Fusion vs ankle replacement

bubbles22222, Jan 18, 9:49pm
I know everyone's situation is different but just interested in anyone who has had to have either one and chosen one over the other. I have been given 3 options live on painkillers and antiflams or have a fusion or replacement. I have been told of the pro and cons for each. Has anyone had one of the above and then ended up with the other.


oh_hunnihunni, Jan 18, 10:38pm
I've had two fusions, same ankle. First one rendered me unable to walk, so it was revised different surgeon, different hospital. I was falling all the time, the ankle had been badly smashed in a previous accident and multiple surgeries left it unstable. I tried braces and drugs for two years before opting for fusion - by then I'd damaged the hip and knee joints because of the unbalanced mechanics.
Fusion is a last resort. The ankle will not move afterwards, and decisions need to be made regarding angle of the foot - flat shoes for life? Or heels? The leg muscles change, the foot and ankle may also change shape and size, there will be nerve damage.

But, if everything goes well, no more falling, no more pain, no need for NSAIDS (long term very bad idea).

I wasn't offered a replacement, I suspect it wouldn't have fitted with the existing damage, but I think if there was a chance I could retain the flex of the ankle I'd opt for that first, and leave the fusion as a last resort.

Best of luck.

tegretol, Jan 19, 12:10am
Take a replacement but only after asking how many that the particular surgeon has done and what are his complication rates. If they won't provide that info then hobble away to someone that can fix you. Same applies to fusions, indeed all forms of surgery.

See this: https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/81617461/Veil-of-secrecy-to-be-lifted-on-surgeons-performance-by-2021 and if I'm not wrong, that has now been put in place. It certainly has in many other countries.

lythande1, Jan 19, 8:14am
Replacements don't last either, that's what my surgeon said, lasts no time at all, and you know they can only do this sort of thing 2 or 3 times? Then what because they can't put it back together after that.

bubbles22222, Jan 19, 11:42am
my surgeon (does fusions but not ankle replacements told me that if a replacement doesn't work it would end up being fused anyway. And also said if its fused and that doesn't work would end up being replaced.

zoepo, Mar 18, 7:19am
I just had a fusion 4 weeks ago, so can't say whether is it going to be a success or not. I will be glad to get out of this cast and into a moon boot tho!

don735, Apr 6, 4:16pm
Had right ankle fusion done last august,and I can now walk with out a aid or limp. 10 screws and 150 to 200mm of metal have very good movment lucky to have a good team pushing me along. replacements ankles have been known to fail

lythande1, 6 days, 1 hour
My surgeon said replacements don't last 5 minutes cause of the way the ankle is.
Fusions? Can cause issues elsewhere in the foot, and with back.
Me, I did nothing. If it's bad I avoid walking too much, if it is good that day I do, but I know not to push it, if you ignore it and persist, you'll just pay later and it takes ages to settle then.
But common sense helps a lot.
I also bought a "drop foot" brace, and if it is bad (I think I sprain it as well as the bone issues) I wear it.
That because it doesn't touch the joint, which is too sore to have anything against it.

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