Anyone riding with a fused ankle?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by gbx2001, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. gbx2001

    gbx2001 Geophiz Supporter

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    Hi - I am not sure if you read my Dec 24th post, but I had ankle replacement surgery in mid- October and am still healing, but have no pain and I'm making ongoing progress.

    The link below provides information on a very modern (<2 years old) ankle replacement hardware and the installation procedure.
    http://www.http://www.totalankleinstitute.com/infinity-ankle.html.com/infinity-ankle.html

    Good luck with whatever path you choose.
    #21
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  2. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    Well, dammit. Just saw the Ortho surgeon @ UCSD who's top in her field with regard to ankle stuff. She said I was the perfect candidate and met all criteria for ankle replacement surgery...except I'm too young.

    As it now stands, total ankle replacement is geared toward an older, more sedentary person. As well, it's likely a 10-15 year max lifespan (the plastic wears out, not the metal parts).

    She highly recommends fusion...or I can wait until I'm 55 for ankle replacement surgery. But if I opt for fusion now, future replacement is likely off the table.

    Dammit!

    She said there are surgeons who will perform a replacement for younger guys. Also, she said there are surgeons who will do a replacement after a patient has undergone fusion; she just won't do either.

    I have some contemplating to do then I'll see what I'll do...
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  3. cal08

    cal08 Long timer

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    Out of curiosity, how is the shifting and braking for those afflicted?
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  4. Hollyr

    Hollyr Vesterislendingur Supporter

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    Fortunately it is my right ankle that is messed up and by lifting my foot placing it on the brake lever, I can press on it without having to bend the ankle. I think shifting would be very difficult for me if I'd destroyed the left ankle.
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  5. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    The good news --if there's any good news to be had--is that my badass Sidi boots act as a nice brace. When I'm riding, I rarely feel my ankle ache, and there are no adverse shifting or braking issues.

    I'd like to wear my Crossfires all the time, actually...
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  6. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    After years of dealing with the pain and experimenting with cortisone shots, physical therapy, acupuncture and different pain meds--as well as an attempt at a full ankle replacement--I'm scheduled for the fusion surgery on this coming Tuesday.

    Will report back on how it goes.

    I'm supposed to be out of work for 90 days to allow me to remain completely off of it as it heals, then 3 more months of physical therapy.

    If all goes well, I'll be pain free. And more importantly, I'll be able to use my ankle again.
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  7. Hollyr

    Hollyr Vesterislendingur Supporter

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    Best of luck. I'll be watching your report.
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  8. gbx2001

    gbx2001 Geophiz Supporter

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    Best of Luck on the ankle fusion surgery - I hope all goes well.
    Last October I had a total ankle replacement, rather than an ankle fusion, so I will be curious to know how your ankle fusion surgery works out.
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  9. Haldor

    Haldor Been here awhile

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    Best of luck Dan. I guess you aren't going on the Baja ride this fall after all then. No worries, Drunk Uncle and I will hoist a few for you.

    I love my Sidi Crossfires also. Just as comfortable as my Sidi Adventure boots and much more protective.
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  10. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    Had the surgery yesterday and was discharged this morning. It went well, 6 hours worth. The doc had to do a lot of carving and reshaping. Said I shouldn't have been walking on that ankle at all. It was pretty messed up.

    They took some bone out of the top of my leg to fill in what was needed. That hurts the most right now, I suppose.

    I'll have a pain pump for the next 2-3 days, as well as Oxycodone. Will let you know how it goes but the pain had gotten so bad in the past 6 months--and walking a mile was difficult--that this fusion surgery was a good trade-off, for me.

    Other than you guys, I've spoken to 3 or 4 friends and co-workers who've done it with mixed results. I understand the key to success is following the doctor's orders to a T and staying off of the ankle completely while it heals. No weight bearing whatsoever. I do intend to do that as I want as close to 100% recovery as possible.

    More to follow.
    image.jpeg
    Ugly, I know...
    #30
  11. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    If all does well, I will be leading that Baja ride in November. If I'm not cleared by then, I'll be with you guys in spirit!
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  12. Hollyr

    Hollyr Vesterislendingur Supporter

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    Thanks for the details. Keep us informed on how the healing goes. I'm still holding out on getting the surgery but...
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  13. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    Will do. I gotta tell ya, I might've waited too long. I should've just done it 2 or 3 years ago and I would've skipped all of that pain and been healed up by now.

    One of my bike riding friends is in the same boat right now, unsure if he should just get it done; I'm strongly suggesting that he does.
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  14. cal08

    cal08 Long timer

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    Well, no complaining about aches and pains around you. Good luck! It sounds like your going to do fine.
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  15. Hollyr

    Hollyr Vesterislendingur Supporter

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    I suppose one advantage of living in Canada is that we have an off season for surgery! Might be time I got another opinion.
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  16. Haldor

    Haldor Been here awhile

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    #36
  17. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    I went in yesterday to have the initial cast taken off, the sutures/staples removed and a new cast put on. I wanted to tell you about something very disconcerting that I heard while I was there.

    I was chatting with two fellow patients as I waited for my new cast to be put on; one was a Navy vet about my age, the other was a mid-60's Navy vet. The latter had a below knee amputation done on Tuesday (3 days prior). He asked if I had an ankle fusion. When I confirmed that I did, he asked if I wanted to hear a nightmare story. I said I did, and this is what he told me:

    Less than 2 years ago, he'd undergone ankle fusion surgery to correct years of pain. Shortly after he surgery, while still hospitalized, he got up to use the restroom. The walker he was using failed (wheel collapsed) and he fell hard, severely injuring his recently repaired ankle; the hardware and ankle bones were smashed. The doctors tried to repair it but it was a mess. An infection turned into bone disease and it was all over. The doctors recommended amputation below the knee and on Tuesday he went rough with it. The guy calmly reminded me of the importance of protecting the ankle as it healed.

    His story concerned me greatly. My doctors had warned me not to place any weight on the ankle as it healed, but no one had mentioned how bad it could get. The surgeon who performed the procedure told me that in 90 days, the bones will be stronger than ever. But it's imperative that I allow the healing to occur completely during the first 3 months. If I didn't understand how important that was before, I know it now. image.jpeg

    I hope this precautionary tale helps someone. More progress reviews to follow.
    #37
  18. Hollyr

    Hollyr Vesterislendingur Supporter

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    The skin looks like it is healing nicely. I hope the bone is fusing just as well.
    That truly is a nightmare story--the walker failing is something I would never have considered!
    #38
  19. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    Yeah, it scared the crap out of me and definitely impacted the way I do to things since.

    I wanted to pass along my experiences because I see now that ankle fusion is more prevalent than I first thought. I appreciate the OP's sharing of the process so anyone considering it would have a lot of firsthand info to consider.
    #39
  20. Hollyr

    Hollyr Vesterislendingur Supporter

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    Thanks, it is definitely helping me.
    #40