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Old 04-28-2014, 10:13 PM
12 posts, read 14,843 times
Reputation: 16


Hey I am writing this because I am getting frustrated and needed a place to vent where other people may be in a similar situation.

My history with injury is long but to keep it short I have had 7 surgeries 5 on the right ankle (primary issue) and 2 on the left. I was a dancer and was born with poor ankle stability and have always had this struggle. Currently I'm in University wanting to become a doctor because thats what I know and I love (kinda have a lot of compassion for others).

I have had 2 ankle reconstructions (1 on each foot). I reject hardware so every time I have surgery implanting a screw or whatever my body 8 months later rejects it (15% statistic and I'm one of them).

Its been 2 years since my last surgical intervention and I am in chronic pain, swelling/edema, bruising where the calcaneofibular ligament (CFL), and anterior talofibular ligament (ATFL) are.

I'm going to a different surgeon in a couple months because I believe I need a second opinion. I'm also having shoulder issues and getting imaging on that as well...most likely caused from years of crutching and overuse.

I'm just fed up and have had some bad experiences with surgery / anesthesia as well I'm in the high points of school preparing for the MCAT and medical schools.

Anyone going through something like this? I can't really talk to family because they just cry (lots of emotions here).

I'm also a Psychology and Human Biology double major in 3rd year.
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:09 AM
4,762 posts, read 10,224,033 times
Reputation: 7792
All I can say is mother nature is a better designer of body parts than modern science. I've had a few operations and things were working much better before those operations were done. We are not as advanced as people tend to think. And it was not that long ago that we were draining blood from people as a cure for various maladies.

Anyway, if you want it done right, do it yourself! What I mean by that is there are many people in medical history who have discovered new and wonderful things. (Read about Louis Pasteur.)

There are new materials being discovered daily which are quite strong. Those may be used in the aircraft industry to replace heavier materials for example. NASA has some projects they are working on which use new materials I hear.

Perhaps some of those could also have a medical use and our bodies would not reject them?

So maybe a career in research might be the thing for you in the future?

Note: I've heard about new materials when talking to physics / mechanical engineering types. Might want to chat with some of those folks. And following is some info on Materials Science..

Materials science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:15 PM
12 posts, read 14,843 times
Reputation: 16
Hi thank you for your response...however my situation is complex with ligaments and stability issues that I am in pain for short periods of time then superficial healing occurs but my body can't heal it on its own. Before all the surgical intervention I could not walk and was in excruciating pain...this has been my whole childhood/adolescent life and I'm just fed up with it.

I am educated in my injuries and will be going for more imaging to see what is going on. I know my limitations and am very careful as well as realistically my future of my foot is unknown because its pretty experimental with each person being different.

I know if its just tendonitis or arthritis I'm looking a lifetime of chronic pain management which sucks.
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Old 05-04-2014, 03:49 PM
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Hey mymodoc,

I've been through the ringer with my ankles myself and have a lot in common with you. I wasn't born with laxity but I did tear my lateral ligaments in both ankles dancing and have had the repairs fail before, though less than the 5 operations you've had on your foot. Similarly, I'm considering changing careers to physical therapy after going through all this.

First, I'm not too clear on what surgery you had done and what your main issue is now.

Regarding your surgery, was it a brostrom atfl/cfl repair with some bone anchors to hold the ligaments in? Or has there been more done than this? I just want to make sure because of you mention of hardware and 7 other surgeries, so I'm not sure if you've already gone way past this and into more drastic things like bone fusions, tendon grafts, operations on your subtalar or bone modifications, etc.

Regarding your current issue, is your ankle actually loose again (ie the mechanical repair failed) or has the repair held but he separate issue of pain has taken its place?

Finally, what area of the country to you live in? I have a few names in the northeast of great ankle surgeons.
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Old 05-04-2014, 05:18 PM
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Hi Thank you for your reply. I live in Toronto, Canada. I have had the Brostrom, with anchors still implanted in my fibula. Bone grafting, ligament fusions, and Evans procedure/full reconstruction of all ligament attached to the fibula. Everything that you had mentioned I have had done to my right ankle. My ankle bone (fibula) is currently partially grafting (not mine) and the peroneal brevis was supported then weaved through the bone and reattached.

I have diagnostic imaging this week. I'm just kind of fed up of being in pain and having this recurring issue. I have a new surgeon and then will go back to my previous one and determine what would be best for me at this point.

Thank you for your kindness and for taking the time to read this posting as well as responding. I have a lot of connections with doctors and I'm just in the waiting period yet again. If they do not find anything then I will be going to a pain clinic and thinking long term (hopefully this isn't the case).

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Old 05-04-2014, 06:04 PM
Location: In a house
13,258 posts, read 34,604,245 times
Reputation: 20198
This is drastic to the extreme, but -

there've been so many strides made with prostheses - is amputation of the foot even on the list of possibilities? I can't, and won't, even pretend to understand the kind of pain you're experiencing - though I do sympathize. But if it were me, I think I might rather have a fake foot, than live in pain from a "defective" one for the rest of my life, or have to endure surgery after surgery with no end in sight.

If medical prostheses weren't as advanced as they are today, I wouldn't have brought it up.
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Old 05-04-2014, 06:07 PM
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I'm going through the same thing only my knee has now required surgery too due to everything being thrown out of alignment. Ankles are a hard joint to heal because they are weight bearing making staying off of them until they fully heal almost impossible. If I had it to do over again I would have just suffered without the surgery. I currently have a screw sticking about 1/2 inch out of the side of my ankle and I have no desire to get it fixed even though I know I have to.
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:50 PM
25 posts, read 19,519 times
Reputation: 19
Spazkat, how long after your ankle surgery did you need to get ankle surgery, and was it just ligament tightening or did you have some of the further operations mymodoc had? I've noticed some maltracking with my knees. So far it hasn't caused me too much issue but I have to stay away from any kind of very repetitive bending like squats, running, or even biking. For some reason rowing doesn't bother it and so it's become one of my main exercises.

mymodoc, wow, you've had a lot done. I hope your new surgeon has some insights as to what the problem is. If you ever do consider a referral across the border let me know. New York and Baltimore in particular have some world class ankle clinics that attract patients internationally.
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Old 05-04-2014, 08:42 PM
12 posts, read 14,843 times
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Thank you all...I would most likely go with the pain management process before amputating the foot I have a high pain tolerance and low feeling in my foot because of all the nerve damage so its hard to tell if I'm in pain sometimes or swollen until its bad. I'm getting better at recognizing it but I'm only 22 and have already learned a lot about my feet and limitations. Life is not the norm for a regular 22 y/o.

truth1ness I will be asking a lot of questions and be going to multiple doctors to get a lot of opinions. I doubt any other surgeons would want to touch my foot because of all the surgeries I've had so I have to think what's best. But I just want to know if it was faulty surgery because I worked at a physiotherapy clinic and did everything to get better and didn't walk, bedridden, foot up elevated above heart...my post-op was great always around 8 months recovery for the incision site but it seems like 2 years after that it should be fully healed and its not.

Thank you all for your input! I really am glad I am not alone with the injury department. I am waiting for imaging as well on my shoulder because if I do need ankle surgery then I can't crutch any more because of shoulder tendonitis and pain there ... ugh falling apart. All from laxity and dancing at a young age all I want to do is become a doctor and help others.
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Old 05-04-2014, 09:20 PM
25 posts, read 19,519 times
Reputation: 19
Cool. Best luck going forward.

I recommend you check out the site mobilitywod.com for your shoulder. There's a lot of really good joint mobs and soft tissue methods that the guy teaches that have done more for me than any PT (and I've been to many).

But yea, 2 years is a long time, things definitely should have healed by now normally. Pain is an incredibly complex area of medicine, just so many things that can throw your pain sensing nerves out of whack. But when you say the pain is exactly where your atfl and cfl are that sounds more like mechanical pain. A direct nerve injury is more like a lightning bolt down the path of the nerve but there is a chance some nerves have turned hypersensitive.
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