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My ankle hurts :(

Hello everyone, hope you're all well.

I'm having a bit of a faff on with my ankle at the moment and it hurts, really hurts :( The arthrits in my ankle isn't RA anymore apparently. There's been so much damage that its turned to OA which frustrates me even more.

The problem I find with OA is that there is not a single painkiller that can do anything about the pain you're in. The painkillers I take (including paracetamol, codeine and tramadol..) seem to put me in what I like to call a bubble. A bubble that doesn't get rid of the pain but merely puts me in a position where I feel either so tired or relaxed that I can't be bothered to worry about it any more.

My ankle has been a bit of a problem for a while now but it seems to be getting a bit worse :( I think it might have something to do with my driving. I do a lot of driving to get me from A to B and transport the family and I think it's finally beginning to take its toll. I love driving, it gives me a sense of independance and the freedom to do what I want and when I want. My Dad keeps saying that I should trade my car in for an automatic because that would stop my ankle from being used as much (it's my left ankle causing bother). I'm not too keen on this idea though, I like changing gear myself in the car as it makes me feel like I have a sense of control of the car.

When I went to see the specialist about my ankle the suggestion was that I might have to have my ankle fused. Now when he mentioned this, I went all defensive and said I wasn't having it done because I was too young but now I'm getting to the point where it's starting to hurt so much that I feel something may have to be done. Does anyone know what fusing a joint means? Has anyone had it done? How will it effect me and my walking? Any details on this would be fab!

Because of the amount of effort I have to put into walking at the moment because of the pain in my ankle, I feel tired almost all of the time. Everything seems to take more effort and I need to allow myself an extra 10 mins or so to get from one place to the next because my walking is so weird.

I feel so self concious about my ankle. It doesn't look normal when I take my socks off and the way I walk when its stiff (or locked) just adds to my embarrassment. It's not the best feeling in the world when you've gone to the cinemas with your boyfriend and you stand up at the end of the film after being sat down for 2hrs and find that you cant walk and have to walk in a proper perculiar way :( Thankfully Ive learned the art of making a joke out of it and laughing about how daft I look but deep down it's not really that funny to me at all.

I do that when I'm in pain. I develop a condition which I like to call 'brave face'. Symptoms include being in pain with your arthritis but continuing to tell everyone you're fine even though you know deep down that you're not. I'm sure many of you have probably suffered with the same thing..

Anyway that's my rant over I guess, time to get back to work!

Happy Friday :)

9 Replies

Hello Em - brave as ever but it is hard isn't it? Don't forget that sometimes it's braver to be honest with you medical team and those who love and care for you than it is to pretend all is fine. I don't like OA at all either - it worries me because I know there's little that can be done for it but the option on having your ankle fused sounds quite promising to me - I hope others get back to you who have first hand experience of this. My ankles played up a lot before I was diagnosed and my last flare was in one of my ankles so I know how hard it is because this joint has to bear our weight. I think your family are talking a lot of sense where getting an automatic car is concerned - if it saves your ankles and other joints then surely it would be worth the shifting of mindsets re being in control? Tilda x


Hi think your dad might be on to something when he mention a automatic car. It is possible to change gear without using your foot its call a triptronic gearbox my partner has one. I think if you have your ankle fused. Your foot will be in the same position. I assume this stops the irritation of movement. Hopefully less pain.

Please don't be embarrassed how you move about. SHAME on people who make you feel self concious


Hi Em, again you are being so brave. I like the idea of the automatic car , i tdoes make sense. I just had bones in my spine fused and it still moves fine and the pain is much better. It means that they join the bones together in my case with plastic bone and metal , however i dont know about the ankle. You can go on " /joint and arthritis conditions" and there is an explanation there. Let me know what you decide, hugs as usual Axx


I was having trouble driving, my husband said get an automatic and i can do some of the driving. I got an automatic and i still do all the driving. I wouldnt be without it, i would never go back to manual. Go out and test drive one you wont regret it.



Hello Em, I agree with the advice already given by miss, allanah and fastball, and of course your Dad. An automatic car will make all the difference to your pain when driving and you won't be making your exsisting problem worse.

I had a new car in november 2011 and my husband talked me into having an automatic for the same reasons as you. I know exactly what you are going through because I too have extremely painful ankles to the point of almost bursting into tears in the middle of shops on a couple of occasions :-( My feet and ankles were x-rayed yesterday to discover how much damage has already occurred, so I might be facing the same as you.

I was diagnosed 2 yrs ago when I was 64 yrs old, but you sound much younger than me and so I can quite understand why you make light of your problem when you are with friends and boyfriends, but if you can manage it, you would be wise to let on to your friends about it. I bet they would be only too pleased to help you as much as they can.

Most of my friends and nieghbours know about my feet and if I stop to chat with them I usually have to start hopping from one foot to the other to relieve the pain. They usually say "we'll let you go because we can see you are hurting", they kindly often do things to help me too.

Well, I hope you will eventually give in to the automatic car and you find some answers to your questions about the fusion. Have a happy weekend :-) June x


There are some people on here who have has ankle fusion., Gina k aka zig zagger has had one, I cant advise directly as I havent. my partner keeps murmuring automatic to me!!,

Do what you think is best.. you could do what I did put a trusted friend ie safe driver ideally a non drinker( wink wink )on your insurance so on a bad day they can help xx


I have the same problems but my Podiatrist suggested that after sitting down to do some ankle exercises before I try to get up.

This link may be useful:


I badly broke my ankle 8 years ago and my automatic car has been a godsend, i had the tiptronic for 3 years then went fully automatic and it is brilliant...i too think i may be going down the route of fusion and it worries me although i have so little movement in my ankle now i dont think it will make much difference apart from the pain. good luck with whatever you decide to do. x


Hi Little Em,

I, unfortunately, know exactly how you feel, having lived ith RA since age of 10, all the embarassment, and keeping a smiling face for others. I have no doubt your RA team know how your feeling, and hope they tread carefully with you. From experience, regrettably an automatic car, makes a lot of difference to the strain on feet, ankles and knees, and autos are much more fun to drive these days, have you tried one, I used to drive a Jazz sport, and even my confirmed manual, turbo car loving husband, likes driving it. One other thing, have you tried wearing a sports ankle support, like footballers or tennis players wear, just to take a bit of strain, I find they help, and you don't have to wear it all the time, and of course, if you have time, or when at ret try keeping foot up. I hope you can get your pain management under control and avoid surgery. All the very, very best



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