Lower leg amputation, recovery

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Hi, trying to work things out in my head. I have had 2 ankle fusions. The 2nd was a sub talar done 8 months ago. I now have increasing pain and a bone scan showed unstable fusion, even tho all x-rays say it's good. Having a CT scan next week and then seeing Dr. I don't think I want to go through a revision surgery. I am beginning to think that a BKA may be my eventual option, and I am o.k. with this. Anything to stop the pain. My  concern is that we have a big overseas trip booked starting in early July. This was booked over a year ago. What I want to know is, is there enough time to recover if I have this. All opinions would be appreciated.

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hey Mammalu

    Do you mean recover from a BKA by July 2018?

    If so what do you mean by 'recover'?

    Do you mean will you stump be healed? Or will you be on a prosthetic? Or will you be able to walk unaided?

    Could you be more specific?


    • Posted

      Hi, I think I mean each of the above. I want to be able to walk unaided for most of the time. We will doing a road trip for 3 weeks sightseeing, then a cruise. I have a good wheelchair which I will be taking, but I want to be able to walk for most of the day. Just gentle stuff.
    • Posted

      Ok, well obviously every one is different and recovery can be different for everyone.

      Your age, weight and health/fitness will all effect your recovery.

      From personal experience, my stump was pretty healed after 8 weeks and I started learning to use a prosthetic about 8 weeks post op. It took a few weeks (6-8) of intense physio to be able to walk unaided, but even a year on I still can't walk long distances (in fact at the moment my prosthetic is not fitting well so I'm using my wheelchair until I'm back into the see the prosthetist which has taken 3 weeks so far!) I'd had 10 years of chronic pain, ankle fusions on both ankles etc before getting my right lower leg amputated, so my fitness was not good, but i was 28 so that meant I healed relatively quickly compared to other amputees I met at hosp.

      I guess what I'm saying is, it will really depend on your individual circumstances. It sounds quite soon to me - but i met an amputee who had her op in the October and was up and running, skiing and cycling long distance by the January!

      Sorry I can't be much more help! A surgeon and physio might be able to give you a better idea.

      Good luck! If you have any more questions then just get in touch smile

    • Posted

      Thank you for that. From what you said, basic recovery is about the same as a fusion. I was 7 weeks in a cast, 12 weeks non wt bearing after my last fusion. I am considerably older (60), but seemed to heal very quickly. But I feel anything must be better than how I am now. I can only walk for about an hr, then I am stuffed after that.
  • Posted

    Hello sorry to hear about all your problems. I had an Anterior A Joe joint fusion 7 months ago i am still having problems, my doctor wants to fuse my subtalar joint now I have been actually looking to see if anybody had these two I was wondering how it went if someone did and also my hind foot bone is crooked now also which is causing a lot of pain. I haven't had this yet so I don't know how long it takes to recover I know it's been 7 months and I haven't recovered from just my Fusion of my ankle I would speak to my doctor if I was you to see how long the covery may take and then the therapy also for your trip

  • Posted

    I think you and I have spoken before.  I’m really sorry that you’re still having issues.  I’ll tell you about my journey and hopefully it will help. 

    I’m 55 and I had a transtibial amputation September 27th, 2017.  Two years prior I fell 19 feet and broke my ankle, tibia,and fibula   The bones blew out the side of my leg.  I had three surgeries, including a bone graft.  I was able to walk, but it was painful due to post traumatic arthritis.  My trauma surgeon told me at the time of my accident that I should amputate, but I wasn’t ready to give up.  I saw a specialist as a last ditch effort to save my leg prior to amputation.  He proposed a fusion or ankle replacement with no guarantee.  In my mind, I had finally made peace with amputation.  It sounds like you are there and I applaud you for that.  It’s a tough decision to make.  I’m currently walking with my prosthesis and I have two more weeks of physical therapy left.  I’ve been taking walks on my farm among other things.  I’m not over weight, but I’m not the picture of perfect health either.  I do have a POSITIVE ATTITUDE and lots of ambition.   You can do it!!!   Hold your head up and know that you’ll be pain free!!   To me, it’s not that big of a deal.  I just have one more thing I put on when I get up and when I go to bed.  I ecstatic with my new start on life and being PAIN FREE. 

  • Posted

     Just to let everyone know where I am at now. Saw my Dr yesterday, and yes, the fusion was not full healed. Just a tiny bit, but boy does it make a difference! Discussed all options and finally decided to get the sub talar fusion repaired, as well as talar navicular joint done. This way I will be walking for our trip. Hopefully this will be the last.
  • Posted

    Hi there sorry for jumping in .

    I have had several accidents with my left ankle (the last being in July 2014) and after several operations my ankle is now a right bloody mess,

    There is ligament damage, nerve damage, structural damage and artery damage,

    The pain I'm in is off the charts 24/7 which I am on medication for.

    The consultant I was last seeing told me it is only going to get worse and wanted to fuse it and after lots if discussions with professional people, friends and family I have decided to have a bka which some people thought as being a tad severe but in my head a few much deliberation is definitely the right choice.

    Unfortunately with fusion come a host of problems like spine problems, hip problems, problems with the other leg and then problems with the fusion not fusing.

    I explained to my consultant that I am 50 years young and have one good fight left in me and don't want to prat about going in an out of hospital to end up probably having to have a bka eventually anyway.

    I have a friend who has had a bka about 4 to 5 years ago who told me he had an ankle fusion before the bka.

    I have been reading on other forums where people have had the fusion then gone on to have the bka and after recovering then regretting having the fusion done in the first place saying the bka gave them a better lease of life (after all we do need ankles).

    I am just weeks away now from my bka and to be honest even tho the 600mg of pregabalin is helping with the nerve pain only I can't blummin wait, I have really become to dislike my ankle now because of all the pain and problems I'm having, I am only able to walk a couple of hundred metres before having to stop.

    I had to stop working about 8 weeks ago which really mashed my head in as I've worked all my working life and I have also loved long walks which I can no longer do.

    Sorry for going an and hijacking your conversation but I just need to sound off.


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