurt but they have no idea the everyday pain I'm in. I need to make a decision about this replacement it may be the only way I can get a some what normal life back. Thanks again for your concern

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  • Posted

    Hello Debi - I'm so very sorry to hear of your tragic accident and all the dreadful suffering you've had since 2011.

    I personally have no experience of an ankle replacement but I do know someone who'se had one quite a number of years ago  and he recovered very well indeed and went on to walk perfectly normally.   We're many years on from that now and I would imagine the replacement joint, the surgery technique and indeed the physio following the surgery is much more superior and sophisticated than years ago.   The aim these days seems to be to get people back to as normal mobility as is feasible.

    I can understand your fear but you need to talk to your surgeon, have him/her explain everything to you and ask loads and loads of questions.  When you know the answers you'll feel more in control.

    I had a hip replaced in the Spring of this year and was, like you, scared stiff but I've been amazed at how well I recovered at 72 !    then exactly three months later, I fell down the stairs at home and am now recovering from a double break of my ankle joint  and a displaced Talus joint.   I now have metal plate, screws and pins holidng my ankle together - so while not in the same league as you, I do have some idea of what you're feeling.

    Very best of luck for the future.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for responding I'm so sorry now you hurt your ankle. I too have metal plates and screws. They told me after my 4 th surgery they could not take it out they feared I would break it easily. I have another appointment to speak to an ankle replacement Doctor I had one opinion last year the pain and arthritis is getting worse I can barely walk and the pain brings tears to my eyes. I know I need to do this and hopefully it will help thanks again for your concern

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    • Posted

      Dear Debi, I also have plates, nails and 26 screws to hold my foot together. I also feel like crying at times because it is constant throbbing pain. Very difficult to sleep and that is why I'm getting another specialist. I don't want another surgery. I'm terrified of hospitals. My anxiety has gone through the roof. I'm alone with my daughter and have limited support. I try the best everyday but there are times that I'm falling apart. The third surgeon was blunt and matter of fact. He told me that I will not run again etc. I'm forty and the rest of my life will be very low impact.

      I'm concerned for you but I'll keep looking for different options. Keep me posted please😇 yours truly, Monika

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    • Posted

      Thank you I do appreciate your support I have another appointment on October 6 with another surgeon I know he will tell me what the last one did but I'm hopeful. I will let you know I do know your pain and at times its unbearable but there's not much to do about it just grin and bare with it I feel for you too

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  • Posted

    Hi Debi,

    I understand how debilitating and life altering an accident can be. I shattered my ankle four months ago. It changed my life forever. Had three surgeries and I have more pain and discomfort than a month back. As a single mom and currently semi- unemployed it has been an everyday challenge. I'm not sure when I'll be able to drive again. I have an air cast boot for support and a cane. Everything seems difficult.

    Five years is a constant challenge. I contacted a fabulous orthopedic surgeon out in California for a second opinion. I have been in constant pain: pains, needles, burning sensations, stiffness and despair. Lack of sleep and atrophy. Cabin fever. I am going to continue research. There are a few things to try out for swelling even if they are messy but helpful besides the icing. One is Turmeric powder and make a paste and apply it to the swollen area. Make sure to have a towel because it stains. The other is a garlic paste.

    Contact me anytime I'm coming up with new ideas.

    Yours truly, Monika

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    • Posted

      Thank you for responding. It sounds like you know my everyday challenges. It is much worse than after the accident. The arthritis is making it worse it's so stiff and swollen and painful. I live alone so I'm worried about going through this by myself. I am disabled now it's hard doing this alone. But I do the best I can. I'm just so scared it won't work especially since I waited over 5 years. But I will get a second opinion in a few weeks. Thanks again for your concern

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  • Posted

    In all honesty I would get a second opinion at this point.
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    • Posted

      Yes I agree I had X-rays done last week there is even more arthritis which explains this extra pain I'm having I can't take anymore of this I have an appointment on October 6 Something needs to be done I don't have a life I just exist in pain

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    • Posted

      I feel for you, I will keep you in thought and prayers. I am Here in the US and being the medical field is still in its infancy several opinions are better than one. Be safe, get well soon.
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  • Posted

    Wow, I'm so sorry to hear what you've gone through!

    I, too, was involved in a head on collision, although mines coming up for 10years ago now. And as a front seat passenger I shattered both ankles and legs.

    Because I was young at the time, 19 years old, they wouldn't do ankle replacement - so I have one fully fused ankle and one partially fused, I am still in constant pain and have arthritic feet so have been on strong opiates for years - we're now going to have to amputate one of the legs in a few weeks - I had asked about ankle replacements but they wont do it on people my age, and once you've had a fusion, you can't have a replacement apparently.

    A couple bits of advice that I'd give is, if you're being offered a surgery that is relatively major, and irreversible ALWAYS get a second opinion. (I got 3 for my amputation). Always do your research to make sure you're using the best orthopaedic surgeon you can find and one you trust and feel happy talking to. You don't want a surgeon who dismisses your pain or who you don't feel comfortable telling about your issues. And finally, take your Physio exercises seriously and do everything you can to keep your strength up and weight down - the less weight going through the ankle joints the better, and the stronger you are in your legs and core etc. the more support will be given to your ankle. This is much easier said than done - especially when youre in chronic pain and immobile, but just do your best.

    Obviously you can dismiss everything I've said, i just wanted to offer something that may be of use! I do hope someone manages to minimize your pain so you can get back to living a mobile, pain free life. You will be in my thoughts and prayers and if you ever need to talk, just message.

    Charlotte

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    • Posted

      Thank you so much for the advise I'm getting a second opinion on October 6. Weight has been a big problem I put on 50 pounds these lady 5 years from the accident. I can't exercise I have so much metal and pain and stiffness I can't get on the floor or get up I can't use the treadmill or a bike. I feel if I do this then I will be able to get this weight off. Eating healthy alone doesn't help much I've been seeing a nutritionist and lost 10 pounds but now nothing cause I can't move I'm hoping to get my life back but it's scary the thought of another surgery (5) hopefully my last. Thank you again for your advise I will def get this other opinion

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    • Posted

      Thank you Charlotte, I found this site by chance. Full despair. I am very sorry to hear about your upcoming event. Accidents happen so fast and unpredictable. I will say prayers that everything will go smooth for you. It will be many adjustments. It is unfortunate since the ankles are the most sensitive part of the body where all the nerve endings coincide.

      I'm getting a second opinion with an expert. Had medical records sent over. He did suggest for pain gabapentin which is a non-opiate. Hang in there and sending prayers and energy. Don't hesitate to email whenever you want. Yours truly, Monika

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    • Posted

      Hi Monika

      Thanks for your reply. Just wanted to say, Gabapentin is not an opiate, but it is a neuropathic pain killer and can have some strong side effects and can cause withdrawal when coming off so do some research before taking it. I used to be on it, but my pain specialist tapered me off a few weeks ago.

      I hope things work out for you and you make a full recovery!

      Charlotte

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    • Posted

      Oh I know how you feel! I've put on so much weight, and the main reason is because I am so immobile during the day! I am basically wheelchair bound so don't walk, and barely get out of bed because of the pain, so even though I eat relatively healthily I can't lose weight! Very frustrating! I just try and eat as mindfully as possible smile

      Good luck on the 6th - wishing you lots of luck in your recovery! Keep us updated on your progress! C

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    • Posted

      It's so nice to finally talk to others who understand what you go through. I'm so glad I found this site. No one knows or understands my pain that I have everyday. Thank you for talking to me I feel so much better knowing that I'm finally understood. This weight has made my son even worse I'm trying so hard to loose it. I look in the mirror and I don't see me anymore it's so upsetting I hope to gain my mobility so I can finally exercise. I wish you feel better too thanks for all of you who responded I truly don't feel so alone now ??

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    • Posted

      Ceejay87, I gained lots of weight not being able to walk and was also using wheelchair. I had ARP May 6th and I have list 30 lbs. I feel like a different women. I'm a happy person now and I only regret not having it done sooner.

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    • Posted

      Deejay87, I use to take that and it didn't help so I stopped it. Didn't have any problems getting off of it, thank God.

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    • Posted

      Hi Debi, just read your story forums. I'm so sorry for what you're going through & your past car accident! I am 60 & getting a STAR ankle replacement on Sept.16, 2016. I have post traumatic arthritis in my L ankle. I have bone on bone with swelling & pain. Many years in pain from falls ect. I do take gabepentin for nerve damage from being a stem cell donor. (U Penn put me on that over a year ago) It has helped with healing & pain from my last LA operation of June 2, 2016. The pre op nurse told me to keep taking that because, it is helpful with nerve regeneration.

      I have screws & plates too, that give me pain, numbness & tinglinging & ,burning. Been nwb since June 2. Can't wait to move forward & someday walk. We are all a special group of people who only understand each other's pain, suffering & emotional ups & downs! Try to stay positive, keep getting support here & you will find questions & ideas to take to your doctor. In from MD

      Continue hope

      Weezer

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    • Posted

      Hi I just saw your email. Thank you for telling me your story I hope you have success with your surgery pls let me know how it went and how your doing good luck
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