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Post Op - PLOG - Triple fusion of ankle. (Arthrodesis)

Hi Friends,

And boy do I need you now! just back online today. Have had a amiserable week. My operation went well, but the care was another story. (long one of neglect) It is just that I have felt so low since I got home, tearful and moody. Not too much pain thankfully, but really depressed and anxious that maybe it wont work, the bones won't fuse I'll get an infection, flare all sorts of negativity. My mind is working non stop on a course of all things gloomy. ( on anti dep anyway so don't suggest that!

Anyway, I rang my GP today and she prescribed some xanax and sleepers & codeine for a week or so and said it wasperfectly normal to be mood swinging a bit after morphine etc etc, and offered to come to my house if I wanted her too.

Please someone tell me this operation is worth it, my sister in law kindly told me a few days before the op that her dad had the same and ended up with ankle replacement as it was a total failure.

I spoke to Ailsa and she gave me great support, prior to operation.

Please just tell me this will get better, today is my first day downstairs and I had to be forced out of bed. Its a week tomorrow since the operation.

Please give me hope:) whats wrong with me. post op.

Worried & anxious & tearful


PLOG: Poor LIttle Old Gina.

24 Replies

Gina it's tricia here,

I understand exactly how you feel, anaetheic can make you very tired and weepy, also plse ask to be checked for anemia.

I have been where you are for the last 3 months, I'm trying to write my experiences but it's like war and peace, a never ending tragedy

take care have a good cry, a glass or two of wine, and if you feel like sleeping do !!!




Did u have same op?


Oh Gina you poor love,i can't tell you that,but i will try and cheer you up somehow. I want to know about the dishy docs. Was there any. You will be anxious and tearful so don't worry about that. Give it time to settle down maybe a couple of weeks and then see the doc about it. How is the ankle does it feel any easier, i know that my knee wasn't right,but thats not to say yours will go wrong. Take the pills the doc gave you and stop worrying. I will find my joke books and post them to you,at least you can have a laugh.

Take care darling. sylvia. xx


Thanks sylvie, I actually fainted after writing the blog but am ok now. I know my op will work all good so far it's me worrying unnecessarily..

Power of positive thinking I have dropped the ball temporarily


Hi Gina - don't know if you'll remember me but i've come back just to try and cheer you up as it sounds really rotten at your end and I feel like playing Mary Poppins briefly - but haven't really got much I can say. I will try and make you laugh at my expense -hope it works a bit at least.

The week before last I was away in Aberdeen installing artwork in an art collective project gallery space in an industrial estate. It sounds awful I know but it was actually quite exciting for an artist like me. I got in such a panic about going though because I knew it would be physically draining as no help and it was a retrospective of all our work for the past four years. I went to see my GP the day before because knuckles and wrists were swollen and I felt I was heading for a flare after working with my hands 24/7 so got given predinasole(sp) oral steroid just in case.

Meanwhile hubby had booked me into a boutique hotel in the city centre which he thought would be really luxurious and fun for me. I arrived with enormous case full of artwork to be greeted by a huge long flight of steps up to reception. Ankles were playing up badly so that wasn't a good start. No lift anywhere to be seen and more steep stairs up to the rooms. No lounge or place to sit and chill. The receptionist gave me my room key and pointed so I waved my splinted wrists at her and asked her if she'd help me with my case as there was no lift. She did and as she showed me into my room I saw it had a name "the Castrato suite"??! So I went inside and almost sobbed in horror. It was about 7 foot wide max, a single bed with the hardest of matresses and no bedside table or light. Small tv and reading light were the other end by large single glazed window and the ceiling was very high with one low energy light at the wrong end of the long thin room! The bathroom was dire with no towel rail. I think it must have been called the Castrato Suite because it had quite literally been castrated of anything comfortable or nice whatsoever?!

I was too tired to fuss and ankles too sore so I just went downstairs for a light dinner and then came back up to bed. Took all my pain meds worrying like mad about installing the artwork the next day and contemplating steroids. Even asked lovely lot on the Arthritis Care forum how long they would take to work etc. A couple were having a violent sounding domestic on the street below my huge old window but I finally went to sleep and woke at 3 am to the sound of a man throwing up.... his loo must have been on the other side of my paper thin wall I guess but it really sounded like he was puking on my bed right by my pillow! Then I became aware that my fingers wouldn't bend at all - locked and swollen. I eventually got back to sleep and woke very early to the sound of man doing his ablutions and banging of fire doors everywhere.. so much for the relaxing boutique hotel .. more like the hotel from hell!

I did get my room moved to a much bigger one with bedside table and light and I did manage to get through the four days there installing work, up and down ladders, hammering sticking things on walls with velcro but the following week boy did I pay for it all with massive flare in shoulders, wrists, knuckles, fingers blah blah!

Anyway I hope my tale of the Castrato Suite has made you smile a bit. Can't tell you anything about surgery because I've never had it but I'm sure worrying your head off won't help - what will be will be and there must be a good chance of it working or they wouldn't do it? Big hug .. may be back on HU again one day maybe not - depending on what rheumy diagnoses end of November. Meanwhile do take care and try to enjoy the enforced rest at least. Tilda x


Thanks Tilda that was some treat, great to hear your life going well. How do u do it with the pain? You are a true warrior!

Keep in touch. X


Hee hee Castrato Warrior or RA Warrior(2) remains to be seen?! But either way I'll keep fighting this thing to do what I do as it keeps me sane. You hang in there now - the bad experience of care and surgery will be giving you lots of residual downs but everyone is here for you and like Summer says I'm sure it'll pay off soon. Bye for now sleep well Gina. Tilda xxx


Hi Tilda, lovely to hear from you again. I did smile at the Castrato suite - it would have made me a bit worried I think!. The trouble with so called boutique hotels is they pride themselves on never changing anything and keeping things as they were in the 1930s. Not much good for us modern lasses with aches and pains and RA! Hope the exhibition went well and you were able to rest after. LavendarLady x


Gina.. sending you best wishes for a speedy recovery xx

I am sure it will be worth it.. surgery is upsetting for any one.. dont listen to the doom and gloom merchants stay positive xxx


Hi Gina

Glad you've been able to blog again.

Stay positive, I'm sure it will be fine. Make the most of the rest!

Best wishes Sci


Hello Gina

you have had a hell of a week, can't offer you much in advice but can join you in misery (steroids have been taken away). It must have been dreadful not to have good and proper care when you most desperately need it. Like all the others say the combination of the drugs, the trauma, having to rely on other people are bound to make you feel really down. Have you a timescale where you know the operation has been successful - lets hope it does what it is meant to do and you get some relief.

In the meantime - let it all out, come on here and scream and shout and curse and damn all those who are not doing what they should. I will applaud and offer you support from afar.


Thanks all so far, the story of my hospital care in a private hospital is so farcical & libelous at this point that I will save for future, it's also very upsetting. I got as far as the director of nursing before I left. Suffice to say the surgeon & the assistant anaesthetist were very nice if you catch my drift!!!

After I wrote blog I promptly came over all woozy and my poor aged mum had to slump me over a wheely chair and dump me on my sons bed. Had rest and ok it was my first time downstairs since Friday. Bk in bed with iPad for forseeable so apologies for any typos.

As for timescale stitches out on 1/11 & six week check with surgeon on 29/11, so that's my only timescale I'm one legged or as they say in the trade non weight bearing til then.

So far no real pain, just me being miserable, but depression & anxiety never lurk far from my door so I'm always on guard for them.

Talk again soon pals I have lots of hop along/ potty stories"



Hi Gina,

so sorry to hear your feeling low as I know you are normally so chirpy!

Hope (and I am sure you will) be feeling much better in yourself soon, having RA alone can make us low and down in the dumps at times but going through the surgery etc you have been through on top of it is bound to make you low and depressed!!

Glad to hear youve made it into your own nicley newley decorated bedroom althought Im sure the same fours walls new or not are driving you nuts already.

Is the woozyness and fainting normal or do you need to get that checked out by your GP?? (Concerened)

Lol at the potty stories and I aint heard them yet, I can just imagine after being bed bound once myself but mine was only for a week or so nothing as long as yours.

Hope you feel brighter soon take care and sending you a big virtual hug xx

Julie x


I don't know if this will make you smile or groan!!! I have my xmas turkey in the freezer from the sun,it cost me nothing!!!! I have also got some xmas presents wrapped and others ready to wrap. There you my love you can groan now!!!!

Love sylvia. xxx


Dearie me sylvie, that's a bit early. I'm thinking I don't have to getvpresents this year as my ankle can t shop lol!

I used to do that years ago shop from oct but I stopped as u always end up stressin over Xmas anyway.

Vouchers for all this year. Whew!


Hi Gina, so sorry you are feeling so rough. Anaesthetic can take a long time to get out of your system and morphine can make you feel very low.

If I have any sort of op they have to find something other than morphine to give me as I am allergic to it.

So sorry you have had such a rotten time in a private hospital. All the ops and treatments I have had in our private hospital have been brilliant and I couldn't fault the care I received or the follow ups after.

Do make a complaint to the Director of Nursing Services (or whatever they are called at the Hospital). Unless you complain, they won't change anything.

Our hospital always gives a follow up call to see if you can suggest any improvements. One of mine was to have lavendar scents wafted through the ante room to theatre as i cannot stand the smell of anaesthetic and surprise, they did that. So if you get a follow up call, let rip girl and let them have it right between the eyes!

I have had friends who have had the ankle op and they have been very pleased with it so try not to worry too much. It will take time for it to heal and be strong enough for weight bearing again. It is only a week since the op - don't expect miracles just yet. You will feel tearful and out of sorts as that is the effect of the anaesthetic. Don't overdo things, get as much rest as you can and take it easy. This will pass before long. Your GP sounds lovely and sympathetic. Keep your foot up when you are downstairs and sitting to prevent swelling of the foot and ankle.

Will be thinking of you. Lots of love. LavendarLady x


Hi Gina,

Hope today's a good one for you. I went to a lecture a couple of weeks ago about RA from a foot surgeon, who went through all the different foot ops and basically said that he thought that the triple fusion was one of the most effective of all. In his view fusion was far better than replacing things anyway. So let's hope he was spot on - he seemed to be well experienced.

As for the after effects of anaesthesia, after I had my knee done I threw up for days. But I felt so ill I gave up smoking - and am still off the fags three years later - so I guess maybe I should thank them.

Good luck for a speedy & smooth recovery. Polly


wow, well done, i wish i could stop :-)


Well that is reassuring the spec said that. I don't think ankle replacements are perfected yet it was this or tendon transfer but my tendon was too short?

At least I have total faith in my surgeon so far....

I gave up smoking 5 weeks before op and am so glad I read smoking slows bone fusion so no choice really, as soon as this is fused! Only joking hopefully off those devils for good.



Sounds like your sister in law was THOURGHTLESS at best!!!!

I can't promise your op will work but i can tell you that i have exactly the same op last year, It took quite a few months to recover (mentally and physically) but it was well worth it, the pain is completely gone now in my foot, the swelling gone too. I didn't get any infections but they are reletively easy to pick up, so keep EVERYTHING clean around you, although now you are at home most of the risk has gone!! I alsways think that there is a magic 2 weeks, if all good after 2 weeks then you can relax and just recover from what has been a horrific ordeal for you, why can't nurses etc be better, i too had neglect issues!

One good thing about having RA is that we 'fuse' well ;-) our bones seem to re-build very well - this is what countless doctors have told me and always been the case for me ;-)

Keep warm and get a boxset of sex and the city

Ella x


Hi Ella,

Your words and all the others here have been of great comfort, it is the worry of everything, I have good friends and family but only those with Ra really understand the scared feeling of oh god why me I'm too young how did thishappen I was so healthy. Am gonna blog later to bore u all some more.

Thanks for the support really need it at this time.


Hi Gina,

I'm glad to see you back with us and blogging again - but so sorry to hear that you had to fight your corner when you were at your most vulnerable:-(

It's normal to be weepy and a bit miserable after a general anaesthetic and surgery - it's an 'insult' to the body and the mind/emotions. In days gone past you would have been in hospital for 10-14 days and expecting to still be feeling pretty poorly - and then possibly have been sent away for convalescence afterwards. I know that it's hard to be patient and rest - but it's what your body is telling you to do.

When we are incapacitated by a flare or surgery we come face to face with our fears about the future and what may be yet to come. Just take things a day at a time, even an hour at a time:-} No amount of fretting or worrying about the future will make any difference to what happens in days or years to come. What it does do is squander your energy at a time when you need all your energy to be directed into resting and healing. Try repeating to yourself - 'every day, in every way, a little bit stronger'.

To help clear the remnants of anaesthetic from your system - sit by an open window and do some deep breathing exercises.

We're here whenever you need some understanding and support - take good care of yourself,

Cece x


Hi cede,

Have been doing fresh air breathing think it helps :)


I think a lot of people feel like you after an op. Just try to hang in there, do what they advise and try to keep even a little positive. It's very difficult to do that last one but if you surround yourself with people who care it will help. Don't listen to negativity, everybody reacts differently to surgery, give it time. Meantime big hugs and all my very best wishes. Take care of yourself x


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