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Foot & Ankle Problems Message Board


Foot & Ankle Problems Board Index


[QUOTE=Chubstercat;4113932]I have to muster up the nerve to do this. Right now, at age 49, I have trouble walking and standing. Your story is helping me muster up the courage! Good to hear you are doing well[/QUOTE]

Hi Chubstercat, that is where I was last year. My foot has given me problems for many years, but I had made accomodations and managed okay. I had orthotics and good shoes and could still go for walks and such. Of course dress shoes were out of the question as were even lighter sensible shoes. Still, it had not intereferred with my life. In Aug 08, I wore some sandals to work that I thought would be okay. I went to a local coffee shop about two blocks away for a short break and coffee. So, a four block return trip. That night I got awakened by SHARP pains that felt like an ice pick being shoved into that joint. Holy cow, that got my attention. I decided to get it checked out and x-rays showed I had arthritis. I really hadn't done anything prior to this because I thought I was growing a bunion, and that bunions were my lot in life, given my family history. I think I would have preferred a bunion.

I went to see the podiatrist and he made me new orthotics. He also suggested I had three options: a steroid injection, an injection of a synthetic joint fluid and surgery. I was shocked at the surgery recommendation. I got a steroid injection and asked my doctor about this. He thought the surgery would be a fusion. At that time I did not want it at all. I went back and talked to the podiatrist and he had some sort of procedure that preserves the motion in the joint. The steroid injection bought me some time because it helped a lot. When that wore off, I went back to the doctor. I had a new doctor by then because mine had left town. My new doctor would not put a second injection in the joint and she referred me to the surgeon.

I saw the surgeon on June 1 and he suggested I had two choices, a cheilectomy or a fusion. He did not think the cheilectomy would work, and if it did, probably only for a year. He felt that the fusion was my best option because it would create a 99% reduction in pain, and would last. He wanted me to make a decision and I could not do that on the spot, He suggested I do some more research and then come back and talk to him in a couple of weeks. I saw him again at the end of June after doing research. I knew why fusion was the best option. I asked him if it would fuse on its own. He said it would never fuse completely, and that it would continue to cause more pain. That was enough to convince me. I realized that was where I was headed anyway, so why delay things. I now know that a cheilectomy probably was not a good choice for me, since the joint was pretty damaged. It had very little cartillage and it seems that is one factor in the success of the surgery.

I have been reflecting and this joint has really caused me to alter my life in the past year or so. I have not gone for walks, because even walks in good shoes (Keen, Merrell) and orthotics causes me more problems. If I baby it and sit on my butt, it is okay. Of course, that has other consequences. I decided I wanted my life back and this was a good option. Now hopefully I will get back to walking and being more active.

Good luck with your decision. Feel free to connect with me and to ask more questions.





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