ankle fusion

hi everyone, i am new to this site and have just discovered it as i came to bed and cannot stop reading all the blogs, i can't believe that i can talk to people who understand this RA condition. I have been diagnosed for 18 years and damage is starting to increase. My question is 'has anyone had ankle fusion' i have had several injections in my ankle, it helps for a couple of months but then is bad again. my consultant has told me at my last injection that he is not willing to do injections anymore and next step is ankle fusion. I would love to hear if anyone has had this done and how it turned out as i am really struggling with this.

16 Replies

  • I haven't had that,but there is a lady on here who has. If you look through the blogs around xmas time you should find her.xx

  • Thanks for that i will try to find it, i need to give the consultant my decision and i am terrified that they are going to make it worse, although my right ankle is really bad and is now affecting my knees i know i have to have something done but it is difficult as once this is done there's no going back. thanks for the reply. X

  • I haven't had one but I have heard that it has helped manage pain enormously , ring the nras help line, they might be able to send you out some information to help you decide. Good luck, let us know how you get on. Take care

  • Snap to the others several people on here have had this operation recently and have said how much it has helped. I have been struggling with one of my ankles for about 4 months now and over the past few days it swelled and got red hot and I could barely walk on it - had to use a stick - but fortunately because I never take pain meds or anti inflams I took two Naproxen yesterday and they have made a huge difference and knocked the pain back to the usual levels. Good luck - hope one of the people who has had this op turns up to advise you soon. Tilda x

  • Do a search for Gina_K's blogs as she's had one recently, but is on holiday at he moment so may not reply. I haven't had one, but went to a talk about foot surgery a while ago and it sounded like a positive experience for 99% of people who'd had one. But do tell us more about yourself and your RA as well. Polly

  • I have been diagnosed as needing an ankle fusion. I have two new knees and one hip, but am putting off the fusion. In the meantime, I have an AFO, (ankle foot orthotic) that helps immensely (along with pain med).

  • Hi it is me tat had the fusion last Oct, and it has worked very well, do not need orthotic in right shoe now, and walking well considering other ankle also needs to be done.

    My right ankle is very stable now and no longer falling in, I had missing ligaments and tendons, said the results of MRI, due to Ra..

    You can re read my blogs and if there is anything specific you want to ask pm me. I have absolutely no regrets and all the stuff and bad reviews and experiences I read on Internet were largely false. I suffered not much pain and no swelling at all. The worst part was being non weight bearing for 3 months more or less, patience required.

    A good surgeon and family support will see you thru this op, better done sooner apparently rather than later.

    I have some arch pain that I didn't have before, maybe when the metal work is removed this winter that will improve 1 in 5 chance.

    Kind regards, Gina.

    Ps I never had ankle injections for this, have u had an MRI that is the first step, to establish what is going on.

  • Thank you so much for all your reply's you have helped me immensely, i have been struggling with my right ankle for 6 years, i have had xrays, MRI's, injections and all the aids they can think of but nothing has helped. 6 years ago my ankles were weak and i fell on the stairs at work and ruptured the ligaments and tendons really bad, i went through physio at my local hospital and told my rheumatologist what had happened. It took 3 years before anyone took me serious about how much pain i was in. By then the damage had been done now it has come to this. Thank you Gina for replying, it has helped my decision after hearing from someone who has recently been through this, i now know i have to have this done as my knees are really bad now due to how i have been walking for the last 6 years. This is a terrible disease and i wish there was more awareness of it. I am just waiting now for my next appt to tell the consultant my decision. thank you again. X

  • Hi Sharlynn, Thanks for bringing this up. I too am down to have ankle surgery soon and the replies to your question have also reassured me.

    Thanks everyone.

    I'm so glad I have found this site.

  • Hiya, I had my ankle fused and re-aligned last year after it was very severely deformed by my JIA. Although I was in plaster for 3 months it has been very good since. I cannot move it but I can put it flat to the floor. I have had over 30 operations and this has been one of the best. Hope this helps.


  • It really does help, i feel a lot more reassured about the surgery, not looking forward to not being weight bearing for 3 months but if it stops the pain bring it on. Thanks again everyone. I too am glad i found this site, i think when you are diagnosed with these conditions they should tell you about this site as i think this has been more help than anything for a long time.

    Good Luck Creaky, let me know how you get on.

  • Hi I had it for a whole year had two injec into ankle to no avail it draged on and on drove me to dispair then they gave me weeks of steroids to take eventually it start to subside I have had 6 months free so far so good luck to you x

  • Hi Folks..I'm new to the site, Diagnosed with RA 4 years ago. In reply to the question about an ankle fusion, I had it done last July. Ok, 3 months non weight bearing and took a while to get used to a stiffened ankle but it's a million times better than what it was. Stlll get aches and pains but, not as bad as it was.. :-)

  • Thanks for that JohnF, Your comment has helped. Welcome to the site. It sounds wonderful not to have pain and that's what i want now i am sick of getting up everyday and having pain all day with this ankle. What sort of movement do you have and does it restrict you from certain things.

  • Hi all, this is my first post since I joined. I really should blog more!

    I was diagnosed with systemic onset JIA (sojia) or as I like to pronounce it sodya at the age of 2 which was some 38 years ago! I have major joint damage and had many ops including 5 hip replacements and 5 knee replacements.

    I am down to have both ankles replaced after it was suggested I had ankle fusions, but I wanted to keep what little movement I had for driving. I know people who have had ankle fusions, and I've heard both positive and negative comments about it. As said above fusions are very final which is another reason why I chose replacements. It is a big decision. But right now I have to decided to put it on hold as the recovery process is quite prolonged I believe, and I've just started college! Sharlynn did your consultant say why he/she was 'unwilling' to give you further injections because that really should be your decision?

    Mel x

  • Hi smooch40, not sure why they said they won't give me more injections, they said they don't like to do more than 3 and then they have to consider surgery. They probably realise with me that the injections are only temporary (the last one only lasted 2 months) and it is probably cheaper for them to do the op. I have been thinking like you that i don't want to lose the movement but then i realise i have no movement now as it is so painful i don't move it. Good luck with everything. X

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