Triple Arthrodesis right ankle---HELP please

  1. I have been told by 3 doctors that I need to have a triple arthrodesis of my right ankle, second to end-stage PTTD. THis occurred as a result of complications from osteoarthritis. I have already had bilateral total knee replacements and am not looking forward to this surgery. I've also been given multiple answers by these docs re: to what rehabilitation from this surgery entails. So, could you please give me an idea of what it will be like?
    I live alone, with no relatives to help me. There are 4 steps into my home. I also care for 3 older dogs. I've been told that I will be non-weight-bearing for 3 months post-op. Pre-existing osteoarthritis precludes my using crutches (arthritis in left shoulder and hip also), which means, I think, that I would be in a wheelchair.
    The last MD I went to said that he would d/c me from hospital after 3 days. When I asked about inpatient rehab, and told him my home situation, his response was "Well, I can't keep you in the hospital just because you don't have anyone to take care of you. Go talk to a social worker after your surgery." I can't wait that long. I need some answers NOW, so I can figure out how to take care of myself after surgery.
    Please give me an idea of what rehab. will be like, so I have an idea of what to expect, and what I need before-hand. Currently, I work 2 days a week in an NICU, on my feet for 8-9 hours at a time--am usually in pain at work. I wear a custom brace. Will I be able to return to this job after surgery? How long does total recovery usually take? Will I be in a cast for several months? Do you know anyone that has had this surgery, and been able to return to nursing after recovery?
    Any information will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.
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  2. 1 Comments

  3. by   sbsarah
    I had triple arthrodesis in april of this year. It's been a long recovery. I was in the hospital overnight, left the next day. I stayed with my mom for 9 days. I really needed help all the time for the first 5 days...probably could have gone home after that. BUT...for the first 9 weeks I couldn't cook, clean or do any laundry on my own. It's impossible to completely take care of yourself on your own. You basically need to be seated at all times and when you are up you are completely physically exhausted. 4 months post op I started feeling a lot better. Still, 7.5 months later I feel like i still have a lot more recovery to do. However, I'm having my second foot done a week from Friday. Even though I still have some pain and aching in my post-surgery foot, I'm SO glad I did it and feel like I'm well on the way being fully healed.

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