Ankle Fusion

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5/6/2015 4:19 PM

It looks like an ankle fusion is in my future. Has anyone had and and are you able to ride? How did you adjust to it? It bums me out but I am bone on bone now.I had surgery this morning to clean it up and the doc couldn't get the smallest instrument into the joint space.

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The older I get, the faster I was.

5/6/2015 4:39 PM

Can't you get a cadaver cartilage graft instead?
A coworker had one and he walks normally. As with all ankle surgery it takes quite a while to get back but he is doing ok (skiing...)

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man who runs in front of bus gets tired. man who runs behind bus gets exhausted

5/6/2015 4:54 PM

I'll throw that one out to the doc. Thanks.

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The older I get, the faster I was.

5/6/2015 5:35 PM

I've had it my right fused mate, I think you'll be fine. Which one is it? If it's your left a 450 might mean less shifting which could help but mine is ok, no lateral movement, just up and down. Was talus and ligaments and a few other bits, big bolt up through the heal.

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Cheers, Crush
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5/6/2015 5:59 PM

There is a vet pro in my area who has one of his done. (It might be both not 100% sure). He rides totally fine. Actually he hauls ass.

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5/6/2015 6:52 PM

I shattered my left in 01,came up short and blew the foot up thru my leg. Busted both sides off the leg and drove the center up half an inch.

Doc pinned it together and threw the chips in the hole.

My ankle has very little flexion,10 degrees maybe so its kinda fused.

But,a man was in the office several times I was to get his fused. Since I thought it may be something I have to do we kept in touch a while. He regretted it,told me the pain was worse and it screwed up the way he walks making his knee and hip hurt.

So,I will never do mine. I did get a handicap plaquer to hang on the mirror ,a perk of moto sometimes overlooked.

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5/6/2015 6:54 PM

ive seen people ride with prosthetic legs so a fused ankle should be no trouble.

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5/6/2015 7:08 PM

Crazy to hear ppl not like outcome of a sub Taylor joint fusion, for me it was a living hell between 06-2011 when I had the best foot doctor fix my foot without fusing it. Over 4 years it was bone on bone till finally the joint collapsed and I was forced to have a fusion. Now I can run, I can wake up with no pain and I can ride. Ya I can't move my foot side to side but my boots have plenty of support when I put my foot down. In my opinion the sub Taylor joint fusion was the best thing I ever had done, dr Alexander did my surgery and he was also the asterisk doctor at the race that told me what was going on. He fixed my foot.

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5/6/2015 7:13 PM

Crush wrote:

I've had it my right fused mate, I think you'll be fine. Which one is it? If it's your left a 450 might mean less shifting ...more

"big bolt up through the heal." I am sure it is a great thing and I am happy you got fixed up but that made me cringe... pinch

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5/6/2015 7:57 PM

mjskier wrote:

Can't you get a cadaver cartilage graft instead?
A coworker had one and he walks normally. As with all ankle surgery it takes ...more

when i shattered my ankle i asked the doc about replacing it like a knee replacement, the knees have a lot more surface area to cushion the shock between bones. the ankle takes the same amount of force and have very little area to cushion impacts. its been 14 years since my accident, maybe things have changed but that was the doc told me.

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5/6/2015 8:01 PM

Crush wrote:

I've had it my right fused mate, I think you'll be fine. Which one is it? If it's your left a 450 might mean less shifting ...more

i may have to get mine fused like yours. how long did it take you to heal after you had it fused and how long to ride again?

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5/6/2015 8:41 PM

So... This might make some a litttle squeamish...

X-ray and foot/leg after coming out the cast. 6months in a cast, was solid coming out just had to build up strength again. They wouldn't give me a moon booth cause i'm too big for it for this type of surgery, he waned it more solid, so was in a big chunky fuckin cast, it was ridiculous.

My surgeon, who is the same guy who operated on two of our Cricket stars, Ricky Ponting and Glen McGrath was pretty straight forward dude. He said, once you're better, get your leg strong, your ankle will never break again after this fusion, it's going to be stronger than your other and won't role... on the other hand sometimes I can lose my balance if i'm standing up and lean to the right because my ankle only really pivots up and down, no side to side, it's almost like a ball on the end of my foot in that respect.

Bolt through the heal and weld up the talus fracture...

clean up on the outside and redo ligament attachments... hence the long skinny scar

inside the same, no clean up tho.

Getting the bolt out wasn't planned, a year after being out the cast riding my pushbike it felt like something was hitting it, my body started to back it out, so they did general, slit it open, screw-driver it out. Fine straight away and more comfortable.

Didn't have a bike at the time but went skiing that winter when I still had the bolt in. Leg strength sucked and boot felt tight on the outside of my ankle but no worries man, it doesn't bother me at all.

It sometimes aches a bit in the cold, but so do my knees... so... Actually two things since. My right knee is getting loose from what I think is slow wear–my ankle doesn't roll/move/float through the step, it's a bit ploddy compared to my left, so my right knee needs extra squats hamstring work to keep it tight.

And sometimes the tendon along the bottom of my foot can be tight, like a knife in it tight, but stretching and regular exercise helps... Have thought about talking to surgeon again about both but fuck, I don't need to have any more drugs put in me... Between sinuses, ankles and fucking moles I've had my fair share of pain meds.

Good luck man, don't not do it if it's causing you grief for fear of being inhibited... My ankle was starting to decay with a bit of arthritis so my surgeon said it needed to be done, and i'd had over a year of physio/rehab/steroid shots etc so I felt i'd had a good crack at getting it better and surgery needed to be done. After that long it was time.

I was more pissed they didn't give me the bolt than anything else. Titanium gets recycled apparently. Cheap fucks!

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Cheers, Crush
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5/6/2015 8:42 PM

Oh and the shower and bath to get all that nasty shit off my body was fucked up. Shower. Scrub. Bath. Soak. Shower Scrub and wash away the floating skin and blood clots. These photos are after the clean up!!

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Cheers, Crush
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5/6/2015 8:52 PM

From what I understand, fusion is pretty much an end game. Very hard to reverse.
If I were in the situation where it becomes a option I would seriously look into joint replacement (and probably in Europe since they have more choices than the only device available in the US)
But my info is several years old since my last surgery (micro-fracture to repair a hole in the cartilage) is allowing me to live a pretty active life still.
I would suggest doing some research and getting a second opinion. Some surgeons are very conservative and will push the only thing they know.

Jeff, good input. I had not heard of the sub Taylor joint fusion. Obviously there are different kinds of fusion. It all depends what part of your ankle has an issue.

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man who runs in front of bus gets tired. man who runs behind bus gets exhausted

5/6/2015 9:47 PM

Sub-talar fusion for me as well. It is my left foot, and other than blowing the odd shift, riding poses no problems really.
In fact, I rode a 125 most of last summer (shifting lots!), but a 450 is much easier to contend with. Put that biotch in 3rd, and keep it there!
I broke both ankles at the same time, but only have the left fused. Like Jeff says, little to no pain. Only dorsi/plantar flexion (up and down), no side to side movement. So the movement of pulling your foot inward towards the shift lever is what is gone (for me).
My un-fused side (right) is giving me more and more grief as time goes on, so I suspect another fusion or replacement down the road on that side too, sigh....
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5/6/2015 10:25 PM

Bineano wrote:

Sub-talar fusion for me as well. It is my left foot, and other than blowing the odd shift, riding poses no problems really.
...more

Most of us pull up (dorso-flex) to shift gears. What do you mean pulling in. Lol just giving you some grief.
some of you seem to be fine with it. I broke my hip back in December and due to nerve damage I can no longer dorsi-flex at all which means I can't shift up. I've never ridden a 450 much but can you really just put in third and leave it. I can shift with my heel to get it to third. So If I Can Just Stay On Third I May Be Okay To Ride again. I had been researching electric shifters.

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5/7/2015 8:17 AM

mjskier wrote:

Can't you get a cadaver cartilage graft instead?
A coworker had one and he walks normally. As with all ankle surgery it takes ...more

A little bit of googling leads to me to believe I would not be a good candidate. I'm old. 3 weeks shy of 58. A bone and cartilage graft (cadaver) works best on younger people and if the talus is the bone that is shot. Not sure of my case.

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The older I get, the faster I was.

5/7/2015 9:17 AM

Pilon fracture of my left tib/fib in 1995.

The Ortho doc said I would probably need to have the ankle fused in about 10 years, going on 20 years and no fusion as of yet, but I did have the hardware taken out 9 months after the injury.

With that being said, I do hobble around all Monday morning after a race.

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"Welcome to Southern California......the mecca of motocross racing." ~ Jason Wiegant

5/7/2015 9:22 AM

I am probably going to have my ankle fused at some point in time. I'm bone-on-bone too. I crushed my tibia and cracked the talus (and killed the cartilige). My doc said to wait as long as I could to have it fused -- but each situation is different. I'm 32 and did this when I was 23.

I broke both my legs at the ankle joint went I went long on a 90' table (lesson learned = don't huck big stuff on the first lap, right?).


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5/7/2015 9:43 AM

I see a lot of fusions done with the bolt being drilled in through the heel, that's not the way you want it. Mine was through the front top of the joint and causes no pain at the heel. Like I've said I was in a lot of pain all the time before the surgery in 2011, most of the time after the races I would be in a wheel chair at the airport getting from one point to the other because I simply couldn't walk with two bags. That surgery done the right way can save your foot from causing miserable pain.

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5/7/2015 5:57 PM

Jeff alessi wrote:

I see a lot of fusions done with the bolt being drilled in through the heel, that's not the way you want it. Mine was through ...more

Jeff, there were no issues for me with the bolt going through the heel. One of the issues I faced was my calcaneus had exploded, hence the extra hardware. But zero issues with the bolt, and removal was a simple day surgery (walked out of hospital).
What was (and still is) a problem was the pieces of calcaneus "shrapnel" that is still floating around the bottom of my foot. Apparently too risky to try and open that area up to remove (blood vessels and nerves), so I've been forced to get walk with a "rock in my shoe" all of the time.
But agreed 100% that the surgery fixed any joint pain/arthritis that would have been unbearable otherwise.
I can easily compare fused and not, because I broke both at the same time (left considerably worse than right). A lot of times, it is my GOOD ankle that stops me. When the time is right, my right will be fused as well.

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5/8/2015 1:18 PM

Man this sounds familiar! I too hucked a bid double first lap and grenaded my tib/fib on landing. I rolled out of the case landing but the tibia was in 15 pieces. Its called a pilon fracture 3 plates, 17 screws. That was 5 years ago (Jan 2010) and I mostly cycle and mtb. I have very limited movement in the joint and can't run worth a damn. I am bone on bone but experience little pain. My Ortho tells me to wait as long as possible before putting an artificial joint in. I have heard some stories of good replacements but as always, it varies on their personal situation. Yes I have a handicap placard. I have a friend whois my mechanic that races at pro level with a prosthetic lower right leg. I am not in a position to whine due to my rookie mistakes on the track. Have any of the posters heard of the STAR ankle replacement method? It stands for Scandinavian total ankle replacement. That's supposed to be the best system that I have heard of.

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5/9/2015 1:52 AM

My right ankle is fused, it took me a little bit to get used to using rear brake and i cant go running anymore but other than that its no problem

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