Ankle fusion and triple arthodesis?

Posted by crebecca @crebecca, Oct 13 9:29am

Good Morning, my name is Cynthia,. Age 69. Have anyone had ankle fusion and triple arthodesis surgery on the same foot? My ankle fusion was done in 1983 and triple arthodesis 2002. I can not find any relief from pain when I walk or stand. I have tried nearly every shoe in the book. I have had several braces made, no help. I even take pain medication.
Last week I decided to try my walking boot, I used during recovery after surgery years ago. I seem to have some relief from the walking boot than anything else. I read that you should not wear the walking boot for a long time, because it is heavy and throws your gait off and that effects your body.
The boot is heavy but I have walked with a limp for almost 30 years anyway and my gait is already off. Have anyone else had these surgeries and are having problems standing or walking with pain.
Do you have any suggestions? I am at my wits end. I know I could just sit down in a wheelchair, but don't want to do that if I don't have. too. I have had arthritis since I was a child and just sitting makes you other joints very stiff and painful.
That's all I do is sit and I am very depressed from being so limited and from being in pain all the time. Thanks for listening.

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@crebecca My husband was using a walking boot for a stress fracture in his foot. He was wearing a gym shoe on the other foot and the imbalance caused a partial Achilles tendon tear in the ankle with the gym shoe. Then he had to wear the boot on that foot for awhile. It throws off the pelvis when feet are at different heights like one leg is longer and that in turn will put uneven pressure on knees. Keeping everything aligned properly is important to prevent wear and tear to other joints. What did help when wearing the boot was to match the height with a hiking boot so the pelvis was more level.

I have recovered from a bad ankle fracture myself and know how difficult it is when pain prevents you from putting weight on an ankle. It might be worth seeing a physical therapist to see if your pelvis and leg alignment is off because it is so easy to throw it off. The ankle fusion changed your movement also and a physical therapist may be able to advise on the best practices to avoid wear and tear that could cause a knee replacement later. The pelvis can also affect the spine when it is out of alignment. I work on stretching for that because my pelvis shifts out of alignment because of tight muscles that pull on it. It has at times caused pain on the insides of my knees or one sided low back pain and I know that needs to be addressed. I don’t have pain when everything stays where it belongs.


Hi @crebecca, I'd like to invite @brianlf to this discussion who also had a trip arthodesis caused by a motorcycle accident. I also had my ankle fused in 2014. The recovery was long, slow and painful every step of the way. For me, the pain did go away after my full recovery about 14-18 months later. I do not have any residual pain left in the ankle itself, but like you, the change in my gait will lead to pain in my opposite ankle or even my knees if I do too much.

@crebecca, where do you experience the pain the most? In the ankle itself, or is more your foot bones?


Hi, @brainlf, I am having most of my pain in my foot bones. I occasionally have some pain in my ankle. In the eighties they took a bone out of my hip to fuse my ankle. I was told by my foot doctor in 2002 that my foot was left in a small downward angle during the ankle fusion, this causes pain and stress on my toes. Every time I stand or walk I am in pain. It feels like my foot is totally stress out. My foot rolls out, which causes pain. The only relief I can find for the roll out is a walking boot, but I read if you wear it too long it will do harm to other parts of your body. My gait has been off for so long I don't think I have nothing to worry about in that area. Is there any type of shoes that you found helps? I have tried so many shoes, braces, rubs, patches, pain medication. I was born with a very thin stomach lining, and can't tolerate most of the pain medication. I use hydrocodone 7.5 mg. Anything stronger makes me severely ill. I don't know anything else to do. I joined this group hoping to get some new information. Sorry for being so long winded. Thanks for listening.

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