Pain 7 months post double ankle fusion of right foot

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I am now 7 months post surgery for my ankle fusion.  I am still in pain every day.  The pain has for sure gotten better.  All of my surgery swelling is gone.  I am still walking very slow and with a small limp.  Some days worse than others.  The pain I am having is in the top of my foot when taking a step.  When I try to bend my foot to push up to finish my step the pain is just excruciating.  My doctor says I should have some days with no pain at the same time is telling me it is normal to be in pain.  He says I am still healing and in a few months will be all better.  Anyone else experiencing this or know why this pain is happening?  Almost feel it is because of my screws but I have no idea.  I have been in physical therapy for months and they have no answers other than it just needs to get stronger.  I cannot go up onto my toes b/c the pain is so bad?????

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  • Posted

    First of I’d like to tell you that I’m sorry for what you’re going through.  I don’t want to discourage nor scare you with my response because everyone is different.  I did not have a reply that’s going to put a smile on your face.  I’d like to give you a quick description of my story first. Two years ago I fell 19’. My tibia/ fibula broken and exposed. It blew a dime sized hole through my ankle. I had three surgeries that did not include fusion because of stories like yours. On September 27th I had a transtibial amputation.  I’m now virtually pain free!!   I will be getting a prosthesis in 3-4 weeks and I’ll have my life back!!  This was the choice that I made.  I’m not saying it’s what you need to do.  It comes to a point th where we had enough. I’m excited to put those two extremely painful, inactive two years of my life behind me. 
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    • Posted

      Thank you for sharing your story, sounds like you have been through hell! Pain free is a word I hope to use someday! My injury occurred about 6 years ago when I fell off a counter. Started with a torn tendon. I didnt seek medical attention until 3 years ago and just had my second surgery. I don't think I can handle anymore.

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  • Posted

    So sorry about your pain.  Have you asked a second doctor for an opinion?  My experience six+ weeks post trimalleolar fracture and surgery is that we have excellent care at the beginning but then there is little or no information about how much pain we will have or how much is normal at any given stage of recovery.  Have you been to a physical therapist?  Mine has been the most helpful in telling me what to expect.  However, I am still NWB.

    Hope you feel better soon.

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    • Posted

      I have considered a second opinion just didnt know if it would be helpful. I have been in physical therapy for about 4 months now. Everyone just tells me it will take time. Its frustrating. I never got pain free after 1 st surgery so makes me more terrified. I got the same responses then that it was normal and I needed time until I was told oops not fine need 2 nd surgery.
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  • Posted

    No worries Laura I am six months post op and I to have  pain most days.  I have one plate and six screws in my right ankle.  my tendon in the back hurts quite a bit, the top part of my foot also bothers me along with the ankle ,my big toe is still numb and I to have  Limited range of motion. I think part of the problem is I have two screws going directly up into the leg from the ankle holding everything together the plate also bothers me. Everyone has told me that this is very normal and that it takes the body a very long time to recover from such an injury. I know it’s going to take at least a year if not more. But I just try to remember that my body is working very hard at repairing  itself. We must be patient.  I’m still taking gabapentin to help relieve some of the nerve pain .  My surgeon told me if my hardware is still bothering me after the first of the year we can look into removing it but I definitely want to give my body the time needs to completely fused together because when I saw my surgeon in October my inside Bone was not completely fused I do go back November 1 so I’m hoping that everything will look good at that time. I wish you the best in your recovery!  
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    • Posted

      Diane thank you so much for posting! This is my second surgery and I am having trouble staying positive. I'm so sorry you are still in pain. It helps me to know others stories and know that what I am feeling is normal. It gives me hope! Please keep me posted on your progress and I will do the same

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  • Posted

    I hope that someone can help you with the pain. I went for around five years with the arthritic pain before surgery, then there's pain during the healing time. It seems unfair that you should still have pain, maybe my expectations are too high. I was two weeks post surgery yesterday when I had my back slab and stitches removed and a cast put on. I have never been in a plaster cast before and I can't say I like it much. I'm worried that the swelling won't go down or the cast will become too tight. It's very strange to be so dependent and in hospital I felt very vulnerable. I can't sleep much, and to not even be able to make a cup of tea is depressing. I was extremely silly when the Consultant said she would operate, I was so pleased that I didn't ask any questions which left me totally unprepared for weeks of immobility and then hopping around. I am worried about everything today, is the plaster too tight, why is it sore and burning, is my leg high enough? That's what happens when you have time on your hands, too much thinking! I will be thinking of you and hoping you will soon be pain free.

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    • Posted

      I will be thinking of you as well. I too was worried about the swelling in a cast but after 2 surgeries u can assure you no worries. The biggest worry is keeping your piece of mind. My first surgery was hard but this second one totally got me. You can do this I promise! I wish I would have found post like this sooner and had people to talk to. No matter how many question you ask, or info given. I feel no one or nothing can help you be ready. You need people like me and others that are going through same thing. Please keep in touch and let me know your process. All I know is some day we will be okay.
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  • Posted

    Hi Laura,

    I am 6 months post op tibiotalar arthrodesis with two screws. I hadn't done days when I have no pain but most of the time and on most days I still have a lot of pain which can be excruciating at times. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason why either. I have read that 12 months is the Ave amount of time it takes to fully heal but you're never told this. Only ever that it will take 3 months to fuse. No info about pain going forward, hip aches, lower back strain and knee trouble all due to a different gait.

    I hope you're better now. Good luck. X

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  • Posted

    Laura

    we share the exact same issue. i am 8 months post op with pain across the top and on the ankle, but when i press down it doesn't hurt.. from what i understand it can take up to 1.5 years for healing. i had 1 screw and my Dr took 3 xrays and said all looks good and i asked so why am i in pain everyday. he told me this procedure is one of the longest healing procedures because you walk on it everyday

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  • Posted

    I am 8 months post surgery, right foot. I have a plate and 6 screws. I finally was released to go back to work. I can barely focus or think at work because the pain is excruciating! The driving is the hardest, I don't have the strength or reaction time I once had. I go home every night in tears and have to sit for 2 hours with it elevated and huge ice packs on it. Then when I get up from my chair, I can barely walk. I wished I had never had it fused.

    It's always so swollen that blisters form and then I have an open wound. My back and hips kill me now with pain also, because of my gait.

    The doctor says its normal and put me back in a boot now for 5 months. I hope I don't lose my job, because they can see the pain I'm in and can't do all the duties my job requires.

    I feel hopeless, I'm merely existing, missing out on life.

    Thank you all for listening.

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