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Julie F

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About Julie F

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  • Amputation Cause:
    arthritis, ankle fusion

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  1. Just a very quick update.. Things are moving along.. I have a date for my elective, below knee amputation - May 20th 2016.. I'm looking forward to it.. I'm so sick of the pain that I'm in that I'd happily have the surgery tomorrow if I could but in the UK things move slowly. So I'm all set.. I have my wheelchair, I've met and spoken with my rehab team; consultant, head nurse, physiotherapist and occupational therapist, I had my pre-op assessment last week and now I just have one more appointment with my surgeon on May 4th to sign my consent form and to go over any final details. I'm most dreading the anaesthetic as I've been ill for days after previous GAs.. A friend of mine who I know through an amputee FB group has just had his surgery done with nerve blocks alone, he was awake throughout and said it was surreal but much better to recover from than his previous surgeries where he was asleep so I'm hoping they may do that for me.. So 6 weeks to go..
  2. Thank you all for the lovely welcome and for all of your replies, it's just so nice to read stories from people who chose to get rid of their lower limbs and haven't regretted it (not that I've found many stories from people who have regretted it). I probably should have said that I'm in the UK so everything I'm dealing with also includes the NHS, which is a wonderful, wonderful thing but is very slow, hence the 4 years I've had with this so far. I belong to an on line ankle fusion group and a Facebook group of amputees in the UK and they could not be more different. The ankle fusion group is full of people talking about their ongoing problems, the fusions that haven't worked, the pain they're still in, their next fusions and long term pain relief whereas the people in the amputee group talk about problems too but most of their posts are about getting on with their lives and actually living. I know which option is the most appealing to me now after going through this for so long and with no end to it in sight unless I choose amputation. BethMarie, thank you for those links, I already follow the Amputation Coalition Face Book page but things are so different here to over in the US and Canada that a lot of the stuff written there doesn't tend to apply to me or is just so different to how things are done over here that it gets confusing. Yesterday I had a steroid injection into the subtalar joint and spoke at length to my surgical consultant (head of my surgical team for those not in the UK). He's referring me to the amputation rehab team so that I can discuss with them the sort of thing I can expect afterwards, let them know that I'm aiming for as much mobility as possible etc and to see if they think I'm a good candidate for this (my mind is already made up). I came away feeling quite positive. My surgeon said that the amputations he usually does are 'rush jobs' but with this one, if we're going to do it he wants to plan carefully so that I'll get the best result possible.. I have problems taking pain medication as opiates are migraine triggers for me. When I had my fusion 3 years ago I told the anaesthetist this but he didn't take me seriously as I knew as soon as I woke up that I'd had some sort of opiate in with the anaesthetic and was ill for about 3 days post op and couldn't wait for them to send me home so that I could deal with a killer migraine away from the bright lights and noise of a hospital ward. This time the pain management team are hopefully going to be involved from before the surgery so that won't happen again. I just want this foot gone now, I've had enough of this ankle, it's an absolute nightmare and I feel that a decent prosthesis has to be better than this. aeroads, thanks for the advice and I hope you start to get more and more mobile and pain free as you get used to your new prosthetic.
  3. Hello everyone, my name's Julie and I'm not an amputee yet but at this stage, I'm thinking that a BKA may be the best hope for me to have an active and mobile lifeā€¦ Here's my story: I've just turned 50. I had a very serious left ankle injury in 1992.. I had 2 bone grafts, 14 screws and 2 plates put in.. At the time they were worried that I would lose my foot but the surgery went well and healed well - the metal work was removed in 1996.. All was well for almost 20 years, with the occasional pain when I'd done a lot of walking or walked on uneven ground then at the end of 2011 I started getting very bad ankle pain.. It was diagnosed with an X-ray as post traumatic osteoarthritis and I had my left ankle fused in February 2013.. The fusion healed but the pain has remained exactly the same as it was before the op and I still have a lot of swelling.. I went back to my surgeon a year later (I was told to wait a year) and after another X-ray, he decided to do a sub-talar fusion.. The waiting list was long so my case was subcontracted out to a surgeon in the private sector who said that he wasn't convinced that I needed the sub-talar fusion.. He removed the metal work in December 2014 and that also healed well but left me with exactly the same amount of pain.. I had a CT scan at the start of 2015 and was told that they couldn't find anything that could be causing the pain and the orthopaedic team discharged me and told me to go back to my GP and to the pain management team.. I sat around in pain for a few more months and then decided to ask for another orthopaedic referral as I couldn't accept that this was it for me, for the rest of my life.. Before this I was very active and loved walking in the countryside, doing yoga, dancing and generally getting out and about. With the level of pain I have now, none of those things are possible. In August I saw a new orthopaedic surgeon and finally, I feel as if someone has listened to me.. I told him that this has now gone on for almost 4 years and it's no better, I'm sick of immobility and constant pain and after researching my options, I've been thinking that a below knee amputation may be the best option for me to get my life back.. I had an Xray and he says the ankle is a mess and is getting worse and he agreed with me so the plan is to do one more steroid injection to see if a subtalar fusion would help and if it looks as if it won't or if I decide I don't want that as there's no guarantee it would help and I may end up with problems in the other joints in my foot if I do that, then we'll go with chopping the bloody thing off... I'm relieved and happy with that.. I'm hoping that this is a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.. My steroid injection is scheduled for this Friday and I'm hoping that after that we can start planning the surgery. I've looked through some threads here and I'm wondering if there's anyone who's still active on this board who had an amputation electively, following fusion surgery or as a solution to chronic pain.