Anyone compete that's had an ankle fusion???

tim69er

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1 May 2009
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I badly broke my ankle years ago (horse related) and have been put forward to have an ankle fusion due to the onset of arthritis in the joint. NHS wait time 3 wks to months!

I was wanting to know if anyone has had this done or knows of anyone who's had it done and can still ride and event?

Thanks
 
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Certainly you can still ride, many PARA riders have little or no use in their legs, or prosthetic legs and still ride and compete.

Hope the OP. goes well.
 

mynutmeg

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I have both ankles fused now due to severe arthritis following breaking them. Personally I don't think I'd manage to jump but then I didn't jump much pre injury anyway. The biggest problem would be shock absorbing on landing I think. I also have problems keeping my heels down so use toe cups for safety as my feet tend to slide through the stirrups.
I've found flexible stirrups very useful and make things much more comfortable to ride in as well.

While I had one fused and one painful/weak ankle I found myself struggling with balance when stood in my stirrups etc but since having the second fused I'm more even and finding riding easier.

I think that if you manage to jump just now pre-fusion then you should be ok post-fusion once you're all healed up.

Healing time the stuff online mainly talks about 3 months non-weight bearing however I think thats more for older people - both times I was out of cast and weight bearing by 8/9 weeks and off crutches within about 2 weeks off starting to walk.

Good luck with it, and personally it was so worth doing, I can walk much further than I could previously and while I still get pain and am stiff it's so much better than pre surgery and a lot of the pain and stiffness I still get is due to the extensive soft tissue damage I had at the time of breaking them.
 

tim69er

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Thanks for the reply, both ankles - poor u!
Have to be honest I'm bricking it with the recovery time as per the doctors/net of about a year but your post gives me a bit if hope!
I'm only early 30's and really want to be able to carry on eventing! Bloody horses!!
 
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http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/foru...periences-with-ankle-fusion-(Human-not-horse)

Don't know if you mean me but this was my thread. I've recently had steroid stuck in the main joint as an experiment to see if it helps. It's improved the pain but I'm far from pain free. See the consultant again in June where we'll discuss surgery. I'm very against fusion and hope he comes up with options as he's found more damage than just the joint that another hospital missed and should've operated on it then. So frustrated with the whole thing.
Good luck with your surgery.
 

smac

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22 January 2010
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Interested in this post. I fractured and dislocated my ankle 7.5 years ago. It was basically on my leg back to front... nice
The consultant wants it fused. So I got a 2nd opinion Who also wants it fused. ******.
Anyway 2nd one explained that the other problems such as back hips foot toes all created from the ankle. May not improve and may infact be made worse.

I decided I would consider it. So he sent me to the appliances department and they created me this brace which is basically like the outside of a prosthetic leg. They told me to wear it and see how I got on. I couldn't get it in my boots. So I rode withit barefoot. It broke :-/

I did some google research and all seemed pretty positive. One person though said something which freaked me out. That when she lies in bed the duvet sits on top and the foot doesn't move. Silly but made the penny drop of the consequences of this decision.

I'm fully aware it is something I will face in the future. However mentally I'm far from ready. Personally i think if you are questioning it on a forum I would wait.

My google research found people who jumped. Up to 2'6". BD have para riders with fused ankles. I decided I will learn side saddle before having it done :-D i love eventing too much to give it up just yet.

Best of luck with your decision and I would be grateful if you could let me know how you get on.

as a side note. Both my surgeons know I have horses. And one has said he will work the system so I can have it done late summer early autumn so I'm rested through winter. Nhs admin staff are human too if you treat em right they will do their best to accommodate you- and I know that as I am an nhs employee ;-)
 

smac

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Just read the link from January. Interesting re the replacement. Both my surgeons said they wouldn't consider it in me for at least 30 years and they both individually said they would be struck off if they put a replacement in. I was told the research had shown most required replacement after 5 years and that the average age of patients was 65...
 

tim69er

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1 May 2009
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Smac - I think I'm singing from the same hymn sheet as you on this!

Last year they cut a bit of bone of to allow additional ankle movement and I was told it would reduce the arthritis pain - it actually made much worse! So last year was basically written off!

Being a bloke I don't see side saddle as an option either!!!!

Mine was originally broken in 2002 where it was broken in 14 places around the joint.

The one thing I can't bear the idea of is the recovery time..

Decisions decisions
 
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