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Old 23-01-2019, 20:32   #31
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Re: Fused ankle

Geez Luise....Chris...for God's sake man....please warn the mice on here before posting such a horrific picture. Smile....that is one nasty looking angry ankle. Made me cringe. I've had injuries from sports...but have never needed a surgery of such a caliber. Knock on wood.

I wish you the best of luck with your recovery. Ouch....
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Old 23-01-2019, 21:25   #32
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Re: Fused ankle

I forgot that the last pic shows up when scrolling thru. Here's the pg version to prevent any shock. Click image for larger version

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Old 23-01-2019, 21:44   #33
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Re: Fused ankle

Chris, of course it's cruising related: it is part of the process of getting back out on the water.

Ann
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Old 23-01-2019, 23:33   #34
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Re: Fused ankle

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Originally Posted by chris mac View Post
Well, just had my 2 week checkup. Cast is off, damn it felt good to wash my foot.
Xrays were good and the surgeon was happy with everything. She thinks the cracking noise was the plaster cast, as a piece on the sole was broken.
It has been replaced with an air boot. Still no weight bearing for another 4 weeks. I am off bed rest though, so the boredom shouldn't be as bad.
That’s looks damn good Chris. How does it feel? Can you flex the ankle yet? Do you have full sensation through the heel and toes? Do you know what mobility to expect?

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Originally Posted by chris mac View Post
Mike, if your pain is anything like mine, I'm surprised you haven't migrated farther south yet. I find the cold to be one of the worst aggravations for the arthritis.
I love real winters, but the last few years seem to be harder. Not sure if it’s just old age creeping up, or old injuries getting worse.

Pain is really a fascinating thing. I have no real idea what my pain level is compared to others. I can tell you about it. It never leaves me, but most of the time it doesn’t dominate either. It hurts to walk — sometimes a lot. Usually takes me a dozen limping steps to get the bones back in place after I’ve sat for a while. But is this a lot of pain? I dunno…

I have one funny story. A few years ago I re-broke my good ankle (the one that was rebuilt, not fused). Went to the emerg, took some x-rays, and waited. Finally the young doctor comes running towards me waving a report.

“Holy crow!” he says. “I thought you were a 75 year old man when I was looking at your X-ray (I was 47 at the time). Do you know how much arthritis you have in there? What did you do?”

He then says to me and my Ann; “You really gotta see this!” And off they both trot at a fast pace. He’s utterly fascinated. And me? I’m left there, trying to hobble my way after the two — I still have a newly broken ankle after all.
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Old 24-01-2019, 09:24   #35
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Re: Fused ankle

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
That’s looks damn good Chris. How does it feel? Can you flex the ankle yet? Do you have full sensation through the heel and toes? Do you know what mobility to expect?



I love real winters, but the last few years seem to be harder. Not sure if it’s just old age creeping up, or old injuries getting worse.

Pain is really a fascinating thing. I have no real idea what my pain level is compared to others. I can tell you about it. It never leaves me, but most of the time it doesn’t dominate either. It hurts to walk — sometimes a lot. Usually takes me a dozen limping steps to get the bones back in place after I’ve sat for a while. But is this a lot of pain? I dunno…

I have one funny story. A few years ago I re-broke my good ankle (the one that was rebuilt, not fused). Went to the emerg, took some x-rays, and waited. Finally the young doctor comes running towards me waving a report.

“Holy crow!” he says. “I thought you were a 75 year old man when I was looking at your X-ray (I was 47 at the time). Do you know how much arthritis you have in there? What did you do?”

He then says to me and my Ann; “You really gotta see this!” And off they both trot at a fast pace. He’s utterly fascinated. And me? I’m left there, trying to hobble my way after the two — I still have a newly broken ankle after all.
It actually feels good. When vertical, there is extra blood rush, and swelling, but less every day. That picture was actually after walking around the hospital and was as swollen as it gets.
I was able to wiggle my toes upon waking up, and feeling is largely returned. The heel is still kinda numb, but they did thread a long lad screw through it:-) The first fusion took about 20% of foot sensation away, this one maybe stole another 5-10% at most.
In terms of flexing, there isn't much left to flex. Just the forward foot and toes. But I am able and allowed to do that already. Apparently the screws are quite sturdy and historically these two fusions success rate is in the 90's. Most of the possible issues are as a result of walking on it at this stage or earlier.
As for pain, the constant feel is already better than it was before the surgery(aka arthritis). Now the arthritis is gone, as is the joint, and it is just trauma pain which as I mentioned is improving rapidly.
I have a similar story from xrays. It was a young lady tech. She lined my foot up,then went and took the xray. She checked her screen to verify the picture and started coming back to set up the next shot. Half way back she turned around and checked the pic again. Coming back to me she shook her head and asked"how the hell did you walk in here on that ankle?"
I didn't feel that it was that bad, but it definately helped establish my case with wcb.
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Old 20-02-2019, 20:36   #36
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Re: Fused ankle

So, I had another surgeon follow up today. She is very happy with the xrays. Everything is healing well, except the screw sites on my heel. Pain is pretty much non existent, which I am happy about. My only pain killer is, well, more of a mojito. But I'm good with that;-)
They gave me a new type of wrap to speed up healing of the screw sites(pictures to follow)
The downside is I have another 4 weeks of non weight bearing. It's frustrating, but I have no intention of jeopardizing the healing process. And I have nothing better to do until the lake thaws.
I am going to put some pictures of the foot on, as requested by some on pm. So if you don't want to see them, stop now.



I will add another post directly after with the xray pics.
The really strange part is, it already feels better than it did last winter.Click image for larger version

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Old 20-02-2019, 20:42   #37
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Re: Fused ankle

As you probably noticed, The incision on the outside of the foot has healed way quicker than the others. Hopefully the other 2 Heal soon.
I took some pics of my xrays today. The funny part was the xray tech actually brought in Co workers to see these while I was there. They had quite a few questions about the history of my injury. One actually questioned how I could have that many screws in my ankle and still walk.
It's always flattering to have that many ladys interested in me.
Anyways, here they are.Click image for larger version

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Old 20-02-2019, 22:11   #38
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Re: Fused ankle

That looks amazing. Holy schmolly that’s a lot of screws. Do you buzz going through airport security?

There’s still swelling, but do you have any sense of your range of motion yet with the ankle? Do you know yet about any limitations you may face regarding weight bearing? Will you have to be careful with it once it has all healed.

I’m very impressed so far … and very appreciative of the reports. Certainly got me thinking.
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Old 20-02-2019, 23:56   #39
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Re: Fused ankle

Ya know, Chris,

That heel hole looks like it's healing very well. And, that's quite an impressive expensive metal collection in your ankle and surrounds.

When I had my spine decompression surgery, they removed the old Knodt rods from my second spinal fusion, so I had a net loss for that, and fine by me. That was in the old days when they used s/s instead of titanium. I think the cutest metal I have are the "screws" they used to fix the kevlar patches over my femoral arteries. They're open screws, no heads, just curlicues, like tiny pigs tails.

Anyhow, good on your recovery so far. Any isometrics you can do to increase blood flow will help, if okay with the physical therapy unit. And good on ya for being enough of a curiosity to keep them all interested!

Heal fast,

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Old 21-02-2019, 00:29   #40
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Re: Fused ankle

Hi Chris,

I've avoided personal body part replacements so far but have been a very concerned spectator and carer for Ann's gradual conversion to the Tin Woodswoman of Oz, so have followed your adventures with sympathy and interest.

The xrays are quite impressive! The two dimensional display looks like something from an old Erector Set instruction manual. It would be interesting to see it in 3D and understand how it all works. And the lack of significant swelling and inflammation shows good surgical technique and a good hospital to boot. I reckon you will have a great outcome... do pay attention to the physio (I'm sure you will) and do a few extra sets.

Looking back at this uncomfortable experience from the deck of your boat at anchor in some paradisaical anchorage will be VERY satisfying... keep up the good work and good attitude and you'll soon be there.


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Old 21-02-2019, 07:55   #41
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Re: Fused ankle

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That looks amazing. Holy schmolly that’s a lot of screws. Do you buzz going through airport security?

There’s still swelling, but do you have any sense of your range of motion yet with the ankle? Do you know yet about any limitations you may face regarding weight bearing? Will you have to be careful with it once it has all healed.

I’m very impressed so far … and very appreciative of the reports. Certainly got me thinking.
I have only buzzed once in an airport. That was right after 9/11 and I was recovering from the first fusion. At that time there was 7 screws in there.
This surgery added 4 including those 2 long ones through the heel, and I did have 1 removed some years ago. I could feel the Phillips head through the skin. It was a little weird! Especially since he just took it out with a scalpel and a screwdriver. Any ways that makes a total of 10 in there now, and I'm guessing it will trigger the metal detector.
In terms of flexibility. There will be no movement in those 3 joints. So I will be limited to forward foot/toe movement. Although after recovery from the first joint fusion I recovered far more than was expected. I actually had 2 gait assessment specialists tell me that I must have broke the fusion, as I couldn't possibly have that much movement.
I really don't expect anything like that this time. My goal is to walk with as little limp as possible. Custom orthotics help with that a lot, and have been a huge pain saver for the last 10 years or so.
Once healed, there will be no limitations of weight bearing and it will be structurally stronger because it is making several small seperate bones into one solid bone, reinforced with screws(like rebar)
After the first one, I trained in muay Thai. Everybody hated my leg kicks because my shin and ankle was so solid, I could really hit hard:-)
There is usually quite a wait to see orthopaedic surgeons, especially if they specialize. With one I was told 2 years just to get a consult. If it's something you are thinking about, try to at least get a meeting. Especially if you plan on travelling abroad. Do it before you lose provincial health care.
If you have questions, or want to talk about it, let me know.
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Old 21-02-2019, 08:23   #42
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Re: Fused ankle

Ann and Jim,
Thanks for the well wishes. I have been able to keep up exercise in terms of situps and leg lifts(big boot helps add weight) and of course using crutches is a good cardiovascular/upper body work out. I have also been able to isolate my calf muscle and am able to "flex" it. That is a little strange because I cannot move any of the joints attached to it???
But all in all, I feel quite good. I've never been one to sit around doing nothing.
Once I start physio, it includes a membership with the attached rec centre. Weight room, track, pool, sauna, the whole works. I will be there pretty much every day.
Ann, it sounds like your exrays would be way more interesting than mine! I have never heard of Kevlar reinforcement or shielding internally. It sounds more like a military experiment trying to recreate wolverine from the x-men!!!
If you made it through all that with such grace, my ordeal is a cake walk:-)
It does show you though. No matter what comes at you, there is always somebody dealing with worse. When I was in the hospital from the initial fall, I shared a room with 2 guys. One fell the same distance as me but landed on his back. His rib cage dislocated from his spine! I didn't know that could happen.
The second guy was in a horse drawn buggy that the horse spooked. Going very fast through the bush, he fell in the buggy, his foot went through the spokes, and ripped it off at his shin! He was air lifted out.
So right from day one I was shown how lucky I was to get through with a relatively minor issue to deal with.
Jim, I think there are some 3-d models online of these fusions. They are just separated. I guess having all three done is not really common.
And I am very much looking forward to those days at anchor.
Hopefully you both are safe from that cyclone and enjoying yourselves.
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Old 20-03-2019, 20:54   #43
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Re: Fused ankle

Today was the 10 week post op check up. In theory I was supposed to start or be close to starting weight bearing.
Unfortunately one of the joints is not fusing as quickly as it should. So another 4 weeks of no weight bearing.
The nice part is the prescription. She felt it is slowed down by a vitamin d deficiency, caused by Alberta winter. So I am instructed to enjoy as much of our rediscovered sunshine as possible. (vit d supplements as well) hopefully it helps.
Otherwise it feels good. No pain or discomfort, except in the armpits from these damn crutches.
As long as it doesn't get delayed again, I should still be good for spring launch.
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Old 20-03-2019, 22:23   #44
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Re: Fused ankle

Thanks Chris. Best to take things slowly and cautiously. Don’t want a set back at this stage.
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Old Today, 02:01   #45
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Re: Fused ankle

^^^^^^^^

What Mike said. Keep up with your vit. D. supplement, and maybe dietary calcium, yogurt, skim milk if you can stand it, tinned salmon with bones in it, but dietary, more easily absorbed than pills.

Keep up the good work.

Ann
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