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Clubfoot, triple arthro as child
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Clubfoot, triple arthro as child

Hello everyone. Let me give you a slight background...
I was born in 1982 with severe clubfoot on the right side, and only slight on the left. My left foot was immediately put in a cast and I do not have hardly any problems with it now. However, my right foot has been the doozy my whole life. I am now 30.  I have had 7 "big" operations (and dozens of other "small procedures"), a history of Staph, Sepsis, MRSA, and fevers documented at 108.6 F when I was approx. 4 months old.  My first operation was when I was approx. 9 months old, my last around age 12. My left foot is size 8, my right is 5.5 so I must buy two whole pairs of shoes and literally throw away the ones I cannot use....  :(   Also, my right leg is about 2" shorter than my left.
My right heel does not touch the ground - it never has.  The heel sits about 3.5" up off the ground.  My triple arthrodesis was done where my foot is fused this way on purpose.  (Just imagine walking on your toes, and the part of your foot just under the toes. Nothing more.)  So, when I walk, the heel up off the ground wants to go down, but the fusion will not allow it.
I ended up having the triple arthrodesis done when I was approx. 8 years old. The doctor made this decision after such rigidity refused to allow correction to take place, despite different procedures, castings, bracings, etc. I also have a loss in range of motion - my foot only slightly moves up and down, but will NOT go side to side. My tibia twists side to side right below my knee to compensate for the loss in ROM.
Fast forward to 2010, and I am outside at work walking/balancing along the top of a landscape timber.  My right foot slipped off the side and twisted. I went to get an X-Ray two days later, and at first glance the doctor stated he could go in and do a leg lengthening procedure to correct the length difference, remove the fusion and drop the heel, re-fuse, etc. This would correct "all my problems". However, once he was able to visually SEE the X-Rays that were taken and do a more in depth visual inspection of my leg from knee to toes, he immediately changed his tune. He stated that "Nothing is where it should be. I have never seen anything like this before. There is nothing I can do except amputation. I cannot even touch you - no doctor can. It is simply too major of a risk...  it looks like someone took your foot, broke the bones, shook them around, and left it that way.", and he also stated that "There is a loss in blood flow to your foot. The artery that normally runs on the inside of the ankle is non-existent. If I even start to cut on you, we may have to do amputation anyway because you will not heal properly due to the blood flow not being correct".  That was a big shock that immediately brought tears to my eyes!  All he was able to do was put a cast on my foot and "Hope this will let the bone grow back together correctly".  I wore the cast for almost 7 months before he finally said "Whether it is back together correctly or not we gotta take it off and cannot put another one on. You already have such severe muscle atrophy, if I leave this cast on any longer, your muscles, tendons, etc will just deteriorate".


Sorry for such a long background, but I tell you all that in hopes you can understand my background and my question.
Because I had the triple arthrodesis done at such a young age, and because of the other issues I still have (leg length, heel raised up, etc), do you think this severe pain I have been having could be the triple arthrodesis "coming apart"?   Is that even possible? That same doctor told me that "Eventually it will come apart and you cannot have another one done, much less anything else".
My foot has not felt the same since 3/2010 when I fractured it, and in the past month or so it has been so excrutiatingly painful that it literally takes my breath away and brings tears to my eyes. I was walking around the house a few weeks back and felt a "pop" and the pain has been constant since.  My poor husband feels so helpless because there is nothing he can do to help me....  

I am just so scared as to what must be done. I am currently 4 months pregnant with my third child and my other children are 12 and 7; so  I cannot honestly be expected to just "stay off of it".  Even if I keep it elevated the pain is still severe and excruciating!



Has ANYONE ever had a situation anything CLOSE to mine?
Has ANYONE ever heard of a triple arthrodesis "breaking apart"?
Any advice you can give?  I can also send pictures just to show how bad it REALLY is if necessary....
I am just at my wits end. I do not know what to do.
Avatar_m_tn
Similar story, I was born in '82 with severe bilateral clubbed feet, surgeries at 6&10 months old, then triple arthrodesis and fusion on the right foot august 14 of 95 and the left January 22 of 96. As far as I know they cant "come apart" the bones are fused. they could break like anything else but come apart I don't believe so. Pain before the last surgeries was horrible, lot of nights crying myself to sleep. Pain from the final surgeries so great that 8+ 500mg vicodin wouldn't touch the pain let alone relieve it. Actually stopped taking them because it wasn't helping and didn't want to destroy of kidneys. It took a solid year, year and a half for "full" recovery. What I mean there is, I was able to play baseball freshman year HS. After "full" recovery I have limited range of motion, but can still run, hike etc. The constant pain from before the final surgeries for all intents and purposes is gone. still have moments of pain, but not enough to even want to take an advil for. As far as your questions about lengthening I have no experience with, but the doctor (Brian Shaw) that did my surgery might be able to help, if anyone could its him http://www.wellness.com/dir/1958202/orthopedic-surgeon/ca/madera/brian-a-shaw-md#referrer
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