Treatment for arthritis of the Subtalar joint in the ankle

Posted by lovetennis @lovetennis, Jul 24, 2018

I was diagnosed with moderate arthritis of the subtallular ankle joint. Dr. says no research has been done indicating help for arthritis in this joint. He said that this joint is very complicated. The only recourse is to adjust my orthotics. He does not believe that any injections will help including cortizone, PRP, or stem cell. He said way down the road, a fusion might be considered. I will never have a fusion or any surgery done on my ankles or feet. I do not want to wait for my condition to get that bad to have anything done. Is there anyone out there with this condition? Is there any research or trials to test treatment for this particular joint? Is there anyone who can advise me on what to do about arthritis in the ankle?

@windyt

@lioness Thanks for your reply. The Mayo doc who did the surgery on my ankle was an orthopedic surgeon but as I noted, he did not address my concerns at the last visit in November, so I went to see a podiatrist in January and she is the one running more tests to try and find out why I am unable to walk. I am now awaiting scheduling for a nerve conduction study, but am having increasing pain in the inside of the ankle and calf with attempting to walk with my crutches or walker. I had to stop Physical Therapy now also since Uncle Sam now wants the money I have been using for PT every month, so that may have something to do with my lack of progress as well. At this point don't know if I should go back into my boot or continue to try to walk as I am with an ankle brace and sneakers…

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@windyt So sorry for your problems I don't know what to tell you just my experience from my Dr He said stay of then he put me in P. T I'm sorry about your husband I went on Widows S.S at 62 before I got Medicare which is at age 65 Have you gone to S.S office and talked with someone there? If not I would suggest this

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@contentandwell

@windyt You are in a very tough position if you do not have health insurance. Your husband's did not continue after he passed away? There are often provisions for survivors.
I presume then that you want to wait, how soon will you qualify for Medicare? I would as soon as possible seek a second opinion. It does not seem right that you are living with so much pain, I can't imagine that there is nothing that can be done, although that does happen at times.
For now it sounds as if you are doing all that you can. I hope your efforts will be fruitful. Why did the physician at Mayo say future surgery? If it's on the horizon is there a reason to not do it now?
JK

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@jk Thank you for your response. I had Cobra insurance after my husband died but that has expired now and the current insurance rates are too expensive for me since I don't qualify for a subsidy. I currently belong to a health-sharing ministry that does help with medical bills, but most places, including Mayo, make me pay cash up front before they will touch me and I don't have enough for surgery. I will qualify for Medicare in about 1.5 years so it is not too long to wait. I have seen a podiatrist who is ordering further testing to see what the problem is and once I have more information hopefully I can figure out what to do. I wish I didn't have to stop PT since that was at least helping me make some progress, but the new tax reform has not been good for me and the money I had for PT I now have to pay in taxes.

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@gallagher17

I just got fusion surgery from Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN. After four months I am walking with Hoka shoes; tennis shoes that have a thick solee. My ankle is sore at the end of the day, but the next day my condition improves. Get an at Mayo and let them give you an accurate diagnosis. Warrn.

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@gallagher17 Thanks for your reply. My PT suggested Hoka shoes and I have been using them every day along with an ankle brace, but have not yet been able to walk independently. I am hoping the nerve conduction study will give more information regarding if there is nerve damage that is causing problems. I have numbness of my toes, part of my foot and ankle, and pain with weight bearing in the big toe, so it seems there is more going on than just the ankle. The Mayo doctor who fixed my ankle did not address these concerns so I had to go elsewhere for further evaluation and testing. Will see what information that brings once I get the testing done.

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@lioness

@windyt So sorry for your problems I don't know what to tell you just my experience from my Dr He said stay of then he put me in P. T I'm sorry about your husband I went on Widows S.S at 62 before I got Medicare which is at age 65 Have you gone to S.S office and talked with someone there? If not I would suggest this

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@ lioness Thank you for your condolences and wishes – as a widow yourself I am sure you understand how difficult things can be. I am not yet dealing with his loss very well. I checked on the Widows SS but since I am still working they said I would not get it, but that I can apply at my full retirement age of 66 + some months. I am walking on my heel as needed when my toes act up, but the pain in the inside of the ankle does not improve and I still need crutches or a walker to keep less weight on it.

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@windyt

@ lioness Thank you for your condolences and wishes – as a widow yourself I am sure you understand how difficult things can be. I am not yet dealing with his loss very well. I checked on the Widows SS but since I am still working they said I would not get it, but that I can apply at my full retirement age of 66 + some months. I am walking on my heel as needed when my toes act up, but the pain in the inside of the ankle does not improve and I still need crutches or a walker to keep less weight on it.

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@wendyt Yes I understand it is tough I wasn't able to work when 62 so I did take it then ,did you weigh the difference which would be more? Just asking

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I did not have those problems; the pain and numbness. After four months now, I just have soreness from walking too much. Have your doctors take another look.

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@windyt

@jk Thank you for your response. I had Cobra insurance after my husband died but that has expired now and the current insurance rates are too expensive for me since I don't qualify for a subsidy. I currently belong to a health-sharing ministry that does help with medical bills, but most places, including Mayo, make me pay cash up front before they will touch me and I don't have enough for surgery. I will qualify for Medicare in about 1.5 years so it is not too long to wait. I have seen a podiatrist who is ordering further testing to see what the problem is and once I have more information hopefully I can figure out what to do. I wish I didn't have to stop PT since that was at least helping me make some progress, but the new tax reform has not been good for me and the money I had for PT I now have to pay in taxes.

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@windyt sorry that you are in this predicament of the vast middle – too much money to qualify for any assistance but too little to pay for what you really need. I didn’t realize that cobra had time limits. Before my son and daughter had jobs that supplied insurance they both had Fortis. There were different plans. I advised them to get the one that basically paid for everything after a large yearly deductible. I figured a person can come up with a couple of thousand more easily than many thousands if they ever ended up in a hospital. My daughter did end up in a hospital for one night about 12 years ago and the hospital bill was $14,000.
JK

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@lioness

@wendyt Yes I understand it is tough I wasn't able to work when 62 so I did take it then ,did you weigh the difference which would be more? Just asking

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@lioness Yes – I definitely do better with working and will probably end up working as long as I am allowed to. I am a college professor teaching online classes, so at least I don't have to stand up and walk very far.

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@contentandwell

@windyt sorry that you are in this predicament of the vast middle – too much money to qualify for any assistance but too little to pay for what you really need. I didn’t realize that cobra had time limits. Before my son and daughter had jobs that supplied insurance they both had Fortis. There were different plans. I advised them to get the one that basically paid for everything after a large yearly deductible. I figured a person can come up with a couple of thousand more easily than many thousands if they ever ended up in a hospital. My daughter did end up in a hospital for one night about 12 years ago and the hospital bill was $14,000.
JK

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@jk Yes – cobra only allows you stay on it for 2-3 years, after that you are on your own. I work as a college professor teaching online classes, but as an adjunct professor I don't get any benefits and only get classes based on student enrollment so my income varies with the time of year and how many students enroll, but my medical bills and those I am paying off for my late husband's care don't decrease. My ankle surgery (outpatient) in Jan 2018 was almost $30,000 so I am very grateful that the health sharing ministry helped me with that, but wish I could have just had a cast without surgery… Now I am waiting to see what kind of nerve damage I have and what may or may not be able to be done for that. Am getting the feeling that I will not be walking normally again and will always need some assistance, but am hoping to improve enough for a cane and not the crutches and walker I am using now. Having to attend my daughter's wedding with a walker and wheelchair was not pleasant… but better than her Dad not being there at all since he died when she was 21.

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@gallagher17

I did not have those problems; the pain and numbness. After four months now, I just have soreness from walking too much. Have your doctors take another look.

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@gallagher17 I have gone for a second opinion and am awaiting scheduling at Mayo for a nerve conduction study to see what and how much is damaged. The second doctor says that depending on the findings the damage may or may not be something that can eventually recover, and that she may have to refer me to a neurologist or neurosurgeon. I am hoping to someday not need the walker and crutches that I am still using and to be able to walk normally again or with a cane. So… hopefully I will be getting more information soon.

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@windyt

@lioness Yes – I definitely do better with working and will probably end up working as long as I am allowed to. I am a college professor teaching online classes, so at least I don't have to stand up and walk very far.

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@wendyt That's what I was thinking your on your feet that does make a difference then Take care then hope your ankle gets better for you

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@gallagher17

I did not have those problems; the pain and numbness. After four months now, I just have soreness from walking too much. Have your doctors take another look.

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@gallagher17
Got the results of my nerve conduction study and they are not at all what I expected. Thought they would find nerve damage in the ankle or foot but the results show those as normal and the injury being to my spine. So my chiropractor recommends a spinal MRI to see what the injury is. Regardless of what it shows, if it needs any type of surgery or complicated treatment it won't be happening until I am on medicare. Good news is that when she carefully adjusted my back with an activator, the numbness and pain in the foot/toes improved for a few days and I was able to put more weight on it. She also mentioned a decompression therapy that I may be a candidate for depending on the MRI results. So now it looks like my treatment is going a different direction.

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