Am now confused!

Went for my pre op assessment today and saw yet another Dr, who basically seemed to say that the operation to fuse the bones in my foot will leave me in more pain with CRPS. That is now another opinion, I left feeling I did not have my questions answered, and don't really know where I stand (Literally)!

He couldn't tell me how long I would be in a cast, what type of cast, how long I would be non weight bearing etc etc. The only thing I know is I will only be in over night and discharged the next day.

He argued that I had not been told to be non weight bearing for 8 weeks following my previous foot surgery (would I lie about that??).

Feel really let down by a Dr I have known before to be a very helpful man. I am now frightened of the future and what it may hold, I was hoping the operation would relieve the pain and I could get back to my life. Not sure how to handle the thought that I may be in constant pain like this for the rest of my life! I am only 52, have got lots of plans for my future. I know there are many on here that are in the same situation, any advice would be appreciated.

17 Replies

  • Can you ring the secretary of the surgeon who is going to do the surgery? Tell them all your questions- how long nwb, type of cast, likely hood of success, affect in crps etc. the secretary can pass your questions on to the surgeon. Who may then ring you, book another appointment or write you a letter. You need answers before you go in for the surgery. Good luck

  • I did ask the questions, he said he wasn't sure on all of them, every thing would depend on what they did!! Not very helpful, but thanks for reading my post and your advice though.

  • i had my ankle fused years ago it did not stop the pain...i had a cast on for 12 weeks.5 times i had it fused..i am still in pain....

  • Oh no, not good, how do you mange the pain, some days I can't think because of it, however today I am having a good day, even managed to walk around a shop!

  • Hi frustrated, i know how you feel when one person tells you something and then another tells you something else. As already said by rowentree ask questions and take your time before you decide what to do. Its a risk with any op and i know this through personal experience. Only you can decide. X

  • Thanks, as I said the rowntree, I did ask those question, but he just said it would depend! He didn't discuss NOT going for the surgery, it was just such a different attitude from the main Consultant, who is positive the pain is secondary to the degeneration of the bones!

  • The cast at your age could cause muscle shortening as a result of muscle disuse. Muscle shortening is painful and requires a lot of work to put right.

    Fusing the bones in your foot will cause lots of problems. It will also cause you problems in the spine.

    I cannot discuss this further as I have no knowledge of the reasons why a bone fusion was deemed necessary.

    Please reply with further details and I might be able to give a fuller answer.

  • Hi, I have degenerative disease n my mod foot, I already have Pes cavus, which is a congenital condition, which was surgically corrected 9 years ago-which was very successful, with no problems until last September when I felt something 'ping' in my foot when running. I know about muscle wasting after my last operation, but soon returned to full use. I have been looking on the internet at NHS leaflets regarding foot fusion and they all say 'non weight bearing' for at least 6 if not 8 or 12 weeks! I will still have the surgery and hope that it all works out and just go with the flow.

  • I should also have added I am only 52! Feels really bad to have osteoarthritis at my age!!

  • Thanks for the reply.

    I have looked up the condition on Google. I am not a medic, however I do know from personal experience how little medics know about the engineering system that is the human body.

    Foot fusion is not reversible. Can I suggest you try another approach first and if that approach does not work go for what the NHS offers.

    Posture and muscle function has a great influence on pain. Muscle function can become a habit where incorrect muscular activity which is causing pain and discomfort can become very ingrained and reflexive.

    As you get older the muscular functioning of the body deteriorates and their is a need to pay more attention to how the muscles work in order to avoid pain and discomfort. This learning to pay more attention to muscular functioning is not something that medical consultants learn when they are training. Their training is diagnosis based on a snapshot of time. The treatment based on this snapshot of time is not reliable. Many treatments are custom and practice and have never been followed up long term.

    The parliamentary select committee in February in their report on the complaints system of the NHS concluded that the complaints system as used by the NHS was used to cover up mistakes rather than improve the service.

    An Alexander Teacher can help you modify you muscular function so that you cause less pain in yourself. A McTimony chiropractor can check for muscle spasms in the spine. These two regimes should help bring the pain and discomfort down. Yoga classes will help with getting tight muscles to lengthen out and will give a better handle of being in touch with your muscles.

    Hope this is helpful.

  • Go with the consultant with the most experience. Google it. Also google reviews from people that have had it done. Ask yourself how bad is the pain most of the time and could you manage most daily activities with pain relief. If not go for op. If yes postpone surgery untill the time comes that you cant cope any longer. Sometimes surgeons dont know what there going to find untill they open you up which is why they can't tell you in detail whats going to happen and cant answer your questions at this stage.

  • The reason the main consultant decided to opt for surgery is due the increase pain and the impact on my life! I have good days such as today, with minimal pain but yesterday and Saturday was beside myself in pain! Other days are manageable with pain relief. But over all the pain is gradually getting worse. The arthritis may also be a side effect of my Pes Cavus foot condition. I have Googled it and put it on here and had contact from someone who is non weight bearing for 12 weeks! I feel surgery should give me the best option, and only hope the other Dr is wrong and I will be better post surgery as I was with my other surgery.

  • It sounds as though you have decided on the op. Thats fine as only you know what pain your in. I wish you well and please let us know when the op is and how things go. X

  • According to Professor McCabe's unit at Bath any operation on a CRPS sufferer is virtually certain to cause CRPS to spread or start at the site of the incision, also putting ona cast or tight bandages will make things worse.

  • I remain confused!!

  • i am 66 have had pain in my ankle from 1973 when i broke it fused 5 times still hurts like hell.pain clinic said scan not help me...

  • Oh dear, I am sorry to hear that. I have not been referred to pain clinic as when I saw the main Consultant in April he was adamant that I need the fusion first then physio and podiatry later, no mention of pain clinic anytime in the past 9 months infact.

    I was just shocked to have a different diagnosis at the pre op assessment, with no warning. I have looked up the symptoms of CRPS which the new Dr is suggesting I have, but I still have more symptoms of the degenerative disease. Mainly if I don't walk I don't have too much pain, when at rest I have limited symptoms, certainly none at the level suggested by CRPS, yes occasionally I get some altered sensation, and occasional burning in the joint area, but no where else, so I remain confused!

    Not sure how I would cope if in your situation, but I hope and pray I make the right decision, and what ever happens the pain lessens.

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