Ankle Fusion Anyone?


Well, after years of suffering with a bad ankle that is getting progressively worse, it looks like my husband may be facing an ankle fusion.  I’ve been quite preoccupied with this worry recently, and it’s part of my lack of blog postings.  Nothing I read about it looks like fun.  But he can’t keep on like he is, as it’s getting almost impossible for him to even get around on it. He is at the doctors in Amarillo today, while I am here looking up scary things on the internet.  Access to lots of information can be a good thing, and a bad thing.  But I tend to want to read it all, or hear it all, so, if anyone has any personal ankle fusion experience they would like to share with me, either publicly or privately, I’d be interested to hear it.  If you want to share, but prefer to keep it private, just post a comment asking me to contact you back, and I will respond to your comment via email.  From what I’ve read, I understand recovery is quite lengthy.  I’m trying to convince him, though, that if it will result in easing the tremendous, life sucking amount of pain he is currently in, that it will be worth it in the long run.  And that’s all I have for today.

11 thoughts on “Ankle Fusion Anyone?

  1. I am so sorry about this. I know he has been such a support to you through your “stuff” … and here you are feeling quite helpless about him.

    Tho’ I’ve not had it nor do I know anyone who has, (just a BIL with hip replacement), I know that I would much prefer replacement to fusion. Your University of TX helped my brother so much – with artificial discs in his back. I should think if anyone has the artificial ankle replacement they (U of T) would be in the forefront. Or Mayo Clinic or Cleveland Clinic. Believe me, whatever you need to pay above the insurance reimbursement is well worth it. It is such a godsend they have this stuff today. AND there are loans available to help with major medical stuff like this … sometimes with a mortgage refi or a plain and simple second mortgage. That sometimes makes it much more “doable” and you CAN see a light at the end of the tunnel.

    I will do some research, too … and see what is out there. My brother is going through some new treatments now called “prolo” which is injection of dextrose between those discs to send blood flow to the tendons and ligaments for pain relief. Believe me, he uses whatever he can find that is “new” in the medical field because he’s trying to get off Oxycontin. Our firefighters really pay the price … but that is another story.

    Hang in there, my friend, and I’ll be back to you (probably privately) with what I (and my bro) can find for you that is new and on the “cutting” edge for ankle replacement.

    Big hugs to you …

  2. I don’t have any experience with an ankle fusion, but I do have LOTS of experience with getting ‘too much info’ from the internet. I know how that goes. I often get freaked out by looking stuff up because my personality is to assume the worse, I guess. I’ll be praying for your family. Surgery is scary, all the way around.

  3. I’m not any help either except that my brother injured his ankle severely in an accident years ago and after many operations and years of pain is facing the same surgery IF he decides to have it done. They’ve told him a joint replacement is not an option now.

    I don’t know how he deals with the limited mobility and the pain he’s constantly in but the lengthy recovery time is keeping him from making the decision right now. He works for an industry that is significantly impacted by the economy problems and I think he feels his job would be in danger.

    I’d appreciate it if you’d share any insight as your husband goes through the process.

  4. Randi I know exactly where you are coming from with ‘too much information’ on the net. When my DH was so ill last year I read everything I could find on what he was going through and like you are finding, none of it was good. All I can offer in the way of advice is hang in there – I’m sure you will both make the decision that is right for him and with so many of us sending good thoughts his way, how can it possibly have anything but a good outcome!

  5. I, too, have an upcoming ankle fusion surgery on St. Patrick’s Day. I wasn’t too crazy about the idea at first – and got a second opinion (same as first). Both docs advised the fusion due to my current activity level (workout 5x week) and my age (48)…apparently the replacement is not recommended for folks younger than 60 b/c it only lasts 10 yrs or so…and isn’t great if you are an active person. I was also given the option to to try non-surgical pain relief methods prior to surgery – but knowing that they were all temporary, I decided to go forward with the surgery and hopefully get out of a cast before the midsummer heat arrives…and just get the inevitable overwith. Like you, I have scoured the internet for information…and that’s how I found your site! My doc told me that I would retain the range of motion that I have now – which is already significantly reduced…and that after I had healed (6-12 months) the only difference would be that I would be pain free! I’m a widow living alone but I’ve prepped my home, have a freezer full of pre-cooked meals, bought a new tv and a knee walker…and am now actually ready to get this process started.

    Best of luck to you both – and feel free to email me privately with any other questions you may have!

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