Pain at 20 weeks post op ankle fusion

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Hi, I'm in aircast boot at 20 weeks post op ankle fusion and I am experiencing terrible pain in side of foot. Keeps me awake at night, burning stabbing pain that is continous, I am using ice packs during the day that ease it for a while but once it's back it's awful.

Has anybody else experienced this, all was going well untill now.

Thank you

Alison.

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear about that Alison, it must be awful for you.

    If you're feeling unwell and have a fever then go to the ER immediately because your fusion might be infected.

    After 20 weeks I would expect you to be out of the air cast boot. If I were you I'd go see my surgeon and ask for his advice. You shouldn't have this kind of pain at this stage. It sounds like nerves are repairing and the pain is electrical signals to the brain. If you are weight bearing then your gait could be causing the pain too.

    I hope you improve soon.

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    • Posted

      Hi Gillyjoo

      Thanks for your reply.

      I have managed to get appointment with consultant/surgeons registrar for next Tuesday.

      I think it may be nerve damage/repair or hardware problem.

      Thanks again.Alison.

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  • Posted

    I had this exact same thing. It lasted for months, until I saw a neurologist. He diagnosed me with nerve damage and put me on gabapentin. It’s been a life saver. Before that, I’d seriously looked up assisted suicide in my state and wanted to shoot my foot off. It was horrible. I seriously feel for you.

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    • Posted

      Hi amber, thanks for your reply. I am becoming very depressed as it's constant all day and all night, in fact it's worse at night and of course there's only so many pills you can pop in a day.

      I have phoned consultant who is on annual leave but managed to get appointment with his registrar for next Tuesday. I too think it's nerve damage although consultant did say I might have to have hardware taken out as it can irritate. I feel that I'll never walk without boot or cast again, not that I can walk with boot at moment without pain. I'll let you know result.

      Thanks again for reply

      Alison.

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    • Posted

      I fee you! I was there too. I was in a boot and using a scooter for 6 months. I’ll be one year post op this Friday. It’s finally getting to where it is worth it, but I think I’ll be on the gabapentin a long time.

      You’ll get there!!

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  • Posted

    I wonder if there is some nerve impengement caused by swelling? I still experience that at almost 7 months post op. I am usually fine in the morning when the swelling is down. But by evening my ankle is swollen and hurts like crazy, all the while the top of my foot is numb! And I agree about the boot. Seems a long time to be in it. I guess even the boot could be causing some pain if it is rubbing tender skin or if it is causing irritation. Hope you see improvement soon.
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  • Posted

    I am 13 weeks post fusion. Had to go back to have one of the fixing screws out as it came out. My consultant had a very messed up ankle to fuse. I had my operation yesterday and am home with a bandage and flat shoe for 2 weeks. To weight bear as able. So I am building up with crutches. I have minimal discomfort. When I was in the boot the nerves used to twitch sometimes but not severe pain. I do think however the air cast boot may be exacerbating any pain. Mine feels so much less stiff without it. Probably suffer when I start to weight bear fully and I may still have some residual local block in there as the op for screw removal was only yesterday.Good, you are going back to the hospital. Gabapentin is great for nerve pain but it is best to get the cause treated then have to rely on medication long term. Keep us updated and wishing you lots of luck
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    • Posted

      Thankyou Jude for your reply.

      The consultant did mention sometimes the screws can irritate so he might have to take the large one out. I have seriously had enough of wearing aircast boot now, I had to wear it 15 months before operation and am still wearing it now.

      I will let you know how i get on Tuesday.

      Wishing you well for your recovery.

      Alison.

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    • Posted

      Hi Jude,

      Quick update , have been hospital today and fusion going well, not complete but well on the way.

      The pain I've been experiencing is from the ankle joint , I'm asking it to do something it's not used to doing. Bear in mind I've been wearing aircast boot for almost 2 years .

      Have been told I can wear trainers now and when I experience pain to rest or go back to boot for a while.

      I've been referred to Orthotics for a build up for my shoes/trainers.

      If that doesn't work then it's an injection.

      If that doesn't work then it's another fusion.(oh no!!) Fingers crossed it repairs itself.

      Hope all is going ok for you

      Take care

      Alison.

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    • Posted

      I am glad it is moving in the right direction, albeit slowly. It is such a tricky joint to repair. I am in a bandage and flat shoe, as the boot was too tight following screw removal. Mobility is slow and am using crutches a lot. The flat shoe they gave me is awful. Preferred my boot to be honest. Keep in touch and let me know how you are. I go back to Consultant a week today for 2 week post screw removal check. Will message you about that. Are you in the UK? Xx
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    • Posted

      I couldn't get on with the flat shoe at all. Everytime I went for a walk it would slip off my cast. It stayed on indoors though so hence I didn't walk out for 8 weeks.

      It feels so good not having to wear boot permanently. Still very sore though, guess time will tell.

      Yes I am in UK, yourself?

      Hope all goes well for you next week.

      Take care

      Alison.

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    • Posted

      I am in the UK. Hertfordshire. I have no cast on my ankle just padding and a bandage. The flat shoe is so clumsy. I preferred the boot. Not sure if I will go back in it. You have really had a tough time haven't you. X

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    • Posted

      Hi Jude,

      I think anybody who goes through this has tough time don't you.

      Mine was due Avascular Necrosis ,collapse of talus bone which eventualy shattered.

      This was brought on by steroids due to having pneumonia whilst on holiday in greece in 2015, so yes it's been tough and a very very long journey to get to this stage. We all need to hang on in there, things do get better it's just sometimes it doesn't feel like it. So frustrating at times!!

      By the way I live in Bedfordshire.

      Hope all is going well for you, persevere with that shoe, I'm sure you'll win in the end.

      Alison.

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    • Posted

      I live in Stevenage. Yes ankle surgery is particularly slow and therefore difficult to cope with mentally and physically xx
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    • Posted

      I live in Leighton Buzzard but had surgery at High Wycombe .

      Just been out with dog without boot and using only 1 crutch. All OK, very slow, took about 30 mins to do 10 mins walk, foot bit stiff and achy but it's only just the beginning.

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    • Posted

      Small steps for us are amazing aren't they. I am off to a funeral today. I long to be able to wear a pair of shoes not just one haha.. Does nothing you my sense of balance 😎😎

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    • Posted

      Ha ha, I know what you mean, I was so excited to be wearing a pair of trainers after 2 years that I sent a photo of my feet in them to everyone!!

      I'm off to buy new ones tomorrow as the left one has worn out on two pairs of trainers and a pair of boots.

      Won't be long for you I'm sure.

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    • Posted

      I was suffering terribly with nerve pain since my original ORIF last November. On Wednesday I had 2 very long fixation screws removed and the nerve pain is totally gone. I have incisional pain but that will resolve. I am so happy I had those screws removed. I am convinced there was nerve impengement. I still have the long plate and 8 screws on the other side, but I have not had any issues with them. What a relief to be pain free finally!
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