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Ankle Fusion Feedback

glenwattglenwatt Posts: 155
I was wondering if any members have any experience / knowledge of cycling / life following an ankle fusion operation.

I'm due to have one of mine done next week and if I'm honest I am starting to feel a little anxious.

Although after years of pain through arthritis, I am really hopefully for some quality of life back post op.
Glen

Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.

Posts

  • GlenWatt wrote:
    I was wondering if any members have any experience / knowledge of cycling / life following an ankle fusion operation.

    I'm due to have one of mine done next week and if I'm honest I am starting to feel a little anxious.

    Although after years of pain through arthritis, I am really hopefully for some quality of life back post op.


    Hi Glen,
    I started this post a couple of years ago and the inspirational Pokerface put it all in perspective... hopefully this link should work:-

    viewtopic.php?f=30005&t=12841330&p=17499064#p17499064
  • glenwattglenwatt Posts: 155
    Thanks, I did do a search. But couldn't find anything.

    Did you end up getting the ankle fused?
    Glen

    Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
  • GlenWatt wrote:
    Thanks, I did do a search. But couldn't find anything.

    Did you end up getting the ankle fused?

    No, fortunately not so far, I'm now 40, and have been quite lucky. The accident happened when I was about 19 or 20. The pain comes and goes every few years. I've started doing more cross country running and cycling and it's been ok since 2012, but I expect the pain to return and plan to just deal with it/ get it fused if/once it's really bad.

    A doctor friend had a shattered ankle (talus forced up into and split the tibia into many little pieces -from an ice climbing fall in crampons in his 20s, he's now approaching 50) it was wired back together but he never really recovered any mobility (very little up and down motion) from the outset, so effectively fused but with pain. I've not seen him for a few years, but he seemed to adjust and walked with a slight limp up hill. It didn't stop him from doing what he wanted to do. He said that the foot became much more flexible and compensated to some extent. He said you just have to be positive and said it's not a knee or a hip! -
    Check out Andy Parkin the climbing artist. After a fall that almost killed him he had a fused hip and elbow and still climbed at a high level.

    What happened to yours? how did the pain develop? did it come and go until it became unbearable? Assuming it was an accident, how old were you when it happened?

    Easier said than done, but be positive and view it as an end to the pain and will allow you to get on with things. I'm sure it won't stop you from doing anything, and you'll adjust to walking, clipping in etc.
    Mine's my left foot, so always wondered how this would impact driving and using the clutch. It didn't seem to affect my friend's driving (it was his right ankle)
  • glenwattglenwatt Posts: 155
    Mine was a motorbike accident back in 1982, so around the same age as your's. It was screwed back together and other than a bit of pain over the years nothing too bad. Got straight back to activity. Although the cartilage was wearing away inside over the years.

    However it all went a bit wrong around 4 years ago following a car crash.

    A combination of a torn ligament in the other ankle, then a broken humerus bone. Meant I ended up with 3 ops in the last 4 years. A result was that I was on crutches for quite a bit and that I also put a lot of extra strain on the arthritic joint, causing accelerated wear and tear so to speak.

    Anyhow the pain is now pretty constant, with the joint locking up quite regularly and I'm hobbling around all the time. Fingers crossed for next week and some improvement.
    Glen

    Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
  • stubble07stubble07 Posts: 5
    Hi Glen

    Not sure if you have had this Op yet. But I have had this done.

    I’ve had my left ankle fused about 6 yrs ago due to arthritis. I was 44.
    A bloody hard decision to make

    I’ve been active all my life very sporty like Hill walking, mountaineering, football badminton, and a little bit of Mountain biking.

    I didn’t know what sport I was going to do after ankle fusion. The prospect was dim as far as I was concern. After a year recovering I took up cycling to build up my fitness and strength.

    I had not realised that it was something I could do with out pain or hindrance. I started to believe in myself again, I was enjoying the rides. My cycling was now the only way that I could keep up my fitness and wellbeing

    I’ve been Road cycling now for about 5 yrs I have join a club doing 150 to 200 miles a week during the summer months and 100 during the winter months, I done many Sportives like Dartmoor Classic, Fred Witton, Somerset Grand fondo, Weeks holiday in the Alps climbing most of the classic routes like Marriott. I’m feeling great, no pain in the ankle to speak of. Only toes get a bit sore after a very long ride 100 miles plus. That could be down to the shoes.

    Don’t get me wrong it wasn’t easy. At first there was the problem of muscle imbalance with the right leg. Left quads still a little smaller but much better now.
    Only the calf muscle is a problem now because I am unable to stretch the muscle due to the fusion. Real pain at first, cramping all the time in the beginning. Now only when I take on the Hilly Sportives do I get it toward the end of the ride. That’s probably just me not taking it easy. Still learning to ride a sportive the right way.

    Big tip if you are walker like me Get a pair of MBTs (https://shop.mbt.com/uk/ ) They will help you with your walking and gait, also protect the toes from becoming arthritic. I can now walk for miles. I can clam the VAT because they are classed as an aid to your disability.

    Yes I’m happy I had it done.

    I wish you all the best in what ever you decide to do.

    Please do not hesitate to ask any more questions

    Neil
  • glenwattglenwatt Posts: 155
    Neil,

    thanks very much for the reply.

    Yes the fusion went ahead end of February. I have been out of plaster now for about 3 weeks and still only partially weight bearing on crutches.

    The joint has stiffened up a lot more in the past week or so, as I guess the bone knits.

    Pain has been really good overall, even as little 3 days after the Op. Although now I'm trying to walk on it, it does get sore and really swollen.

    I will look into the rocker soled shoes, they look the part don't they :?
    As they are really expensive how did you manage to claim the VAT back. Is having a fusion enough to get the limb registered as being part of a disability?

    I am really encouraged by your comment on getting back to cycling, just need to be patient.

    Regards

    Glen
    Glen

    Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
  • stubble07stubble07 Posts: 5
    Hi Glen


    Wow you are out of the plaster after 3 months. I was in mine for 6 months before I could walk on it.

    I suppose opinion changes in time as to when you should walk on it.

    So take it easy. Don’t rush it. You don’t want to end up getting it re-set

    Mine swelled and ache for up to 6 months after the plaster came off.
    Try and keep it up as much as possible, like watching the telly and put a pillow under the mattress when you got to bed.
    I still get a odd day where it swells up a little, like sat down at a desk all day.

    The shoes are not as bad as the picture show. :D Their soles do look large but they squeeze down when you walk, this help with heel pain and they are very comfortable to walk in. I do know that they help with your posture and they help build up your calf muscles as well. I will not ware any other shoes now.
    The Sandals are good, they are fantastic to walk in during the summer and the look good I think.

    I use this shop in Bristol
    http://www.backinaction.co.uk/mbt They have a London store. Just pop down and see them, they are really helpful just tell them you have had a Fusion they should take your details and they should offer you VAT free MBTs.

    I hope things go well with your time in recovery and it is not to long before you are riding the bike again.

    Ping me and let me know how you are doing over the coming months and when you are back on the bike. I got a few tips for helping you not to suffer with ache and pains in different parts of the body. You will be surprised that leg, hip and back suffer a bit on your bike at first. I know I had pain in these areas after a long rides. They seem to be under control for now.

    All the best

    Neil
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