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inside ankle pain after ankle fusion surgery.

by Tammy
(salt lake city, ut)

I had ankle fusion surgery back in June of 2010. My ankle has never been broken however the found a cyst growing inside the ankle, and originally I had surgey to clean this out and they packed the ankle with donor bone. It seemed to heal but then 4 months after the surgery I started again feeling pain in the ankle. They did a ct scan and an mri. The ct scan showed another cyst had formed under the bone the dr packed. The mri showed a parital collapse of the medial side of the ankle. That is when I had to have ankle fusion, that was almost 4 months ago. However, when the dr stated I should start putting weight on it, I ended up in more pain then before the surgery. Now I am in almost constant pain on the inside of my ankle, this pain goes up the front of the shin, and across the foot. sometimes the outside where the surgery was done hurts sometimes but mostly it is the inside of the ankle. It does hurt first thing in the morning and after I have been sitting for a while. I am doing physical therapy but it seems to hurt more after, and I am still wearing an ankle boot. The pain has been so bad lately that it also awakens me at night. The doctor has taken xrays and another ct since the surgery and states everything is healing just fine and there is nothing there. I do not know what to do now but I am still in pain and I cant even do my housework. Please if you have an idea of what I can do please let me know.

Thanks

Hi Tammy,
My first thought is that it has only been a little over three months since your surgery so it is probably still too early to fully assess the success of the surgery.
Keep in mind you have had two surgeries in the same area both for a cyst which will inherently weaken the bone and make it more difficult for the surgeon to fuse the ankle. Under these circumstances I am not surprised that there is still pain.
You can do one of two things. Give it more time and if you see a reduction in pain, albeit a slow one, then you are probably doing alright. Or, if you are really concerned that there may be an issue here, go for a second opinion and have your ankle and radiology tests reviewed by a fresh pair of eyes.
There may be things that can be done to the boot or even your shoe that will slightly change the pitch of your foot when it hits the ground, that will reduce the discomfort so be sure to ask your doctor or physical therapist for any suggestions.
Marc Mitnick DPM

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Feb 20, 2011
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PAIN AFTER FUSION
by: cary

I had ankle fusion in June of 2008. I was off work for 6 months. The pain was much better after the fusion but in the last 4 months I am having a lot of pain in my heel and around the achilles tendon area. I am starting physical therapy next week. I really hope this helps because it hurts every step I take. I also started synvisc injections and have 2 more which my Dr. said might or might not help. I have seen 2 doctors who think the pain is in the nerves around my ankle. anyone else have any ideas?

Oct 15, 2010
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reply to Ann on inside ankle fusion
by: Anonymous

Hi Ann,
I hope your Dr. visit went well, and they were able to give you some ideas about what your going through. I am still trying to get an MRI myself not sure if there is anything else. I know that my pain is still there and I am still in a walking boot myself. I was hopeing to be out of it as it has been 4 months since the surgery. I still fell a lot of pain on the medial or inside of the ankle. I know that the pain shots up the leg and down to the top of the foot. Well I have an Dr. appointment myself on Monday hope I find out some answers as well. Hope you doing well.

Tammy

Oct 12, 2010
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Inside ankle pain after 2- ankle fusions???
by: Anonymous

Hi Tammy,
Unfortunately I am in the same boat as you, however I did not have cysts I had a horrible break 11 years ago to my left ankle and leg. In total I have had 10 surgery's since 12/07/99. (8-on ankle and lower leg, 2- spinal cord stimulator surgery's for nerve damage done and overlooked by original surgeon.) I was so excited after my first ankle fusion because I actually had no pain for over 4-5 months (while in cast and walking boot), then gradually to a walking shoe. Once I started walking again the pain became severe on the inside of my ankle.(which had a ping pong ball size bump since cast was removed, and surgeon tried to drain with no luck then he injected with a steroid to see if that would help, no luck) I had a CT scan done due to not being able to have an MRI due to my spinal cord stimulator and it revealed a ?cyst of goop non-specific and bone not healing. Once again another ankle fusion 2-days later with six more months of recovery. I am now 8- months out from my 2nd ankle fusion still having severe pain on the inside of my ankle and will be getting a second opinion on Thursday of this week. I do pray I will get some answers for both of us and can get back to a semi-pain free life.I will let you know what I find out, I just pray no more surgery's I don't think I can handle it. I will be praying for you....Ann

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