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Foot Ankle Fusion
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Foot Ankle Fusion

I am 52yr old female..suffered auto accident,have nerve damage in foot and calf..constant activity in foot,lightning effect,aches,toes feel like exploding..Have to wear AFO from drop foot..Dr has recommended ankle foot fusion which would aleviate wearing AFO..I am healthy,heal quickly but would like pros and cons on this operation, is there anyone who is happy that they had this procedure done, if not why? Any comments are appreciated
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182474_tn?1223954159
The best evidence about ankle foot fusion is summarized here:
http://www.guideline.gov/summary/summary.aspx?ss=15&doc_id=4207&nbr=3215

It's a review of the medical literature regarding fusion.  In summary, it's very established to help but will prevent you from racquet sports and running.  A joint replacement is more experimental but allows for more activity.

Enoch Choi, MD
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Avatar_n_tn
My God, when I read this, I wondered if I had already posted a comment! Am 44, head-on collision year and a half ago. My doctor is recommending below-knee amputation, his preferred option, or foot/ankle fusion. Have you had any good advice? I think I am way too young and way more active than your average bear, to have it amputated. Thanks, Lori.
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Avatar_n_tn
You are way too young to have your leg amputated - an ankle foot fusion worked fine for me.  Same thing, i was in a headon collision in 1978.  Had the fusion in 83 and couldn't have been happier.  I just had a knee replacement after a number of surgeries on my knee and it seems to have put me in a little different position.  I'm having problems with my foot now, pins and needles on bottom and lots of pain on the side - they are recommending another fusion ah, will it never end.  But i'd rather have the leg I do than none at all.  Hope all went well for you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I suffered a traumatic ankle injury in April 2007 when I was 38, and underwent an ankle fusion around 3 months later.  At the time of the accident I was very active.

I wasn't at the time given an option about whether the fusion was the best thing for me, but the opinion of the orthopaedic consultant who has dealt with me from early on is that for someone my age the fusion is far the preferred route.  

I have since heard some opinions that amputation would have been a 'kinder' option.

I have had a few complications, which I would have to stress are specific me.  Everyone is different and some fusions are exceptionally effective.  I know of a guy, and inspiration to me the early stages of my treatment, that regularly hill walks, skis and the like.  He wears MBT trainers a lot to help with the loss of mobility of the ankle, and there are certainly other sources of 'orthotic assistance' if you begin to look around

The decision of what to do is a very personal one.  Despite it all I would agree with fcsb1 who replied earlier, that having your own foot is better than not having it wherever possible.  

If you do decide to down the fusion route what I would say is look after yourself well - good diet and generally looking after yourself seems to help in making sure bones knit together well.

Good luck with the decision making Lori.
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